Aegean News

ENTRY prices to some of Turkey’s popular historic attractions are to increase in the New Year – with some rising as high as 400 percent.

Despite experiencing a decline in the number of visitors heading through the entrance to some of the best historic sites on the globe, the Culture and Tourism Ministry will ring the changes from January 4, 2016.

Voices has learned that entry prices to Didim’s historic sites – such as Apollo Temple, Priene and Miletus – will remain unchanged.

Apollon Temple

  Apollon Temple, Didim

However, other sites have not fared so well and the increases have caused consternation among some tourism experts.

Deniz Managers of Touristic Hotels and Enterprises Association President Gazi Murat Şen told Zaman the price hike will further decrease visitor numbers to the archeological sites, which are an important part of Turkey’s tourism sector.

Underlining that the price rise will automatically increase the prices for tour operators, Şen said it will negatively affect the sales of tourist group package tours.

He highlighted the entrance price increases for the Pamukkale travertine terraces and archeological sites. The ticket price to access the travertine terraces will be increase from TL25 to 35 TL and [this] will further decrease the number of visitors in 2016.”

According to the Culture and Tourism Ministry, the number of tourists who visited the museums and archeological sites in Antalya in the last 11 months decreased by nearly 30 percent. The highest loss of visitors was at St. Nicholas Church in Demre where the number of visitors fell from 375,000 in 2014 to 223,000 in 2015.

The number of visitors to access the ancient city of Myra also fell from 313,000 to 176,000 over the same period. While 103,000 visited the Perge archeological site in 2014, the number came down to 44,000 in 2015.

Top sites

According to the new price list by the Culture and Tourism Ministry for the archeological sites, entry to some of the museums and archeological sites are increased as follows:


Celsus Library, at Ephesus. (Image kindly reproduced by


Topkapı Palace Museum from 30TL to 40TL;

The harem at Topkapı Palace from 15TL to 25TL;

Hagia Sophia Museum from 30TL to 40TL;

Olympos from 5TL to 20TL;

Ephesus from 30TL to 40TL

Pammukale travertine terraces: 25TL to 35TL




Aydin sites

Meanwhile the below prices for archaeological sites and museums in the Aydin area will be effective from January 4:


The Priene Temple ruins: (Picture kindly reproduced by

Apollon Temple:10TL;

Miletus ruins: 10TL;

Miletus Museum: 5TL;

Priene ruins: 5TL;

Afrodisyas Museum and ruins: 15TL;

Karacasu Ethnographic Museum: Free;

Arkeoloji Müzesi: 8TL;

Yörük Ali Efe Evi Museum: Free

Etnografya Müzesi: Free

Nysa (Sultanhisar) ruins: 5TL

Alinda ruins: Free

Magnesia ruins: 5TL

Aydın Alabanda ruins: 5TL


If you’re an expat, second home owner or simply a tourist staying over the winter on the West Coast and looking to hit the open roads, then Kusadasi’s Budget Rent a Car, has some great ideas of places for you to visit.

ENGLISH 300x300Budget combines the strength of one of the world’s largest car rental brands together with the detailed local knowledge, flexibility and great value for money you need. They have more than 50 offices all over Turkey.

Budget offers a wide range of models, with a choice of sizes and styles to suit your requirements including Mercedes, BMWs, Fords and Fiat, etc.. All Budget vehicles are on average under one year old and undergo regular maintenance and service checks prior to every rental.

Winter deals

For winter time, Budget Car Rental Kusadasi office is currently running special deals: their 31-day car hire packages are aimed at providing affordable travel with free pick-up and delivery service.

Two examples include a Citroen C-Elvsee for 1250TL per month plus Vat or a Hyundai i20 for as little as 1050TL a month. Offers valid till 01.04.2015.

All the road trips with a reliable rental car are within easy reach and will take no more than two to three hours away. Importantly, the destinations are central to the Kusadasi region but will give you an opportunity to see the real Turkey.


