Didim, The Aegeans Corner of Paradise


On August 11th 2006 I excitedly set off for my first ever trip to Turkey. It was in fact my 46th birthday and I was going on a solo adventure. I knew nothing about Altınkum, Didim until I came across it on the internet and read about how lovely the weather and beaches were and that property was very cheap there. So, it was mainly due to those 3 things that attracted me to the then, little known seaside town of Altınkum.  And by the way, Altın-kum means ‘Golden Sand’ and if you’ve never had the pleasure of visiting, if you ever come, you will soon see why it’s also know as the Aegeans Corner of Paradise due to its historical and natural beauties and has some of the most beautiful coasts of the Aegean.

Prior to my departure to Didim, I had contacted a property developer and had arranged with them for one of their drivers to pick me up from Bodrum airport and to stay in one of their holiday apartments for one week. Then, the day after my arrival, and over the next couple of days they would show me their properties that were for sale as well as the plans for their upcoming projects. After the first couple of days of viewing property, plans and discussions I was left to enjoy the rest of the week and to ponder on my thoughts of buying or not. Now it was time to discover, explore and enjoy the beach and night life!

Although the apartment I was staying in wasn’t particularly close to the sea, it was easy enough to hop on a dolmuş minibus that took you all the way. I was pleased to find out that I could even get on and off anywhere along that route and the price was very cheap too, back then only one lira, though you might not always get a seat. I soon found out that the mini-buses were running until 2am in the morning so you could stay out late for the entertainment and still get a ride home. And if you were out clubbing at one of the night clubs after 2am there were plenty of taxis available too. All that is pretty much the same now in 2021 all except the price of the Dolmuş minibus ride which is now 4 lira.

The View Of Altınkum's Lustrous Aegean Sea On September 23rd 2021

In the evenings along Altınkum seafront, I found it difficult to choose which restaurant to use as all of them had a friendly boss or staff waiting at the entrance to their establishment eager to take your hand and entice you inside where the aroma trailing from each kitchen was equally exquisite. And since I didn’t know any Turkish language back then it was a relief to find out most restaurant staff spoke a certain level of English. I also noticed how well they treated families with children and went out of their way to make sure everyone was happy and even entertained the smaller children.

All in all, my first week of experiencing Turkish food and hospitality was a very positive one that I would happily return again for. And the beaches, so many beautiful beaches with golden sand, some with shingle and some without and gorgeous clear blue sea. When you experience this stunning Aegean coastline it will make you want to return again and again. And if you are wondering, yes I did buy a property after returning to England, and waited patiently until January 2008 when it was built and ready before I could go back to put the furniture in. I gave Power of Attorney to the property agent before returning to the UK so everything could be handled while I was out of Turkey.

Maybe you’ve given some thought about moving or retiring abroad somewhere and Didim could be just what you’re looking for? Since the town’s population is increasing year after year, due to people choosing to move here, the Construction and Real Estate industry is thriving and continues to grow due to the demand for residential property, summer holiday homes, luxury villas and commercial buildings. The poulation has doubled since I bought my property in 2008 from approx. 46,000 to now (13 years later) approx. 86,000 and is still growing. It does include Akbük, Mavişehir and other surrounding close areas.

There has been many positive changes in Didim since my very first visit which I can proudly say, one of which is the magnificent D-Marin Didim Marina that opened in 2009. It is most probably the best thing that has been added to the town and has brought much tourism, quality, value and a touch of luxury to the area. Also, with today’s technology of drone video and professional photography, D- Marin Marina has spectacular aerial and panoramic views that give a superb impression for business’s in the area and personal use when using in content creation and personal album memories.

D-Marin Didim, is one of the largest luxury marinas in the Eastern Mediterranean and is a first-class home base for yachts and super-yachts entering the magnificent Aegean Sea. Everyone is welcome in the D-Marin Didim Yacht Club where you can spend the day relaxing by the pool, take a dip, enjoy a choice of breakfast, lunch, snacks and drinks from the day menu and evening meal from their evening menu accompanied with soft jazz or contemporary music. Or, you can spend your day relaxing at Blue Point Beach Club, their other classy venue offering drinks & snack menu, special lodges and a sunbathing capacity of 150 people, evening DJ performances and special events.

