Everybody’s doing it! As you drive past and look down from the road you see a faint line of people wading out to sea. How can we explain this eccentric behaviour? Is it that well-known propensity of the English holidaymaker, whenever they see a queue, to join it? I don’t think so. I guess it’s tradition; if you’re visiting the fishing village of Gumusluk, then you have to wade out to Rabbit Island. It’s just a given.
You start your journey from the end of line of restaurants a little further around the harbour from the brown tables of the Çay Bar (next to the jetty). There’s a white marble plinth and carving which look towards the small islet, which forms the left shoulder into the bay.
The water is shallow, only riding up to the knees at its deepest point. The walk can be a little uncomfortable without appropriate footwear; the pebbles are troublesome underfoot. For those who are staying at Gumusluk Villa there are a couple of pairs of ‘jelly’ shoes (sizes 6 and 8) which you can use; they are stored in or by the hall cupboard – although they do have a seasonal tendency to migrate into the utility / washing machine room.
Next to the pebbled underwater trail, on your left as you wade out, you can clearly see the smooth surface of an ancient road. This once led from the fortified island to one of the gates of Myndos (the ancient city which stood on this site some two thousand years ago). Do not be tempted to try and walk along this road – it is very slippery.
There are good views and spectacular sunsets from the lookout point at the top of the island. You can also see some of the ruins of ancient fortifications, both on the island and in the sea beside it. (2012 : Unfortunately you can no longer climb up Rabbit Island as excavation work is going on.)
As for the rabbits, there are a number of them of various shapes, colours and sizes; from large mottled brown to scruffy albino white. Generally the rabbits hide from the tourists during the day; but they can be seen at sunset when the visitors are few.