Oracle Pansiyon, Didim
Rough romance. Doubles from £25 B&B
A decidedly shabby pansiyon, with six extremely basic rooms and stained, sagging ceilings, which makes the cut purely – but decisively – for its unique location hard by one of the great ruin sites of all Turkey.
Not many people would choose to stay here if it were not for the fact that the great Temple of Apollo at Didyma, with its three surviving columns, two still bearing a section of architrave, is almost within touching distance through the windows of Rooms 1-3; ‘By the Temple of Apollo, Didim’ is the spectacular official address of the pansiyon, which has only been prevented from tumbling into the site’s excavation pit by the steel buttresses supporting the retaining wall. The prospect is equally astonishing from the shaded ground-floor verandah where the frail patriarch Ahmet was often found snoozing among the old marbles and artefacts; he died in 2013 having been born in this house in 1924, a year after the end of the Ottoman Empire, to immigrants parents expelled from Greece the previous year. (I wrote about Ahmet and the Oracle in my Meander.)
Any seasoned traveller with the least romanticism in their bones should spend a night, though probably a single one, here. There is no pansiyon website and the family of the owner, teacher Mahmut Gonul, speak little English, but the welcome is warm. Text Mahmut on the number below or chance it after a visit to Didyma; you’ll see the pansiyon with its prominent signage overlooking the temple.
Oracle Pansiyon, Hisar Mahallesi, Didim tel: 00 90 505 314 0282.