Just back from a terrific holiday in Turkey. Yalikavak, on the Bodrum penninsula is very pleasant, quietish resort: we have been twice and rarely re-visit resorts but our first experience of the place two years ago was marred by a poor hotel, the Ali Baba which has changed management and now gone exclusive. The resort itself appealed and it was why we went back having been made to feel very welcome.
The Windmill Otel was a welcome place to stay this time around: it has no airs and graces, but the pool area and bar are great for time to relax (Barney the hotel’s van cat will almost certainly say hello at meal times but will otherwise ignore you); the rooms are basic but if you’re on holiday, how much time do you spend in one anyway—and all have A/C if needed.
The staff are great and the Scottish co-runner is forthright, lovely lady, Pat, is very helpful. The hotel also benefits from being off the main drag which means it’s less noisy although noise does carry a little from the bar area at night and by September abandoned dogs (people from Istanbul just leave them in resort when they go home) can occasionally kick up quite an early morning chorus in response to the call to prayer. Definitely much better than Ali Baba!
As to the resort: this is not a quiet rural resort like Cavus, where we have stayed before in Turkey, but neither is it as tourist-filled as Bodrum. The local shops sit nicely with some tourist shops and there is a good mix of restaurants to suit any pocket, from the Chumbali (posh) to tapas from the Kosedes. With a big Brit and Irish ex-pat population there are a couple of restaurants given over to British menus; of these we had no problems eating at Mustis, a steak house, even though we prefer the more traditional restaurants like the Half Ada (sadly, this will probably not be there next time we visit). In terms of cost places like Mustis are more expensive but generally we paid around 30 lira tops for a meal at the Half Ada, although we did not drink much alcohol which always brings the price of a meal down! Other recommended restaurants are the Seyir – a fish restaurant near the recently-built marina we did not try but several locals say is good; and the Ali Baba, not to be confused with the hotel of the same name. The Three Brothers is a good place (or was this year) for lunch and late night drinking.
Locally there are some good walks including a two kilometer hike to the deserted village of Sandima – deserted that is apart from a couple of artists who have a galery there that is well worth a visit and an old man who still luves there who refused to move to the coast with the rest of his village!
If you’re travelling with a tour company, Thomas Cook was much better than Manos in our experience: our organised trip to Ephesus and Pammukkale this year was one of the best I’ve ever been on abroad (despite the obligatory carpet factory visit!). Getting around the Bodrum peninusla should be fairly easy by dolmus although be aware that you have to go to Bodrum first by dolmus before going anywhere else.
Local trip wise, you can make a trip to the Greek island of Kos pretty easily, by hydrofoil or ferry – the crossing only takes about 25 – 30 minutes in good weather.
Comics-wise: a lot of US underground reprint as well as a smattering of European strip. No British reprint that I could see (although I have had e-mails from publishers in Turkey with reprint enquiries).
All in all a wonderful holiday, a friendly resort and the usual wonderful Turkish hospitality. Thank you, Yalikavak!
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