I’ve just returned from a very enjoyable week in my favourite holiday resort ever; Yalikavak on Turkey’s Bodrum Peninsula. I have been there for the last 3 years and I never tire of the beautiful Aegean Sea views, great restaurants and friendly locals. Yalikavak has its own narrow beaches along the promenade in town and most of the loungers here are free to use as long as you keep yourself refreshed from whichever bar or restaurant you lay yourself in front of. However, we decided to venture out of town for the day and find another beach to relax on nearby. After asking the locals which beach was the best within easy reach of Yalikavak the unanimous answer was Golturkbuku (or Turkbuku as it is sometimes referred to.)
Loaded with beach towels and sun cream to fend off the 38 degree heat we caught a taxi from central Yalikavak to Golturkbuku. The taxi was 70TL (around £25) each way for a 20 minute journey. You can catch the local Dolmus for a fraction of this price but in the sweltering heat no air conditioning was not an option! The drive to Golturkbuku is an enjoyable one. Like many of the drives along the Bodrum Peninsula you pass lemon and olive groves and the sight of the turquoise Aegean Sea is never too far away. You do have to brace yourself for Turkish taxi drivers as road rules here tend to be non-existent!
As you drop down into Golturkbuku you are met with the sight of luxury yachts and speed boats bobbing along the coast and white villas sprinkled on the hillside. The taxi rank is right on the front so you only have to walk a few minutes to reach the beach, bars and restaurants. One thing that is immediately obvious as soon as you arrive in this small resort; it is not the place to come if you don’t want to spend money. As you reach the front after the taxi rank you turn right over a small footbridge and you are met with several luxury beach clubs. Each has its own wooden decking positioned over the sea with loungers and huge day beds available for rental. The beach here is really just a narrow strip of pebbles so you have to choose one of these wooden decks to lounge on. Sun beds here can cost around £30 each per day but a local informed us that choosing one of the bars that lie to the right of the bridge means prices are lower; we paid £10 each per lounger which was a considerable discount but not cheap by any means.
We spent the morning lazing on our deck and taking dips in the sea to cool off as temperatures soared into the high 30s. After a few hours we decided to try out one of the watersports on offer on the beach. There were 4 of us and we decided to ride on what is essentially a huge round sofa pulled along at high speeds by a speed boat. The ride was 40TL each which we thought was reasonable considering the length of the ride and how much fun we had. The wealthy holidaymakers relaxing by the sea may not have appreciated the hysterical screaming and laughter disturbing their day but we had an amazing time. It wasn’t quite so much fun the next day when we couldn’t move our arms after gripping on so tight!
After our invigorating (to say the least) ride we decided to go for a cool glass of wine in one of the beach bars. The wine list was extensive but our budget only allowed for us to opt for the cheapest bottle of Sauvignon Blanc which was still 102TL (about £35.) It was nice to sit in the shade of the bar surrounded by huge white umbrellas listening to chill out tunes and seeing how the other half lives but after 2 bottles of wine we decided to head back to Yalikavak for another bottle which was more within our budget!
Golturkbuku is a beautiful resort with luxurious beach clubs and amazing hotels. It is full of wealthy Turkish families holidaying from Istanbul and it is undeniably a fantastic place. However, you need to have the cash to enjoy somewhere like this and if I’m honest I couldn’t wait to get back to Yalikavak where it is just as beautiful, the people are not pretentious and the sun loungers are free!