If you ever come to Didim Altinkum, I highly recommend that you visit the Marina and Yacht Club as you’ll soon realise why I love to spend time a lot of time there, and sometimes I even take my laptop and use it as my ‘office’ for the day. The café and restaurant serve high quality food and drinks and give a top-class service. I have enjoyed eating English breakfasts, Turkish breakfasts, many lunches, coffee’s, iced coffee’s, sunset dinners with wine and I’ve recently held a business meeting there too! A great place to enjoy any celebration as well and why not make use of the hotel Spa and Beauty Centre while you’re there too! It really is one of my favourite places in Didim.

D-Marin Didim Marina


I often enjoy relaxing at D-Marin Didim Marina Yacht Club


Altınkum Beach in 2009


Altınkum Beach (Altın-kum means Golden Sand). Isn't it beautiful!


5 Bay Boat Trip in 2009


My son swimming in the sea at one of the 5 Bay stops on the Boat Trip in 2009


Café Del Mar Restaurant (sadly no longer there)


Café Del Mar & Restaurant (2009) was very popular, especially for sunset dining


Altınkum Beach 2021


Looking across from one side of Altınkum Bay to the other in June 2021



The very first thing you should do after arriving in Didim is book yourselves in for a Turkish bath (hammam), before you go to the beach and get sunburnt! For a more longer lasting tan you should always prepare your skin by having the sauna, scrub and foam massage at least. But, it’s even better if you combine it with a mud face & body mask followed by a full body oil massage. So now, not only will you be feeling totally relaxed at the start of your holiday, your body will be glowing and fit for the beach. There are heaps of Hammam’s to be found in Altınkum and if you’re staying in a hotel you could ask the receptionist to recommend and book it for you. You’ll get free door to door service I believe in most cases. Otherwise, if you don’t see any on your walk-about ask a tour operator or any restaurant staff member as I’m sure they will be able to advise you.

There are 3 popular beaches in Altınkum; main beach (which is the central beach) 2nd beach and 3rd Beach (also known as üçüncü köy). Sunbeds and umbrellas can be rented at a reasonable price for the day and there’s a choice of 2 water sports providers, Onyx Water Sport and Baran Water Sport (at each end of the main beach), offering Parasailing, Paragliding, fast fun out on the speed boat, Jet Ski rentals, Banana Boat and Water Skiing. Water sports can also be found on 2nd and 3rd beaches too. There are also some lovely busy and quiet beaches to be found in Didim Akbük and Didim Mavişehir.

If you don’t want to bring a picnic to the beach you’ll be relieved to know that at various intervals throughout the day, there are many cheerful sellers of drinks and snacks scouring the beaches calling out what they have on offer, helping to keep your hunger at bay. And I believe some of the cafés & restaurants are equally happy to be of service to you while you relax and soak up some rays.

Maybe, if you fancy being a little more extravagant, there are some Private Beach Clubs along the seafront which you will pay to enter their platforms that extend over the water, and where you can enter the sea without walking on the sand, then relax on their more luxurious sunbeds and cushions to the sound of soft music. There’s also a more sophisticated menu to satisfy your hunger and a more extensive range of alcohol from the restaurant bar, should you wish to indulge.

Apart from relaxing and having fun on the beach or Beach Club there are many boats offering daily 5 Bay Boat Trips departing from the old fishing harbour from 10.30am & returning by 5pm. Although the price for this trip has always been, and still is £10 since the first time I visited Altınkum in 2006 and before, the exchange rate has steadily risen the Turkish Lira price from 25 lira to now 100 lira in 2021. This price includes lunch though you will pay extra for your drinks and snacks during your time aboard. Some boats offer a free pick-up service from your apartment or hotel, and if someone in your group has a birthday or other celebration be sure to tell them before the day of the trip so they can make any preparations if needed.

As well as sunbathing and enjoying dancing to the loud English and Turkish ‘pop’ music you will be able to swim at each bay stop for around 30 minutes and these days I’ve also seen a speed boat that comes up to the boats while stationary, asking if anyone would like to take a fun15 min ride (for a fee), so there’s that option too while out at sea on the boat trip. Also, an ‘Ice Cream’ speed boat visits the boats at various intervals asking if anyone wants to buy ice cream and hot corn-on-the-cob. Most of the boats are fun party boats with loud dance ‘pop’ music and foam fun, though there are quiet boats for relaxation too, one of which is aptly called ‘Siesta’ boat.

