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Friday, 17 September 2004
Yalikavak, Turkey 2004
Just back from our first 'proper' holiday in five years -- Turkey again but this time it was Yalikavak on the Bodrum peninsula. Been to Cavus and Cappadocia in the past.
We went with Manos, enduring the torture of two night flights in a week and the most ludicrous system of transfers I have ever had to suffer. Fortunately I was not one of many who had to wait for over an hour in a car park in the middle of Bodrum, in the middle of the night, waiting for said transfer. There were a lot of disgruntled people about.
Yalikavak is advertised as a 'quiet' resort but it's nowhere near as quiet as Cavus.
That said it was not really noisy -- there are no discos in the town, although there were several bars. It's probably one of the best Turkish resorts I've ever been to in terms of range of restaurants available and as usual the Turkish hosts were very friendly.
Personally, of those we tried I would recommend the Half Ada, Mustis and a fish restaurant on the quay whose name sadly escapes me but served the best calamari I've ever had. It's right next to an excellent patisserie.
We stayed at the Hotel Ali Baba which is fairly big. If you ever go, I'd advise not staying in rooms overlooking the main street which despite offering a great view of the bay, can be very noisy. It also was far from the levels of cleanliness we've experienced in Cavus but staff were friendly enough when you could find them!
There are several trips offered by both local operators and Manos, including Dalyan (tremendous fun slapping mud everywhere), Ephesus and Pammukele. However, don't expect Manos to tell you anything about any more accessible antiquity sites, their rep was too busy trying to get us to go pub crawling in Bodrum. Not their finest moment!
We would definitely visit this resort again. There are many good hotels not listed by Manos such as the Windmill and the Hotel Miray which are both medium-sized hotels off the main street and pleasantly located. Because of rumours floating around that Manos and Air Tours are considering pulling out of the resort, we checked both of these out -- room prices at the Miray are 25 pounds per night. The hotel is of a comparable size with the Ford and the Atici in Cavus
Windy weather prevented boat trips, although plenty were on offer -- it was quite funny having Turks complain about the cold while we're still sitting supping an Efes in a t-shirt wondering what they're on about!
There are some souvenir shops in Yalikavak (one stocks glass goods from Dalyan that is simply stunning) but if you want a larger range then take the dolmus into Bodrum during the day (if you want the Turkish equivalent of Blackpool go in the evening!).
Stray cats and dogs were very apparent. I don't know if Cavus has the same problem it used to have with cats but we have come across this local charity -- http://www.bodrumhayvanhaklari.org/sahipsizeng.html -- (with links to others in Turkey) offering neutering services etc. It's one of the first such groups to get off the ground in Turkey but has been operating for about three years.
Personally, having experienced for the first time just how bad the end of season can be for both cats and dogs (dogs are culled in Yalikavak), with kittens aplenty in evidence that are unlikely to survive the winter, I think such campaigns deserve support.
Yalikavak was not Cavus but it is the kind of small size resort many in this group may find appealing.