We just wanted to chill out. A place to just ‘be’ without feeling the need to charge around, ticking off the ‘must sees’ of the area. Just new and unfamiliar scenery, new and unfamiliar faces. We chose Selimiye on the Bozburun Peninsula…
We’d been on the Bozburun Peninsula many years before and remembered coastal roads, few cars, few buildings, stunning scenery. Time to see if our memories had not deceived us.
15 months of firmly rooting ourselves in Fethiye due to the pandemic and it was now time to get out there again to recharge the batteries.
We hired a car, we set off and it felt so good to be on the road again, albeit relatively locally.
Where Is Selimiye Village?
Turkey is a vast country and you really don’t need to travel far to discover new places. We were heading to the Bozburun Peninsula, just south of Marmaris.
A couple of hours drive to Marmaris and then we followed the road to Datça for a while until our turn off. A pretty, undulating, winding coastal road took us 40 kilometres south of Marmaris and we were in another world.
Selimiye was exactly what we wanted it to be.
Sometimes, when you arrive at a new place, finding your booked accommodation can be a bit of a task. No such task in Selimiye. The village isn’t big enough.
We drove slowly along the ‘main road’ through the village, coming to a halt on two occasions.
This is not a road for lorries delivering goods to the local supermarkets, but deliver they must. A bit of beeping, a bit of gridlock, a bit of manoeuvring and we were on our way again, crawling along the road until we spotted our accommodation, Yazıcı Apart.
We parked up, checked in, dumped the bags and it was off for a little wander to see what the village had to offer us for the next four days.
Why Visit Selimiye?
If you’re looking for banging nightlife, water parks and adrenalin sports, let us help you out here: Selimiye is not the place for you!
If you’re looking for gigantic resort hotels with entertainment, huge swimming pools and all-inclusive options, Selimiye is not the place for you!
Selimiye Is Tranquility
Selimiye is a coastal village that is all about tranquility. Calm, crystal clear waters lapping against the shingle shoreline.
I attempted a run on our first morning there but spent most of my planned route stopping to take photos.
Selimiye bay is where yachts and gülets come to anchor, where small fishing boats chug back to base, where locals and (predominantly) Turkish holidaymakers take a morning swim before breakfast.
Strolling Around Selimiye
Aside from a morning swim and a morning run (Barry was more successful in this endeavour than I was), you might want to do one of the daily boat trips.
And then, after that, the ‘action’ in Selimiye centred around sunbathing (we’re not sunbathers) strolling at leisurely pace, eating and drinking!
A stone-paved pathway takes you along the seafront. Sun loungers and umbrellas line the shore.
No sandy beach at Selimiye. No beach at all along much of the shoreline. But that hasn’t stopped the bijou seafront hotels, pensions and restaurants creating wooden platforms for sunbathers and swimmers.
Whilst some of the sun loungers are exclusive to the hotels opposite, others are available to rent for the day, if sunbathing is your thing.
The seafront walk takes you past – and through – numerous restaurants and cafes. Along sun-drenched pathways and through leafy, shaded alleyways.
Meanwhile, the parallel main road that runs through the village is lined with pretty ‘beach’ entrances; a smattering of eateries that are easier on the budget than their seafront counterparts; small supermarkets selling essentials to locals, the yachting fraternity and holidaymakers alike; pensions, apart hotels and residences.
And the shaded alleyways that link the seafront to this road; you can do a bit of souvenir clothes shopping, enjoy the shade of the fuschia-coloured bougainvillea and check out some more of the smaller cafes.
As in Datça, in Selimiye, you can also get yourself a really tasty treat of ice cream made from goat’s milk.
Eating & Drinking In Selimiye
Judging by the price of our ‘budget’ accommodation that we’d pre-booked, we arrived in Selimiye with the expectation that whilst we were going to enjoy chilling out in a pretty coastal village for a few days, that chilling was going to cost us a few more lira than it would do here in Fethiye.
Fortunately for us, market day in Selimiye is Wednesday. We’d arrived late afternoon on Tuesday and we were staying in an apart hotel. That meant we had fridge and cooking facilities.
If you love to wander around places like the huge Fethiye Tuesday market, you’ll be in for a bit of a shock with Selimiye market. The photo above is pretty much it, give or take a few extra stalls selling dairy goods, clothing and hardware.
Tiny village, tiny market. But everything you need. We stocked up on some fruit, cheese and olives and that served as our brunch for our time there.
