Best Things to Do in Datca, Turkey

A hidden gem, Datca boasts an impressive 50 miles of beaches in the Datça town centre, lush groves of olives and pine trees. It’s one of the most idyllic locations in Turkey. Set in the southwestern part of Turkey, this stunning port town has successfully avoided crowds of tourists. In this way, the Aegean port offers an authentic Turkey visit to any travelers who stumble upon its beauty.

Datca is a destination where you can spend a few days and enjoy the serenity of the area or expand your trip to a few weeks on the Turkish coast. Its enticing beauty, a bounty of restaurants, and proximity to the ancient town of Knidos have created one of the best secret Turkey destinations.

Below, you’ll find a guide on Datca, ranging from its history to top activities, transportation, and hotel recommendations.

Some links on this page are affiliate links—that means that at no extra cost to you, we earn a small commission if you book through these links, and that helps keep this blog running.

Table of Contents

Datca Fast Facts

BEST TIME TO GO
April–October
POPULATION
8,000
CURRENCY
Turkish Lira (TL)
PLUGS
Standard C | 220 V | 50 Hz
CLIMATE
Hot humid summers
Mild spring & fall
Cold rainy winter
BEST TRIP TYPES
Beach
Historical
Wine
datca harbor

Datca Travel Essentials

Museum Pass Aegean 

Get access to over 40 museums to visit over 5 days in the Aegean region. The pass will give you access to the ancient ruins of Knido. Learn more about the Museum Pass

Download the Museums of Turkey App

turkey peninsula beaches

History of Datca

Like many towns in Turkey, Datca has a history connected to legends and stories in connection to Greek gods. This particular town is said to have been curated by Zeus himself. It is believed that people and animals were sent to live in Datca because it was so stunning and pleasant that it would cause them to live longer.

Datca has a tumultuous history, with multiple invasions and rulers. It began with the Carians, who decided to settle Anatolia in the southwestern area. They originally named the area Caria, though it’s now the Aegean Region of Turkey (which included the Datça Peninsula).

Then, in 1000 BC, the Dorians invaded and took over the southernmost part of Caria. During this time, multiple cities were established, such as Bodrum (originally Halicarnassos), Cnidus, Kamiros, and Lalissos. Then followed multiple conquerors who changed the name of Datca to Resadiye, then back to Datca.

Now, this breathtaking town offers visitors incredible views of untouched nature and stunning beaches to explore. Datca lies near Marmaris, in the province of Mugla.

How to Get to Datca + Map

Unfortunately, you cannot take a plane from other parts of Turkey or international locations directly to Datca, as there is no airport in the town. However, you can travel to Datca easily from the nearby cities of Marmaris and Bodrum. These cities are reachable via plane, with the closest airports being the Dalaman Airport (near Bodrum and Marmaris) and the Bodrum Airport

From Marmaris to Datca

There are several ways to reach Datca from Marmaris, including a car or private transfer.

By Car

If you rent a car, you can drive to Datca from Marmaris. The trip will take slightly over an hour and lead you through other towns like Emecik and Kizlan.

As a note, you can rent a car in Turkey with a foreign driver’s license. This driver’s license will allow you to drive in the country for up to six months.

By Private Transfer

Alternatively, you can take a taxi to Datca. The cost is fairly affordable, ranging from $9-$22 for the ride, depending on demand and the exact dropoff location. Taking a taxi takes about the same time as driving to Datca.

From Bodrum to Datca

While you can also rent a car and drive from Bodrum to Datca, you’ll find it easier to use the ferry from this port city to Datca.

By Ferry

The ferry takes about two hours and costs about $17, making it a fairly affordable option. Remember that the Bodrum ferry only runs a few times during the week, so it’s essential to call ahead to see if tickets need to be purchased in advance and what days the ferry runs.

During slower days, you can show up without pre-booking. Call ahead to see the best way to proceed.

old town datca

Best Things to Do in Datca, Turkey

Datca’s long history has provided some amazing historical sites to explore while in the town. Beyond historic buildings and ancient ruins, you can explore the vast restaurants for authentic Turkish food and sunbathe on the beaches. Here are some of the must-see Datca places to visit.

Visit Old Town Datca

Old Datca was initially the main town area of Datca. Unfortunately, it was abandoned for many years. However, it has gained new life with updated homes stretching along the stone-paved roads. If you’re an architecture lover, you can enjoy strolling the streets and viewing the charming old stone houses and buildings that remain from before Old Datca was abandoned in the 1980s.

Old Datça now features trendy boutique shops and cafes where you can grab a bite to eat before continuing to view more of the old buildings. At night, Eski Datça becomes even livelier with music drifting down the streets and bars offering drinks. A trip to Datca is not complete without visiting Old Town Datca for a glimpse into the town’s history.

datca harbor sunset

Datca Harbor

Datca Harbor is another exceptionally pretty area. Within the port area lies Datca Harbor, where you can watch ships and sailboats of varying sizes leaving and coming. Beyond viewing the ships from land, you can also rent a boat for excursions around the area. Day cruises and trips are available from Datca Port.

One of the best activities at the port is viewing the sunset. The changing colors in the sky are viewable from the many restaurants and cafes that line the water. Regardless of which eatery you choose, you’ll be rewarded with pretty views of the sunset over the water.

knidos ruins

Ancient Ruins of Knidos

One of the largest ancient cities in Turkey, Knidos, was created by the Carians. It is a top option for anyone visiting the town, as it offers insight into Datca’s history. This ancient city is on the western part of the Datca Peninsula, where the Mediterranean Sea meets the Aegean Sea.

