Located at the meeting point of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, Datça is a charming town in the province of Muğla and one of the must-see destinations along the Turkaegean.
Human settlement in Datça dates back to 2000 BC. Traces of the Carians, the first settlers in the area, and the civilizations that followed such as the Lydians, Persians, Romans, and Byzantines can be seen all around. The ancient city of Knidos, located on the western tip of the Datça (Reşadiye) Peninsula, is the region’s tiny gem, and one of its most beautiful and significant sites. It’s a one-hour drive from the town of Datça along a winding and scenic road that will make the trip a pleasant adventure. It is a good idea to wait for the sunset in Knidos. The warm glow of the sun on these ancient ruins and the breathtaking scenery makes a very dramatic setting.
Datça town consists of three parts: Old Datça, New Datça, and the coves dotting the Datça Peninsula. New Datça, situated on the southern shore, is the main settlement and it is also where the town’s heart beats. Here you can find a myriad of hotels, restaurants, cafés, and bars along the shore which is called “Sevgi Yolu” (Path of Love). Another surprise in new Datça is Lake Ilıca, a small freshwater lake filled with fish and ducks.
To further explore this charming town, head to Old Datça, where cobblestone streets and historic stone houses are adorned by colourful bougainvillaea. Old Datça (Eski Datça) is inland, situated on the hills above town. It is a charming village, which has recently gone through a major renovation effort. Old Datça is renowned for its old stone houses, many of which have been restored and turned into boutique hotels, quaint cafés, bars, and stores dedicated to local handicrafts. Visitors should definitely spend some time walking around Old Datça, exploring its cobblestone streets, colourful bougainvillaea, small shops, and friendly locals. As you walk past the house where famous Turkish poet Can Yücel lived and died, you will better understand his long love affair with this beautiful town.
The region is famous for its almonds, which have become an important source of income for local producers. The Datça almond has many varieties, some of which are endemic to the region and cannot be found anywhere else in the world. In addition to almonds, Datça has also become a world-class producer of pine and thyme honey.
It is best to experience this serene town like its residents - slowly but surely. Here, you will find pristine beaches and hidden coves, pine-crested hills, olive and almond groves, quaint villages filled with stone houses, and most importantly, a slow and peaceful existence that attracts many city dwellers each year.