This week our Beach Comber blog looks at the 5 best beaches our Panoramic team have been lucky enough to visit this year and gives you an insight into why we like them so much.
Yalikavak Beach, Turkey
Where: Yalikavak is a fishing village located on the Bodrum Peninsula in Turkey. The village has grown into a popular holiday resort but it still retains its traditional charm. The beach runs down the length of the village and although it is fairly narrow there is always plenty of space to sunbathe as it is very long.
Nearby Bars/Restaurants: There are several great bars and restaurants along the seafront. Each of them has their own sun loungers that you can use free of charge as long as you buy the odd drink or snack from the bar that owns the loungers. ‘Sofi’s Restaurant’ is particularly good for food and there are big cushions to chill out on and enjoy a cocktail. Another great restaurant is ‘Dede Restaurant’ which is the first bar you will come to on the beachfront as you approach from the town centre. The staff are friendly here and the music is always good!
Special Features: The use of free sun loungers is a great feature and most of the restaurants along the front also have free WiFi access so you can browse the internet while you sunbathe. There are special platforms that make it easy to get in and out of the sea and also mean you can avoid stepping on pebbles (or sea urchins which are prevalent here!) The proximity to all the amenities in the town mean that you have everything you need close by. In the evenings the sun loungers are cleared to make way for dining on the beach so you can literally spend all day and night on there. Some of the hotels also have floating platforms further out to sea where you can climb aboard and spend a while sunbathing before swimming back to shore!
Go there if: You want a town centre beach with free loungers and parasols. It is also family friendly with shallow shores and calm waters. The Aegean is just great to swim in and it is lovely and clear for those that like to see what is underneath them! You can also watch the super yachts coming in and out of the new marina.
Avoid if: You want to try out watersports. Yalikavak beach is all about chilling out.
Links: Holiday Rentals in Yalikavak
Golturkbuku Beach, Turkey
Where: Golturkbuku is an upmarket village situated on the Bodrum Peninsula. Originally split into two villages called Golkoy and Turkbuku, these joined together to create the millionaires playground that is Golturkbuku. It is a beautiful little bay with a small stretch of sandy beach and manmade wooden jetties that are perfect for sunbathing. From Bodrum just follow signs for Yalikavak and Torba and you’ll find Golturkbuku on the way.
Nearby Bars/Restaurants: The bay at Golturkbuku is lined with bars and restaurants of the highest quality. It’s all about having cash to splash here with food and wine coming at a premium because of the stunning surroundings. Once you get your head around (and as long as you have the money in your pocket) just go with the flow and enjoy living like a superstar for the day. Try Macakizi for a special dining experience.
Special Features: Beautiful people, and lots of them! Golturkbuku is the holiday destination of choice for Turkey’s jet set. The standard of the restaurants and bars here is second to none and the wooden jetties with huge sun loungers on will make for the most comfortable sunbathing experience of your life. Kate Moss holidayed here last year which gives you an idea of the clientele.
Go there if: You have plenty of cash to spend. This is not a cheap day out at the beach. Many of the sun loungers cost around £30 per day to hire and bottles of wine start at around £45 for the house white. There are plenty of watersports on offer too so if you want to try out something fast and furious this is the place to go. Golturkbuku is all about luxury so if you want to feel like a celeb for a day, come here.
Avoid if: You want a family day out at the beach. This resort isn’t really designed for kids. The jetties have ladders to get in and out of the sea which can be awkward. You also won’t find the friendly locals that you get in other Turkish resorts as most do not speak English here as they are used to dealing with Turkey’s rich and famous.
Cabopino Beach, Costa del Sol, Spain
Travel along the A7 coastal road heading in the direction of Marbella away from Fuengirola. After the Miraflores turn off look out for the Cabopino sign post and exit there. Go past the petrol station before following signs for Cabopino beach and marina. There are plenty of free parking spaces although charitable donations are welcomed by the attendants when they are there.
Nearby Bars/Restaurants: The most popular eatery on Cabopino Beach is Andy’s Bar which has a large covered restaurant and bar but also an open air terrace right on the beach. You are sure to find your favourite tipple and bite to eat all at reasonable prices.
If after a full day on Cabopino Beach you are looking for a little more refinement then head over to Cabopino Marina where there are some fantastic restaurants. Julie’s is an eatery famed for its good food and social atmosphere. The terrace seating is the best spot for picking up the late afternoon sunshine whilst watching the yachts bob around the Marina.