Turkey’s third largest city has it all. From a wildlife park to grand bazaars, museums, galleries, history and tourist attractions, the city simply oozes charm, sophistication and has bags of character.

The Clock Tower commands Konak Square and is an enduring symbol of Izmir. Meanwhile, the city has an archaeology museum hosting an impressive collection of ancient and Roman artefacts recovered. Equally the delightful neighbourhoods of Konak and Alsancak offer something for everyone – from back alley restaurants to peaceful packs.


About an hour or so from Kusadasi, Ephesus houses a 24,000-person capacity theatre, once the largest in the ancient world, with its three-storey stage building. It also features the Library of Celsus built to store 12,000 scrolls.


The city, about two hours from Kusadasi, is renowned for its whitewashed homes, an imposing castle, the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology, its cafe culture and cosmopolitan atmosphere. It also has a wonderful peninsula to explore.

Budget1Kusadasi and Didim

Another alternative is to travel the back roads of Kusadasi, exploring the scenery and beaches out towards Davutlar and the Dilek Peninsula. About an hour further south is Didim, a popular tourist town with the landmark Temple of Apollo, Priene and Miletus ruins to woo the crowds


Within easy reach of Kusadasi is Sirince, world renowned for wine production. Located in the mountains, it offers a quaint view of how Turkey used to be and worth a couple of hours of your time. Be sure to top on the selection of wines available.

The company also offers a range of discounts for your short & long term car rentals at selected times during the year. One running now offers discounted car cover for those using the Pegasus airline brand.

For more about prices and rental information, see their website or call them on 0090256 612 5806.


THE Turkish property sector is currently abuzz with news of star-studded buyers flocking to buy villas on the Western Coast – no less than Hollywood couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, and Real Madrid star Ronaldo.

Obviously Voices has put a call into the PR agents for all parties and we’re still waiting for a call back to confirm.

But hey, we’ll go with the flow and give you more details any way.

If the stories are true, you never know they may be interested in applying for Turkish citizenship if the new law of offering it to buyers of property over $500,000 ever comes off!

Oya Paktaş, Turkey representative of an Italian real estate agency, said Pitt and Jolie acquired a villa in Urla, a quiet seaside town close to İzmir known for its wineries and organic farming, for $2.6 million.

Actor Brad Pitt and actress/director Angelina Jolie pose at the AFI Awards 2014 honoring excellence in film and television in Beverly Hills, California on January 9, 2015. REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT) *** Local Caption *** ANGELINA JOLIE AND BRAD PITT

Actor Brad Pitt and actress/director Angelina Jolie

Paktaş said Pitt and Jolie planned to spend their next summer vacation in their new villa. “They did not come here, but browsed photos of the place online. After they liked it, their agents came here to finalize the deal,” she said.

The couple’s new property is situated on 10,000 square meters, has seven bedrooms, two living rooms, a swimming pool and a gym.

Pitt and Jolie already own property abroad including a $60 million mansion in southern France, and they were reportedly looking to buy a house in London.

Jolie is a frequent visitor to Turkey in her capacity as a U.N. Goodwill Ambassador. Her destinations in Turkey are usually refugee camps for displaced Syrians. Her last visit was in June on the occasion of World Refugees Day during which she visited refugees in the southeastern province of Mardin.

In August the couple had put their five-bedroom home in New Orleans on sale for $6.5 million, according to U.S. media outlets.

Meanwhile Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid’s famous Portuguese football star, has snapped up a mansion worth 3.2 million euros ($3.44 million) in Izmir.

Hollywood'un ünlü çifti Angeline Jolie ve Brad Pitt'in İzmir'in Urla ilçesi yakınlarından denize sıfır villa satın almasının yankıları sürerken, Real Madrid'in dünyaca ünlü futbolcusu Cristiano Ronaldo'nun da Urla'da villa arayışında olduğu öğrenildi.

