Yalıkavak, Bodrum, Turkey

Yalıkavak is one of the Bodrum Peninsula‘s (map) best resort towns. It’s bigger than most others (except for Bodrum and Turgutreis), but also better-organized and, it appears, better taken care of.

It has its own collection of excellent hotels and inns, in general more tranquil than the hotels in Bodrum proper.

The landmark at the center of town is the pristine white mosque with two tall minarets, visible from most anywhere in town.

Across the main road from the mosque is an ancient cistern now converted to be the municipal art gallery(open free of charge). Near it are the PTT (post office), Zabıta (commercial police), and the Çarşı, or historic bazaar area of the town.

Yalıkavak‘s Çarşı is particularly pleasant, with its white-and-black pebble patterns in the streets, little cafés, restaurants, and shops.

The Çarşı extends from the mosque to the waterfront, where the Şehit Engin Büyüksöylemez Parkı provides a welcome swath of green grass, palm trees, and waterfront restaurants with tables right by the sea.

Look for the historic windmill in the park: a reminder that this was once a small, simple seaside village that made its living from the earth and the sea.

But the main reason sun-seekers come to Yalıkavak is for its l-o-n-g beach of coarse sand and its big bay that always seems to provide a cooling onshore breeze.

—by Tom Brosnahan


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