So much snow had fallen in the UK that we decided to take off for a few weeks to the beautiful seaside resort of Yalikavak in Turkey as they had been experiencing a very mild winter with little rain. It may not be the most obvious choice for a winter break but we’re glad we did it…
Flights from Glasgow Airport to Milas Bodrum Airport
With no charter flights available I opted to fly KLM via Amsterdam to Istanbul then internal from Istanbul to Bodrum. Red eye check in, then through security onto the flight. There was spacious seating on board, courteous staff, coffee and breakfast served and 1.5 hr. later we arrived in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam Airport is a great place to spend a few hours. It has plenty of shops, cafes and restaurants. With KLM you can choose optional flight times, which will allow you the day in Amsterdam – 20 minutes away by train. After a leisurely coffee and a browse around shops 2 hours later it was time for flight to Istanbul which took 2.5 hr.
On arrival at Istanbul the Visa office is located prior to customs with baggage collection nearby. The International and domestic airports are connected via a 10 min walk. The domestic terminal has easy check in desks and numerous cafes both outside and around the gates. Signs are in English. Then we boarded our easy 1 hour flight to Milas Bodrum Airport. The new and improved airport has easy baggage collection and the last leg of the journey was straightforward and hassle free. The car hire company was waiting outside with a name plaque and one hour after touchdown I was in Yalikavak .
The time taken to get to Bodrum was much the same as if I had travelled to Glasgow Airport to catch a charter. The benefit of schedule was more comfortable travel, no extra costs for food and drinks; and a generous baggage allowance is given on flights. With KLM / Air France / BA and Turkish airlines now operating flights to Istanbul its unlikely I will travel charter again. Its easy to book internal flights in Turkey via Turkish airline or AtIas Jet. You also have the option of a stopover in the fabulous city of Istanbul for a few days.
Winter in Yalikavak
Yalikavak in winter is much more quiet than in summer season, although there are quite a few restaurants and bars open and the supermarkets for shopping. The local market is open on a Thursday for fresh fruit and vegetables and clothing. Buses run a reduced service into Bodrum with the last bus back at 10pm.
The winter weather is an improvement on Scotland as well; the past week the weather has been mixed with bright sunny days around 12 – 17 degrees Celsius. We have enjoyed lunch a few times down by the marina and enjoyed an early evening beer watching the sun set. It is by no means sunbathing weather but far more pleasant that the UK in winter.
Winter time is when the Turkish residents develop the resort in time for the summer season and we have noticed much more building work going on including a new supermarket has opened next to the small dolmus station which will be handy for holidaymakers.
We took a day trip into Bodrum yesterday and were walking around with our jackets off enjoying the sunshine. It was busy down by the marina when we stopped for lunch. We met a few other Europeans who stay here over winter, as the weather is milder. The vast amount of shops, bars and restaurant are open as usual. Ferry trips are still available to the islands of Kos and Rhodes although most ‘touristy’ trips are closed.
I am pleased we decided to come here for a few weeks as the atmosphere everywhere you go is very relaxed, prices have reduced, the weather is much like a British summer, you never know what you will wake up to! The evening does see the temperature drop much lower but a good sweatshirt is enough to keep out the cold. From driving around Yalikavak, Turgutreis, Bodrum and Bitez, it would seem life goes on at a much slower pace during winter. Turkey is a great choice for some winter relaxation and a chilled out atmosphere.