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’.

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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

Derekoy and the ‘Big Cheese’ Walk

 

Getting there: From the end of the Opus road (or from Gumusluk fishing village) take the Bodrum dolmus to Derekoy. Get off the dolmus at the museum ‘Collectibles’ at the end of Derekoy village. (a 10 – 15 minute journey)

I find the village of Derekoy fascinating for at least two reasons : the museum ‘Collectibles’ and the gourd lighting shop ‘Le Kabbak’.

‘Collectibles’ is the modern, architectually-designed home of the now retired director of the Maritime Museum in Bodrum. This quirky building, with its winding staircase up to several levels, has an ecclectic mix of old Turkish items such as lamps, jewellery and weights. Light floods in from the large floor to ceiling stained glass window: pale blue segments intermingle with colourful tropical fish.

The gourd lighting shop ‘Le Kabbak’ – a few paces closer to the village than the museum – has a beautiful array of lamps. As you approach you will hear the owner at work, making tiny holes in the gourds and then inserting coloured glass into each one for a unique effect. Have a look round and ask to go into the inner workshop to see some of the gourds lit up. Also for sale are a wide variety of stylish old pots and flagons, seemingly carelessly strewn about by the wall outside. (If you’re passing through Derekoy after dark the whole place looks like something out of a fairy tale.)

The Walk

Distance : about 2 miles each way (*for longer walk – see below)

Time : allow 2 hours.

Remember : water, sun hat, long trousers, walking shoes (picnic?)

Grade : easy

Suggestion : do this walk on a Tuesday when there is a small market in Derekoy so you can buy a few items for a picnic on the way.

The walk starts opposite the museum ‘Collectibles’ and a stall selling more gourd lighting and souvenirs. Take the small tarmac road ‘Kavakderesi Cad’, leading slightly uphill. (CAD is short for Cadesi = Road)

Follow this road as it winds into the countryside. After about 10 or 15 minutes the tarmac runs out, but keep straight on and from this point make sure the stream is always on your right.

You continue on this wide path, crossing a few streams on your way and after about 20 to 30 minutes you will be rewarded with a great view of the ‘big cheese’ : a cleft of rock which looks like a wedge of cheese, ahead of you. We returned to Derekoy soon after this point and took the dolmus back to the Opus turning. (However, if you want a longer walk* try the Sunflower ‘Bodrum to Marmaris’ walk no. 8 : Ortakent, Yaka, Derekoy page 99. There is a copy of the book on the shelf in the living room at the villa.)

Bodrum

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Flights from the UK have a nasty habit of arriving into Bodrum-Milas airport at about 4am, but once you’ve picked up your luggage, collected your hire car and are approaching Bodrum on your early morning drive, you’re soon reminded why you’ve put yourself that joyless night-time ordeal. The sun’s been rising behind you as you’ve driven along the coastline dotted with tiny islands, but now the road bends almost 270 degrees and as it descends you are afforded your first glimpse of Bodrum: the 14th century castle of St Peter with a vast marina as a backdrop and beyond just that deep, deep blue of the Mediterranean. On the hillside opposite there’s a mass of white dwellings. In the dawn of a summer day there’s no heat haze – it’s perfectly clear. It almost seems worth the sleepless night.

Bodrum is the largest town on the peninsula and is about 25 minute drive or 35 minute dolmus ride* from our villa in Gumusluk. Bustling and colourful, Bodrum is renowned for its shops, bars, restaurants and nightlife as well as its impressive marina and the town’s undoubted focal point, the beautiful St Peter’s Castle.

*(half hourly service until at least midnight)

For shopping the main bazaar lies in the pedestrian precinct, at the foot of the castle. Little shops of every sort abound in all the narrow streets; many sell leather goods, pottery and carpets. You have to bargain in Turkey (all in good humour) – take off about a third of the price they say or plead poverty: it’s all a game! On Tuesdays there is a massive fabrics and clothing market beside the bus station and on Thursdays and Fridays there is a food market here.