The Ultimate Travel Guide to Datça, Turkey

Datça was a place I visited a few times with my family when I was a kid, and then I went on vacation with my friends, but after I started blogging, I couldn’t go there. I finally had the opportunity to go this year and we had a fulfilling trip. Datça is a very satisfying place especially in terms of the sea. Now, as always, it is time to share the details of this trip with you. Datca travel guide where you can find all the details about Datça is with you.

Cirali, Olympos, Adrasan Travel Guide

datca travel guide

Datca Travel Guide

First of all, I will write about Datça transportation and accommodation, then I will continue with the places to visit and things to do in Datça.

How to get to Datça? Datça Transportation

We traveled to Datça from Kaş and returned to Istanbul from Bodrum airport. Actually, our intention was to take the ferry to Bodrum and return home without crossing the curved roads of Datça again, but there was no room left because we were very late for the ferry. By too late I mean the first day of the vacation, 5 days ago, so if you are planning to return by ferry, book your ticket in advance. The ferries between Bodrum and Datça leave every day at 9, 12 and 18 hours from both directions and the journey takes 105 minutes, which I think is a great convenience. If you don’t want to take the ferry, Dalaman airport is closer to Datça, you can consider returning from there. We stopped at Yuvarlakçay and Akyaka on the way, and I recommend it if you are coming from Dalaman by car.

Let me talk a little bit about public transportation in Datça. We traveled by car but I gathered information to share with you. There are buses and minibuses from Datça center to main points such as Eski Datça, Palamutbükü, Karaincir, Aktur, Reşadiye, Mesudiye etc. There are even buses and minibuses to Knidos, but only twice a day and not during sunset hours for example. Traveling by car is a great advantage in Datça, but it is also possible even if you don’t have a car.

Where to Stay in Datça? Datça Accommodation

We preferred Datça center for accommodation. We wanted to stay in a budget-friendly place and stayed at Lara Apart. There is a tiny kitchen in the room, we prepared our breakfast ourselves. The place is right in the middle of the city center, you can easily walk everywhere. The apartment was clean and adequate. But the furniture is a bit dated, I think there are things that need to be renewed. Even the cutlery was quite old. The owner is actually a sweet lady but she seems a bit aggressive at first sight, but do not think so. 🙂 I am happy that we chose to stay in the center, so it is in the middle of most of the places and bays. It may be the best option for those who will use public transportation. I have stayed in Palamütbükü before, it has developed a lot compared to the past, it can be considered together with Eski Datça as a second alternative. Finally, Datça is very rich in terms of tent and caravan camps: Aktur of course is the leading one. It is really a great camping area with its sea and environment. Apart from that, Çubucak Forest Camp and Akçabük Kamping are also very well known places. It is possible to find different accommodation units suitable for every budget in Datça. For those who have a budget, I would recommend Olive Farm Hotel, we took a look and the place was very nice overall. For other available Datca hotels, you can check this link.

Where to swim in Datça? Datça Büks and Bays

You may have heard that most of the beaches in Datca end with “Bük”. Bük was the name sailors gave to narrow bays, Datça is a paradise for these narrow bays, so there are a lot of büks. We visited 7 bays and bends from the center to Palamütbükü on the first day. They were not enough, the next day we went on a boat tour and visited 3 more bays. The next day we visited 4 places again and said goodbye to the beaches. Now I will first tell you about the bays that can be easily reached by land, then I will tell you the details of the boat tour. We started with Kargı Bay first, this place is very close to the center of Datça. There is a facility where you can rent sunbeds and umbrellas and there is an area where you can throw your own towel and umbrella. There is a hotel called Bizim Ev Datça in Kargı Bay, you may have seen it on Instagram, it is a very photogenic place. They accept customers with reservations other than hotel guests. We skipped this place because we wanted to visit different bays. Our next stop was Hayıtbükü and I personally didn’t like this place very much. The sunbeds were lined up in a very narrow area and it was quite crowded. Since the sea here is sandy, I can say that maybe it is suitable for families with children. Otherwise, why would people prefer this bend with a dark sea when there are so many turquoise bays, right? 🙂 We didn’t want to swim here and continued with Ovabükü. If we had gone back to the left side, we would have reached Kızılbük but we skipped it. Ovabükü’s sea was wavy when we were there but it has a clear blue sea. There are sandy beaches and sunbeds in front of the restaurants in Ovabükü, and there are also places where you can throw your own towel in between. I think this was the quietest place we visited that day and it seemed much more spacious to me. Our next route was Kurubük, the sea here was very good. It was also suitable for snorkeling, there were different fish. There are no facilities in this bend, you are completely with what you bring yourself. Our next swimming break was the beach of Akçabük Kamping. The sea here is also very beautiful but it was very crowded, especially there were many families with children, probably the first choice of those staying in the camp is to swim here. Even if you don’t stay in the camping, you can hang out on the beach for free for a day. Then we visited Aquarium Beach just before Palamutbükü, also known as Gerence Bay. It was the most showy sea on our route that day, but it was really too crowded for the tiny cove to handle. You reach it by a short path down from the roadside and there are no facilities here either. Palamutbükü, our last stop and the biggest bay in this row, disappointed me that day. Normally the sea is very nice, I know it from before, but that day it was choppy. The cramped sunbeds in the narrow area in front of the restaurants were also very bad. You should look for more spacious beaches, for example the beach of Mavi Beyaz Hotel is spread over a wider area.

