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A Visitors Guide to Altinkum, Turkey

Located on the Aegean Sea, on Turkey's south western coast, Altinkum is a resort town of about 30,000 people. While less well known than many other Turkish beach resorts, Altinkum is increasingly popular with British, Turkish, and other European visitors seeking a little sun, sand, and pleasure.

Altinkum History

The natural beauty of the area has drawn people for millennia: archaeologists have found evidence of settlements dating back to the Stone Age in the area. Altinkum is an outgrowth of the town of Didim, known as Didyma in Hellenic times. Didyma was revered by the ancient Greeks and was home to one of the most famous oracles in the islands, as well as a great temple to Apollo. Didyma was destroyed by the Persians in the 5th century BC but later rebuilt by Alexander the Great.

Temple of Apollo

Temple of Apollo, in Didyma

In more modern times, Didim's importance declined and it became something of a sleepy backwater while nearby towns like Bodrum and Kusadasi grew into major resorts. However, overcrowding in those areas has driven vacationers to seek alternatives, and Altinkum villas and hotels have shot up in popularity as travellers rediscover the town, aided by newly improved roads. Today, Altinkum is the perfect place for a family beach vacation, as well as a destination for travellers who don't want to be exposed to Bodrum's frantic nightlife.

Things to do in Altinkum


Markets in Altinkum and surrounding towns are a great way to experience a bit of Turkish life.

Altinkum means “Golden Sands” in Turkish, and those sands are still the area's main attraction. Altink

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um features three beautiful beaches only a short walk from the town centre. The waters are warm and clear in the way only the Aegean can be, and the sheltered location means the water is relatively calm, making it an excellent swimming spot even for children. If you want to explore the water more thoroughly, you can rent a canoe, jet ski, or pedal boat, or get some scuba equipment and go diving. Sun beds and umbrellas are available for those who prefer to stick to the beach.

Many tour agents also offer daylong boat trips through the islands of the Aegean, where you can swim, dine, and enjoy the pleasures of being at sea. A ferry also runs to the nearby Greek island of Kos.

There are many opportunities to sightsee for history lovers. One popular site to visit is the ancient Temple of Apollo in Didyma, only a few minutes' bus ride from Altinkum. Though damaged by time, earthquakes, and plundering soldiers, the Temple is still an amazing sight. You can also take a day trip to Ephesus, one of the best preserved Hellenistic cities in the region, as well as the shrine where the Virgin Mary is said to have lived until her Assumption.

Shoppers will enjoy the village market held every Saturday in Didim, a busy place where you can get great deals on local crafts, Turkish carpets, and more. Be ready to haggle, though!

Costs and Accommodation in Altinkum

Like most of Turkey, Altinkum is still reasonably priced. Turkish villas in more popular areas can get costly, but in Altinkum you can expect to pay about £150 to £500 ($230 to $800) for a week in a villa, more if you want absolute luxury. Hotel rates range from £15 a night for the absolute in simplicity to £100 a night or more at the top-end hotels.

Altinkum has something to offer almost everyone. Book early for the busy summer season and you'll be assured of a fun, unique, and memorable holiday!

Image Credits:

Medusa: Courtesy of Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/25921232@N02/3859157745/
Temple of Apollo, Didyma: Courtesy of Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sockrotation/5606666194/
Market: Courtesy of Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/e-basak/6041767470/