The Rhodian PeraeaThis peninsula in ancient times extended from the tip of the Gulf of Gokova to the headland between the Greek Islands of Symi and Rhodes and was known as the Rhodian Peraea. The peninsula was, and still is, a backwater and depending on which map you look at could be known as; the Hisaronu, Loryma or Daraçya peninsula. With its rugged peaks and deep valleys, pine forests and unspoilt beaches its perfect for those wanting a more leisurely pace of life. As access has always been difficult here even though a road was completed in 1989, yachts are still the principal means of getting around and because of this the area has so far managed to escape mass development.
North to Gokova Gulf ShoreThis unspoilt coast was seriously affected by huge forest fires in 1969 turning thousands of forested acres to ash. Fortunately re-growth and reforestation have restored much of the damage.
Sedir IslandAt the head of the Gokova Gulf Shore is Sedir Island ( Cedar Island ) or as the tour boats call it Cleopatra’s Isle. This islet still retains its extensive fortifications and a theatre dating from its time as Cedreae, a city of Peraea. It is alleged to have been the meeting place of Cleopatra and Mark Antony and the sand at beach here, the main attraction for day trips, is said to have been brought from Africa by order of Mark Antony.
English HarbourBoat tours also go to the beautiful inlet of Ingiliz limanı ( English Harbour ), only reachable by sea, and so called from an incident occurring in World War II when a British ship sought shelter from the pursuit of the Germans.
KaracasogutKaracasogut accessible by land and sea is a big yacht and gulet haven, has a beach, although somewhat muddy due to two creeks draining into it, has platforms built way out into the water away from the boats and the shoreline and there are several restaurants there.
South to Bozburun
OrhaniyeUsing the paved road branching south from the main Datca bound highway, 21km west of Marmaris, you access the main part of Hisarönü peninsula. Orhaniye , 9km from the main highway is mostly used for anchorage by yachts and has the submerged sandpit knows as Kizkumu ( Maiden’s Sand ) extending halfway across the bay and anyone walking on it gives the appearance of walking on water. The beach consists of muddy shallows and there are a few pansiyons available here.
SelimiyeSelimiye the next coastal village 9km south and another stop for the yachts has the remains of an Ottoman fort overlooking the port and is one of the most picturesque of coastlines. With numerous quayside restaurants, aimed at the passing boat trade and pansiyons available, though it is recommended to book in advance and dolmus leave from Bozburun to here.
Bozburun and beyond
BozburunBozburun 7km from Selimiye is mainly a yacht harbour, there are no sand beaches and little level land for building villas, but this resort, in an isolated corner of Turkey, has managed to attract all sorts of people. The quayside has many restaurants offering a variable range and quality of food and as you leave the dolmus, the pansiyon proprietors will be there touting for your business. The boat tours here stay within the confines of the bay.
SogutSögüt village, going east one valley on, and where time seems to have stood still, boasts two restaurants and a couple of pansiyons.
TaslicaFrom here take the minibus to the hilltop village of Taslica and the walking trail from there, takes about four hours, brings you to ancient Loryma with its Rhodian built fort overlooking the magnificent harbour of Bozukkale . Inside the fort are two restaurants, and if you don’t want to walk back it’s sometimes possible to hitch a ride on a boat from there.
Hisaronu Peninsula East Coast
BayirHeading inland from Selimiye the road climbs up to the mountain village of Bayir which is spread across a series of rocky terraces and in the main square has a 2000 year old tree. Local tradition says if you circle the tree seven times it will prolong your life.
Ciftlik3km down is Ciftlik bay, once isolated and now houses a huge holiday village.
TuruncTurunc originally just a few farms and ramshackle restaurants has now been transformed into an exclusive package resort. The stunning 500m beach of coarse sand backed by pine cliffs, dotted with hotels and villas, with a selection of restaurants, bars and shops set close to the beach front, offers ample accommodation options. Heading south on the spur road, passing ancient Amos (with only the Hellenistic walls and theatre remaining here) is Kumlubuk’s double horseshoe large bay offering decent facilities. This and Çiftlik are the only large patches of sand to be found on the whole peninsula.
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