Circular Walk from Our Villa (Opus Village B1) to the Deserted Village of Karakaya and Gumusluk Inland Village.

deserted-village-of-karakaya

UPDATED OCTOBER 2013

Distance : about 5 miles

Time : allow 3 and a half hours.

Remember : water, sun screen, sun hat, long trousers*

Grade : Easy to moderate but there two sections (5 minutes’ walk and 10 minutes’ walk) beside a fairly busy road. There is also a 10-15 minute difficult section (*stony and often overgrown) as you approach Karakaya and a short difficult section if you visit the windmill.

Turn left out of Opus top gate. (on Dolmus route) Follow the road uphill for a few minutes and where the road levels before a further climb take a dirt track over to your right.

(For panoramic views of the Greek islands, Gumusluk inland village and surrounding countryside with old windmills on the horizon, continue along the road past the dirt track for another few hundred metres and scramble up the highest mound to your left. Brilliant at sunset!)

The dirt track cuts off a corner and takes you past some posh houses (to your right) with pools and extensive gardens before it reaches the road opposite a development with a blue waterslide.

When you reach the road turn right. Take care on this road. Follow the road downhill to a right hand bend where you see a blue sign pointing left to Karakaya (just before a large water trough on the left). Turn left at this blue sign. Trees overhang the path after a few yards. There is a view of an old windmill over to your right. (You can visit it later in the walk.) Avoid all turnings to the left and when you reach a makeshift broken wooden gate, turn right over a stream bed onto a small track. The next 10 – 15 minutes of the walk is stony underfoot and is on a largely disused ancient track, much overgrown and rock strewn in parts. However, keep thend-of-sunken-tracke stone wall topped with barbed wire to your left and follow the sunken track uphill between two walls. After 10 minutes a house appears on your left behind the stone wall and you reach a track beside the entrance to the property.

Follow this good path a few yards uphill to join another track. You will turn right here to continue the walk, but first turn left for spectacular views of the bay and islands after 50 yards. Retrace your steps and continue up the concrete slope to the ancient village of Karakaya. This path skirts the villaancient-village-of-karakayage, so return to it after you have explored the village. (Many houses are ruins but several have been renovated and are used mainly as holiday homes.) The path brings you out at a parking area and a road. Follow the main road ahead of you lined with telegraph poles on the right. Don’t forget to glance behind you as you walk for some of the best views of Karakaya.water-tap-karakaya

There is also a water tap along the road if you need to replenish your water bottles. After 5 minutes you reach the (yellow) electricity substation and surrounding pylons.

From the substation you can visit the ancient and almost derelict windmill you saw earlier. Allwindmill-at-karakayaow 10 minutes each way. Go through a gap in the fence to the right of the substation, next to an electricity pylon. Climb uphill towards the next pylon and then continue forward. The windmill appears after another few minutes.

To continue the walk, turn off the ‘main’ road at the electricity substation. Pass just to the left of the substation down a path which turns sharply to the left and descends steeply at first. When you reach a house with a low wall and a wire fence above it on your right, continue straight downhill, keeping the wall/fence on your right. You can see the path snaking down towards the village below. Just as the path starts to ascend slightly you pass a pool centred development with a dozen or so villas on your right. (Gümüs Evleri) The track becomes a paved road just before a junction. Bear left here. When you reach the ‘main’ road turn right beside Dia Supermarket**. After a hundred metres turn right after a bus shelter on your right, onto a wide paved road. (Or for shops, a café and the bakers in Gumusluk inland village continue along the road for a few hundred yards, then retrace your steps.) NB the café on the right is ‘men only’ and no alcohol is served. However they are very friendly and when we went there not realising it was men only, they served us and even popped over the road to get us a beer!

The paved road leads to a ‘Sarnac’ (large, white, dome-shawater-cistern-gumusluk-villageped water cistern). Turn right here and keep on this road when it turns into a dirt track. Follow the dirt track for half a mile until it joins the road. Turn right at the road and taking care follow the road back uphill until you reach the development with the blue slide. Take the dirt track to the left (opposite the development) which goes uphill to cut off the corner (as at the start of the walk) Turn left when it reaches the road to return to the Opus site.

**To cut the walk short here: Take the (Gumusluk/Gumuskaya) dolmus from the Dia Supermarket back to the Opus site

Musti’s Steakhouse, Yalikavak (Update Oct 2014: Now called Bonfilé)

Musti's Steakhouse, Yalikavak, 20 minutes' drive from Gumusluk VillaWe read about Musti’s Steakhouse in Yalikavak on ‘Trip Advisor’ and thought we’d give it a try. The restaurant had lots of good write ups.

As you’d expect there are plenty of excellent fish restaurants all along the peninsula, but a really good steak is harder to find. Musti’s exceeded our expectations. Our orders were for a medium rare and a medium steak and that was exactly how they came. A variety of home-made sauces were on offer. We chose pepper sauce which was excellent and side dishes of fresh vegetables, hand cut chips and garlic potatoes were all beautifully cooked. We asked our waiter for recommendations of red wine and he said he had one which was ‘perfect’. We were both surprised how good it was! Prices were reasonable. They also serve Guinness.

