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

Spring in Gumusluk

 We are just back from preparing the villa for the new season. Every year we spend some time at the end of March in Gumusluk, visiting the villa and making sure that all is in order for our forthcoming guests. This year we have repainted the inside, washed the carpets, replaced the BBQ, replaced the lampshades, cleaned the patios etc etc. There is always something to do!

Whenever we go at the beginning of the year we are always reminded how fresh and green the scenery is. There can be the odd day of rain, but generally the weather is around 20 C and it is quite pleasant to sit in the sun with a chilled glass of wine or beer; we were often able to sunbath.

Not being too hot it is also possible to embark on a walk or two and enjoy the profusion of spring flowers. So if you enjoy walking this is definitely the time of year to come (although October and November can also be very pleasant months for walking).

The season had not started properly and the restaurants along the shore were still preparing for the new season when we arrived on 26th March; painting the chairs, tables and pergolas, white washing some walls etc. By the second week of April, however, a few more restaurants were open and they had blankets draped on the back of the chairs in case the evenings got a little chilly.

Not quite the weather for swimming yet – although this didn’t stop two young girls jumping in the larger swimming pool on site. It was ‘cold’ they admitted – but the sun soon warmed them up again.

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.