I love going to Turkey. It is the perfect place for your summer holiday or a week on the beach. In my guide on where to spend your beach holiday in Turkey, I already shared the treasured of Marmaris and Datça Peninsula. When I returned from a week on a Gület Yacht with my boyfriend along the Mediterranean coast line, we decided to rent a car and drive to the Ruins of Knidos, only 100 km (62 miles) from Marmaris. I say ROAD TRIP!! It turned out to be one of the most scenic road trips I took in Turkey.
So if you plan on a trip to Marmaris, don’t miss out on the most scenic road trip to the Ruins of Knidos at the Datça Peninsula.
With the next information and mainly pictures, I’d like to share our wonderful day trip from Marmaris with you and show you what a unique piece of history lays on the tip of the Peninsula.
Driving to the end of the Peninsula
The main reason for me to go to Knidos was the stories I’ve heard about the Peninsula. The peninsula of Datça is stretched out into the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. It is a rugged land with hardly any settlements. There is one narrow road, leading you passed Datça city and towards the tip of the peninsula.
On the north side you’ll have sweeping views of the Gulf of Gökova. In the distance you can see the Bodrum peninsula and the island of Kos (Greece). On the south side you see the little bays of the Gulf of Hisarönü. At one point, we were driving on the top of a few hills and had 360 degrees views of only water and the road in front of us.
Ruins of Knidos
The Ruins of Knidos (or Cnidus) at the tip of the peninsula were our goal for the day. These ruins of a 4th century BC settlement are situated right at the end of the world. The Aegean See on one side, the Mediterranean on the other.
To be honest, I didn’t really know what kind of ruins it would be. I have visited many archaeological sites in Turkey. But I found the ruins of Knidos to be one of the least excavated and preserved. Did it matter though? No not at all. It was one of the most fun and inspiring visits I have experienced.
We climbed the steps of the Amphitheatre with great views on the two harbors of ancient Knidos and strolled along the rows of column drums. It was clearly the site was still under excavating (by the British Museum, learn more). All the drums aligned neatly and it felt like walking around in a giant puzzle.
We climbed further up the hills and dodged a few goats, who were roaming freely. Once at the top, we couldn’t stop making pictures because of the great views. Turquoise waters, blue bays and rugged hills. It was the stereotype of the Turkish coast line.
Tips for visiting the Ruins of Knidos
Here are a few tips for visiting the Ruins of Knidos:
- Bring cash. You need to pay a few Liras entrance fee.
- Bring plenty of water with you, you cannot buy anything on site. There is a little shop near the marina.
- Wear sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself. There is no shade or shelter at the site.
- Don’t eat anything at the restaurant at Knidos. They are overpriced and the towns of Yaziköy and Datça are not far away.
Day trip from Marmaris, Turkey
The ruins of Datça can be easily visited on a day trip from the city of Marmaris and Içmeler. If you’re going to backpack around Turkey or choose Marmaris for your summer holiday, please consider to take this scenic road trip from Marmaris to the ruins of Knidos. The drive is only 100 km (62 miles), which can be done in 1.5 hours but take a little more time if you want to stop along the way.
If you don’t have the opportunity to rent a car and drive yourself, you can also join a tour group from Marmaris. Or take a boat ride or just catch the bus from the bus station in Marmaris. Plenty of options so no more excuses!
Have you ever been to the ruins of Datça? What did you think of them? Did you drive or did you go on a tour? Please share your experiences below.