Stunning beauty, peace and tranquillity. That is the Bozburun Peninsula.
Shielded to the north by its party-loving big brother, Marmaris, the Bozburun Peninsula (Daraçya Yarımadası) is left to enjoy a more low key existence.
And that’s exactly what we love about this area.
This guide will remain a work in progress.
If you read this blog a lot, you’ll know we write from experience. If there’s somewhere we haven’t been, we’re not about to write an article pretending otherwise.
There are many areas of the Bozburun Peninsula that remain undiscovered by ourselves. And that’s more than fine by us – more places to explore in the future!
Because the Bozburun Peninsula, like its neighbouring peninsula, Datça, is somewhere to delve into time and time again.
Villages, coves, ancient ruins, boat trips, islets, hiking (the long distance path, the Carian Trail weaves through the Bozburun Peninsula) all await.
For now, though, here are some of the Bozburun Peninsula highlights that we visited on our most recent trip.
Bozburun Peninsula West Coast
We won’t repeat ourselves here by gushing about pretty Selimiye. This was our base for the few days we spent on the peninsula. And it was truly blissful.
We’ve written a detailed article about Selimiye village. But if you’re looking at the photo above and wondering if the reality matches the image, yes it does.
This tiny coastal village is a world of waterside restaurants, boutique hotels and pensions. Ancient history and local village life.
To date, Selimiye is our favourite area of the Bozburun Peninsula.
Very popular in high season with holidaying Turkish families and couples. So book a room in advance before arriving.
If you’re heading down the west coast of the Bozburun Peninsula, as you leave the D400 road to Datça, you will pass through Hisarönü and then hug the coast to Orhaniye.
We made a pit stop at Orhaniye when we were en route back home to Fethiye.
Aside from the fact that the water looks so inviting in the sheltered bay, Orhaniye is famous for something else.
And it would have been remiss of us not to acknowledge that something else by just driving on by.
Orhaniye is home to Kızkumu; a natural phenomenon that is a sand bank running across the bay.
So, yes, you can walk across the water.
It looked as thought lots of other people were just making a quick pit stop to say they too had walked on water.
The parking scene reminded us of that at Kaputaş Beach with cars parked up at the side of the road.
The traffic jandarma were certainly being kept busy, making sure the traffic continued to flow along the Bozburun Peninsula’s narrow, winding lanes.
Orhaniye is one of the stops for jeep safaris that make their way from Marmaris. So if you want to enjoy the tranquil nature of Orhaniye and walk across Kızkumu in relative peace, a morning visit might be the best option.
We were there during pandemic restrictions so the area was relatively quiet.
There’s a beach here, too. And markets (small shops), restaurant, pide salon and accommodation.
Continuing south along the west coast, the road passes Selimiye and then continues to the peninsula’s namesake, Bozburun.
We drove here from Selimiye because our first visit to the Bozburun Peninsula was almost 20 years ago.
A friend was driving and we drove straight to Bozburun. It was more of an errand than a sightseeing trip so we were curious to see if we could remember anything.
Instant recollection when we walked into the small square that marks the central ‘hub’ of Bozburun.
Like many of the coastal villages that sit along the Bozburun Peninsula, most of the people who visit this area are from the yachting fraternity, though there are some small hotels and pensions along the seafront.
Life here is chilled and quiet. A few cafes and restaurants, a harbour and an inviting sea in which to take a dip.
We didn’t take a dip. We just peered into the crystal, lapping waters and wished we’d brought our swimming gear!
Further around the harbour are the small hotels and pensions.
Most of them have sun loungers squashed along a tiny slither of beach. And the obligatory arriving cars trying to squash into equally small parking spaces.
That’s not to make it sound unpleasant. Quite the opposite.
If you’re looking for a place to come and unwind for a couple of days, you can do a lot worse than head here.
Just next door to Bozburun is the pretty hillside village of Söğüt Köyü.
This is one of the most populous of the villages on the Bozburun Peninsula. But you wouldn’t think so when you get to the seafront!
Again, we have the calm crystal clear water, beckoning you in for a swim.
And again, a huge mooring area for the scores of yachts that clearly visit this part of the Bodrum Peninsula throughout the summer.
Much space when we were there due to restrictions but it made for such a peaceful scene.
Most of the ‘life’ in Söğüt takes place in the village, as you might expect. There are hillside pensions and small hotels with views across the village, the sea beyond and over to the nearby Greek island of Symi.
