Walking on the Waves
Turkey's lively Aegean resort of Marmaris is within easy reach of many quiet and unspoilt spots. One of these is Orhaniye, 28 kilometers away. This picturesque village lies on a tiny bay by encircled by pine clad hills overlooking calm sapphire waters which glisten in the warm golden sun. Reaching far out into the bay is a low spit of sand, and as you walk through the water up to your ankles, anyone looking over the bay from a distance might be deceived into thinking you were walking on the water. Indeed you are free to imagine yourself doing exactly the same thing.
Although the bay is marked on sea charts as Keçibükü, or Goat Bay, all the locals refer to it by the more poetic name of Kizkumu, meaning Maiden's Sands. Kizkumu is a quiet spot just half an hour away from the lively streets of Marmaris. Turkish holiday makers only recently began coming to this bay, which was originally discovered by yachts touring this spectacular coast of inlets and coves. The poor road deterred would-be visitors by land coming here for several years until the asphalt road was built. If you spend a day at Orhaniye and make the acquaintance of local people, you will be able to hear the legend of the maiden who gave this place its name. Once upon a time pirates attacked the village, and to escape their clutches a beautiful girl who lived here filled her skirts with sand and began to build a causeway across the bay. But the sand ran out before she could reach the other side and she flung herself into the sea rather than fall into pirates' hands. Even mundane geological facts do not stop this story lending its own enchantment to this beautiful place.
For those who do not mind a rough ride, there is a minibus service every half hour from Orhaniye - Marmaris - Orhaniye. But why go by land when the sea route provides such a spectacular view of this inlet in the Gulf of Hisarönü? Keçibükü's crystal clear blue waters framed by yellow sand and green trees waters framed by yellow sand and green trees cast their spell immediately. As the boat anchors offshore for its passengers to enjoy a memorable day swimming, walking and relaxing, the sand bar ahead beckons. When trying to decide whether to start by strolling along the sand or swimming in the inviting water, remember that there are plenty of places to swim but few where you can take a walk in the middle of the sea.
As well as day boat trips to the bay, the week long Blue Voyage yacht tour itineraries also include it as one of their overnight anchorages. Watching the night sky glowing with a myriad stars while the cicadas hum in the darkness is a wonderful experience. Other sights not to be missed are the overgrown ancient ruins on an island in the bay and the boat slips at the east and south entrances of the bay.
There are only two small hotels and ten guest houses in the village, almost all with their own restaurants and mainly run by local people. In the past sponge diving, bee keeping and agriculture were the principal occupations here, but now the young people work in the hotels and guest houses all summer. Even during high summer in July and August, when the population swells from 1200 to 2000, Orhaniye is the perfect peaceful retreat in the midst of idyllic natural surroundings.
Maybe you are one of those in favor of package holidays, big hotels, reps, daily package excursions etc. But still, we believe that you will find something interesting in this small site. We would like to take this opportunity, as somehow you found "the site", to introduce you where on earth we live, what we do. Who knows maybe one day, you too, decide to move to Orhaniye. Just like quite a few visitors of this site did over the past year.
One of the most important tourism centers on the Gulf of Hisarönü, Orhaniye sees the yachts that come to Hisarönü pass through. The sea of Orhaniye is always as flat as a sheet. The color of the pine trees that surround the area are reflected on the sea, giving it a shade peculiar to this region. The area is so quiet that when you swim you can only hear the sound you create in the water. You will be puzzled by the sight of people apparently walking on the sea. Thanks to the movement of the sand there is a shallow bar in the middle of the cove that divides it in two. This ribbon, of approximately 600 meters, is called Kizkumu. There is also a legend attached to it. "A girl who wanted to meet with her lover put some sand in the hem of her skirt and planned to fill the sea with this sand to get to her lover. However, there was not enough sand and she was drowned". By way of explanation, the word Kizkumu means "girl sand".
In the middle of the cove there is an island and on top of the island there are the ruins of a castle. It is believed that the castle belonged to the ancient city of Baybassos. This indicates that the bay was protected in ancient times by this island fortress. You can get to the island by hiring a caique (small boat) and then walking to the ruins of the castle along the path. The view from here is brilliant and is worth the effort. The people of Bybassos brought water to the island from the waterfall in Turgut through aqueducts and a pipe laid under the water. From the walls on the island as well as a 5th century church found inside the Marti Marina, the walls of which are still intact, we understand that this bay carried some significance during the Byzantine Period. It is thought that the parishioners of the church were mariners. Up to now, it has been said that this bay was the site of the ancient city of Bybassos. However, that assumption has been proven to be erroneous as it was recently determined that Bybassos was situated in the Orhaniye (Kizkumu) whereas the ancient city of Hygassos was located near Orhaniye.
From Orhaniye there are boat tours to the Gulf of Hisarönü. There are stops at places such as the coves of Selimiye, Hisarönü and Inbükü and the island of Dislice. The tours include lunch and last until the evening. Dislice Island, located opposite the hill facing Hisarönü where the Robinson Club Maris Hotel is, is popular for its small canyons and stone formations. At the entrance of Orhaniye Cove there is the Keçibükü (inlet) where yachts moor in summer and winter and where they are maintained at the Marti Marina and the Hotel. Just next to these facilities are the ruins of an ancient monastery. It is worth seeing the mosaics in the garden. It is possible to get to Hisarönü or the Marmaris-Datça road from Orhaniye. The distance between Orhaniye and Hisarönü is only 3.5 kilometers, the road being wide and is asphalted.
Kızkumu is a quiet spot just half an hour away from the lively streets of Marmaris. Turkish holiday makers only recently began coming to this bay, which was originally discovered by yachts touring this spectacular coast of inlets and coves. The poor road deterred would-be visitors by land coming here for several years until the asphalt road was built. If you spend a day at Orhaniye and make acquaintance of local people you will be able to hear the legend of the maiden who gave this place it's name. One upon a time pirates attacked the village and to escape their clutches a beautiful girl who lived here filled her skirts with sand and began to build a causeway across the bay, but the sand ran out before she could reach the other side, and she flung herself into the sea, rather than falling to pirates' hands. Even mundane geological facts, do not stop the story lending it's own enchantment to this beautiful place.