Yalikavak in Bodrum is an absolute prize gem. There are four main streets, windmills, a beach front and a harbour however the vibes buzz around town make you feel laid back and ready to adopt the easy way of life. For many decades, the former fishing village relied heavily on British tourism as the primary source of income for locals. Then foreigners started buying property in Yalikavak, and it became an expat haven. However, fame beckoned when the state-of-the-art marina turned it into a top-notch sailing destination of Turkey.
Suddenly, rich, famous, and influential people from around the world descended on Yalikavak. Indeed it is not unusual to see the odd Saudi prince, prominent Russian business people, or models like Kate Moss. Don’t think the town sold out its cultural heritage, though, because numerous delights await visitors.
About Yalikavak in Bodrum
How to Get to Yalikavak
Yalikavak sits on the western Aegean Bodrum peninsula and officially belongs to the Mugla Province. Bodrum – Milas Airport is the nearest airport, but travellers also use Izmir, although this is further away. If travelling from other places in Turkey, by car, reach Yalikavak via the main D330 highway. Otherwise, cross-country buses arrive into main Bodrum town, and from there, catch a connecting bus to Yalikavak. Also arrive via the main marina, or check current ferry services from Greek islands.
Best Time of Year to Visit
This purely depends on your intention for visiting. The official tourism season runs from May to October when pools open, and businesses set up beaches with umbrellas and sunbeds. Suppose you like touring, though. The months of July through to September get quite hot. So instead, look to visit between October to January or April to June. The rainy season on the Bodrum peninsula typically happens from January to February.
Where to Stay in Yalikavak
Yalikavak is home to plenty of hotels, but hire a luxury villa if your budget stretches that far. Since the introduction of the marina, local builders changed the real estate market with private houses, all with their swimming pool and garden. Otherwise, if you opt for hotels, look for one near the marina or the main beach with fantastic views.
Beautiful Beaches in Yalikavak
Yalikavak delivers in abundance with a wide range of surrounding beaches, although the central one in town is often the most widely used. Rent sunbeds and umbrellas and restaurants on the promenade serve lunch and refreshments. Otherwise, also look at surrounding bays and coves but also beach clubs like Xuma. These usually charge an entrance fee but include many places in the shade, and some offer daytime entertainment during the high season. Finally, don’t forget that the more prominent Bodrum peninsula is a long coastline, offering miles of sand. Many other beaches like Yalikavak and Gumusluk are within a short bus ride away.
Old Part of Town
When I want to experience traditional Turkey in Yalikavak, I head to the harbour district in the old part of town, where Yalikavak’s traditional windmills sit, and cobbled streets are home to traditional tea houses. The harbour restaurants also serve a delightful range of mezes and fresh fish and seafood. I promise you will not be disappointed.
Upmarket Yalikavak Marina
For fine, upmarket dining, head to the Yalikavak marina, with roughly twenty restaurants including Nusret, the chef who is famous for large steaks and a sprinkling of salt. Otherwise, Sait is known for its fish dishes, especially swordfish, monk, and red mullet. The other thing the marina is known for is high-end shopping with international and Turkish brand names.
Local Markets in Yalikavak
For a traditional Turkish shopping experience, head to the local markets, of which there are two. The Tuesday market will suit self-catering travellers as it sells fresh fruit, vegetables, and dairy products. In contrast, the Thursday market is the place to buy souvenirs, clothes, household goods. However, regardless of which one you go to, eat some Gozleme from one of the little stalls. It is to die for.
Also Visit Nearby Gumusluk
Just a 20-minute bus ride away, Gumusluk has a quaint charm and rustic vibes, offering the best on the Bodrum peninsula. If you head visit during the day, catch a glimpse of Rabbit Island, the prominent landmark; otherwise, Gumusluk excels in seaside restaurants. The vibes of sitting there on a summer evening feasting on fresh calamari and octopuses’ salad are fond memories of mine.
More Travels through Turkey: As much as I love Yalikavak in Bodrum, it is also worth seeing other places in Turkey. Browse the Turkish travel blog for more ideas of where to go and what to do, attractions, culture, and history.