Datça enjoys one of Turkey’s most dazzling springs. The earliest blossoming spring flowers are also seen in the Datça Peninsula. Spring comes along with almond flowers in February. The earth has now already begun to turn green. Ample rain and hot weather, some Mediterranean and a little Aegean climate come to mean for the earth to rise once again without delay.
As the earth absorbs spring rains in the months of March and April, it gets suffused with daisy white and poppy red. In May, daisies are as tall as human height. Yellow, violet, blue, and pink anemones bloom anew. Coastal carnations appear in May. Everywhere is covered with orange and lemon flowers. Scents are appetizing. Datça’s persimmons blossom with their bluish leaves. More than ten varieties of orchid appear in spring. The weather gets so clear that it seems as if the islands of Simi and Rhodes were so close that you could touch them with your very hands. The temperature may rise as high as 24-26 degrees. The sea is cold but it has its own enthusiasts. Those who really love and know Datça wish to spend some time here during these months. Bicycles are taken out, one gets into the mood for hiking and returns with an armload of grass.
A friendship walk in may…
A crowd gathers at the Datça harbor on the first Sunday of May every year. This traditional activity specific to Datça, which has been held for 10 years, is called “Friendship Walk from the Mediterranean to the Aegean”. Residents of Datça and anyone who wishes to can take part in the walk with an earth pitcher in their hands. First, the pitchers are plunged into the cool waters of the Mediterranean at the Kumluk Beach. During this two-hour walk, which begins at the Mediterranean Coast and ends at the Gereme Bay in the Aegean Sea, one goes through windmills, olive and almond groves, fields and streams that have risen thanks to winter rains. At the meeting point, pitchers containing Mediterranean water are emptied into the Aegean. I wonder if there is another walk in the world that is taken from one sea to another. According to a folk belief, those who pass though this narrowest part of the peninsula are now considered residents of Datça and lead long and healthy lives.
Büks (Bays) and Villages
In addition to Old Datça, which is quite well-preserved and associated with Can Yücel, famous poet, who labeled Datça “the largest open air madhouse in the world”, one must also drop by bays called “bük” while touring the Datça Peninsula. It would be best to arrive at the ancient city of Knidos before sunset. You must turn west at the Knidos turning on the 3rd km of the Datça- Marmaris motorway and then proceed following the signs indicating the village of Mesudiye. The motorway goes through pine forests and 2.5 km later reaches the Hayıt Bükü, one of the bays in the village of Mesudiye. The coast is lined with humble cafes, restaurants and boarding houses. Datça is 20 km from Kızılbük, which is immediately to the east of this bay. The coast of Ova Bükü, which is 1 km westward from Hayıt Bükü, is longer and more graveled than that of Hayıt Bükü. One can also find a camping site here. Anyone who has been to Datça knows Palamut Bükü. Having now become a coastal town, Palamut Bükü is the most popular of all the bays.
There are two virgin bays on the Ova Bükü- Palamut Bükü road. One is Kurubük, which as at a distance of 3.5 km from Ova Bükü, and Akçabük, which is 2km away and called Aquarium by residents of Datça by virtue of the clarity of the sea there. You will have lots of opportunities to give scenic breaks on the way. As you approach Palamut Bükü, almond trees will begin to appear in the valley. This bay, which has a small harbor and a beach of 2 km in length, is located on the route followed by those who go on a cruise and daily tour boats.
A dead end…
People of Datça call it “dead end”. For many tourists, the road leading to it is off the beaten track. In fact, Datça owes the fact that it has such virgin nature today mostly to this problem, which arises from its geographical position. And Datça’s spring will always remind you that you have made the right decision by taking this route off the beaten track.
Datça’s weather justifies what Halikarnas Balıkçısı Cevat Şakir said in this regard: “The climate is the right size for man. Neither its heat nor its cold exceeds that which man can endure. There is no need to correct the climate either with a coat, a stove or a fan.”
DO NOT MISS
Spring means an awakening for the 6-milliom-year-old sand dune Gebekum fossil, which is under protection with its endemic plants. Insects, rats and chameleons begin to come out.
TAKE A BITE
Take a bite of local spring herbs such as ebegümeci, dallama, kışıyak, tilkicik, iğnelik, kuzukulağı, cibez, kuzugöbeği mantarı, arapsaçı, su kayzağı, su teresi, çoban kaldıran… Moreover, there is never a shortage of wild mint, sage, thyme and rosemary in the kitchens.
Pour the water of the Mediterranean into the Aegean Sea during the traditional activity of “Friendship Walk from the Mediterranean to the Aegean Sea.”
Buy Datça almonds, which are called Turkey’s best quality almonds. Among the varieties such as nurlu, ak, kababağ, dedebağ, sıra and diş, the best quality one is nurlu.