Real Madrid star Ronaldo

According to the article published by Turkish daily Sabah, the mansion includes seven bedrooms, three living rooms, one open and one closed swimming pools spread over 12,000 square meters of land. The exact location of the property was not disclosed, however, the mansion reportedly overlooks the city

Oya Paktaş, Turkey representative of the leading real estate firm the Proto Group, confirmed the sale and said that Ronaldo was advised by the owner of the firm Alessandro Proto. Paktaş said that Ronaldo was convinced to buy the mansion through its pictures.


Ronaldo will reportedly spend some of his holiday time at the mansion.


In recent years, Turkey, especially Izmir for its transportation advantages and proximity to the country’s famous summer resorts, has been under spotlight for luxury real estate purchases.


THERE’S good news for expats in Turkey as the cost of mandatory Residence Permit health insurance has been lowered.

As of Monday October 26 Groupama Insurance (Groupama Sigorta) has for the second time this year lowered their health insurance premiums.

The insurance reductions are huge, with the average policy being slashed in price by around 300TL and if you’re aged 40 – 50 you’ll save even more.

And for the average 30 something year old, the price for a year’s policy is now only 483 TL a total reduction of over 150TL from the previous cost.

See how much you could save by obtaining a free online quote on our website.

voices_online_article_insuranceThere’s more good news because Groupama Sigorta are a YellAli partner which means that by using the YellAli website people will be able to purchase their health insurance online.

YellAli is the only company in Turkey that provides this revolutionary ‘buy direct’ service for foreigners in Turkey.

You also deal directly with the insurance company, cutting out any unnecessary middlemen. Groupama Sigorta’s staff speak English and will be on hand to provide expert assistance.

And foreigners have the added peace of mind by knowing that this insurance meets all requirements of the Turkish Residence Permit.

Online Insurance – Now Cheaper and Easier’s online interface makes purchasing residence permit insurance easier than ever, and with just a couple of clicks you can buy your insurance without ever leaving the comfort of your home.

It really is as simple as going to getting a free online quote and then submitting the application to Groupama Sigorta. It’s simple and hassle free and full support and aftercare is provided by an expert team. Find out more on

TAV_Bodrum_terminal_600THE new operators of the international terminal at Milas Bodrum Airport have been urged to increase flights from across Europe in a new petition.

TAV Airport Holdings has begun management operations at Turkey’s sixth busiest airport, Milas Bodrum.

The company will manage it following its auction victory against three other consortia – incumbent operator Astaldi, YDA Construction and a Fraport-led group. The auction was held by state airport authority DHMI.

The €717 million (plus VAT) deal saw the fifth airport added to TAV’s Turkish portfolio, which also includes Izmir. As winner of the tender held last year taxes, TAV will operate Bodrum Airport until 2035.

It began started operations at the domestic terminal in October 2014.

TAV Airports President & CEO Sani Şener said: “Milas-Bodrum Airport connects one of Turkey’s most significant tourism centers to the rest of the world with an annual passenger capacity of almost 4 million.

“After we had taken over the operation of the domestic terminal, we achieved a 16 percent increase in the annual passenger capacity. Now, we will endeavour to deliver such a performance at the international terminal.”

“We believe Bodrum will become the fourth largest city in Turkey within the next 15 to 20 years. By increasing the direct flights to the international terminal in close collaboration with local authorities and players of tourism industry, we are planning to make Bodrum a center of attraction which will be popular for all 12 months of the year.”

Bodrum Airport was opened to international traffic in 1997. Located between Milas and Bodrum, two important cities of ancient Caria region, it plays a significant role in transportation to tourism centers such as Didim, Kuşadası, Söke of the Aydın province as well as Muğla.

Within hours of the news, a petition was launched to congratulate TAV and to encourage it to see k more flights from in and out of the international terminal.

The petition at stated: “There are many thousands of tourists who either live or travel around the Bodrum peninsular but who do not benefit from all year round flights, being forced to either not travel or undertake several, often expensive and lengthy flights out of season.

