A one of a kind seaside village...
31.05.2012 27 °C
The tip from Atilla, the gracious owner of the Villa Rhapsody, where we stayed for a few days—was priceless. We asked Atilla where there was a special getaway place, where few tourists know about. The village he recommended is called Selimiye. Atilla said it is best to get there if you have a car or a yacht. Since we decided to put off the yacht purchase for now we arranged a car rental. This is one of the rewarding benefits of not travelling with a set agenda. You stay at a wonderful bed and breakfast or small villa or pansiyon as they are referred to in Turkey and ask the owner for travel tips. We have found one of the best strategies is to talk with the owners about 3 to 4 days before deciding where to go, gather the tips, do a little of our own internet research and then pick our next destination.
After a couple of fun days in the interesting but touristy river town of Dalyan we were ready for a drastic change of scenery and pace. Selimiye seemed like the perfect choice.
Now we just needed a car as buses would not get us to the seaside village of Selimiye. Even negotiating for a car rental is a fun experience in Turkey. Here we are in a small town of Dalyan where there are only 2 car rental places. Each car rental agency we discovered only had 2 vehicles to rent: either a 2012 blue Kia Rio or a van, or if we went to the 2nd agency we could choose a red 2012 Kia Rio or the van. We quickly decided that we did not need a van so it came down to a red or blue Kia. So few choices but we did not want to insult either family rental agency. The car rental meant big bucks to them as the busy tourist season was still 3 weeks away and we were likely their only customers this week. The mother and father came out from agency #2 and talked kindly to us about the car. We listened intently nodding our heads in unison. Unfortunately Wayne and I understood nothing except a few gestures, as we only know about 4 Turkish words. Then a break, –-- their daughter appeared and had some English. We came to price and terms, only $36 per day or $18 per couple including everything. Just to be sure the daughter ran next door to another shopkeeper who spoke more English and we shook on the deal.
Cars give you a lot of flexibility in more isolated parts of Turkey where bus service is infrequent. We have used buses and Dolmas, (small buses). We experienced a 2 hour bus ride earlier on our trip on their first class line. Quite amazing! A deluxe Mercedes bus, complete with a hostess in uniform and tie serving us free refreshments and snacks. We had a personal monitor at every seat offering music channels. The fare was only $8 for the 2 hour ride. I figure about two notches above North American bus service.
We began our 3 hour car ride towards Selimiye, on the Bozburun Peninsula. There was terrific scenery on the way. We stopped several times just to soak in the vistas, take photos and have lunch. We drove deeper into rural Turkey and towns became more infrequent and much smaller. Then we crested the last hill and stopped at a high viewpoint. Below was the small village of Selimiye. It was breathtaking: a gorgeous bay encircled by green hills, about 150 white washed buildings with red tile roofs, a few fishing boats and visiting yachts anchored or lining the docks, and the most inviting turquoise water. We raced down the hill to find our next place to stay.
Nothing was pre-booked this time. We wanted to find the ideal place on the water, in our price range, with lots of character. After looking at four places we decided on a bed & breakfast called Nane Limon. What a great choice! This was to become our home for 4 days. We could have stayed 2 weeks.
Nane Limon only has 6 rooms in total and we were the first guests of the season. We walk out our rooms to lush gardens and then another 20 meters to a sitting area under a canopy of trees. From this waterfront sitting area we gather each morning to have our tasty breakfast or hang out later in the afternoon when we want some relief from the sun. Another 10 meters right in front of our breakfast area is a 20 X 40 foot wooden dock cantilevered over the Mediterranean ocean. This is our special place in the sun to watch the activity of this sleepy village and the harbour.
There is about a 2 kilometer pedestrian only walkway that fronts the ocean and encircles the whole bay. We are located right in the middle of the walkway. We have a choice of about 10 really good restaurants all within a 5 minute walk. Sue & Heather love poking in the dozen or so little retail shops looking for clothing or gifts to bring home. This town is non-touristy, and no one calls out to you to come in to their shop or restaurant. We only hear, ‘marhaba’, which means hello, and accompanied by a big smile or wave. And like in most of Turkey we have observed no American fast food outlets. They would definitely go out of business here as the Turkish cuisine is so damn good!
This is a photo of the walkway during morning rush hour!
The swimming is fantastic. Wayne and I are in at least twice a day, the ladies at least once. We can dive off the dock right in front of us or wade in 30 meters to the left of our place. The Mediterranean is crystal clear here in our bay. We figure you can see at least 30 feet underwater. We often snorkel & see many varieties of fish. The water temp is perfect as the air temp is now up around 28 degrees each day.
Next to us is one of the best restaurants we have ever eaten in. It is run by a woman named Suzanne from Sweden and her husband Hussein from Turkey. They cater mostly to the people on the visiting yachts...big fancy yachts! There is no menu here. Suzanne takes each patron up to her refrigerated food display case. About 40 items are on display here including the fresh seafood that was delivered in the morning. Suzanne patiently explains each item. It is a tough decision as it all looks soooo good. We have eaten here twice and all of us walk out with a huge smile of satisfaction on our faces.
The other night we ate there, Suzanne was all excited as a movie star, Selma Hayak and family had just spent over 2 hours eating in her restaurant and then walking around town. Wayne and I at the time were lounging on our dock after a swim and noticed this speedboat deliver a very pretty and well dressed women to the dock just 10 meters from us. The speed boat came from a gorgeous sailboat about 100 feet long anchored out in the bay. Even Selma Hayak had likely heard how about how special and non touristy little Selimiye is.
The owner Neydet and his staff at Nane Limon were amazing hosts. They seemed to anticipate our every need before we asked. They never stopped smiling or laughing and you walked away with a big smile after each interaction.
Every day after a glorious swim or sipping a drink on the dock or perhaps strolling the stunning waterfront we often said, “wow, this is beautiful!” We had found our paradise in Turkey!--------Brad