datca travel guide

Where to swim in Datça? Datça Büks and Bays

The day after the boat tour, we continued with the bays reached by land, let me tell you about them. Kumluk Beach is already in the center, you can go to wash your face when you wake up. This is a sandy beach and the sea is very clean. You have the chance to rent a sunbed or you can swim without using a facility. Then we went to Karaincir, which is highly recommended especially for families with children. This is another sandy beach and the sand is not dark colored like in other bays, the kind we call gold sand. But unfortunately, there were waves again and it didn’t seem very beautiful to us. I guess this is an area with a lot of summer residents, so it was very crowded even early in the morning. After leaving here, we continued to Aktur, free entrance for the day. In Aktur, we first visited Küçük Koy, there is an area with sunbeds, you can sit everywhere else with your own towel and chair. The sea entrance is small pebble, then sand. It was a clean sea but the color of the sand was dark again. After swimming in and out of the sea, we went to the place behind this bay where we reached the turquoise waters. We sat at a place called İskele Beach Club, it was so calm that we really didn’t want to go anywhere else. We hung out in the shade under the trees all day. I recommend this place if you are looking for calmness. There is access to the sea from the pier and there is sailing training on the side. The sea was also very calm when we first entered, but later that part became crowded.

datca travel guide

Where to swim in Datça? Datça Boat Tour

We went on a boat tour for the bays that cannot be reached by land in Datça. We preferred a private boat because group boats visit 4-5 bays and two or three of them are bays that can be visited by land. The 50-60 person boats go out at full capacity and as you can guess, it is almost the same route with all the boats. Moreover, the bays that can be reached by land are already crowded. We had been to 7 bays the day before, we were going to visit the rest the next day, and if we were going on a boat tour, we only wanted to go to those that could not be reached by land. When all these things came together, a private boat was the most ideal for us. If you are with a group of friends, or if you have met someone at your accommodation, I would recommend a private tour if it fits your budget. On the boat tour, we went to Armutlu Su Bay, Inceburun Bay and Kunta Kinte Bay respectively. They can go to 4-5 bays depending on the wind conditions. The bays were simply magnificent, and the most beautiful thing was that either we were the only ones or a few other private boats came with us. We swam and snorkeled for 2-3 hours in every one of them. For dinner, there was the option of meatballs or fish, you choose what you want, there was pasta and salad. I also checked the group tours, we came across the Badem 2 boat when we were in Inceburun bay, I got information from their stand when we were in the city center, they seemed to me to be decent, I think I would choose them if I went on a group tour. There are some people who went with Badem 1 and were satisfied. By the way, there are also smaller boats for 4-6 people, when we came across them in a bay.

