Altinkum is a small and clicky holiday resort on the Aegean coast of Turkey. It attracted much negative press because of expats who have been swindled out of life savings by unqualified property dealers who saw quick cash to be made during a property boom.
Also a famous American writer visited Altinkum last year and declared that she will never come back because it was not traditional Turkey. Now, I could come out in defence of “Tinky town” as it is nicknamed and ask the writer to define traditional but it is as plain as day that Altinkum has been influenced by British presence.
The facade on offer to holiday makers is far different from the small fishing village that Altinkum used to be. However, the holiday resort has just adapted to what tourists want. Business owners are fulfilling a demand for a bucket and spade holiday. Most visitors to the resort compare Altinkum to sunny Blackpool and they are right. Walk along the beach front and you will see plenty of signs advertising English breakfasts and traditional British Sunday lunch.
Lads working in restaurants come out wearing their English football tops, chanting their latest sales patter in a perfect English accent. Patrick days, Halloween and Christmas are also widely celebrated events in resort. Far from the Turkish vibes that many first time visitors to the country expect. That is Altinkum but there is another part to the small resort, called Didim.
From Altinkum To Didim
Didim is not near the beaches and British restaurants and it has more of a traditional vibe than Altinkum. Wander into a bar and sit on floor cushions while listening to live singers playing Turkish love songs on their guitars. Head to lokantas (restaurants) and grab a traditional meal. Not everyone in Didim speaks English either so it is a perfect chance to practise Turkish.
Didim is classed as the resort centre and it is an important place especially for expats because all amenities and many offices and shops are based there. There are traditional aspects to holidays in Altinkum, you just need to know where to find it. So if I have persuaded you to still give the resort a chance, here is some information to know.
Altinkum Resort Information for Tourists
- The main local market happens on a Saturday near the bus station
- The resort has three beaches, stupidly named First, Second and Third beach
- A marina and funfair are based at Third beach.
- It is worth noting that in high season of summer, the main beach is packed sunbed to sunbed. At these times, consider using smaller beaches on the outskirts of resort.
- Surrounding resorts close by are Akbuk, Mavisehir, Yesilkent and Yesiltepe
- The hottest months are usually July and August when temperatures can reach high 40’s.
- Dolphin Square and 2nd beach are well known for their family friendly bars
- At the end of the long promenade near the harbour are bars and nightclubs which are not for children. The nightclubs stay open till 5am.
- Accommodation is plentiful and includes bed and breakfast hotels, all-inclusive resorts and self-catering apartments.
- Ataturk Boulevard is the main road running through Altinkum and is where everything happens; supermarkets, cash points, bus routes, bars, restaurants, McDonalds, Burger king etc
- Altinkum does have a stray dog problem. There is a shelter who always accepts volunteers that want to help.
- Taxis are yellow and do not run on meters if your journey is within Altinkum. I always thought this was illegal but apparently not so the set price for any route within Altinkum is 15 lira even if you only go 200 metres.
- Local dolmus buses are frequent within summer months. Their destination is listed on the front of the bus.
- The transfer time from Bodrum airport is one and a half hours.
Things to do in Altinkum
- Visit the ruins of Apollo temple at the entrance to Didim
- Book a Jeep safari trip to go through Akbuk
- Jump on a daily boat trip leaving from the harbour
- Visit the nearby town of Soke if you like exploring new areas
- Bafa Lake and the traditional village of Herakleia is 1 hour away
- Visit the best ancient ruins in Turkey called Ephesus (2 hours away)
- The house of Virgin Mary is also near Ephesus
- Miletus and Priene are ancient ruins located less than an hour away
- Dilek national park is near Kusadasi and has plenty of beaches and natural landscapes
- The wine making Greek village of Sirince is a two hour drive away
- Scuba diving and snorkelling are popular in this area
- Have a Turkish bath