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Yalıkavak, Bodrum, Turkey

Last Updated on November 2, 2023

Yalıkavak is one of the Bodrum Peninsula's (map) best and most famous resort towns located 18 km from Bodrum. It's bigger than most others (except for Bodrum Center and Turgutreis), but also better organized and, it appears, better taken care of. The reason for this is that Yalıkavak is a place that can be called very luxurious. With its marina opened in recent years, it has made quite a name for itself and increased its reputation.

Yalıkavak is famous for its windmills (yeldeğirmeni), as is Gündoğan. Look for the historic windmill on the seaside: a reminder that this was once a small, simple seaside village that made its living from the earth and the sea.

It is also known for its honey (bal) and citrus fruits (narenciye). In Bodrum, sponges (sünger) are an important commercial source of income. It is even said that the most famous sponge divers (sünger avcısı) came from Yalıkavak in the past, which made Yalıkavak's sponges known.

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

The Beach

But the main reason sun-seekers come to Yalıkavak is for its long beach with 200 meters of coarse sand and its big bay that always seems to provide a cooling onshore breeze. It has a clean blue flag sea; it is preferred by families with children as it gradually deepens. The sea is cool enough to relax you on hot summer days.

You can choose private beaches to swim in Yalikavak, Xuma Village is the first place that comes to mind when it comes to entertainment by the beach in Bodrum.

You can also swim free of charge from the public beach. There are sunbeds and umbrellas on the public beach, so if you go early, you will be more likely to find empty sunbeds. There are also many cafes and restaurants around.

Pafla Bay, Tilkicik Bay, and Agaçbaşı Bay are the leading coves (koy) that you can visit and swim in the surrounding area.

Yalıkavak is also an ideal option for windsurfing as it gets very windy.

Yalıkavak Marina

The first place that comes to mind about Yalıkavak is undoubtedly its marina. This is one of the biggest and most important marinas in Bodrum. You can see magnificent yachts in this marina, which has been renovated and opened in recent years, you will not be able to stop yourself from dreaming while watching dozens of anchored yachts. But this marina accomplishes more than just its function as a marina, as it is also like an open shopping mall. 

Many of the big-name luxury brands (Channel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Dior, etc.) have large and very beautiful stores here. Tourists love to do fancy shopping in the marina. There are very nice restaurants with branches in various parts of Turkey such as Cook Shop, Kitchenette, Big Chefs, Happy Moons, Nusret (Salt Bae's restaurant), Mezzaluna, and Günaydın and there are also very luxurious places such as Navikov Restaurant which is a Russian restaurant serving Italian food. Apart from these gourmet restaurants, there are also cafes like Café Nero in addition to bars and clubs. 

In other words, it is possible to find something that will appeal to everyone in the marina, despite its stylish atmosphere. In place of luxury stores, there are also the kind of stores you can see in other shopping centers in Turkey. 

It should be noted that there is also an exchange office in the marina.

Yalıkavak Marina can be very crowded, especially in the evenings, but there is always a difference between the daytime and evening environment. Both Turkish and foreign celebrities come here frequently.

What to Eat

Yalıkavak Pazarı

Yalıkavak Pazarı (Market), which is very famous on the peninsula, is established on Thursdays (perşembe) in Yalıkavak. This place is also popular with tourists because it offers the opportunity to experience the most delicious things from this region. You can taste otlu börek (herb pastries) in the market, and you can't easily find gözleme (traditional Turkish pastry) made from ebegümeci or eggplant (patlıcan) anywhere else.

Best Restaurants

One of the best places you can choose for both dining and entertainment is Kavanoz Yalıkavak which serves both a shabby atmosphere and delicious cocktails that accompany it. The view at sunset is incredible. 

When it comes to exquisite dishes from world cuisine in a luxurious environment, Morena and Inari at The Bodrum Edition Hotel and Kurochan by IOKI at Mandarin Oriental Hotel are at the top of the list. 

If you want to taste the grill culture and eat delicious meat, Fiko Ocakbaşı is the place to be. If you want to eat fish, one of the most famous fish restaurants in Yalıkavak is Memedof. 

AltÜst Yalıkavak is your go-to place for cocktails and appetizers.

Pilevneli Yalıkavak is a place you must visit, both with its exhibition and its restaurant.

Arka Ristorante & Pizzeria, which also has a branch in Bodrum Center, is the right address for a good pizza.

To experience a Turkish breakfast (serpme kahvaltı) where many kinds of breakfast products such as cheese, olives, jam, eggs, pişi (Turkish pastry), and sausage (sucuk) come to your table, you can visit Sefte Bahçe or Asmalı Çardak. 

Lodging

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

There are both all-inclusive concept hotels and boutique hotels that only serve breakfast. You can also rent a villa or apartment for your Yalıkavak holiday.

Transportation

Traveling by car in Bodrum is always a better choice. Although there is a parking problem and parking lots are expensive, it may be more enjoyable to take a car to explore Bodrum better. It takes about 8 hours (696 km) to get from Istanbul to Bodrum by car. From Ankara to Bodrum, it takes about 9 hours by car (713 km). From Izmir, you can reach Bodrum by road in 3-4 hours (242 km). 

If you want to go to Bodrum by plane, you need to use Bodrum Milas Airport. You can reach the city center from the airport by buses called HAVAŞ. You can choose the minibusses (dolmuş) to go from the center to Yalıkavak, it only takes 30 minutes without the traffic. Of course, you can also go directly from the airport by taxi.

You can also come to Bodrum by intercity buses. After getting off in the center of Bodrum, you can take the smaller buses that will take you to Yalıkavak in 30 minutes.

—by Melike Kocaer

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