Towards the end of the season there are usually some ‘sunset’ boat trips a few evenings a week right up until the end of October.  But this year, during the month of November ‘21, there were still people asking for boat trips as the weather had been mostly hot and sunny during the day time, so some boat owners agreed to go out twice a week providing there was a minimum of 30 people.

Evening entertainment in Altınkum has largely been music, live music and dance orientated in the bars and restaurants between the Turkish Bars and the Bars and Restaurants catering for the British where the ‘bar boys’ will dance to a routine they make up and sometimes included their audience in the dance routine too. Turkish Nights with traditional Turkish food and Turkish dancing, including oriental belly-dancing where the woman would encourage men and women to come up and try belly dancing. Other entertainment is often Bingo, Quiz and Karaoke and Drag/Comedian night.

A few photos of the boat trip

Before you set off for the beach or boat trip get scrubbed up! 🙂


Setting off from Altınkum at 10.30am.


August Boat Trip 2021. The boats are much better these days than a few years ago.


Swimming at one of 5 Bay stops


Having a swim at one of the 5 Bay stops


Foam Fun Dance Time


Relax and sunbathe to soft music on non party boat


Captain for the day! (Ok, just for fun, lol)


ONYX Water Sport Altınkum Beach


Onyx Water Sport evening time in Altınkum


Belly Dancing during a Turkish Night in summer 2008


Belly Dancing during a Turkish Night, 2008


An Evening at Altınkum Seafront in Early September 2021

Day Trips and Tours

There has been for many years, and still are a vast selection of Türsab Registered Tour Companies in Altınkum, all mostly offering similar if not the same types of 2,3 and 4 day tours and day trips and generally all around the same price range. Most of them offer return private airport transfers and shuttle bus to and from the 3 nearest airports, Bodrum, Izmir and Dalaman. You may even find some that offer car rentals too, though you’ll notice there are numerous Car Rental Firms scattered around Didim all with a similar price range.

However, if you plan to visit many museums and archeological sites by yourself, you may find it beneficial to purchase a 7 Day Museum Pass for The Aegean costing approx. 185 liras, as it allows you entrance to all Ministry museums and archeological sites in the Province of Izmir, Aydın and Muğla, which cover, Aphrodisias, Bodrum, Çeşme, Didyma, Ephesus, the city of Izmir, Marmaris, Miletus, Priene, Sardis, and others.

Take note that Hieropolis (Pamukkale) and Laodicea are not included in the Aegean Pass, since they are in the Province of Denizle. Only the Museum Pass Turkey allows you access to those sites.

Local Day Trips you can take with any one of the Tour Companies and visit the following places;

1. Apollo Temple – situated in the Hisar district of Didim, the 2,300 year old Apollo Temple’s columns have just been restored and is considered as one of the best preserved Temples of antiquity.

2. Miletus – was an ancient Greek city on the western coast of Anatolia, near the mouth of the Maeander River in ancient Caria. It’s ruins are located near the modern village of Balat in Aydın Province, Turkey. There is a lot to see here since it covers a vast area so you’ll need to spend at least 3 hours to see and enjoy it’s beauty.

3. Priene Temple of Athena – was an ancient Greek city of Iona located at the base of an escarpment of Mycale, about 6 kilometers north of what was then the course of the Maeander River, now called ‘Büyük Menderes’ or Big Maeander.

4. Şirince (wine) Village (near Kuşadası) is a charming place tourist often make a beeline for since it’s well known for it’s fruit wine produce amongst other hand made arts and crafts.

5. Ephesus (Izmir) is an ancient city in Turkey’s Central Aegean region, near Selçuk. It is said to be the most important Greek city in Ionian Asia Minor.

6. Virgin Mary House – Is a Catholic Shrine located on Mt. Koressos in the vicinity of Ephesus, near Selçuk.

7. Dalyan – Is a bit further afar though well worth the trip. You’ll enjoy Caunos first, then a Boat trip with magnificent views, a mud bath and see the turtles.

8. Pamukkale – Is also a bit further afar and well worth the trip. It is known for it’s mineral-rich thermal waters flowing down white travertine terraces on a nearby hillside and much more besides.

9. Adaland Aqua & Dolphin Park in Kuşadsı is another favourite for families of water lovers and a great day out.

10. Horse Safari – Enjoy seeing the beautiful Turkish countryside on horse back, spend time riding along the landscaped trails or have a lesson.

