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1. Impressions

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Greek on the peninsula

Knidos, Turkey

Knidos, Turkey

A few kilometres before you arrive at Knidos, the road narrows, mountains start dropping, and in front of you the Reşadiye peninsula is closing in on its finale.
Knidos, climibing up from the ocean from nothing less than three bays within 200 metres, is a stunning place. Not so much because of the ruins, but because of the remote feeling out here and the fine views into the Mediterranean. In the distant lies the dark silhuettes of Greek islands Nisyros and Tilos, but the real important neighbour island is Kos to the north, not distant but hidden behind the few remaining Turkish hills.
Knidos was in antiquity a city of great fame and wealth. Its location was most convenient along the main shipping lane of the Mediterranean. A fabulous statue of the goddess Aphrodite had its home here, and a cult with sacred brothels was acted out at Knidos.
What has survived into modern times, makes little sense unless you use time and imagination, or if you have good knowledge about ancient Greek architecture. The several temples are thoroughly smashed by the brutality of nature over the last 2000 years. In short, there are many temples, a church and a bath here, but what breaks free of pebbles and bushes are foundations and a meaningless wall or two remains.
Photogenic spots are the causeway leading up to the largest temples, as well as the theatre. You make a simple circuit, just follow the arrows, make a stop at an well-signed sundial, and arrive at the top of the theatre. Right here, the main attraction is not the theatre, but the nature, the islands and the ocean. Also, here you can see well the full floor of huge building, most likely another temple, in the main square.
One question you cannot help asking is: from where and how did they get fresh water out here?

There is no accommodation here, and sleeping out will not be permitted by local authorities. Datça is the nearest place for this.
Eating at Knidos is limited, the café at the harbout fixes simple meals.
Getting out here is arranged from Datça, 40 km to the east, but there is no form of public transportation.

By Tore Kjeilen