Mars Cafe

If you’re looking for a warm welcome and excellent value this is it!  Situated next to the ‘dolmus’ station, the Mars Cafe is probably the friendliest establishment in the fishing village. They serve a variety of dishes including vegetarian options, all at very competitive prices.

Mariette and her Turkish husband run the café; it’s more of a bar and restaurant really. Mariette is a very friendly ‘front of house’ host and will even teach you the rules of Backgammon if you want to use one of the boards available for guests.

It’s not exactly a prime position, but makes up for its lack of beach / harbour front with good old-fashioned hospitality and a friendly welcome. Check out their weekly steak night and buffet night and meet some new people. It is a particularly good venue during ‘off peak periods when it attracts a lot of the locals.

Gumusluk Snack Kiosk

If you’re on a budget and have already seen how cheaply you can buy a glass of cay (tea) at the Gumusluk Cay Bar (next to the jetty in Gumusluk Fishing Village), look no further than the small kiosk sitting next to the Bar. Here you can buy piping hot meat balls in fresh Turkish bread for the price of about £1.25.

It’s probably not the place to go for that romantic evening meal, but it does provide a cheap snack at lunch time and a pleasant view of the harbour. You could even splash out on a bottle of water from the Cay bar for another 50 pence!

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.

Sunset at the Amphitheatre

Drinks at AmpitheatreIs there another villa in Gumusluk with its own amphitheatre? This is only a slight exaggeration – we do share it with the other villas, but on every visit so far we’ve had it to ourselves.

When they built the site where Gumusluk Villa stands, not only did they pay attention to landscaping, leaving a number of mediterranean oaks and olive trees to enhance the environment, they also incorporated an amphitheatre. In the centre of the development a number of trees have beenAmphitheatre left standing and an amphitheatre has been constructed amidst them. Small pathways, planted on all sides with small succulent plants, displaying a carpet of gold and purple flowers in the spring and summer, lead towards the central mosaic. On summer evenings guests stroll over to the amphitheatre with their drinks to sit and watch the sun go down.

Sunset from AmphitheatreThere are some large blue glasses provided at the villa. After making ready for the evening meal, I recommend filling these (although not completely – they take half a bottle each) with some rosé wine and walk the few yards to sip your aperitif and enjoy the sunset.