Altinkum & Didim – History of the region
Didyma (Didim in Turkish) was a sacred place from the 8th century BC it was actually the centre of the city of Milletos which had a spring and sacred grove. Didyma actually means twins and was associated with the meeting place of Leot and Zues to have their twins Apollo and Artemis.
In ancient times Didyma was on the edge of the sea and followed a shore road, on either side where statues of lions, priests of the Temple of Apollo.
Artemis Temple has a total of 124 columns, many of which are still standing today. In the spectacular grounds are still fragments of the rich decorations including the famous head of Medusa.
The temples were destroyed by the Persians in 494 B.C. then rebuilt by ALEXANDER THE GREAT’s orders.
The Temple of Apollo was a major monument is its day, however now not much of this Iconic temple remains.
Today this ancient city and its ruined Temple of Apollo, is located 2.4m(4km) inland from very popular holiday resort coastal town of Didim, population of 35.000. This small town’s earlier Turkish name was Yenisher but in 1991 when that name was dropped and the town name as Didim assigned, according areas historical name.
Didim is in Soke a district of the province of Aydin and situated on the south-west Aegean coast of Turkey, between Bodrum and Kusadasi
Didim is the “Gateway to the Land of Oracles”, where tourists can visit famous sites such as the ruins of the Temple of Apollo, which is the only major historical point of interest in Didim itself, and the other of ancient Ionian cities of Miletus, present-day village of Yenikoy and Priene, present-day village
Didim was nothing but a small village 20 years ago but now it has become one of the major holiday vacation centres in Turkish Aegean Sea coast. Tourism is the main source of income for the area, especially in summer, but agriculture is also an important contributor, the main crops are wheat and cotton.
Didim has no airports but is easily accessible from both Bodrum and Izmir Airports. This year 2012 sees the opening of the new International Terminal in Bodrum.
The airport has taken two years to build and will have an annual capacity for 5 million tourists to pass through the doors, state of the art security, and capacity to take jumbo planes, a total of 66 check in desks.
In anticipation of the new airports the infrastructure of the area, has been developed to cope with the increase in traffic, reducing resort transfer times.
A few minutes away from Didim is the resort centre of Altinkum.
The town of Altinkum is situated on the Aegean coast of Turkey, 56 miles north west of Bodrum. It is positioned in a lovely bay backed by some gently, rising hills. Although relatively small at present, the resort is fast growing as its popularity increases. The resort front is entirely pedestrianized, and currently being repaved in marble, making the walk along the promenade a more upmarket experience. Altinkum has mainly British patrons, although it is very popular with the Turkish during their own holiday period. There is also an old town centre about a 20-25 minute walk from the resort seafront and is primarily used by the locals. The town centre also has a selection of shops and restaurants.
Altinkum translated means “Golden Sands” – what an appropriate name! There are 3 Blue Flag Beaches, a prestigious, international award scheme which acts as a guarantee to tourists that a beach or marina they are visiting is one of the best in the world. They all slope gently and are very safe for families with children. The main beach curves round the beautiful Altinkum Bay creating two further beaches at either end of the resort. You can lie and soak up the sun on a sun bed or stay cool under an umbrella (both of which are available at a reasonable cost). There are a wide variety of water sports located on Third Beach such as Jet Skis, Water skiing, Windsurfing, Banana Boat Ride, and, for those who think that holidays should be at a more sedate pace, Pedalos.
The main resort shopping centre is Dolphin Square, near the centre of the resort front. There are also a large number of shops on the seafront. All the shops are open late at night when the area becomes its liveliest. This is your opportunity to pick up a real bargain, especially if you are good at haggling! If you fancy designer clothes but can’t normally afford them then many good copy designer items are on sale. If you are looking for jewellery then you will find that the quality of the gold here is excellent with the prices much cheaper than in England.
When shopping for provisions, there are several supermarkets, which cater for most people’s tastes, having a wide variety of well-known food, toiletries and kitchen goods. There are also a number of smaller shops that have a wide selection of provisions.
If you love markets and haggling, then visit the great selection of markets, Altinkum on a Saturday, Soke on a Wednesday, Akbuk on a Friday, and every night in the summer months Mavisher market
Opened in May 2009 the $50 million Marina with a capacity for 623 berthed yachts and 600 yachts in dry dock, a yacht lift, shopping centre, supermarkets, yacht equipment shops, a fitness centre and sports facilities, swimming pool, barks, a petrol station, restaurants and a cultural centre. The Marina is seen to many as the future of Altinkum.
During the summer months the empty dry dock is used for concerts for all age groups, free to all the people in the local resort.
Both the Yacht Club with lovely infinity swimming pool and restaurant and bar area, and beach club, both housed in the marina complex are open to the general public at a very reasonable cost, well worth a visit.
More designer shops are moving into the marina area, and there is planning permissions currently in process for five 5 star hotels in this area, and a golf course.
Again 2012 will host several sailing regattas, and one day it is expected to host a Sailing Federation Cup race.
