Datça Peninsula: Palamutbükü 8 Years On

A little over 8 years ago, we were taken on a road trip to the Datça Peninsula for a short break with friends. It was November and Datça was deserted and beautiful. Just about everywhere we visited was closed up for the winter months, but we didn’t mind as we were there to chill out for a few days and enjoy the solitude.

One place our friend was keen to show us was Palamutbükü. ‘You’ll love it,’ he said. ‘It’s perfect.’ Off we went along the winding roads and rubble tracks on the peninsula, and eventually we arrived at a golden, shingle beach. The sea was a cold, clear blue and all that broke the expanse of open water was a lonely islet sitting just offshore. Our memory of this place is that, apart from a large wooden stand (remarkably, it was open for business – serving instant coffees) there was nothing else along this little stretch of shore in Palamutbükü.

Palamutbükü Out Of Season

Timber frames are a clue to the summer beach season at Palamutbükü

8 years later, again in November, we stayed with friends in the lovely village of Yazıköy which we soon discovered was just inland from its nearest stretch of beach, Palamutbükü. On arrival, we headed straight down there and we were curious to see how much had changed in our 8 year absence.

Thankfully, not too much. Aside from the odd couple taking a stroll, the place was deserted. The sea was still a crystal clear blue, lapping gently against the same golden shingle. We weren’t fooled. The sea here is famous for being ‘refreshing’ even in the height of summer. Timber frames, complete with ‘Wireless Internet’ signs nailed into posts, a short row of low-rise, beachside restaurants, one 2-storey hotel and a few wooden chalets set in their own grounds were the clues that told us Palamutbükü is definitely on the Turkish beach lovers’ radar during the summer months.

Palamutbükü Datça Peninsula, Turkey

Palamutbkü – the very essence of tranquility out of season

But that was about it. We were pleasantly surprised. All along the Turkish coastline, large sections of previously undeveloped land have given way to holiday resorts, villas and apartments, so we were expecting much the same fate for Palamutbükü. Sometimes, it’s great to be wrong and have that guilty pleasure of feeling like you have a place all to yourself.

The Datça Peninsula is a treat. Somebody somewhere is keeping a tight grip on the ‘no over-development here, thank you,’ approach and, for now at least, the place is packed with secluded bays, some backed by old, seaside hamlets. The almond and olive harvest is still a feature of village life and the ancient, Hellenistic ruins of Knidos – albeit more accessible after substantial road improvements – still stand lonely, exposed and windswept – and are the more beautiful for it.

We really hope it’s not another 8 years before we’re once more exploring the Datça Peninsula – and we’re also really hoping that when we do get the chance to return, the landscape will be just as we remember it now.

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  1. That’s wonderful, we need places like this, otherwise we run the risk of not knowing where to relax anymore!

  2. Looks like a beautiful place and gorgeous scenery……great place just to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. Thanks for sharing those beautiful photo’s.

  3. Almond and olive trees – wow, so there are places in the world that exist that are NOT overdeveloped?

  4. Gives me some hope against the rampant overdevelopement that scars much of the coast. I often wonder what the adjacent Bodrum Peninsular was like only a few short years ago.

  5. gorgeous! i can just imagine it in summer!

  6. The speed of development is so scary sometimes that’s it’s wonderful to know it’s not all-consuming. Hopefully a side effect of the recession will be a slow down in development and a chance for people to realise the value of keeping some places relatively undeveloped.

    One of the key reason I chose to visit Turkey the 1st time was because I knew it wasn’t covered in hotels the way that places like Spain are.

  7. It’s a great place;beautiful, quiet and very friendly! Did you see the famous seal who is (was) always around the harbour, sunbathing in one of the small boats?

  8. @ Angela: The whole peninsula was the same, 8 years ago. Don’t know if that is still the case but it would be lovely if that was true. 🙂

    @ Erica (Irene): Yes, perfect for enjoying the beauty of nature and you’re welcome. 🙂

    @ Belinda: So far. We shall wait and see if the Datça Peninsula holds on.

    @ Jack Scott: We were shocked when we went back to Bodrum a couple of years back and we’d only been there the year before. Fethiye’s growing quickly, too.

    @ Jaz: Strangely, we’ve never seen it in summer. Would like to just to see if we think it’s too busy. 😉

    @ Cally: Yes, we like the height restrictions on the Fethiye hotels. Datca just seems to be small pensions which is lovely.

    @ Evelien: Awww, no. Wish we could have done. Love seals! 🙂

  9. I can’t be totally sure- but I do believe I’ve been here! (and it hasn’t changed much since I was there- and that was YEARS ago!) 🙂

    It is lovely when a location stays untouched– so few of those kind of places nowadays- so when you find one, it is a treasure.

  10. @ Anjuli: That would be great if it was the same place, wouldn’t it? We definitely treasured the moment. Hope to visit again soon. 🙂

  11. I love it when places haven’t changed, there’s nothing worse than returning to a place only to find it’s almost unrecognizable from all the large new resorts. It sounds like Palamutbuku is a real find.

  12. @ Laurel: That’s exactly what we were nervous about. It’s so peaceful there and ripe for someone coming along to develop it. Hope the locals stand firm. 🙂

  13. Ahh, that’s the kind of place I would like to spend my entire summer!

    Sorry for the delay.
    Just got back from Finland last night.

  14. @ London Caller: We’d like to spend more time around the whole peninsula. It’s a very pretty place. Hope you enjoyed Finland. 🙂

  15. Hmm… 3 months should be enough for the peninsula, right? 😉

    You should go to Finland in winter. You’ll love it!

  16. Christy @ Technosyncratic says

    It’s always nice when you find those gems that aren’t over-developed. 🙂 Looks very peaceful here!

  17. @ London Caller: Yeah, we reckon 3 months might just about cover it. You considering it? Finland’s a great option for us! 😉

    @ Christy: Perfectly peaceful and I fear we take it for granted sometimes, despite appreciating it so much.

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