With a name that translates simply as ‘Golden Sands’, the sun-kissed resort of Altinkum is on Turkey’s south-western coast and borders the beautiful Aegean Sea. With miles of scenic cliffs and picture-perfect sandy bays, it’s easy to see how the region got its name.
The culture here is as varied as the landscape; you can find a mix of historical intrigue and modern nightclubs, traditional food, lively marketplaces where you can haggle for a bargain and a modern shopping centre. You can also experience a rush of adrenaline at the local waterpark, but if you’d rather stick closer to nature then you can spend your time discovering frozen waterfalls nearby. With so much going on, Altinkum is sure to have something for everyone – whether you’re looking for a family trip to amuse the kids, a romantic getaway for two, or just the chance to let off some steam and party the night away.
If you want to explore further, the coastal location means boat trips to nearby islands and towns are a great way to see more of the region – and the Bodrum area sure has a lot to offer! Due to its popularity, Altinkum has expanded in recent years and joined with nearby Didim, which has yet more cafés, bars and restaurants, as well as the ancient ruins of The Apollo Temple, so it’s well worth a visit.
Full of hustle and bustle – not to mention partying – Dolphin Square is perfect for those who want to go out, be sociable and experience how the Turks let their hair down. There’s a great selection of restaurants, bars and clubs from Irish pubs to Turkish bars and karaoke venues, many of which are open until the small hours. For something more low-key, there are also plenty of family-friendly haunts, and the option to take a seat along the promenade and watch the world go by.
The province that’s merged with Altinkum following the areas’ expansion over the past few years also has a lot to offer. There’s a charming Saturday market, with fresh food and produce if you’re feeling peckish, as well as jewellery and copies of designer handbags, sunglasses and much more, making it the perfect place to test out your haggling skills.
Further south, Gundogan is more suited to those looking to relax and get away from it all. There’s a beautiful, laid-back beach and harbour area dotted with seafront restaurants and cafes, where you can watch boats come in and out. Away from that, the town is surrounded by pine woods and tangerine groves, prime for afternoon walks where you can really get back to nature.
Explore ancient ruins
You don’t need to go far to find The Apollo Temple, an impressive structure in Didim which was once the largest sanctuary used by the Ancient Greeks. Much of the structure and decorative details can still be seen to a fascinating degree. A little further afield is Ephesus, the second largest ancient site in the world, where you can see a well-preserved Roman city and gain an insight into what life used to be like.
Splash around in an aqua park
A sure way to delight kids and big kids alike is a trip to the aqua park in town, which is full to the gills with pools and slides. If you want more, Adaland aqua park is in day-tripping distance, and its 25 acres are home to more than 20 water rides to keep everyone amused for hours.
See the frozen waterfalls at Pamukkale
It’s down to this town’s mineral-rich thermal waters that have caused some awe-inspiring natural wonders. In addition to hot springs, there’s a waterfall of white terraces, each holding a bright blue pool of water. It’s unlikely you’ll have seen anything quite like this before.
Relax on Main Beach
At 800m long and located in the town centre, Main Beach delivers on size and convenience. While it’s an understandably popular destination, there’s more than enough beautiful golden sand for everyone and lots of food options with the row of restaurants that back onto the strip. You can also find banana boats, glass-bottomed boat tours and doughnuts for hire. The shallow sea is also ideal for little ones to paddle and splash about in.
With influences from east and west, Turkey combines the best of both worlds for some of the most exciting and tasty dishes you’ve ever tried. Share mezze with friends, indulge in a kebab that’ll put the UK’s late-night snacks to shame, and don’t forget the baklava – sticky, flaky pastry treats you’ll never forget.
Restaurants in Altinkum
If you’re hungry, a failsafe place to go is Altinkum’s promenade, situated next to Main Beach. There are traditional tavernas, which can be relied upon for a proper taste of Turkey. Think stuffed vine leaves, falafel, grilled halloumi and much more – all sure to please a range of taste buds.
A holiday to Altinkum has something for everyone. You can party all night to the very latest Turkish house music, try traditional dishes after exploring the area’s history, haggle for trinkets in the local market, or even try your hand at watersports before relaxing on the beach.
With easyJet you can book your hotel and travel together, saving time and money! Want to see what else this corner of Turkey has to offer? Have a browse of our other Bodrum area destination guides – they’re bound to tempt you to book a trip.