11. Jeep Safari – This trip is a must for those adventurous at heart and who wish to enjoy stunning views and scenery off the beaten track, while having fun in an open top jeep.

12. Mavişehir Night Market – Browse around the many stalls where you can pick up so many bargains, if you dare to haggle as you should. Afterwards, you can take a walk along the sea front and once you smell the delicious food coming from the row of restaurants you’ll want to dine with a fresh fish dinner while watching the beautiful sunset. Mavişehir is well know for enjoying a Romantic dinner by the sea while watching the sunset.

13. Scuba Diving – If you’d like to explore the underworld of the sea, be sure to book your dive in the incredible crystal clear waters of the Aegean Sea.

14. Bafa Lake Nature Park – I can highly recommend a visit here, not only for the stunning views of the Lake itself but for it’s history. Bafa Lake is one of the most historical lakes around the world. You can see prehistoric pictures on rocks, visit ancient ruins, tombs, monasteries and so much more.

15. Private Boat Rental for the day to enjoy the local areas off the coast of Altınkum and visit the bays for swimming, just for you and your friends or family, which usually includes lunch though, you’ll just pay for extra snacks and drinks.

16. Fishing Trip – Any lovers of fishing will be pleased to hear they can book a boat fishing trip if they wish for local fishing and again lunch is included in the price, but further snacks and drinks are extra.

17. Boat Charters are also available for any occasion and I believe there are quite a few to choose from.

18. Kuşadası Market Trip – is where you can pick up some fantastic bargains and have a local lunch with a delightful sea view.

19. Didim’s new project ‘Open Air Theatre,’ (or ‘Amphitheatre’ as it is being announced, though as it is only a semi-circle like a Roman Theatre, I would call it an ‘open-air theatre’) is still being built (close to Luna Park fun Fair near to 3rd beach) as I write this information and is due to complete in April, 2022 ready for it’s first open air concert.

I guess you’ll agree, there’s plenty to keep you occupied for at least 3 weeks!

Apollo Temple Didim


Apollo Temple Didim


Apollo Temple Didim


Apollo Temple Didim


Apollo Temple Didim


Me At Apollo Temple Didim


Harabe Restaurant opposite Apollo Temple Didim










Me at Miletus


Typical Traditional homes in Şirince Wine Village


Narrow Cobbled Streets are mainly what you'll see in Şirince Village


The Village and the surrounding views are magnificent especially while you enjoy a drink or meal in a café


Inside The Church


You'll see many quality locally hand crafted goods which you can buy


Local hand crafted goods which you can buy for souvenires


So many picturesque areas here for taking scenic photos & flowers can easily be found for headwear


So many adorable areas here for taking scenic photos


While in Şirince Wine Village, you will of course notice the shops that offer ‘Wine Tasting’ and be able to purchase your favourite choice. If you attend Şirince with a guided tour they will take you for the wine tasting during your trip.

Pamukkale means ‘Cotton Castle’ in Turkish and is a natural site in Denizli Province, south-western Turkey. The area is famous for a carbonate mineral left by the flowing of Thermal Spring Water. Known as Pamukkale or ancient Hierapolis (Holy City), this area has been drawing visitors to its thermal springs since the time of Classical antiquity.

Turkey's Pamukkale Thermal Calcium Pools for healing and Ancient Hierapolis. ?


Tourists Enjoying The Calcium Pools At Pamukkale


The Beauty Of Pamukkale


Have you visited this gorgeous mineral spa-bath?


Pamukkale is known for the hot springs and the ruins of the Roman city of Hieropolis.


Pamukkale at Sunset


Adaland Aqua Park Kuşadası


Adaland Aqua Park Kuşadası


Adaland Aqua Park Kuşadası


Bafa Lake Nature Park


Fishing Boats at Bafa Lake Nature Park


Bafa Lake Nature Park


Sunset at Bafa Lake Nature Park


Bafa Lake Nature Park


Bafa Lake Nature Park


A Boat Trip to a Secluded Beach on Bafa Lake Nature Park to Enjoy Swimming

Bafa Lake Nature Park


Boat Charters Available From The Marina


Didim’s Markets Are Where You’ll Haggle For Bargains!