Special Features: Cabopino beach is large ensuring plenty of space to spread out. You can either pay for a sun lounger at 7 Euros each for the day or take a spot on the open sections of beach. The loungers are managed by the two beach bars whose waiters will then bring you your food for a 10% fee. Alternatively, you can stretch out along the entire front of the beach as the loungers do not come all the way to the seafront giving you prime position for getting into the sea.
There is also a large open space free of sun loungers where you can set up camp and a few Palm trees even afford a little shade. If you want complete privacy head off into the sand dunes.
If you have landed up at the beach without the kid’s toys then there is a handy shop right next to Andy’s Bar.
If sitting by the sea isn’t relaxing enough then there is often a masseuse tent where you can have all the knots and bumps ironed out.
Go there if: you are a Kitesurfer then this is a great place to get your sail in the sky before heading back for a BBQ on the beach.
Avoid if: you don’t want the obligatory salesmen offering DVD’s, watches, sunglasses etc but even here a cheap bargain can be found if you have left your sun hat back at the villa.
Agadir Beach, Morocco
Where: Although a lively holiday destination, Agadir has also retained its traditional Moroccan culture. Its position on the edge of the Sahara Desert guarantees year round sunshine and balmy temperatures and the 10 kilometres of golden sands are the central focal point and playground for tourists and locals alike.
Nearby Bars/Restaurants: There are a multitude of bars, restaurants, ice cream parlours and coffee shops bordering the entire length of the pedestrianised seafront, offering a huge variety of refreshment from strictly western fare to exotic local dishes, there really are too many to mention but the restaurant ‘Le Flore’ tagines and seafood are a must during your stay. The Marina at the far end of the beach also offers numerous shops and eating places.
Special Features: The wide, spacious sands offer all sorts of options of how to spend your time, hire a sun lounger for a small charge and soak up the sun, enjoy the rolling surf of the Atlantic Ocean which benefits from swimmable temperatures year round, hire a jet ski, take a camel ride, stroll along the beach and admire the stunning “sand art” features, or use the beach as the world’s best open air gym, at any given moment you can spot someone jogging, practising yoga or tai chi among other activities – we’ve even witnessed a group walking backwards (!) the whole length of the beach daily. And when all this activity gets too much just head to the promenade for a well-earned cool drink.
Go there: If you want a beach holiday with an exotic twist.
Avoid if: You don’t want a beach holiday with an exotic twist!!!
Siesta Beach in Sarasota, Florida
Where: Siesta Beach is located in south-west Florida in Sarasota County. Its easily accessed from the Interstate 75 and US Route 41 with a short 5 minute drive from Stickney Point Road and heading north on Midnight Pass Road, Siesta Beach will be on your left with plenty of free parking available.
Nearby Bars/Restaurants: ‘Siesta Beach Snack Bar’ and picnic area which provides freshly cooked burgers, hotdogs, chips, cold and hot drinks, ice creams and more, located between the beach and car parks. To the north end of the beach you will find ‘The Blasé Café & Martini Bar‘ which offers a casual unique dining experience with a variety of appetisers and entrées including seafood, pasta, beef and poultry dishes. To the south of the beach you can go back in time with a visit to ‘Captain Curt’s Crab & Oyster Bar‘ where you can sample an extensive fresh seafood and kids menus at reasonable prices, enjoy casual dining and a few drinks at the outdoor Tiki Bar. There are two menus to choose from with food and drinks served until 2am.
Special Features: Siesta Beach was awarded America’s Number 1 Beach in 2011. It’s no wonder with an impressive 8 mile stretch of breathtaking coastline boasting 40 acres of stunning crystal clear sea and fine soft white quartz sand. The beautiful beach is very clean and facilities include toilets located next to the car parks, wheelchair access, benches on the edge of the beach near sand dunes boasting panoramic views and lifeguard huts overseeing the coastline. You can find a variety of wildlife here and if you are lucky you can spot large manatee swimming just off the coast.
Siesta Key Water Sports as the name suggests provides a variety of activities tailored to you including parasailing, jet skis, snorkelling, sight-seeing, dolphin tours or even a guided cruise of the celebrity homes!
Avoid if: You want to rent chairs and umbrellas as these services are not available. During peak season it can get busy and parking can be tricky as there are 800 free spaces, so get there early.
Go there if: You want space as the beach is huge and if you don’t like getting your feet burnt on hot sand then you are in luck as the fine white quartz sand reflects the light and stays cool under foot.