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!

Bodrum

For latest information on What to do in Bodrum click here.

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.

 

Ephesus

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.

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.