Cafes & Lokantas
Selimiye is famous for its seafood restaurants and, of course, there’s a choice of those along the seafront. But there are lots of other places where you can get snacks and meals, whether they be traditionally Turkish dishes or international.
Mantı was advertised at quite a few places, you can enjoy pizza, pide, kokoreç, speciality coffees, traditional desserts, homemade limonata. And, as for us, this pretty eatery on the road had caught our eye.
We just had to try it!
We decided we just wanted some mantı or menemen so I suggested we try Zeliş – we’d walked past it a couple of times and, well, guess it was the blue and white cuteness of the building that was the draw.
‘Ev Yemekleri’ means ‘home cooking’ so you come to places like this for some comforting traditional Turkish home cooking. We knew mantı was one of the specialities so we went there for mantı.
Then we were invited inside by the friendly Zeliş to have a look at the other offerings. A small mantı lunch became what you can see in the photo below.
Everything at Zeliş Ev Yemekleri was homemade. Not pictured, but bread and spicy ezme were brought to the table before our order arrived.
The limonata was ice cold and not too sweet. A heatwave was just kicking in whilst we were in Selimiye so downing two glasses each of that was much appreciated.
Yes, we ordered the manti – made throughout the winter months and served in the summer season.
Then, we ended up ordering kadın budu köfte – a long time since we’ve had that – stuffed courgette flowers and terbiyeli enginar (globe artichoke in a sour lemon sauce).
We’d had a lovely friendly chat with owner, Zeliş, and so pleased was she that we’d succumbed to ordering dishes we clearly hadn’t gone there for, she then gave us a portion of stuffed vine leaves, as if we weren’t full enough!
Bars & Restaurants
If you go to stay in a coastal village by the sea then, of course, you want to enjoy time in a bar/restaurant by the sea. You have a wide choice in Selimiye.
If you read this blog regularly, you’ll know we always manage to find ourselves a little haven where we like to retreat to after whatever explorations we’ve been doing.
In Selimiye, as soon as we’d dropped our bags at our accommodation, we headed off to the seafront to find a drink and something to eat.
And that first place we came across just so happened to be our type of place. As soon as we sat down at Delice and looked around and took in the atmosphere, we decided the vibe reminded us of two favourite Fethiye bars; Büyük Ev and Deep Blue.
No surprise then that when we went to follow Delice on Instagram, the three places were all already following each other. Turkey might be a vast country but it’s also so small!
A young, energetic and friendly staff; good music; brightly-coloured furnishings, individually made serving plates – and a meze fridge containing dishes with a difference.
On our last evening in Selimiye, we chose Delice for our seaside meal and ordered a selection of meze. Atom (yoghurt and chillies) is a regular for us but everything else was certainly novel.
We enjoyed a zaatar, walnut and bulgur wheat salad; a cold stew of braised local wild herbs; and we couldn’t not come to Selimiye without having some seafood. Prawns in pineapple. And seabass with apple in yoghurt.
This is a young staff in Delice, making an effort to do something different and the place is very popular for it, with people of all ages.
When To Visit Selimiye
We said Selimiye is about chilling out in tranquil surroundings. And it is. But this tiny village with its picture-postcard bay is hugely popular with Turkish tourists and the yachting / gület community.
We were there during Covid restrictions so there were curfews and live music was forbidden – and fewer people. Delice ordinarily has live music on some evenings.
If we return to Selimiye village – and we liked it enough for that to be an option – we would be there May to early June or September to October.
- As we said, we were there during Covid restrictions but the extra traffic in the village was still heavy and parking is limited. We took a hire car and were lucky to find spots close to our accommodation but this could prove very tricky in high season.
- Whatever time of year you visit Selimiye, we strongly recommend you book your accommodation before arriving. If you are driving and you visit in high season, book some accommodation with parking.
- Driving to Selimiye is easy – if you like narrow, winding, hilly roads – but you can also get there by public transport. Get yourself to Marmaris Otogar and take the dolmuş from there.
We used Selimiye as our base for exploring the beautiful Bozburun Peninsula. It’s achingly pretty with a relaxed vibe and, if you’re like us, you’ll struggle to pull yourself away to go off for a drive or a wander.
We have seen articles that suggest a pretentious air about the place. We certainly didn’t find this when we were there. Yes, it’s one of the pricier places we’ve been to but there’s a bohemian vibe. And, because everyone has come here to kick back and relax…well, why not join the relaxation party?