Once past the turning for Bozburun, the main highway west of Marmaris ventures out onto the elongated, narrow Datça (Reşadiye) peninsula. There are glimpses through pine gullies of the sea on both sides, and the road is fairly narrow and twisting and it’s inadvisable to use it at night.
Too built-up and commercialized to be the backpackers’ haven it once was, DATÇA is still much calmer than either Bodrum or Marmaris. It’s essentially the shore annexe of inland Reşadiye village, but under the ministrations of visiting yachtspeople and tour operators it has outgrown its parent. Partly due to the basic accommodation on offer, as well as the difficulty of access, prices are noticeably lower than in Bodrum or Marmaris.
Life in and around Datça mostly boils down to a matter of picking your swimming or sunbathing spot. The east beach of hard-packed sand, known locally as Kumluk, is oversubscribed but has some shade. The less crowded west beach, mixed pebble and sand and called Taşlık, is acceptable and gets better the further you get from the anchored yachts.
Beyond Datça the peninsula broadens considerably, and the scenery – almond or olive groves around somnolent, back-of-beyond villages at the base of pine-speckled mountains – is quite unlike that which came before. Towards ancient Knidos, the ancient site on the western cape, of the 32km of road beyond Reşadiye village the 24km to Yazıköy are paved, but the last 4km are rough and ready.