Knidos was initially used as a harbor and is recognized as a place where famous astronomers and architects congregated. Unfortunately, the city did not survive earthquakes and the conquerors of Datca’s past. Now, you can view various historical ruins and buildings, such as the two theaters in varying sizes. One theater can hold up to 5,000 people, while the larger theater boasts enough space for up to 20,000 people.

Other spots to keep an eye out for include; the mosaics stretching across the ruins’ floors and the basilica arches. After exploring the ruins, you can stop at the onsite restaurant, which offers authentic Turkish food such as koftas and mezze (small traditional dishes).

turkey peninsula beaches

Beaches

Many people visit Datca for its infamous beaches that stretch along the coastline. Sparkling, turquoise waters, coves, and bays are spread between the many available beaches. Below are a few options you must visit while in Datca.

Karaincir

Karaincir means black fig, one of the most stunning beaches in Datca. It features a 160-foot undersea shelf that you can use to walk further into the water. The beach offers pristine white sands and crystalline waters that provide an idyllic setting for swimming, sunbathing, and wading. You can reach this beach via a local minibus or car ride.

Akvaryum Koyu

Visiting the Akvaryum Koyu beach requires a moderate hike, so this may not be an ideal beach location for everyone. Those who don’t mind a hike will be rewarded with a picturesque beach setting. A rocky 20-minute walk will lead you to crystal clear waters where you can swim, picnic by the water, or take a few pictures of the area.

Palamut Bükü

Palamut Bükü is another stone beach, so ensure you bring proper shoes to walk on the beach. There are many lounge chairs at the beach that you can use for sunbathing. Keep an eye out for colorful fish when swimming at this beach oasis. There are also restaurants along the beach that offer pretty views of the water.

Datca Vineyard & Winery

The Datca Vineyard & Winery is distinguishable by the old stone windmill that sits outside the front of the property. The vineyard is filled with olive groves, flowers, and grape vines that help create a peaceful environment for visitors.

This relatively new vineyard & winery provides delicious Turkish wines to drink and food pairings with local dishes. Select between cheeses, seafood, pasta, pizza, and more, and the vineyard will provide you with the optimal wine selections. Datca Vineyard & Winery doubles as a bed and breakfast, so you can spend a night or two on the property.

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Datca Hotels

Datca offers a range of luxury and budget-friendly accommodations, creating an excellent destination for those in various budget ranges. Below are a few stays in different price ranges to check out while in Datca.

Datca Vineyard & Winery

Staying at Datca Vineyard & Winery provides a relaxing experience with gorgeous views. The onsite garden and vineyard provide an idyllic place to sit and relax during your trip. This bed and breakfast offers a continental breakfast each morning and complimentary wine tasting until 6 pm.

Additionally, you can swim in the private pool while staying here. Proximity to some of the best beaches in Datca makes this location a top stay for those who want to enjoy the town’s natural beauty.

Mehmet Ali Aga Konagi

Staying at the Mehmet Ali Aga Konagi Hotel is a magical experience. This hotel was initially built in the 1800s, offering you a view of civil architecture during your stay. The interior is decorated with stunning details, including carved wooden accents and wall paintings. This hotel features 18 rooms, each offering a different style and experience.

This museum hotel has been carefully restored to its original beauty, with an impressive courtyard where you can sit and enjoy the surrounding lush garden. An outdoor swimming pool and restaurant make a stay at this location unforgettable.

Aria Doria Hotel

The Aria Doria Hotel is another mid-tier hotel, only a few minutes by foot from Kumluk Beach. The onsite pool, restaurant, lounge, and hotel help create a relaxed yet luxe ambiance during a stay here.

It’s also only a short distance from other local attractions such as the Datca Dagi Mountain, various beaches, and local eateries. A large continental breakfast is also included when staying here.

Datca Suites

A clean, comfortable, and simple stay await you at the Datca Suites. This hotel features simple amenities such as a flat-screen TV, air conditioning, and a minibar. Each room is fitted with a terrace or balcony. These suites are also a short walk from the beach and downtown Datca, making it a convenient location to stay for easy accessibility to top attractions and activities.

cafe inn datca

Where to Eat in Datca

There are quite a few food options in Datca, making it challenging to narrow it down to one or two. Below, you’ll find a few of our favorites.

Datca Café Inn

We loved having breakfast at the Datca Café Inn. It was such a pleasant experience that we decided to visit the café again before we left. This café offers Mediterranean food options, including traditional dishes and new inventive recipes. Make sure to try the coffee at this café, as it’s the best in town.

Kumluk Restaurant

With Datca’s proximity to the water, it’s necessary to try fresh fish and seafood during a stay in the town. Kumluk Restaurant provides a delightful evening fish dinner you can enjoy with your family. The restaurant is near the water, so you can catch the infamous Datca sunset while dining. The stewed shrimp and fried calamari are musts during a meal at this restaurant.

datca harbor at night

Final Thoughts on Datca, Turkey

The charming town of Datca, Turkey is an incredible place to visit; from untouched nature to a long line of beaches waiting to be visited, you’ll find plenty to do during a visit. If you’ve visited Datca, share your favorite spots in the comments!

Planning on exploring the Aegean Region further?  

Visit other Turkish Beach Towns

Some links on this page are affiliate links—that means that at no extra cost to you, we earn a small commission if you book through these links, and that helps keep this blog running.

Best things to do in datca

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Family Travel to Turkey: Enes and Dania

Hi, we're Dania & Enes

We’re an American Turkish couple who’ve worked in the tourism industry and traveled extensively in Turkey. We understand that it can be overwhelming to plan a trip to Turkey when you don’t know where to go, where to stay and the best way to get there. We’re dedicated to helping you confidently plan a trip to Turkey and have a more authentic experience when you get there.

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