Ören Turkey

11 Eylül 2007 Salı

Ören Turkey

About 3km south of Milas you come to an intersection. Go right for Bodrum, left for Ören, Muğla and Marmaris. Turn left and there's a road on the right marked for Ören, where the road ends after 50km at the Gulf of Gökova.

Just over l km along the Ören road, a road on the right is marked with a black-on-yellow sign for Beçin, a Byzantine fortress on a rocky outcrop which was later pressed into service by the Turkish emirs of Menteşe. It's open from 8 am to dusk (US$1), but there's not a lot to see inside. Less than 500m on are remnants of the 14th century Menteşe settlement, including the Kızıl Han caravanserai, Orhan Bey Camii, and the Ahmet Gazi tomb and medrese (theological seminary).

The road to Ören is slow and winding and for the most part picturesque, although there are a couple of unsightly power stations and, closer to the village, some proliferating second-home developments.

On the whole Ören has hung on to the tranquil atmosphere which was once com-mon to villages along the Turkish coasts. The village comes in two parts. About 1.5km inland from the beach is the centre, with its PTT, shops, and old Ottoman houses with geranium-filled gardens set amid the ruins of the ancient city of Keramos (or Ceramus), which flourished from the 6th century BC until at least the 3rd century AD.

But the 1 km-long sand-and-pebble beach ringed with mountains is the centre of visitor interest and draws Turkish holidaymakers from the big cities who come for stays of a week, two weeks or more. If you take the time to travel the 50km to the village, you too will want to linger more than a night.

Places to Stay & Eat, Ören Hotel

Although the number of pensions is steadi-ly increasing, so far it's ali fairly low-key, with not a high-rise on the horizon. If you plan to stay in high summer, come early in the morning to find a room, or cali ahead and reserve one.

Among cheap lodgings, try Karya Oteli (n 252-532 2115), Otel Göksu 252-532 2112 or Hotel Marçalı (252-532 2063), with double rooms for US$30. Ytltur Motel (252-532 2108), at the eastern end of the beach by the harbour, is a bit cheaper but simpler. If ali these are full, new places are opening ali the time. A bit of asking around should turn up something.

For more comfort there's Hotel Salihağa 252-532 2138), Hotel Haluk (252-532 2128) or Keramos Motel 252-532 2065), which also has a camping ground. Best of the lot in terms of comfort is the new three-star, 50 room Hotel Alnata (252-532 2823), at the western end of the beach, where cheerful modern rooms come with marble floors, marble bath tubs and sea views.

Ören also has a few restaurants, includ­ing the waterfront Cafe Palmiye which dishes up burgers for US$3 and Kerme Restaurant with şiş kebap for US$6. There's also a small shop for putting to-gether a picnic. Don't expect any banks or other services though.

Getting There & Away

A timetabled minibüs service runs from Milas to Ören and back roughly every hour from 8 am to 6 pm. If you ask, the driver may drop you right at the beach instead of in the village. The journey takes an hour and costs US$1.50.