In Selimiye with Süha Derbent!

Süha Derbent

Wildlife photographer Süha Derbent now frames one of the apex predators in wildlife; the Ford Ranger Raptor; and finds a way to bid defiance to all the conditions on his journey to Selimiye with this strong predator! Enjoy the ride!

Article and Photos: Süha Derbent

I always say that "I have made my career on a mountainside" since I have lived most of my life in Africa and on a mountainside. You can imagine how bored I am as someone who used to spend more than half of a year in wildlife areas due to the wildlife tours I organized before the pandemic period started. Finally, when I found out on the phone that there were no cases, I decided to go to Marmaris, Selimiye. Glad to have done so. We started off from Izmir with our vehicle. We reached Selimiye after a four-hour journey. The weather was great. At first, the weather was a little overcast and cloudy. Then, after a very heavy rain, the sun brought us together with the clear blue sky. Then came real pleasure...

My first visit to Selimiye was in 1992. At that time, the path was unpaved. And Selimiye was just a tiny village. From that day on, I have been to Selimiye so many times that I lost count. At times of blue voyage, we often stopped by boat at Hisarönü Bay. However, with an old habit from the past years, I remembered the whereabouts of the old tracks. We went up from Selimiye, found the old track, and then reached Bozburun. The old track can only be crossed by an off-road vehicle, it is covered with stones and has a narrow driving path. But the vehicle I bought in November, my Ford Ranger Raptor, proved to us we made the right choice, and it was a complete land monster as it had no sign of difficulty on these roads. We were impressed with its performance and comfort even in places we said “No, it can't get through, should we back off?”. If you go to Selimiye with your off-road vehicle, I recommend you to use this old but enjoyable path that you can go through watching unique landscapes.

Selimiye is one of my favorite places. Those who have been there would know it has a beautiful nature. But what makes a place beautiful is what is shared with friends. On this trip, I had the opportunity to reunite with my dear friends Leyla and Muhammet, whom I met years ago in 1992 when I first came here. They are the gracious, friendly managers of Selimiye Sardunya. It is a place where you can taste the local delicacy and the fish of the region; and their friendly good company, in addition, it becomes perfectly amazing. Muhammet only serves fish of the region and only if caught fresh. The place, which has many celebrity frequenters, has become everyone's favorite over time; not only with its meals but also with the reasonable prices for the accommodation services it offers.

Realizing that providing solely restaurant service is not enough, Muhammet made small but comfortable rooms next to his restaurant. So, it is also possible to stay in Sardunya. So, during the summer, seafarers with boats can rest, or those who come by road can stay. The rooms have air conditioning, LCD TV, satellite, and patio. There is also free wifi in the garden and restaurant. The prices of the rooms are also reasonable as the food. But the most important thing about Leyla and Muhammet, who opened a restaurant in Selimiye when there was no road, is their modest personalities, welcoming everyone sincerely.

Now I can hear you wonder if it is a good idea to go to Selimiye in the middle of winter. You are right, of course, it is actually known as a destination for summer vacations. There are no five-star hotels or noisy entertainment centers in Selimiye. There are olives and almond trees, a high oxygen rate, and the pleasure of watching the fish approach the shore while sitting on the pier. But maybe you, just like me, do not like the crowd; and would like to walk alone on the beach or on the hills, enjoy sitting by the sea without sweating from the heat, and most importantly, you may like to have a holiday without hearing anything other than the sound of the birds and the sea. If so, now is the time to go. Feel free to hit the road and don't wait for the spring or summer, just like me.

If the weather is good, I recommend a boat trip to Kameriye Island which is nearby. In Selimiye, which was home in ancient times to the Hydas civilization, ruins can be seen in several different regions from ancient times. Remains of city walls from Hellenistic ages, remnants of monumental tombs, and a lighthouse built to guide the boats coming to the shore are among the remaining historical marks. There is also a theatre and a monastery in the region. Today, the remnants extracted from sunken cities in the region are exhibited in Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archeology.

Transportation: Selimiye is located 40 km from Marmaris. You can reach by taking the Datça road, turning from the Selimiye junction, and passing from Hisarönü and Orhaniye. I should add that the road is smooth and with a beautiful view.

Accommodation: Selimiye Sardunya E-mail: Phone: 0252 446 40 03

Wishing you all healthy days, with the hope to see you again on new journeys.