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Summary

Datça is often called the new Turkish gem in the climbing press. Tufa-rich limestone cliffs and a beautiful coastline offer everything your heart desires for a climbing trip.

Description

Here you can download the official climbing guide book for Datça for free.

Datça is often called the new Turkish gem in the climbing press. Tufa-rich limestone cliffs and a beautiful coastline offer everything your heart desires for a climbing trip.

Climbing ranges from easy grades bolted for beginners and kids to the highest grades in steep caves including some multi-pitch routes. The rock quality is extraordinary and sectors offer all orientations making climbing possible all year. That being said, the best time to come to Datça is fall to spring. Early fall and late spring may require you to chase the shade while winter can become unpleasantly cold with northerly winds, but there is always this sunny crag that makes climbing pleasant even on the worst of days. As many of the sectors are steep (or below tall overhangs), climbing is often possible in the rain that typically is more frequent starting late December to February. Some of the tufa lines might become wet in January but then again, the choice is so big that you will always find some dry rock.

Most of the crags around Datça are just a few minutes away from the city. The main crag and the reason for many to visit Datça is Indian Man with its impressive main cave called Can Baba. Even if you spend most of your time up there don’t forget to explore some of the other sectors as well.

Indian Man with its sectors Uzak Zurafa, Can Baba, Ejderha, Ay, Shaman, Papynosaure and Nastrolopitheque holds about two thirds of the routes around Datça and there are literally all styles of climbing and grade ranges at your disposition. Opposite of Indian Man is the small sector Çocuklar (“kids”) which is great for beginners and kids with very well bolted lines. Just a bit further up the road from Indian Man are the “morning sectors” for hotter days called Domuzbükü, Karain (another small cave), and Sucuk and the multi-pitch cliff Karia Yolu. Across the valley of Sucuk is the short and bouldery sector of Balık and on the north side of Indian Man is the small sector Yenikale, another good destination for hotter days. Located above the village of Hızırşah is the sector with the same name. An ideal cliff for hot days as it is oriented north and well ventilated. On the north side of the peninsula is the area called canyon with several sectors. The drive alone is worth the visit and you will encounter great, hard and long lines that see little traffic there. The sector Les Frouzes is amongst the most impressive cliffs on the peninsula and the potential for more developments is endless. This is also true for the small sector of Emecik east of Datça that offers vertical climbing on chert and offers amazing views on cold and windy days.

Rest Day Activities

Datça offers plenty of activities for rest days. For those who want to explore the coast check out any of the sections of the Carian Trail, a 820km long distance hiking trail mostly following the coast in south-western Turkey. You can jump on it from almost anywhere on the Datça peninsula and it will take you to secluded beaches and through a great country side at any stretch you pick. Easiest is to just start out west of Datça but all sections further west and on the northern coast of the peninsula are beautiful.

For those with a taste of history drive west to Knidos and visit the ruins but don’t forget to enjoy the views and take a short hike to the lighthouse. Stop on the way and buy honey, almonds or olives from a local farmer.

Go kite-surfing in Gökova (between Marmaris and Muğla), one of the most famous kite-surfing spots worldwide. It can be quite crowded though.

Hang out on the beach, try Pembe Beach (pink beach) to start with. Continue the road from Domuzbükü left until it heads east and then take the first right that takes you down on a winding road to the beach. This is also a nice entry point for the Carian Trail that you can hike from there to the east or west.

Another great place to explore for those that enjoy lost places is Mersincik on the north western end of the peninsula. Drive to Cumalı and take a right. This rather rough road will take you high up and then down to the northern coast. Hike east from there to find amazing beaches and plenty of cliffs that wait to be developed!

Approach

You may reach Datça by various means and via different destinations:

  • Fly into Dalaman and take a taxi bus leaving almost after every flight arriving (2 to 3 hours).
  • Fly into Bodrum and take a short ferry ride over to Datça. Be sure to check the schedule as the ferry runs not every day during winter.
  • Fly to Izmir and drive to Datça which will take between 4 and 5 hours.
  • Drive from Antalya (about 5 hours drive along the coast), a great option if you also plan on climbing in Geyikbayırı.
  • Take a ferry from Kalymnos, Greece to Bodrum and from there to Datça (check if the ferry is running as the schedule varies depending on the season).

Where to stay

The best place to stay near the main climbing areas is Datça Base Camp. It offers camping and a few bungalows to rent and some space for caravans. It is also a good place to meet other climbers and to obtain the latest beta.

Alternatively, check one of the many pensions or boutique hotels in Datça and rent a scooter or car to move around.

Ethic

You are in a mediterranean environment with sometimes strong winds and dry forrests. It is absolutely forbidden to make fires or camp in the nature. Any wrong doing might result in closing of this beautiful climbing spot!

New bolting should only be done using stainless steel glue-in bolts!

History

History timeline chart

Datça is a relatively recent addition on the climbing map. The area was discovered by olivier, a Swiss mountain guide, who also did most of the development in the years 2013 to 2016 with the support of climbers from France, Turkey and elsewhere. You will read many names in the route history in this guide but to name a few of the most prolific bolters there are Adrien Boulon, Nicolas Nastorg, Emrah Özbay, Zorbey Aktuyun, Evren Kirazli, Yvan Muscat, Werner Luneau, Fabrice Pini, Aykut Knidost, Rafsta, Lucien Abbet and Klemen Becan.

Most of the bolting was financed by Olivier Nicolet, Adrien Boulon and Yvan Muscat and through generous donations by climbers such as Fabrice Pini, Claudia Schrotter and Pierre Morand.

A big thank you goes to Sumeyra Çakiroglu, Faruk Yavuz, Kurtulus Canbey and Yasin Kolasin who helped dealing with local authorities and in so many ways with the development of climbing in Datça.

Did you know?

Did you know that you can create an account to record, track and share your climbing ascents? Thousands of climbers are already doing this.

Activity

Check out what is happening in Datça.

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