Lazy beach days
The tranquil golden bay in Gundogan is dotted with thatched parasols and sunloungers looking out onto the warm, picturesque, Mediterranean Sea. The transparent, shallow water is perfect for paddling and you’ll find extra sunbathing space along the many wooden jetties overlooking the bay.
Sunloungers are serviced by delightful seafront restaurants which you can duck into to sample some traditional Turkish cuisine when you need a break from the midday sun. If you prefer a more active beach experience, there are some brilliant watersports on offer in the bay including windsurfing, paddle boarding and parasailing.
Hike in the pine forests
The pine-covered hills surrounding the village are perfect for hiking and exploring. There are many different trails to choose from, depending on how adventurous you are, and within 20 minutes you’ll be met with ancient ruins and tombs hidden amid the volcanic rock.
Trekking along the peaks, you’ll enjoy spectacular panoramic views of all the islands, bays, inlets and coves that make up the intricate Aegean coast. You can explore the countryside by yourself or easily find a local guide to show you the best spots.
Take to the sea
For a relaxing day at sea, catch a boat from the harbour and cruise along the scenic you Aegean coastline or head to one of the nearby islands and relax in a deserted bay.
Apostle Island, nicknamed ‘Rabbit Island’, can be reached in five minutes by boat – and at certain times, when the tide is shallow enough, it’s even possible to wade over. On the beach, you can relax with a cold beer from the beach bar. When you’re feeling more active, there’s a hike to the top of the hill – an easy 20-minute climb – for breathtaking sea views. At the summit, you’ll discover a collection of archaeological remains including an old Byzantine church, a Hellenistic theatre and a 13th-century tower.
Awaken the senses at Gundogan Market
Every Wednesday the bustling street bazaar comes to Gundogan where you can mingle with the locals and pick up some traditional treats. Get lost among the maze of shaded tables laden with tempting fresh produce – like mountains of sugar-dusted Turkish delight in a multitude of flavours, colourful spices and row after row of handmade products.
Goods range from brightly coloured, classic Turkish ceramics to beautiful soft-knit pashminas, handmade rugs and vases, and plenty of the natural sponges the area is famous for.
The bazaar is a fantastic opportunity to pick up some souvenirs to take home and remember your Turkey holiday package by – but don’t forget to haggle. The price tags are just a starting point for negotiation.
If the heat gets too much, you can grab yourself a huge slice of fresh watermelon and cool down in the shade while you listen to the market vendors chatter amongst themselves.
For an authentic Turkish afternoon tea, head to one of the beautiful local bakeries or cafes and indulge in a selection of freshly baked cakes and pastries accompanied with traditional Turkish tea or coffee.
Turkish tea is always served black, boiling hot and in little tulip-shaped glasses. You can add sugar, and hot water to make it weaker or stronger depending on your taste. Coffee is also served in small cups and served black and strong. Made with finely ground coffee beans, allow the coffee grounds to settle before drinking.