A small town at the north-west coast of the Bodrum Peninsula has been taking firm steps forward for becoming another worldwide destination brand of Turkey, independent of Bodrum’s international fame. The name of this lovely town is Gumusluk.
The unspoiled beauty of Gumusluk have especially been attracting artists and writers from all over the world. It appears that the peaceful atmosphere and the great Aegean view of the town are inspiring creative minds to perform better.
For me, Gumusluk is a special place where I love to spend time. In Gumusluk, I feel like I am home, free from all the stress and rush of my daily routines, surrounded by the very essence of the Aegean spirit.
Behind its simple look, Gumusluk also hides some of the most outstanding gourmet restaurants, unique boutique accommodation options and cafes with spectacular Aegean view of the peninsula.
“Gumus” means silver in Turkish. Many people think that the name was originated from amazing silver-grey tones replacing the blue variations of the sky and the sea at sunsets. The truth is that it was named after ancient silver mines on the hills next to the town.
The fish restaurants which are lined up along the coast are one of the distinctive properties of Gumusluk. The wide selection of fresh and delicious local dishes, or mezes are served with freshest fishes in town with spectacular view. Any Bodrum trip I have had would be uncomplete if I had not dined at one of them, drinking raki with my friends.
Gumusluk has a well-deserved fame for handcrafts. A small marketplace at the entrance of the coastal part of town are popular for those looking for authentic and handcrafted gifts for friends and families. There are even some national handmade ornament brands which started in a small kiosk in this lovely town.
The artists, writers, actors, and musicians who live in Gumusluk are also setting the cultural environment, taking this small town to another level with their volunteer work.
Gumusluk hosts a series of international events like Gumusluk International Classical Music Festival and Gumusluk International Jazz Festival. Music and writing workshops are regularly organized under their supervision. Yoga and meditation classes, ornament courses and many more make Gumusluk even more special.
Like most of the towns in the peninsula, Gumusluk has two parts. The town is where most of the houses, pensions and hotels are located, and it is in the hinterland and not far from the coast. The second part is the coastline where most of the restaurants, cafes, and some hotels are located. You can also spend all day on one of the two Gumusluk beaches.
Fortunately, there are certain regulations preventing the construction of new buildings at the coastline. Although this practice makes it difficult to find available hotel rooms or dinner tables at the coast, it preserves the unique atmosphere of a small fishing town which is in touch with history and nature all at once.
A small cove at the north of the coastline has been serving as a natural safe harbour surrounded by Kocadag Hill (Big Mountain) and Tavsan Island (Rabbit Island) and Gumusluk coast. At the south, on the other hand, a blue flagged beach lies along 300 meters, facing the Greek Islands Kalymnos and Leros.
Embraced by a light breeze that carries the scent of citrus gardens, bright coloured flowers, and crystal-clear water, I am sure you are going to like this place.
Gumusluk is on the north-west corner of the peninsula and 23 km away from Bodrum. Depending on the traffic, it takes about 30 to 45 minutes to get there by minibuses from Bodrum minibus station. Other biggest towns in the peninsula – Turgutreis and Yalikavak – also have minibus lines to Gumusluk. The last stop for minibuses is next to the car parking area and handcrafted gifts stalls, which is 150-200 meters away from the sea front.
There are minibus services on every day of the year but keep in mind that their schedules change due to seasonal demand. This is the second longest distance you can travel within the peninsula. Gumusluk can make you forget the concept of time and you can easily miss the last minibus for your return. make sure that you ask the driver about the schedule of the last minibus to get you back. This is especially important in winters when the last minibus can be at 9pm or 10pm. In summers, you can usually find a minibus 7/24.
A Brief History
Gumusluk was known as Myndos in ancient times and it has a long history as one of the oldest cities in Bodrum peninsula.
The first famous Bodrumian, Herodotus, was also the first one telling us about the story of Myndos.
Lelegians founded the city on Bozdag, the hill standing next to today’s Gumusluk town. They were a warrior nation controlling the maritime trade, so they decided to build a port city at the coast.
After Lelegians, Dorians of the Balkans took control of the city around 7th century BC. History of Halicarnassus and Myndos goes hand in hand and they were both invaded by Persians in 546 BC.
Persian rule was followed by Carians, Alexander the Great, Roman Empire, Seljuk Empire, Byzantine Empire, Anatolian Beylic of Mentes, Ottoman Empire, Knights of Rhodes, Ottoman Empire (again) and finally Republic of Turkey. An unbelievable career for such a small city, right?
Among countless stories that have been told about Bodrum Peninsula, I find especially one very interesting; did you know Brutus and Cassius moved their headquarter to Myndos after assassinating Caesar in Rome? Fascinating!
Sadly, there is almost nothing left to see from the civilizations that fought for Myndos for ages. An earthquake that destroyed one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, had hit Myndos as well in 14th century. Still, ruins of city walls and remains of a sunken city help us to imagine what was it like centuries ago.
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