Al Fresco dining at Musti's Steakhouse, Yalikavak, 20 minutes' drive from Gumusulk Villa

You’ll find Musti’s beside the marina*, just a few minutes’ walk from the bustling heart of the town. We sat in the shady garden as the sun was setting over the sea.

*From the large windmill beside the harbour it’s less than fiThe Windmill in Yalikavak town centreve minutes’ walk to Musti’s. Turn towards the new marina (sea to your right). When you reach a large bronze statue, Musti’s is over the road to your left.

Booking recommended. Telephone 0252 3855385

The Oasis Centre

Seating at Koftecisi Ramiz at the Oasis Centre

We usually find ourselves at the Oasis Centre in Bodrum at some point during our stay at the villa. It’s a modern, tastefully designed, pedestrianised shopping centre on three levels with wide walkways and plenty of outdoor space interspersed with exotic plants. There’s an eclectic mix of small shops and a few larger ones, plus a good variety of restaurants and snack bars on the lower floor. You’ll find fashion, home furnishings, gifts, textiles and more. A free car park encircles the centre and there are spotless toilet facilities inside.

Urfa's RestaurantWe recently discovered an excellent place for lunch, called Urfa, where the speciality is ‘lahmacun’ – a very thin crispy type pizza which is cooked on the premises in a traditionLahmacun menual pizza oven. Like a pizza, the lahmacun comes with a variety of toppings and is served with parsley and slices of lemon. Not sure of ‘lahmacun etiquette’ we started to attack ours with knife and fork as we would a pizza. It started to shatter… Then we saw other people sprinkle the parsley and squeeze the lemon on the lahmacun, roll it up and eat it rather like a large wrap or fold it in half and half again and hold it in a serviette to eat. We’ll know next time…Urfa's kitchen with traditional pizza oven

Another very inexpensive favourite of ours for a light lunch is ‘Koftecisi Ramiz’. In addition to the meatballs (Kofte) and other Koftecisi Ramizchicken or meat options, they have an extensive ‘help yourself’ salad buffet. Salad, bread and a soda water cost us a mere 8TL (£3) each! Seating is in their open courtyard surrounded by enormous cacti.

How to find the Oasis Centre:

The Oasis Centre is situated on the main road into Bodrum. It’s on the left near the bottom of a hill as you approach Bodrum from the Ortakent (and Gumusluk) direction. Look out for its large colourful sign – a blue global ‘O’, other letters in yellow, green and purple and a palm tree above the ‘i’.

Victoria’s: the closest Restaurant to Gumusluk Villa

Closest Restaurant to Gumusluk Villa

Just over 10 minutes’ walk from Gumusluk Villa is Victoria’s. It’s a whole complex and not just a beach front bar and restaurant: it incorporates a swimming pool and riding stables with its small exercise area and on our visit in April 2013 they had just completed some accommodation units.

Victoria's buffet and bbqEvery Sunday they serve a barbecue/buffet for 30TL per person. For your 30TL you can sample an excellent array of starters, including bean dishes, salads and dishes using fresh vegetables. Follow this with meat from the barbecue and rice and bread. We sampled their chicken kebabs and wings – had hoped for a bit more variation – but were both good. The house wine at 35TL a bottle was good value. With live music – two talented guitarists on this occasion – it was a pleasant evening.

Breakfasts at Victoria’s are also popular. For a full Turkish style breakfast (bread, butter, jam, honey, egg, cheese, olives, cucumber, tomatoes and tea or coffee) they charge 20TL for adults and 10TL for children. They also include a free 10-15 minute horse ride (around the exercise area) for children. Adults pay 40TL for half an hour.

Victoria's buffet startersThe cost for the swimming pool is 10TL per person. You can rent sun loungers at a small cost or ‘platforms’ (a comfortable area with cushions for up to 4 people) at 200TL per day. (up to 190TL of which can be spent at the restaurant or bar).

The excellent manager, Seyda, is well known in Gumusluk and is very welcoming. She speaks extremely good English as does Esra who is working there this season and is also very helpful. It is always worth booking in advance, especially for the Sunday buffet/barbecue (+90 252 394 3264).

A Beach off the Tourist Track

Yalikavak beach off the tourist track

Yalikavak Public BeachSafe swimming near Yalikavak

Yalikavak Public Beach is a popular place with local families and a lazy afternoon there makes for a pleasant change from the more touristy areas. You’ll find it a couple of kilometres from the far end of Yalikavak’s main beach*. Trees provide sunbeds for hire shade along the water front and you can hire sunbeds for a small fee. The bay is calm and a large area roped off offers safe swimming.

The snack bar sells toasted sandwiches, chips, etc. plus ice-creams and drinks, but the real attraction here is that you can hire a barbecue and cook your own meal. Order it at the snack bar and they’ll deliver it to you a few minutes later with the coals hot and ready forBBQs  for hire at Yalikavak Public Beach cooking.

There is a loo and a small changing room – both pretty basic – and an outdoor washbasin.

*Follow the road out of Yalikavak which climbs towards the headland. Turn right at a mosque On way to Yalikavak Public beachwhere a sign points to ‘Dodo Beach’. The road skirts the bay, past a hotel and down to the water’s edge. There is ample parking by the entrance to the beach.  See the marker for Yalikavak Public Beach on our area map.Entrance to Yalikavak Public Beach