In ancient times the peninsula extending from the head of the Gulf of Gökova to a promontory between the Greek islands of Sími and Rhodes was known as the Rhodian Peraea – the mainland territory of the three united city-states of Rhodes, which controlled the area for eight centuries. Despite this, there is little evidence of the long tenure. The peninsula was (and still is) something of a backwater, today known as the Hisarönü peninsula. Up to now, yachts have been the principal means of getting around this irregular landmass and, although a proper road was completed in 1989, the difficulty of access has so far kept development to a minimum.
The pristine shores of the Gulf of Gökova are tailor-made for exploration by yacht or by boat tour. In Marmaris you’ll notice signs pitching an excursion to “Cleopatra’s Isle”. This is actually Sedir Adası (Cedar Island), an islet near the head of the Gulf of Gökova, which still sports extensive fortifications and a theatre from its time as Cedreae, a city of the Peraea. More evocative, however, is its alleged role as a trysting place of Cleopatra and Mark Antony, and the legend concerning the island’s beach – the main goal of the day-trips; the sand was supposedly brought from Africa at Mark Antony’s behest, and indeed analysis has shown that the grains are not from local strata.