“We would like to see the provision of more Flights all the year round to/from Bodrum, especially the regional airports of the UK and not just London.

“We believe this expansion will not only aid your vision, but also massively boost the economy of the Bodrum peninsular region.”

THERE will be a chance for British expats to meet with Consular staff in Didim on Wednesday November 11.

The bi-annual meeting’s location had yet to be confirmed as Voices went to press this weekend, but it may well be held at the same venue as the previous meetings, that being the Didim Chamber of Commerce, opposite the small Tesco Kipa in Didim.

A posting on the British Embassy’s Facebook page said: “The main theme of our Consular community meetings this time will be Communication and Information Services.”

Consular meet ups were also being held across Turkey:

Istanbul: Wed Nov 4;

Didim: Wed Nov 11;

Fethiye: Fri Nov 13

Antalya on Tue Nov 17.

THE Turkish Ministry in charge of residence permits and foreign visas has issued a new helpline number for foreigners.

The DGMM – the Ministry overseeing residence permits – is offering a helpline – 157 from inside Turkey – for foreigners on exit and entry, and permits issues in Turkey.

If you reside out of Turkey, you can call the same helpline on 09 312 157 1122.

157 – is a 24/7 helpline for foreigners in Turkish, English, Russian and Arabic.


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YellAli is the site to visit if you want to read interesting and informative content, we’ll keep you updated about the latest going ons in Turkey and our content is a pleasure to read.

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A NOTORIOUS human trafficker has been caught on the Greek island of Leros, but the flood of refugees and migrants into Didim looking to escape to the EU continues apace.

Gendarme officers detained 94 illegal migrants/refugees – 90 Syrians and four Sudanese – at Tasburun fishing port, near Didim, two nights ago as they were attempting to head to one of the Greek islands, the backdoor entry into the EU.

Meanwhile in Kusadasi’s Guzelcamli district a further 54 Syrians looking to head out to sea were also detained. Two suspects involved in the human trafficking of the Kusadasi group were also arrested.

Trafficker detained on Leros

A notorious human trafficker who made around €1 million (£746,000) in one day smuggling refugees from Turkey to Greece has been arrested since being caught on camera by ITV News at Ten.

stream_imgThe man (picture left in a still from ITV news), described as the Greek coastguard’s ‘most wanted’, is one of many traffickers profiteering from the desperation of those trying to escape war and poverty across the Middle East and Africa.

ITV News at Ten witnessed the man make several journeys across the treacherous crossing, each time bringing dozens of refugees and migrants to the shores of the Greek island of Lesbos.

The man was hunted down after making one of several trips across the stretch of sea, by officers who had to move quickly before he entered the safety of Turkish waters.

He was then taken to another part of Lesbos to be charged – and, if convicted by the Greek courts, he faces a lengthy prison sentence for human trafficking.

Things have developed quickly on the island, which has served as a popular gateway for people trying to enter Europe, since News at Ten revealed at least 1,500 had touched down on the coast yesterday alone.

An 11-month-old baby boy who died on the crossing as the dinghy carrying him was swamped by waves, was laid to rest by his family and a handful of strangers who attended to pay their respects.

Samos misery

Meanwhile a Voices reader has taken pictures of what greets them on some of the beaches on Samos.



The reader said: “It was an eye opener seeing children’s life jackets with their colourful designs discarded on the rocky out crop that was their landing site, along with masses of inner tubes, and adult size life jackets.

samos1“Some of the life jackets are from Turk Hava. The ruins of the inflatable boats punctured and torn floating in the sea or washed up in the tiny pebble ‘beach’ which is surrounded by sharp jagged ‘lava rock’, which in turn leads to ‘the promised land of the EU.

“At various points around the island you can see discarded life jackets, on one beach everything is piled up tidily.”



Natalie Sayin – – reflects on one of her favourite escapes – Cappadocia.