The sunset from here is also highly recommended.
As we were on a bit of a driving trip, we didn’t stick around to witness it. But we somehow feel we might not be done with Söğüt just yet, anyway.
If you’re staying on the Bozburun Peninsula on a budget, Söğüt Köyü has places for cheaper meals such as kokoreç and pide.
And if you’re treating yourself to a more elaborate meal, of course, the village is famous for its seafood. And also local wild herbs.
The seashore restaurant where we sat had a more than impressive selection in the seafood meze fridge!
There are few roads on the Bozburun Peninsula so it’s difficult to go wrong as you wind your way around the coast.
We went wrong!
Rather than come back on ourselves and head back to Selimiye through Bozburun, we thought we’d be able to head along the same road in the opposite direction.
This road climbs. And climbs. And then it climbs a bit more.
Taşlı means stony and stone walls have been built all around the hillsides.
When we got to the village, a few guys were sat outside in the narrow street. None batted an eyelid to see a brand new hire car trying to negotiate a 3-point turn in a tiny space.
It’s a sight that is probably not uncommon.
But, as you can see from the photo above, our little unintended drive to Taşlıca was a very happy accident. The views from the road on the way back down are stupendous!
Bozburun Peninsula East Coast
We didn’t do much exploring around this side of the Bozburun Peninsula. All of that can be saved for another time.
Instead, we did a couple of curiosity stops, heading into the world of predominantly British holiday resorts: Turunç and İçmeler.
Our opinions on these places may well be a bit skewed as we knew they’d be very quiet due to Brits not being allowed to travel at the time.
It’s the familiar story story for Turunç: once sleepy fishing village becomes popular holiday resort.
It was heartbreaking to see a place so empty. But it was also still a bit of a culture shock to be here after the kick-back-and-relax of the past few days.
Turunç had been recommended to us by so many people. We were even thinking about basing ourselves here for our trip.
But Turunç didn’t do it for us.
The compact, sheltered bay is absolutely stunning with its steep, rocky backdrop. The sea is calm and clear. The soft sandy beach is Blue Flag.
Boutique (and rather larger) hotels cling to the hillside. We know they have amazing views because we arrived via the same hillside road.
But on that day, the atmosphere didn’t feel right for us.
We were supposed to be having lunch here before driving home but nowhere was jumping out at us. So we headed back to the car feeling a bit disappointed and drove on.
And, to be honest, we expected to have the same feelings about İçmeler.
We’re only 8 kms south of Marmaris now. And we’ve heard many people say this area has just become an extension of that resort.
But we were pleasantly surprised!
In low to mid season, we could easily do a chilled weekend here.
Again, the scenery around the bay is dreamy. Those same inviting, turquoise waters dotted with islets.
The long sandy beach is lined by a wide promenade. Complete with cycle track to one side and hotels and cafe bars to the other.
No doubt, for those of us who like the slower, quieter pace of life, summer season could be a no-go. Crowded beaches and club nights are not our thing.
But, early or late season, we could picture ourselves having a morning run along the promenade, taking in the views.
A few hours on the beach. A few drinks. And some food in one of the smart cafe bars.
Despite the dire season, nobody came out to try and hustle us into the cafe bars.
The guys manning the hundreds of (empty) beach beds did no more than smile and say hi.
And we liked that the public beach had umbrellas for those who wanted them.
On that day, İçmeler was a pleasant place to be…
Bozburun Peninsula – Useful Information
As we said at the beginning of this article, we have only dipped our toes into the Bozburun Peninsula. There is still much more for us to see and do in the area.
In summer 2021, many areas of the Bozburun Peninsula bore the brunt of Turkey’s horrendous wildfires. Alongside a dire tourism season due to the pandemic.
The forest is already fighting back and beginning to replenish itself.
And we’re sure tourism will recover, too.
Getting To The Bozburun Peninsula
- Wherever you base yourself, if you want to explore around the Bozburun Peninsula, we recommend you have your own transport.
- If you arrive by intercity bus (or airport shuttle), you will arrive at Marmaris Otogar.
- From there, you can take a dolmuş (public mini bus) to any of the places mentioned above.
- The dolmuş service to the east side of the peninsula is not very regular (hourly when we visited) so make sure you check times, locally.
- There is a regular dolmuş service between Marmaris and İçmeler.
- In summer, there is also a regular water taxi service that runs to İçmeler or Turunç from Marmaris harbour.