Altinkum's golden beaches are the main reasons why most travellers come over; shed their inhibitions, and stresses of their 9-5 lives, and simply chill out for a week or two. Sitting on the Aegean coast of Turkey, the small town has attracted a large fan base of people who want to relax and take advantage of the carefree lifestyle but for the more active people, an abundance of things to do and see in the area is also a big lure. Let’s look at what’s on offer.
Water Themes: Scuba Diving, Lazy Day Boat Trips, and the Aqua Park
Fifteen dedicated water sports slots across the resort break up a lazy day on the beach with thrills and excitement. Whether it is a lazy paddleboat, a more vigorous workout on a jet ski, paragliding at Main Beach, or the highly anticipated arrival of the water-spurting jet board, the choice is overwhelming. Over on Second Beach, a dedicated aqua fun park in the sea gains tremendous admiration from kids and adults alike, while Didim Aqua Park, on the outskirts of the town, has many more slides, and other fun water based games to keep kids happy for an afternoon.
Adventurous people should go underwater to enter an entirely new world of sea life and plants, hidden from plain sight. Scuba diving companies with PADI trained instructors sell numerous excursions for beginners to more experienced divers, who also want to complete their own PADI certificate.
Otherwise, one of the best highlights of a holiday in Altinkum is a lazy day's boat trip messing about on the vast Aegean Sea. Small and large boats, located close to Altinkum Harbour, and Main Beach, sell a variety of tours, including a five-bay excursion. Most offer food and alcohol onboard and operate between 8 am and 5 pm. A few boats also sell sunset trips during July and August.
Go Traditional: Belly Dancing, Turkish Baths, Shave, and Food
One of the many inevitable excursions into the nightlife will be a Turkish Night. Whether it be Turkish dancing, karaoke or a spot of Turkish belly dancing. Be ready to get those six packs working, and we are not talking about the beer! Held by most restaurants along the seafront, entrance is free so just enjoy the entertainment. Men who want to look their best for a night out should head to the barber beforehand for a close Turkish shave, that will leave them hairless, smooth and looking like they stepped out of an aftershave commercial.
For those looking to indulge themselves, then an afternoon in a Turkish hammam will enable you to get a Turkish bath, foam down and a massage. However, the highlight is to dive into the local cuisine, and you'll realise that Turkish food is not all about a greasy kebab on a Saturday night! You'll be delighted by pide, meze, and other specialty foods. Dine off the street from any of the corner cafes or enjoy the cuisine in a restaurant. You'll also be missing out if you don't dine at one of the many fantastic fish restaurants in and around the resort.
Dolphin Square is the nightlife capital of Altinkum with its sit-down bars and further along the strip, nightclubs that stay open until 5 am. Families should head to the second beach area for sit down family bars playing friendly games such as open the box, karaoke, and quizzes. During the height of summer, Turkish families also flock to the lunar park at nighttime for rides and fairground games. Otherwise, throughout the summer season, you may just stumble upon a concert or a night market in Altinkum either along the waterfront or even at the Republic Square on Ataturk Boulevard.
Explore the History: Apollo Temple, Miletus, and Priene
The highlight of Didim is the Temple of Apollo, an iconic ruin that stands in its own grounds at the top of the main street, Ataturk Boulevard. Experience a piece of history and discover why it was regarded as one of the most important sites of the ancient world. If that still doesn’t satisfy your appetite for all things historical, nearby the ancient cities of Miletus and Priene boast of ruined theatres, agoras, temples and each has a twisted timeline to be worthy of gracing any good travel guide.
If Altinkum proves too small for you, a minibus or coach out to the neighbouring towns of Bodrum and Kusadasi are just an hour's ride away while the fascinating city of Izmir offers more than you could ever handle in a day. Also, take a day trip over to the Greek islands of Kos and Kalymnos via Bodrum or Samos via Kusadasi. Alternatively, a new service being introduced this season from Didim Marina is a two-night, three-night stay over in Kos, offering a fantastic getaway.
Note: If you want to know more about the area, where to eat, and where to go, look at our extensive Didim Resort guide and area information.