HEAD east from Altinkum to the central Anatolian plains of Turkey and you will eventually arrive at Cappadocia, a large region with a rugged lunar-like landscape, scattered with large boulders shaped into weird formations.

natalie_sayinThey are so weird that for centuries locals have called them fairy chimneys, although other examples portray giant mushrooms and even a camel.

The official name for these geographical marvels is ‘hoodoo’. Formed over millions of years by Mother-Nature herself, they are the remains of a volcanic eruption from the domineering Mount Erciyes combined with constant wind erosion.

However Cappadocia can also be called the land of caves. For hundreds of years, locals carved caves and entire buildings out of these rocks.

These days, strict preservation laws and modern technology, means the hundreds of cave hotels and houses make you feel like you are living in a modern-day Fred Flintstone era.

Indeed you haven’t really explored Turkey, until you’ve stayed in a cave hotel in Cappadocia.

Soganli-Valley-Cappadocia-TurkeyThree to four days is all that’s needed to explore the major highlights of which the top activity is a sunrise hot air balloon trip over the fairy chimneys.

Obviously not suited to people who don’t like heights, every time I have been to Cappadocia, my fear has overwhelmed me. Needless to say, the activity is still on my travel list of things to do.

One activity I excel at though, is exploring underground cities in particular, the most famous called Derinkuyu.

Dating from the Byzantine era, it opened to tourists in 1969 and visitors can tour half the 60-metre deep city that housed 20,000 people and their livestock.

Mainly used during the Arab invasions of the 7th century, locals shut themselves for six months or more in the underground city that had a school, chapel, morgue, winery and even facilities to deal with people who went mad because of lack of sunlight.

Kubbeli-Kilise-SoganliCappadocia’s other claim to fame is the 3,000 plus ancient cave churches of which the best examples are in the UNESCO Goreme Open Air Museum.

The ceilings of the Saint Barbara, Snake and Apple churches all display marvellous 4th century frescoes depicting scenes from the Bible.

As a region, that helped spread the beginnings of Christianity, historians have also traced the story of Saint George; the Patron Saint of England back to Cappadocia, so just these two examples is enough for any Christian who enjoys travelling to visit the area.

Other than that, hiking, trekking, and photography are all favoured activities of Cappadocia.

Goreme-UNESCO-site-in-Cappadocia-TurkeyAs a destination that is open for tourism all year round, if the winter months in Turkey are boring for you, book yourself on a 4-day getaway to Fred Flintstone’s hunting ground and the land where fairies live.

How to get there: Metro Turizm run direct overnight buses from Didim to Goreme, the tourism centre of Cappadocia. If the 14-hour trip is too much, book a flight to Kayseri or Nevsehir, which have a transfer time of approximately an hour.


THE history of the ancient city of Ephesus stretches back 8,000 years ago, but the discovery of an amulet shows that it is at least one millennium older, the Daily Hurriyet has reported.

An amulet figure that has been unearthed during excavations at the Çukuriçi mound in Ephesus has revealed the ancient city is actually nine millennia old.

Made of black stone and believed to have been used as jewelry, the 2.1-centimeter amulet brings the history of Ephesus 9,000 years back – a full 1,000 years earlier than previously believed.

amulet1The figure is now on display at the Ephesus Museum. The museum’s director, Cengiz Topal, said the figure was found in 2013 during Çukuriçi Mound excavations and delivered to the facility.

Stating that experts had worked on the figure to determine its history, Topal said: “According to their evaluations, the figure dates back to the seventh century B.C., the Neolithic Age.

“At the time, the history of the settlement in and around Ephesus dated back to 7,000 B.C. The details on the figure completely have the traces of the Neolithic Age. Elements like breasts and hips on the figure are exaggerated; they were made with an engraving technique. The face is not detailed.

“Since it was used as an amulet, it has a hole in its neck part.”

The 9,000-year-old piece of jewelry, which changes the history of Ephesus, bears similarities with artifacts that were unearthed during excavations in other places in Anatolia, said Topal. “We know that similar examples have been found in the Hacışar Mound in Burdur, the Ulucak Mound in İzmir and in Greece.”

eph1Topal defended the idea that the figure changed the history of Ephesus.

