Yalikavak in Turkey is set to be an even more popular holiday destination for 2014. Find out why families, locals and the rich and famous are flocking to the Bodrum Peninsula to visit this beautiful fishing village for their holidays.
Yalikavak has always been a fantastic place to holiday but in 2014 it really is going to be the THE place to be. Located on North West coast of the Bodrum Peninsula, Yalikavak started out as a quaint fishing village with most of the locals relying on fishing and sponge diving for income. Now Yalikavak is one of the most important and upmarket tourist resorts on the Bodrum Peninsula with high quality restaurants, blue flag beaches, numerous shops and cafes and a weekly market that is the largest on the Peninsula. Yalikavak is continuing to rise in popularity and according to national newspapers like the Daily Mail and glossy magazines like Marie Claire that have all published articles about this beautiful village, this is set to continue.
Summer 2013 saw the opening of the magnificent ‘Palmarina’ in Yalikavak, a state of the art marina filled with super yachts owned by everyone from George Michael to Giorgio Armani. The marina is heaving with designer shops, world class restaurants and the extravagant ‘The Billionaire Club’ owned by Formula 1 big wig Flavio Briatore. The marina is going to open up Yalikavak to a whole new crowd and you need to be there in 2014 to experience it!
Amenities: Despite its relatively small size Yalikavak has excellent amenities. The centre of the village has narrow cobbled streets that are lined with gift shops, cafes and restaurants. Many of the local men tend to sit in this more sheltered area and enjoy afternoon coffee and games of dominos. As you walk towards the old fishing port and the beach you will find everything is aimed more at the tourist market with well-presented restaurants, beachside bars and shops selling the usual sunglasses, bikinis and bucket and spades.
Yalikavak has an excellent choice of places to eat. Whether you want Indian cuisine, traditional Turkish dishes or an English breakfast you will get it here and the chances are it will also be of good quality. Some of the restaurants in the town that are worth a special mention are the Kosede Steak & Wine House for fabulous steaks; Dede Restaurant for Turkish casseroles; Cardakli for freshly caught seafood and delicious mezzes and The Secret Garden for the best breakfasts in a lovely setting. There are too many good restaurants to mention.
The town has plenty of cashpoints and many of the bars will also offer competitive exchange rates if you want to change money there. Most of the restaurants also have free WiFi if you need to get online while you have a drink.
The beach is quite long and narrow but there are lots of loungers that you can use for free if you just buy refreshments from the bar nearest to your bed. There are platforms to help you get into the warm Aegean Sea and the clam waters are great for swimming. If you like to work out then there is an outdoor gym located just along the beachfront promenade and it is a great place to jog down at the seafront.
After dark you can sit and enjoy a drink in Terras Bar that overlooks the old fishing port or try out Karaoke in Zorros that stays open til late.
Palmarina is located just 10 minutes’ walk from the centre of the old town and here you will find restaurants, patisseries, cafes, art galleries, children’s play areas (and waterpark!) and much more. You will generally pay more for food and drink on the marina but it is worth it if you want to soak up the atmosphere here or enjoy a special meal. Sait is a particularly good fish restaurant in a fantastic setting on the marina.
If you have money to spend then head to the Lotus Beach Club where you can lounge on giant sunbeds, swim in the stunning infinity pool that seems to run into the sea, enjoy the Jacuzzi and sip on delicious cocktails. You can hire a lounger here for around £30 per day.
After dark there is only one place to be seen on the marina; The Billionaire Club. The club opened in 2012 with a spectacular firework display and guests that included Heidi Klum and Naomi Campbell. It really is the epitome of excess and drinks are incredibly expensive here but if you want to party like a celebrity there is no other place to be. It has an open air dancefloor, state of the art sound system and Turkey’s most beautiful clientele.
Activities: A great way to explore the little islands that lie just off the shore of Yalikavak and see more of this stunning coastline is to take a boat trip from the old port. You can hire a boat just for your party from about 400TL (depending on the size of the boat) or you can go on a larger boast with other holidaymakers that works out a little cheaper. The boat trips include a cooked lunch and you can buy water, soft drinks or beer on-board. Trips leave at about 10am every day and return around 6pm so it is a long day but it is very relaxing and jumping off the boat into the turquoise sea is amazing.
On a Thursday the market comes to town on the main square, just a few minutes’ walk from the centre of the village. There are hundreds of stalls selling fruit and veg; handbags; sunglasses; jewellery and anything else you could imagine. Make sure you have your haggling head on you if you go and you can really pick up some fabulous bargains. It is worth a trip there just to soak up the atmosphere.
Bodrum is only around 20 minutes’ drive from Yalikavak and the Ortakent Waterpark here is a great day out. Despite being one of Turkey’s oldest waterparks the slides are all in good condition and the large wave pool is great fun.
Yalikavak is great for shopping, particularly if you want to pick up some unusual homewares. You will see the pretty coloured glass lanterns or lamps made from hollowed out vegetables almost everywhere in the village and they can be bought for a very reasonable price. There is an art gallery in the town located just across from the mosque and you can buy some lovely pictures here. There is also an ‘Art Alleyway’ just near to the old marina. The night market takes place on most nights over the summer months and you can buy pieces of jewellery and leather goods here.
Find out more about Activities in Yalikavak.
Despite Yalikavak becoming somewhat of a millionaires playground it is still managing to retain its charm and it is a great family holiday resort. There is a great choice of accommodation around the resort from 1 bedroom apartments to 5 bedroom luxury villas and is plenty to do to suit all budgets.
If you get a chance try and explore the Peninsula. Gumusluk is a pretty seaside village and World Heritage Site where you can dine by the shore and dive into crystal clear waters. Gulturkbuku is another cosmopolitan resort around 15 minutes’ drive from Yalikavak with trendy beach clubs and spas. Local dolmus buses run very regularly from the square in Yalikavak and these are a cheap way of getting around and about. You will not regret booking a holiday in Yalikavak in 2014.