A sliver of mountain and beach jutting in to the Aegean offers an oasis of unspoilt tranquillity amid the lively resorts of south-west Turkey
The spindly, 50-mile-long Datça peninsula in Turkey’s Muğla province is a dagger of pure green at the meeting point of the Aegean and the Mediterranean, and is as unsullied as south-west Turkey gets. The ancient Greeks believed Datça to have been created personally by Zeus, so gorgeous are its rocky outcrops and aquamarine waters.
So what’s all the fuss about? It’s about craggy, pine-crested hills, endless olive groves, empty ravines, cornflower-blue coves, vast sweeping bays and deserted beaches, air scented with thyme, rosemary and sage, and sleepy villages. It’s about goats on the road and old men tinkering with their worry beads in vine-covered cafes.
Although this backwater peninsula is wedged between moneyed Bodrum to the north, and overdeveloped Marmaris to the south, bad road access and its distance from airports have left it unspoilt. Tourists do come and stay in a new clutch of upmarket hotels, and city-dwelling Turks are buying second homes here, but most visitors still only make short stop-offs on gulet cruises