There is a great selection of restaurants to choose from in Altinkum – from fantastic Turkish dishes to traditional English food. However, most international cuisine is catered for here. Most prices are shown in Sterling and many restaurants and shops are happy to accept payment in Sterling. There are numerous bars where you can sit and just watch the world go by. If you fancy a boogie, there are several discos and in the height of the season the resort is very lively. You will find many bars serving snacks, all reasonably priced, throughout the day.
The local buses, which are mini buses (dolmus), are very cheap and run regularly around Altinkum. There are also good transport connections from Altinkum running regularly to Kusadasi and Bodrum. There is a daily ferry service to Bodrum where you can catch a high speed catamaran to Kos or Rhodes, if the fancy takes you.
If you love traveling by boat, then why not take a boat trip to visit nearby bays and go snorkeling. There are many beautiful bays to visit along with the joy of swimming in the crystal clear waters. You can also go by speed boat across the bay to Yalikavak in High Season.
You can go further afield a visit to famous ruins of Ephesus, the site made up one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, and houses the temple of Artemis goddess of fertility.
Pammukkale is also another ancient wonder to visit, a steep hillside covered with a series of chalk-like waterfalls. If you want to indulge, you can bathe in the thermal pools nearby, or stay overnight in one of the thermal spa hotels.
For the kids (that includes most mums and dads!!) there are two Aqua Parks, one smaller one just outside Altinkum/Didim (about 20-30 min car journey) and one just north of Kusadasi, which is the largest in Europe. You won’t need to mortgage your home to spend a great day here!
Overview of the local areas in Altinkum
Is an extremely popular, well established, residential area ideally situated between Ege Caddesi and Ataturk Bulvari. In walking distance of supermarkets, all services and amenities. Restaurants in this area offer an excellent choice, for those nights you don’t fancy the stroll into Altinkum itself. Though property available in this area are now mostly re-sales, there are still some new-builds available. This particular area is attractive to the potential renter because of its proximity to Dolphin Square, and easy access to the main resort area.
Avcilar Çükrü (known locally as Hunters Valley)
A fairly quiet area of Didim located behind the Police Station, and 5-10 minutes walk to ‘Dolunay Beach’ (formerly known as second beach). Property prices in this area reflect its location, within walking distance to the various bars and restaurants that come to life in the evenings.
Yesil in Turkish means green, and this is definitely one of our greenest areas. A village within a town set just around the coast from Altinkum, Yesilkent is very popular with the ex-pat community who have made Didim their permanent home. With sympathetic architecture, and unspoilt scenery, this is considered to be an Elite area of Didim.Most properties in this area are Villas with their own gardens, some having pools though as Yesilkent has its own fabulous beach, a private pool is not a necessity.
Yenihisar means ‘Newcastle’. This is the old town now known as ‘Didim’. The infamous Saturday market is located in the old quarter of the town where you can buy almost everything from grapes to goats. There are a lot of new properties being built, these are larger than those in the resort area, as they are built with the family in mind. Central for everything, yet only a short bus ride into the resort itself.
Roughly translates as new neighbourhood, and that exactly what this is. The fastest growing residential area of Didim. Popular with both local and foreign residents. In a central location close to all amenities and services, banks and supermarkets on your doorstep – yet only a short stroll into the main resort area. Apartments are on the larger side, and designed for more permanent living.
Designed for permanent living, close to schools, creches, supermarkets, and local amenities. Not too far out of the resort (walking distance is about 20-25 minutes), yet far enough to make you feel part of the local community. Apartments and duplexes in this area are very reasonably priced, as well as being slightly larger than the average holiday home.
‘Blue Town’ aptly named as it sits on the edge of the Aegean Sea. In an idyllic location between the Temple of Apollon and Didims latest tourist attraction the ‘Aqua Park’, Mavisehir boasts numerous sandy beaches and coves. Once only known to Turkish holidaymakers, it is fast becoming popular with foreign residents wishing to re-locate and purchasing holiday homes.
It comes to live in the evening during the main summer months, with its very popular night markets. There is not much of a beach here, but a lovely front to stroll along.
The lovely small Turkish resort of Akbuk is one of the best kept secrets of the Aegean shores, offering some of the cleanest air and spectacular beaches many properties here have stunning views.
There is a small harbour and promenade with small bars and restaurants along offering more traditional Turkish food and entertainment, this is the hub of the small resort.
The bay of Akbuk stretches some 11 kilometres with the stunning backdrop of the Kiran Mountains and amazing forest areas, the waters here are shallow and non-tidal and crystal clear, the water often changes colour sometimes it’s clear blue another day it is truly turquoise.
The dolmus runs through frequently, and provides a good service to the larger resort or Altinkum.
A short distance away from both Altinkum and Akbuk is Bafa Lake, passed by everyone transferring from Bodrum Airport, the lake always looks amazing and vast no matter what time of the day you pass it.
There are several small restaurants are scattered on the water’s edge, and the only thing happening here is fishing on the lake there is no sign of tourism here. The area is a must for wildlife enthusiasts