“According to previous data, the history of Ephesus dated back to the 4,500s B.C. and later on to the 6,000s B.C. But considering the excavations in the Çukuriçi and Arvalya mounds, we can say that it dates back to the Neolithic Age, namely, the 7,000s.

“The ancient city had a history of 6,000 years. This figure made us to reconsider the history of settlement in all of Anatolia. It dates back to the Neolithic Age – 9,000 years ago.”

CONSIDERED Turkey’s capital for cruise tourism, Kuşadası has already welcomed seven cruise ships, nearly 18,000 tourists and 7,800 crewmembers this season.

Thousands of tourists from the U.S., Spain, Italy, Canada, the U.K., and Portugal have flooded the Kuşadası port after the ships dock at the popular tourism hub.

While many tourists visit historical sites such as Ephesus, others shop at local malls.

Ege Ports General Manager Aziz Güngör said more cruise ships will frequent the area in September and October.

Saying that 8.45 million tourists and 3 million crewmembers have landed at Kuşadası over the last 13 years, Güngör continued: “Ege Ports Kuşadası Passenger Port, which is the capital of cruise tourism in Turkey, will be one of the most important border points for Turkey in the near future.”

The authorities expect 40 new cruise ships to harbor at Kuşadası Port between now and Kurban Bayramı (Festival of Sacrifice).

Local shopkeepers and tourism managers are geared to welcome about 170,000 international tourists.


TWO boat disasters – one close to the Didim area – left more than 50 refugees, many women and children, dead this week

The first incident occurred last Sunday (Sept 13) as Syrian refugees tried to make it to the Greek islet of Farmakonisi after setting off less than 10 km (6 miles) from the Didim coastline.

A total of 34 people, several of them children, were found in the waters off Farmakonisi. Four infants, 11 children and ten women are among those who drowned.

It is understood from Greek media that the boat was a 15-metre boat tripper.

The Greek coast guard rescued 62 passengers from drowning while 34 people were able to swim to Farmakonisi on their own.

“My colleagues are finding more and more people,” a coast guard officer said, suggesting the death toll from the capsized fishing vessel would rise.

The accident occurred after the coast guard responded Saturday to the capsizing of two boats. A Super Puma helicopter immediately took off for the port of Mytilene in search of the boat. The incident was said to have been Greece’s worst maritime accident involving refugees.

“I’m devastated. There was a lady there who wanted information and told me her three children and husband were missing. She was holding a three-month old infant in her arms,” one Greek official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity. “What was I supposed to tell her? That we found them? Her three children and husband are dead.”

Christos Zois, shipping minister in Greece’s caretaker government, told the state Athens News Agency he felt as if he had been “kicked in the stomach” after visiting the area.

“Another tragedy caused by the traffickers. It was a clear murder today, and Europe had to declare war on these ruthless criminals yesterday,” said George Hatzimarkos, governor of the South Aegean region.

In a second incident on Tuesday (Sept 15), at least 22 refugees, including 11 women and four children, drowned when their overcrowded wooden boat sank off Turkey’s south west coast.

Turkish coastguards revealed they had rescued 211 migrants from the boat which set off from holiday resort town of Datca overnight. TV footage showed a crowded Turkish coastguard ship carrying rescued people to the shore.

Meanwhile, four children remained missing from an incident north of the Aegean island of Samos. The coast guard was able to pluck 24 migrants from the sea in that operation.

Another 32 people were rescued when their boat went down near Lesbos. A 20-year-old refugee on that vessel has not been accounted for, state-run radio reported.

This and many similar tragedies have provoked outrage at the gangs of people-traffickers who extort money from desperate people with the promise of smuggling them across to Europe.

The International Organisation for Migration has said over 430,000 migrants and refugees have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe so far in 2015, with 2,748 dying or going missing en route.

