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ÖREN (KERAMOS), MİLAS

A village called "Ruins"

orenbeachMarket day:

About 45km south of Milas, Ören is a pretty little seaside resort set on a thin stretch of shingle at the point where the relatively flat coastal scenery of the Bodrum area bumps up against ths more spectacular mountain scenery of Akyaka and Marmaris.

As you stand on the waterfront you'll see nothing but flatness stretching out east while mountains rise up like a wall to the west. On the far side lies the glorious Gulf of Gökova. 

This is a popular place for holidaying Turks who find it more reasonably priced and family-friendly than Bodrum with none of that town's showy trendiness. Here cafes are small, cheap and not at all flashy; lots of köfte, not a lot of haute cuisine.

A marina is being created ready to pull in the yachting fraternity.

Just behind the beach there are plenty of small hotels and pensions as well as the shops to go with them. But the actual village of Ören lies 2km inland where it grew up immediately on top of the ruins of the ancient Carian settlement of Keramos about which surprisingly little seems to be known. 

Exploring Keramos is hampered by the fact that, unusually these days, there are no signs and no information about the site. Instead you'll have to follow your nose, trying to pick out the original ruins from the much later ruins of houses built using stones pillaged from the site. 

Around the site

As you come into the village from Milas a rock rises up sheer on the lefthand size of the road. If you get out here and look up you will see the remains of the castle cut into the rock as well as the ruins of a wall much further down. With luck you may come across an arched recess which appears to have been an old storehouse with, up the steps above it and attached to a private house, the simple stone building that was once the local mosque before something more modern was demanded. orenruins1

orenruins3Wandering around in the village you will come across pieces of ancient ruin reused as the back wall of someone's cowshed or standing in the middle of someone's cornfield. What looks like the apsidal end of a bathhouse now serves as a shield around a children's playground. 

Perhaps the most astonishing relics of Keramos are to be seen in the graveyard where modern tombs stand right beside the shattered remains of the huge stone sarcophagi of the Carians. Continuity of use for more than 3,000 years. That's quite something to see.

Sleeping

I have never stayed in Ören but there is a wide choice of places from the fairly smart to very simple family-run pensions.

Transport info

Half-hourly dolmuşes run between Milas' town-centre minibus terminal and Ören. They get very full over summer weekends. 

As you leave Milas for Ören look out on the right for the ruins of the old Menteşe capital of Beçin perched on a rock beside the road.

Day trip destinations

Beçin

Bodrum

Güllük

Milas

Milasorenruins4Modern and Carian tombs side by side in Keramos/Ören

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