datca travel guide

Attractions and Things to do in Datca

The first thing to do in Datça is to visit the bays, since I explained that part above, let me share a few places that you should not be back without visiting in my opinion. You can’t say that you have seen Datça without visiting Old Datça. It is one of the oldest centers of the Datça peninsula and life has always continued here since ancient times. It is really a very photogenic place with its bougainvilleas, stone houses and charming streets. The house of Can Yücel, who spent the last 10 years before his death in Datça, has been turned into a museum. Another thing you should not return without doing in Datça is setting the sun in the ancient city of Knidos. I didn’t think we would be so impressed before we went, but it was a spectacular sunset. Knidos, which dates back to the 6th century BC, was both an important trade center and a city of culture and art in ancient times. The roads leading here are a bit curved and narrow, and it starts to get dark when the sun sets, so I suggest you leave when the sun goes down without hanging around too long. If you go 45 minutes – 1 hour before sunset, you will not have any problems in the parking lot and you will take photos easily.

datca travel guide
datca travel guide

Where to Eat in Datca? Food, Drink and Nightlife in Datça

We ate at Payam the day we went to Palamutbükü. The food was good, the prices were high compared to other restaurants. By the way, if you eat at this restaurant, you can use the sunbeds on the beach in front of it for free. Sarıhoş restaurant next to Payam was also recommended, you can try there. You should buy cookies from Payam, their cookies are delicious. We tried 4-5 kinds and they were all great. Speaking of desserts, I suggest you try Tonka’s cakes and pastries.

Since we prepared our own breakfast in the morning, we were buying bagels every morning, I recommend Nokta Unlu Mamulleri for that. They have a variety of bagels and pastries. Finally, one evening we had a craving for lahmacun so we ate pita and lahmacun at Meşhur Köfteci Sami Usta 1964 on the way. The garden was spacious and the food was delicious. If you crave something like this and you come across it on the road, you can go in. Kardesler Pide was also recommended to me for pide. Çınar’s ice cream was great, Tekin Usta was also highly recommended but we didn’t have a chance to try it. Let me tell you about Datça soda, it has an almond flavor, it doesn’t appeal to me, but maybe you will like it, I suggest you try it while you are in Datça. The best address for affordable food in Datça is Lokanta Barbun, they serve home-cooked food as well as pizza, the prices are very cheap and the food is delicious.

Another must-do when you go to Datça is to have dinner at one of the restaurants lined up side by side on Kumluk Beach. Kekik and Maradona are the most popular here. Cafe Inn, also in this row, is famous for its pizza. Iskandil restaurant was highly recommended and I actually wanted to go there, but I couldn’t find a place even though I called 4 days in advance. I even put myself on the reserve list, but I couldn’t get a seat either. They serve a fix menu, salad, 3 appetizers, entrees and fish. The fish comes whatever they caught that day. You bring your own drinks, they don’t sell them. I suggest you make a reservation well in advance. D-po pizza next to Iskandil is also very famous. You can also stop by Hestia for breakfast and try their mantı.

If you want to taste the wines of Datça, Datça Vineyard and Knidos Winery are two lovely addresses. We made a very small introduction to the nightlife in Datça. You can easily see the bars by the marina. Coop was the place we liked among these bars. There was live music and it was spacious, people were not on top of each other. By the way, there are also very pleasant places to have a drink in Old Datça.

What to Buy from Datça? Datça Shopping

I think there is no one who has not heard of Datça’s reputation for almonds. There are many places selling almonds in the center. Not only almonds, but everything made with almonds is sold. There are everything from paste to cologne, from olives to care products. You can go to Datça Village Products to buy almonds or almond products. A friend of mine bought almonds from Sındı Village Cooperative, it was both more affordable and it was for the benefit of the villagers, it made sense. Olive Farm Datça sells organic food, care products and decorative products. As you may have heard before, you can also shop from their website, but since they have a factory outlet in Datça, you have the chance to buy products with 30% discount. 😉

When to go to Datça? How many days to stay in Datça?

You can go to Datça as of May and plan your vacation until the end of October. Of course, the most glamorous, crowded and expensive period is July and August. We stayed in Datça for 4 nights and 5 days and it was the right time for us. Of course, we traveled a little fast, we visited more than one bay in the same day. If you think that you should visit a lot of places and move slowly, which you can think because you are on vacation :), then you need to have a longer trip.

I hope you will benefit from my Datca Travel Guide article while planning your trip to Datça. There may be something I missed, if there are other things you want to ask, please leave it as a comment. If you have any extra suggestions, I would also welcome them in the comments.

Don’t forget to follow me to be informed about my future posts and for plenty of photos from my upcoming travels!


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  1. March 18, 2023

    […] The Ultimate Travel Guide to Datça, Turkey […]

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