Karaburun is divided into two parts, at the first of which – Upper Karaburun, also known as Yukari – you’ll find a selection of shops, and a good cafe called Nergis, named after the Narcissus that is so abundant in this area. The cafe looks more suited to a tropical island, with its arched wooden entrance and yard imbued with many gorgeous local plants and with umbrellas made of palm leaves. But this sort of decor is typical of coastal parts of Turkey, where temperatures can reach up to 43°C in the peak seasons of June and July.
Meanwhile, Lower Karaburun – or Asagi – lies in the harbour, with a pebble beach and many cafes, and this area is backed by the impressive Black Mountain, which stands at 670 metres in height. Sit back, enjoy the view or immerse yourself in the cool and calming waters of the Aegean Sea.
Apart from taking in a bit of sun in the harbour’s popular pebble beach, Mimoza Kuya is another fine stretch of coastline. It’s a sandy cove, with a rocky area at one end that’s great for your kids to explore. Also nearby is Balikliova – a sheltered bay with areas of sandy beach and a couple of nice restaurants, while about half way up the east coast is Mordagon, home to Juniper beach.
Karaburun is a fine spot to see the rich underwater world that a diving lesson or course can offer you. Suitable for families, some of the great fish and plants that live in the cool sapphire-coloured Aegean Sea includes turtles, starfish, seahorses, shrimps, octopuses, seals and dolphins – which you might also be lucky enough to see gliding above the water.
Snorkelling is also another great pastime if you prefer to stay closer to the surface on your Turkey holidays, but if you’re looking for something even more unusual, you can go wreck-diving to explore two ferries that were intentionally sunk to create a new environment for marine life and a coral reef to thrive.
Aside from the recent upturn in tourism, the main industries in Karaburun are agriculture and fishing. You will see evidence of this in the main area of Karaburun, where large umbrellas cover the fresh produce from the sun as store owners try to sell you locally-caught fish, fruit and veg.
Mountain ranges rise above fertile valleys and the dependable summer sun means farmers harvest tasty olives, peaches, pears and figs. If you’re here in the summer months, take the opportunity to sit in the shade of a palm tree with a Turkish coffee and admire the stunning Taurus mountain in the background.
Two other districts, Urla and Cesma, are contained within the formation of this peninsula. Urla is quiet, while the more popular Cesma – which means ‘fountain’, probably alluding to the many fountains around the city – has been a popular place for holidaymakers from the city of Izmir to buy second homes. It’s easy to see why, with it’s great marinas and boutique shops.
Moreover, the region also offers a selection of authentic villages, including Ildin, where you will find remains of the ancient Greek city of Erythrai.