Another popular place locals and holiday makers like to visit is the covered Saturday Market or otherwise known as Cumartesi Pazarı. You can buy all sorts of fresh and colourful fruits & vegetables, cheeses, olives, olive oil, pure honey and honey on the honeycomb, fruit extracts, a large range of spices, sweets and more. There’s also a variety of clothes from babies outfits right up to clothes for the elderly, such as; underwear, sports outfits, children’s casual and smart outfits, party dresses for girls, hand embroidered linen, bedding, night wear, women’s & gents clothes, shoes for all, outside and inside, sandals, slippers. kitchen items like pots and pans etc. and plastic and wooden tools and other small nick nacks. Even you’ll see hand carved wooden items such as small tables and chairs, kitchen utensils and souvenirs, plus stalls with jewelry, evil eye souvenirs and lamps. Turkey’s Pazar’s, sometimes also known as Bazar’s (market’s) are still the place where you can haggle the price, and they like to haggle so don’t be afraid to try it.

As well as the Saturday Market near the bus station there’s now a Monday Market on the other side of town and a Wednesday Market behind the Town Centre Mosque, all selling practically the same produce. Though, only some veg stalls offer large open mushrooms and even then only sometimes, so you’ll mostly only see closed button mushrooms. I have never seen fruit such as blue berries at the Saturday Market, but when I visited the Monday Market recently, I noticed one stall holder selling sloes at 30 lira for 1 kilo, though I thought they were blue berries at first. Not a bad price I think! I also saw the large open mushrooms and Momordica Charantia, a spiky orange fruit with red seeds.

I have also recently learned that there is a Sunday Market at the same location as the Wednesday Market, but only for everything second hand, like clothes, toys, tools, furniture, etc.  At least, if you missed the Saturday Market there’s either one of the other’s or both you can visit and don’t forget there’s the nightly Market in Mavişehir where you can haggle a few more bargains, then make your way to the sea front where you can enjoy a romantic setting, dining with a fresh fish dinner watching the sunset. A marvelous way to end your day.

Saturday Covered Market


Saturday Covered Market




Autumn Vegetables


Clothes Section


Monday Market set between houses in 3 streets in a residential area


Blueberries Only at The Monday Market


Momordica Charantia Orange Fruit With Red Seeds at Monday Market Only


White Chanterellus Wild Mushrooms at Monday Market


Jarrahdale Grey Pumpkin


Kitchen Utensils


An Abundance of Olives at the Monday Market


An Assortment of Clothes


Recent news I came across surprised and excited me at the same time. It was announced publicly earlier this year (April ‘21) though I didn’t know anything about it until October ‘21, about a proposed ‘amphitheatre’ being built in Didim, near to Lunar Park and the 2nd Bay by 3rd Beach. There will be seating for 4,000 people with stunning views over the Aegean Sea and is one of the pledges the Didim Mayor, Deniz Atabay made at the last election. After searching on google for further information about the proposed ‘amphitheatre’ I came across an article by Glenn Maffia in the ‘Turkish Archeological News’ where he talks about Didim’s Mayor not understanding the difference between an amphitheatre and a theatre and that he should by now have changed the wording since the plans of the construction clearly shows a diagram of a semi circle as in the Roman Theatre style not the Greek horse-shoe style Amphitheatre.

I went past the site on Tuesday 9th November, ‘21, and could see they had started on the project. The information board informing the public of the construction had not been changed as I could clearly see the plan image of a semi-circle and the word ‘Amfitiyatro.’ I’ve not seen any finish date as yet but I’m guessing it could be ready by next summer season 2022. I think it should be classed as an Open Air Theatre not Amphitheatre. What are your thoughts? Open Air Theatre or Amphitheatre?

If you’ve enjoyed reading all about Didim, Altınkum and would like to visit for a long or short holiday here are some links to help you with searching for hotels, private boats/charter and day trips & tours. You can also send me a message if you’d like me to assist you in arranging your holiday.







Didim's New 'Open Air Theatre' Due to Complete in April, 2022


Didim's New 'Open Air Theatre' Due to Complete in April, 2022


Didim's New 'Open Air Theatre' Due to Complete in April, 2022


Didim's New 'Open Air Theatre' Due to Complete in April, 2022


Didim's New 'Open Air Theatre' Due to Complete in April, 2022


Didim's New 'Open Air Theatre' Due to Complete in April, 2022