With the current high exchange rate and the economic difficulties in Europe, there has never been a better time to holiday outside of Europe. With a limited budget countries as far afield as the America or the Caribbean were strictly off limits. After discussing with a group of friends we decided that Turkey would be the ideal place to spend a week in the sun. None of us had ever been to Turkey but all had heard good things about the weather, the accommodation, the entertainment and the history of the country. Using icelolly.com we finally settled on Altinkum as our prefered resort.
Upon arrival in the area we proceeded with dropping couples and families alike at their hotels. This gave us the perfect chance to observe the area we would be calling home for the next week. We found strips of shops, bars and the occasional disco. After not too long a coach journey we arrived at our Hotel which we were worried was a little too far away from any of the local facilities. After settling in and having a thoroughly deserved sleep we awoke refreshed and ready to explore. We realised very quickly that we were just 3 minutes walk from the beach and strip. For the whole length of the resort there were bars, restaurants and shops aplenty. Being June there wasnt a huge number of people so every one of these establishments were really keen on your custom. The people were all very friendly, although a few did seem to be a little too pushy, sometimes grabbing your arm and literally dragging you into their bar/shop etc. Some adopted a no hassle approach which we greatly appreciated and encouraged us to frequent them more than the more pushy establishments.
As day turned into night the place completely changed and came alive. Loud music, Turkish dancers and Karaoke replaced the sun bathers, light drinkers and relaxing restaurants we had came across during the day. This is exactly what we came looking for. A little further exploring the next day and we found the highlight of our holiday. A private beach with a flotilla stretching out into the Aegean sea. This was part of a bar/restaurant and after a Turkish breakfast the proprietor said we could have free access. We spent all day here and were waited on hand and foot. We went back several times and found the whole experience very enjoyable.
A visit to Turkey wouldnt be complete without experiencing some of the local culture. A Turkish bath and shave were a great experience and a trip to Ancient ruins at Ephasus was a day I will never forget. There are many places where you can book trips to local events and places of interest. The best piece of advice I can give is to make sure the guide is fluent in English and as importantly knowledgable on the place you are visiting. Thankfully a little homework before we went and a book helped me to cover over the horrendous lack of knowledge our guide possessed. In conclusion. If you are looking for a 1830's style holiday then this isnt for you. If you want a cheap holiday, to relax through the day and come alive at night then you will love Altinkum. I will certainly be back one day and will be recommending the area to anyone who cares to ask.