The cities of Muğla get all the fanfare. Bodrum, Fethiye, Marmaris, Dalaman, Datça… you know the big names. But you may be surprised to know that there are a number of tiny villages dotted all around the province that are actually all the more relaxing and picturesque than the places you’ve heard so much about! Well we’re here to tell you all about some of the most fabulous villages you’ll find in the region, so without further ado:
Yeşilyurt is one of the prettiest little villages in Muğla, and with a name that translates to "Green home" it's no surprise that it's set amidst some of the most beautiful natural surroundings. It's a village known for weaving as well, so when you visit make sure to pick up a piece of local craftsmanship to show off to everyone when you get back home!
Yeşilüzümlü is a short 15-20 km drive away from Fethiye, on the road to Denizli. It's most famous for its local variety of mushrooms, and as the name would suggest (Yeşilüzümlü means "Green Grape"), for its vineyards. The mushrooms are Morel mushrooms, known locally as Kuzugöbeği mushrooms, and every year there's a festival held in their honor.
The village is also known for its hand-woven products, which feature a local practice forged over centures. In recent years, these crafts have become more and more focused on export for tourism, and are an important source of income for the village. Due to its picturesque setting and local flavor, more and more residents from outside the village have started to pour in, and its become a refuge for outsiders to escape big city life to live a quiet village life amidst nature's beauty.
The history of the village is also on full display in the form of the ancient Greek ruins of the city of Cadianda. The full Lycian city sits about 7 km from the village and is well worth a visit in and of itself.
The village features many cafes, souvenir shops and more to make the trip worthwhile.
Mazıköy's breathtaking location right on the northern coast of the Gulf of Gökova is a coastal town that dates back to the days of ancient Caria. It's really not one village, but a set of 8 villages in 1 that are all connected by road. Six of them even feature wonderful trails for hiking, and you can walk them all on a pathat that leads from Akarca, through Çakıllıyalı(Taşlıyalı) and İnceyalı, all the way to Sedef, also passing through Hurma and Ilgın. The villages, and coves therein, of Kisebükü, Hurma, Ilgın and Sedef form important stops on the Blue Cruises that leave from Gökova. Today you'll find B&Bs, apartments, villas, and restaurants in many of the villages and they're a great place to either spend the night or just to pass through on a day trip from one of the nearby cities.
Kapıkırı is a small village on the shores of Lake Bafa and features a wealth of both natural beauty and history. It's perfect for going fishing, hiking through nature, camping, a botanical tour, bird watching or just enjoying the scenery.
Bafa was once a gulf in the Aegean Sea. Over the centuries it grew into a lake and joined with the Great Menderes River. When it was still located right on the sea, these lands played host to Heraklia, which was an important harbor city. It was held by the Kingdom of Pergamon and the Roman Empire for a very long time. Come visit this beautiful village and wander among the remains of Heraklia, including its rock tombs, temple of Athena, city walls, and the agora.
This village used to be nothing more than a quiet fishing village but it's grown in popularity in recent years and is now something of a tourism hotspot. Blue cruises and private boats all stop off here and it's certain clear why they do! Part of Selimiye's charm is its remoteness - it can be difficult to reach it from any of the nearby cities, of which Marmaris is the closest.
There are a few restaurants outline right along the coast which offer breathtaking views and fresh food picked from the village itself or just outside. Strolls along the waterfront are encouraged and there are plenty of small bed-and-breakfasts to stay in at night, as well as more serious hotels a little farther up the hill.
Selimiye's remoteness has also led to it becoming a center for yoga retreats in recent years. Check online for details and sign-ups and head to this cute little seaside village to become truly one with nature and one with yourself!