When people tell me that they are going on holiday to Turkey I always hope they are going to discover the unspoilt and original beach hideaways of this fascinating Country, but 9 times out of 10, they are often off to the resorts that are geared up to the plastic expectations that the foreign Tourist Expect.
To the west of Turkey just outside the city of Izmir, sits several beautiful towns that are not only stepped in culture, but also boasts the unspoilt beauty of beaches, with the whitest sand and mint green sea. These beach towns are the secret of the Turkish Tourist and very few Europeans know these places actually exist !
Alacati is such a resort that has can mix the influences of Cath Kidson, Istanbul and Vogue all in one street. With the Turkish Rich and famous making this their summer home, money has not been spared in making this town not only ultra modern but the clever designers have also kept the ancient Greek and Turkish feel still very much evident.
With the Turkish lira quite weak against outside currency, now is a fabulous time to get your adventure hat on and see just what it is that makes Turkey so magical !
We flew into Izmir Airport which is around 40 minutes from Alacati, and this can be reached easily from many European destinations or by flying into Istanbul and getting a 50 minute flight down, which is a no fuss operation. Hire cars are available at a really good rate, but try and book as far in advance as possible to secure the best deal. There are also public buses that run every half hour Direct to the resorts of Cesme and Alacati for less than £10 pp.
Alacati is the home of the famous white stone, and over the last several years many Boutique Hotels made with the stone and in a sympathetic Ottoman design, have popped up all over Alacati. I booked this through Airbnb and got the best rate that I could find anywhere on the internet, it beat Expedia and Hotels.com hands down. This is actually my second time of booking with Airbnb and it will always be my first port of call in booking for the future ! Feel free to use my code and you will get a discounted rate on your first booking !
We stayed in the Daria hotel which was beautiful, the pool was surrounded by Banana trees and was often empty as it only holds several guests, which often spend the day at the beach ( Yippee !)
My only recommendation to staying in one of these small hotels is have a room upstairs, as it can get a bit noisy with people coming in late at night. The breakfast is served between 9am and 11 am and is really worth waking up for, different olives, homemade jams and cheeses are all presented and actually taste as good as they look, a different pastry is offered daily along with freshly baked bread.
Now lets talk Beaches ! With my job as a trolley Dolly, I have been fortunate to visit many beaches on my travels, but and I can honestly say these are the best beaches that I have had the pleasure of visiting ! There are the two main types of beach, the public where you take your own towels and sit for free or pay a bit and get a decent sun bed, good music and perfectly manicured beaches. Our first beach visit was to Dharma Beach club in Ciflikkoy, Cesme. It means a drive on the B roads to get there but when you see the beach, you will be glad that you made the effort !
Entry to Dharma Beach Club is 40 TL each and this entities you to a sun lounger and a Magnum Ice Cream ( I had Chocolate Orange which was the Bomb !)
The sea is super clear and great for kids as it stays shallow for quite a distance, also on the plus side is the fact the beach management do not mind if you take in snacks which is great for parents, as the kids are always starving !
A great lunch time treat for us was an Iced cold Beer served in a frosted glass which some Borek. These little numbers are little deep fried rolls of cream cheese wrapped in a filo pastry and taste flipping fab ! Ice cream is also big on the menu in the seaside towns and I would highly recommend the Nutella or lemon flavour !
Evening time is a very relaxed affair in Cesme, you can stroll along the promenade and decide on which yacht you would buy if you won the lottery, listen to a live acoustic band or just watch the sun disappear. In Alacati though, it is a different affair, The girls are dressed to the nines in the latest fashions, Uber cool restaurant’s are scattered all over the cobble stones and you are swept up in the gentle crowd that passes through the narrow streets.
Our Second beach that we visited is on the upmarket Beach by the Name of Alacati Beach Resort and Spa. Again the waters are crystal clear and shallow. A favourite with the screen and pop stars of Turkey, this is a great place to splash the cash, Entry is available to non hotel guests at around 80 TL. Hammocks, swings in the water and a relaxing atmosphere is top of the agenda at this beach Club and We will make a return visit sooner rather than later.
I hope that I have given you some helpful information and feel comfortable looking outside of the comfort zones of the regular Turkish Resorts, so be brave and tell Marmaris and Kusadasi to Jog on and embrace pastures new !
How about a visit to New York ?