Ephesus must be one of the most famous archaeological sites in Turkey (if not Europe). The good news is that it is only about two and half hours drive from Gumusluk Villa. The slightly less good news is that it is very popular and in peak season several coach loads of people converge on it every day.

The Ephesus site is quite extensive and has its own car park. The latest addition is the excavation of a group of town house near the library. You have to pay an additional entrance fee to see this new excavation – but it’s well worth it.

It is quite possible to arrange a coach trip from Bodrum (they will even offer to collect your from Gumusluk). Often these trips involve a night’s stay in a 4 star hotel (please note they are very small stars) and a stop at the other main tourist site in the area – Pumukkale. One of our first guests at Gumusluk villa took one of these trips; they had to be up at 6am in the morning. At least they thought they would arrive at Ephesus before the coach loads of other tourists; they had not considered the necessity of visiting the Gold Centre or was it the Carpet Village? (Perhaps that was on the return journey?). They arrived at Ephesus at midday in the heat of the day with all the other coaches…

Yet a trip to Ephesus is easily organised by yourself; either by hire car or by using one of the many coaches that leave to Selcuk from the coach station (next to the Dolmus station) in Bodrum. When we first visited Gumusluk 20 years ago we made the journey by coach and stayed over night in Selcuk, taking a taxi to Ephesus early in the morning – avoiding the crowds and the mid day heat

If you are planning the trip yourself, then we would recommend that you stay in a quaint little village called Sirence in the hills above Selcuk. It is very picturesque and has much more charm than Selcuk. We can recommend a boutique hotel in Sirence (http://www.nisanyan.com/); it has main bedrooms at or near the hotel and a wonderful a la carte restaurant (not too expensive). Alternatively it has village rooms for those on a budget; you can still book a meal and walk up to their restaurant in the evening.

In fact if the villa is not available for all the time you require, you might consider a couple of days at Sirence / Ephesus and then moving on to Gumusluk; Ephesus is only an hours drive from Bodrum / Milas airport.

Gumusluk Market

If you’re in Gumusluk on a Wednesday, you really shouldn’t miss the weekly market! It’s a lively, colourful affair and offers an excellent choice of fresh produce and textiles. (Pop into the fresh fish shop in the fishing village afterwards and you’ve got everything you need for a great barbecue that evening.) The market is held just a few minutes’ walk* along the Bodrum road from the fishing village. It’s laid out in a ‘T’ shape with tents shading the stalls alongside the edge of a couple of fields. Everyone is friendly and there’s the usual banter as the stall holders ply their wares. One of our favourite stalls is at the far right of the ‘T’, selling fresh ‘Gözleme’ or Turkish pancakes with a variety of fillings including aubergine, cheese, meat, spinach and potato. With some fresh salad they make a great lunch. Another popular stall is one with a vast array of herbs and brightly coloured spices and stallholders who can answer any questions you care to ask. We rarely come away empty handed! Try to master a couple of phrase before you go to the market : Merhaba Hello Ne kadar lütfen? How much is that please? …and a few numbers so you understand the reply: 1 bir (beer) yarim (yareem) half 2 iki 3 üç (ewch) 4 dört (durt) 5 bes (besh) Tesekkür ederim (tesha cure edarim) Thank you.

To walk to the market from the villa is a pleasant 30-40 minute stroll, mainly through country lanes. Details on page 29 of the information folder at the villa. If you don’t want to walk back you can catch the dolmus (local minibus) The one going to Gumuskaya will drop you off at Opus top gate.

Circular Walk from Yalikavak to Deserted Village of Sandima (Updated Oct 14)

Deserted Village of SandimaDistance : about 3 miles

Time : allow 2 and a half hours.

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

Grade : Mostly easy but slightly overgrown /rocky in places on the path back from Sandima and a small barbwire fence to negotiate.

Getting there: Take the Yalikavak dolmus from the end of the Opus road* to the dolmus station in Yalikavak. (*Turn left out of Opus top gate and at the T junction wait for a dolmus coming up the hill)

Suggest you do this walk on a Thursday when it is market day in Yalikavak. You can then visit the market and buy a few items for a picnic before you set off. The walk starts just by the market.

The Walk: From the dolmus station and car park (close to the market) look for a large Turkish flag and a large statue of Ataturk holding a child beside a big mosaic circle. Take the second road clockwise from the statue and bear right when the road divides after 150 metres. In a few metres you’ll pass and entrance to the market on your left but continue straight on along Kayacik Caddesi, signposted ‘Sandima’.

Houses and orange groves line the small road. After 5-10 minutes a dry river bed appears on your left. Continue straight ahead (alongside the river bed) gently uphill.

After a further 10 minutes, where a small road comes in from the right, a signpost points you straight ahead to Sandima. When the paved track turns left (signposted Ada Evleri), keep straight ahead up an unmade road. After a few minutes there is a white domed water cistern (sarnac) to your left in a dip. After another 10 minutes you pass eucalyptus trees and a drinking trough on your left. In another 200 metres a large open area appears to the left of the path and there is a large white drinking fountain and a small cemetery enclosed by a stone wall. You have reached Sandima.

Take time to explore the village of Sandima by continuing straight ahead at the water fountain.White Drinking Fountain at Sandima

To return to Yalikavak take the path downhill by the drinking fountain, with the graveyard on your right. As the cemetery wall turns right continue straight on. Keep to the left of a short stretch of wall. As this wall makes a right turn take the small path to your left through the gorse. After 1 minute it bends back on itself and crosses the river bed. The path continues slightly downhill on the other side of the gorge. Continue along this sunken path and at a T junction turn right downhill (wall with metal mesh fence on your left). After 5 minutes the path circles a massive boulder and continues downhill (wall with metal fence still on your left) and the path is again sunken and cobbled with a wall to each side. The path is clear but rocky in places as it winds downhill.

Next to an old well, either continue on the sunken path or go into a field and keep to the right edge, beside the sunken path, rejoining the path at a gate after 200 metres, just before a stone outhouse. You soon pass under a water pipe with a house with a large pool on your right. After a few metres, as paths merge beside a large wall to your right, keep left and climb over a small stone wall (with an olive tree to the right of it). Follow the path to your right. Dry river bed on your right.

In 4 minutes cross a small barbed wire fence* to the right of a new development (* which a farmer has put across the path(!) With care it is easy to manipulate. At the end of the development the road becomes tarmacked. Ignore a left turn and continue straight ahead to Yalikavak. After 10 minutes you reach a T junction. Turn right and you are back on the road you started on. In a few minutes you will reach the car park.

Rabbit Island Gumusluk

Sarting point for wading to Rabbit IslandEverybody’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 Rabbit Island wadersare 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 Sunset from Rabbit Islandone 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.)

The RabbitsAs 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.

Limon Café

Limon Café People come from all over the peninsular to Limon bar / restaurant to watch the sunset and sip cocktails.Sunset at Limon Café Set just above the fishing village, it has spectacular views over unspoilt countryside to the bay and numerous islands beyond. Seating is on sofas and armchairs and the tables spread out from the bar all along the hillside. If you just come for drinks and the sunset, beware the price of cocktails! However, a meal with wine or beer can be reasonably priced. The salad we had was fresh and the pasta and lamb dishes were tasty. With a glass of wine, coffee and a dessert we paid £20 each.

Call in at the restaurant to make your reservation and choose your table. Then make sure you arrive on time! Dinner at LimonWe were a few minutes late the first time we went there and nearly lost our carefully selected sofa!