amy chaplin

celebrating the art of eating well

Turkey: from Marmaris to Palamut

POSTED ON October 14, 2011

Selimiye, Bozburun Peninsula

Here are some photos of what I got to see of Turkey’s south western mediterranean coast.
We picked up a boat in Marmaris and wound our way around the craggy coast of the Bozburen Peninsula to Palamat on the Daçta Peninsula. Some of the secluded bays we anchored in were accessible only by boat and populated with one building, which was usually a restaurant. The owners would greet us by row-boat as we entered their harbor and help us moore or anchor; then they would ask us what time we would like to reserve for supper. Our routine was to arrive in the afternoon and alternate between swimming and sipping wine on deck until dark.  We would then head in to shore for dinner. Our meals consisted of  mezze and if you ate fish or meat, then the catch of the day too, which was sometimes wild goat. The mezze gave me plenty of choice: mashed fava beans, purslane in thick yogurt, marinated beets, stewed eggplant and tomato, sea beans and antep ezme which became a favorite on the sandwiches we made for lunch. It’s like tomato salsa but paste-like made with a special pepper called aci pul biber.

our first night on the boat in Ciftlik

arriving in söğüt

early the next morning

breakfast- I loved buying yogurt in a jar!


lunch with Rhodes in the distance

arriving in Palamut

The Daçta Peninsula is know for olive oil and almonds. We arrived near the tip in a place called Palamut. There I had two of my favorite meals since being at sea; both were in a restaurant called le jardin de Semra.  Semra, the owner, grew up in the proud stone building that the resturant surrounds. She cooks from her organic garden out the back, is passionate about food and a warm host. After a late dinner we wandered the main street, which was lined with people shelling almonds and selling bay leaves, honey and wild oregano. The next morning back at le jardin de Semra I had my first real Turkish breakfast, which we ate under a big old mulberry tree. Semra laid out crisp cucumbers, tomatoes and olives along with homemade quince and peach jams, and freshly baked bread with sesame and cinnamon on one of the long tables.

Wild basil or Mediterranean basil? a mystery...anyone?


Bozukkale has three resturants, wild donkeys and goats everywhere, and an archeologist living in a tent out the back of the restaurant we choose to eat at on our last night at sea.
The hills surrounding the bay are covered with ancient cemetaries and littered with pieces of pottery dating back to 395 B.C. This place is a hidden treasure, with no land access, you feel like it has never changed, but there are many facinating layers to it’s rich history and so much to learn.

view from the Sailor's House restaurant

wild donkeys

evening view from our boat

breakfast on deck before sailing back to Marmaris

POSTED IN travel

TAGGED UNDER: travel, turkey

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  • Leslie McEachern says:

    Amy! What a fabulous travelogue….thank you for the introduction to an area I never would have known otherwise. ~Leslie

  • carrie says:

    Fabulous. The food sounds fantastic. I went to Crete one year and just fell in love with the food! Enjoy!

  • rosalia says:

    Very interesting! Thank you for sharing

  • Bill says:

    Stunning scenery.
    Looks like a fabulous yacht.
    Do you remember Pam and I spent some time on Rhodes ?

  • Estelle says:

    That plant is indeed basil! I am not sure of the name of the variety but it is used as mosquito repellent in Turkey, at least on the Aegean Coast where my family’s from!

  • Hi Amy! This I so crazy I just had to share this with you. I resently found your blog and been loving to backtrack through your life, read your recipes (I work as a chef) and looking at your beautiful photos. You are doing a great job! Ok, so here is the the crazy bit.. You have cought me, or at least the boat I was working on, on camera! In the second last photo is the boat, Melek, that Ive been working on for the last two years. At that time we where working like crazy to get ready for our next boss trip. It’s a small world we live in.. Anyway, I’m looking forward to reading future recipes. Kind regards, Karolina

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