Yalikavak,Bodrum, Turkey.

Sandima, a deserted Greek village, Bodrum.

Sandima near Yalikavak

Sandima is a deserted, Greek village, one of many that were vacated during the exchange of populations in 1922. Today, renovation work has started on one of the houses there and suggests that the village will not remain empty for much longer. Sandima is situated in a bowl at the base of a ring of barren hills and is "accessible by car but makes for a very pleasant walk. The views afforded of Yalikavak are glorious and a couple of rural villages along the way offer added interest.

Walking directions from Yalikavak to Sandima.

Follow Yalikavak's main street and head toward the sea, take the turning on your left just before reaching the harbour front. You will pass the market area on your right. At the T-junction, turn left. Shortly, you will see the 'Belediye' (council) building on your right, take the right turn immediately before you reach it. Park your car here, if you wish to continue on foot. The walk from here to Sandima is 2.2km, uphill in places. The road becomes a track and runs straight. shortly, a road joins from the right, it follows a riverbed on your left and you will see bridges across to the houses on the other side. Masses of opuntia bring a different character to the countryside, in spite of the presence of the more familiar olive tree. The road starts to ascend and to your left you will see a dome-shaped structure. This is a 'Sarnie;' or 'Gumbet', used for storing water, there are many dotted throughout the peninsula, often plastered and painted white but this is a particularly fine example. Maintaining an adequate supply of water has been a major problem in the arid, volcanic region of the Bodrum peninsula. There is no shortage of rainfall in winter but, with no great depth of soil to hold the water, there is need for some other system, hence the 'Sarnie. If you have walked the 1.4km to this point, this is also a good spot to take a rest and enjoy the panorama. Continuing, 4 minutes later you pass a fountain. Flowers decorating the way include wild orchids and the, more shrubby, fringed rue which grows around the fountain. The stream changes course now causing you to cross it to continue in a steady ascent. You will start to see the empty houses scattered over the hillside. Head right, toward the eucalyptus trees but turn sharp left, into a walled-in trail, before reaching them. Head uphill, you reach an ornamental water fountain at what would appear to be the old village square. Silence hangs heavily around the deserted streets, creating an unreal atmosphere. Take time to wander and explore the crumbling houses before returning by the same route.