With a name meaning ‘sunrise’, it’s no surprise that Gundogan is treated to some spectacular ones – and sunsets, too – which you can watch across the beautiful peninsular. Part of Turkey’s Bodrum area in the south-west of the country, this is a fishing town that has lots to offer those looking to escape their busy modern lives and relax, and those wanting to discover a new culture and go on an adventure.
Whether you’re a couple and want to spend your time relaxing on the beach, or with the family and want to keep the kids amused with water sports, this town is just the place. From June and throughout the summer, temperatures average at 30°C, so it’s a great bet for those looking for some sun. Surrounded by pine forests and fruit trees that make for scenic walks and hikes, the action isn’t restricted to the sea. Gundogan is also worth a visit during the winter, as temperatures rarely dip beneath 10°C. It’s much quieter at this time of year, so it’s the perfect place to find some peace in a pretty setting.
Take a scenic drive to the quiet fishing village of Gumusluk at the most western point of the peninsula for a chance to really get away from it all. The pretty harbour, pier and beach make for a lovely walk, and you can refuel at one of the harbourside restaurants that serve up delicious fresh fish dishes. Walk into the town, and you’ll be able to see how the locals lead an authentic Turkish lifestyle, which hasn’t changed much over the years.
If you’re after a taste of something more lively, head to nearby Bodrum Town, which is bustling with families and groups of holidaymakers. Ancient ruins, castles, museums, watersports and restaurants are all there for the taking, and the town is just as lively in the evening. You’ll always find plenty of people at the bars and clubs, which stay open until the early hours.
For beach-based fun, a visit to Bitez will deliver. Boat tours regularly leave from the town’s harbour, where you can bob around the bay and get the best view of the area. The beach is also well geared up for watersports – from jet skiing, windsurfing and banana boating to scuba diving, it’s almost impossible to get bored.
Hike through pine forests
Gundogan is surrounded by scenic pine forests that make for some beautiful walks and hikes. This area of Turkey is dramatic and mountainous, so do your research to make sure you find a route that’s suitable for you – there’s plenty to choose from. And when you find yourself high enough, there are fantastic panoramic views as a reward.
The fastest-growing water sport in recent years, paddleboarding is now hugely popular – it’s easy to get to grips with and anyone can do it. The bay in Gundogan is sheltered and calm, making it ideal for beginners.
Go horseriding at Farilya Horse Farm
Located inland from Gundogan, the Farilya Horse Farm is set amongst lush, green terrain that’s ideal for accompanied or independent horse rides, and tutoring sessions are also available. A working farm with goats, sheep and chicken, it’s a great place to bring children, as they can meet the other animals there, too.
Take a boat trip
Gundogan has a busy harbour, with boat trips departing to the two small nearby islands, Rabbit Island and Lighthouse Island, on a regular basis. The former has the ruins of a Byzantine church to wander around. You can also take a trip, and even stay, on a Turkish gulet – a traditional boat with bat-wing-like sails – and you can also have fun taking part in crewing the boat.
With influences from Mediterranean, Middle East and North African cooking, Turkish food is always full of flavour and is quite light, which suits the hot climate. Mixing fresh fruit and vegetables, herbs and spices, and tender chunks of meat, mezze plates are fun to share in a group and mean you get to try a bit of everything. You should also seek out a proper kebab – the authentic ones are a far cry from the UK’s late night offerings.
Restaurants in Gundogan
Nightlife in Gundogan is pretty low key, which means the town’s restaurants are where it’s at. The places that circle the bay have wonderful views, and further, out you can dine among the fruit trees. As Gundogan is situated on the coast, you mustn’t miss out on the fresh seafood – much of it may have been caught just hours before. Soak up the atmosphere and watch people walk along the harbour while you enjoy a glass of Turkish wine and forget about life’s stresses.
If your perfect holiday destination has to have beautiful beaches, dramatic views, the chance to relax, and the opportunity to try new activities and experiences, Gundogan is your place. Few small fishing towns have so much going on, making it well-suited for family trips, romantic escapes and even groups of friends letting off some steam.
What won’t be on your list of boxes to tick is feeling stressed about booking your trip – and that’s where easyJet holidays comes in. We’re dedicated to making your getaway as hassle-free as possible, right from the word go. You can book your flights and hotel at the same time, meaning you’ll be able to focus on researching all the fun things you want to do when you’re there. If you’d like to find out more about Turkey’s Bodrum area, take a look at our other destination guides. There’s something to suit everyone, and we’re sure there’ll be something to catch your eye.