Every day thousands of refugees attempt to make the dangerous sea journey from the coast of Turkey to one of Greece’s islands.

If they make it, virtually all continue their trek north through the Balkans, across Macedonia and Serbia, hoping to enter the European Union’s border-free Schengen zone in Hungary and eventually ask for asylum in Germany and other Western states.

If you’re looking for a day out in a different location, travel blogger Natalie Sayin – of – offers a whirlwind visit around the Bodrum peninsula

BODRUM attracts rich and famous celebrities, budget holidaymakers, solo travellers and white collar Turks from the big cities. In fact it appeals to everyone and this is evident from its reputation as one of the most popular tourism destinations in the country.

Credit can be given to its diversity in amenities such as the cheap B&B hostels or the 5-star luxury hotels in Bodrum whose personal services include your own private chauffeur and maid.

While I cannot afford the latter, I enjoy travelling around Bodrum but it is not often that I will stay in the town centre, a pulsating hub of buzzing traffic, large nightclubs, overpriced bars and a marina attracting anyone competing on the social scene.

Instead I visit the lesser-known villages and surrounding holiday resorts belonging to the same peninsula.

While some of them have made tourism the main feature and income for locals, life still seems more grounded, compared to Bodrum town. All are within close distance to each other so if I have tempted you to stray from central of Bodrum, maybe these resorts will appeal.


This is one of my favourite holiday resorts simply because I have never been to another place that is so laid back as this one.

People just don’t seem to care about anything apart from enjoying seaside life and the Aegean sun. Highly favoured by Turkish celebrities, at night-time, the attention is on seaside restaurants serving fresh fish and seafood dishes. If you want to splash out on lobster, calamari, and octopus or king prawns, this is the place to do it.


Having passed through briefly, I have plans to return to Göltürkbükü once my bank balance has significantly improved. The resort, restaurants, bars and hotels are highly overpriced therefore attracting the rich Istanbulites, who just want to splash the cash about!


I have been here twice now and while it does have attributes like perfect windsurfing conditions, there is not much to do apart from sunbathe and swim. It also lacks character and vibes so visit for the day but don’t stay overnight.


Having undergone a massive transformation, Yalikavak now boasts of an advanced marina attracting wealthy yacht owners from around the world but the old town accommodating for the middle working class is just as active and popular with locals and expats.

I have just returned from a week’s stay in Gokcebel that is a small Turkish village within Yalikavak, and along with Gumusluk, I highly praise this area.


This small, hedonistic town attracts mainly British holidaymakers, enamored by the beach, water-sports and themed bars and restaurants making them feel at home by supplying British breakfasts and large screen football entertainment. Some call it tacky, others say it is a perfect family holiday destination.


Sitting next to Yalikavak, this resort is another haven for British holidaymakers and expats. For good reason though because it has a gorgeous beach and sunsets views that are perfect to watch with an ice-cold beer. Despite its growth and expansion over the years, it has a working-class ambiance once you head away from the beach and touristic areas.


A long beach that is impeccably maintained and backed by bars and restaurants make Bitez popular with families and couples. Devoid of a clubbing and party nightlife scene, it doesn’t appeal to everyone but in the height of summer, can get crowded because it is also popular with Turks.

A few other resorts such as Torba and Gundogen might appeal to those who really want to drop off the grid but my suggestion to everyone who can drive is a road trip of the Bodrum peninsula that leads you to stay 1 or 2 nights in each resort. It is the best way to tour an invigorating and active hub of the Aegean coast.

In my opinion, Yalikavak for me is the best choice for a two or three night stay.  

Travel blogger Natalie Sayin – of – has a brush with her artistic side during a painting holiday on the Bodrum peninsula

DRAWING and painting have never been strong talents of mine. I believe I’m a creative person but throughout my life, have never been able to use a pencil or art brush to create pictures worth hanging on the wall. Maybe that is why I drifted towards photography instead, because it seems like all the work is done for you. Continue reading