Once a month Marina Kikanovic, wife of basketball international Elmedin Kikanovic writes for “Megalopreneur” about the most famous destinations she has had the opportunity to visit so far. Telling our own experiences about culture, fashion, gastronomy… Bachelor of Laws and Master of Energy this time takes us to the Aegean region of Turkey
The coastal area is one of the most developed in Turkey. In addition to cypresses and olives, vines are also grown here. The main tourist centers of this region are Bodrum, Didim, Fethiye, Kusadasi, and Marmaris.
Bodrum, the seven wonders of the ancient world
The Bodrum Peninsula is located on the west coast of Turkey and has a distinctly European atmosphere. Bodrum lies on the southwest coast of Turkey, on the coast where the waters of the Aegean mix with the Mediterranean Sea. It is only an hour’s flight from Istanbul, and halfway between Marmaris and Kusadasi.
Bodrum has a very significant history. According to many, it is not an ordinary summer resort, but a place where history and culture meet. Herodotus is believed to have been born right here. Bodrum is also the site of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and is now home to one of the most prestigious museums of underwater archeology, housed in the restored Bodrum Castle. The Turks have always been known as good traders, with an abundant and varied offer and, of course, the first price is never the last. Bodrum in Turkish means basement, something that is at the very bottom. In reality, however, Bodrum is at the top of the rankings of Turkish and world tourism.
This is a destination where you will completely relax, and that means having a good time. Bodrum combines elegance and luxury with tradition and history. If you choose to stay here, this resort will pleasantly surprise you.
In the tourist centers, too, there are many opportunities for eating, shopping, and entertainment. While you’ll probably find yourself on vacation in Bodrum, there are two things you shouldn’t miss. The amphitheater in Halicarnassus is the best-preserved ruin, also known as the Bodrum Ancient Theater. Visit him or, if you have the opportunity, watch a show on his summer stage.
It is bounded by the crystal clear part of the Aegean and is only 20 minutes away from the nearest Greek island of Kos. From Bodrum, you can book a guided tour to the nearby island of Kos, at a very reasonable price. In addition to a trip to Kos, just two hours’ drive from Bodrum is Ephesus, home to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, which has been a place of pilgrimage for many tourists for centuries.
“Trattoria La Scarpetta” is a wonderful restaurant if you are a fan of authentic Italian cuisine. It is located on the rooftop terrace of the Swissotel Resort, which offers an incredible panoramic view. Here you can enjoy a fairytale sunset, watching the rays disappear on the horizon behind the contours of the Greek islands.
Restaurant “Zuma” is a glamorous restaurant located in the western part of the marina Jalikavak. Celebrities here are often seen guests, above all the owners of luxury yachts, which are anchored in the marina while they sip a drink and enjoy the specialties of this restaurant next to the infinity pool. Here you can enjoy, above all, Asian specialties and great cocktails. This luxury world restaurant chain was first opened in Istanbul, then expanded its network to Bodrum, where you can visit it during the summer season.
When it comes to fish restaurants, I would recommend the “Zahmetsiz Balik” restaurant. Here you can try specialties that you will not find in other places such as Balik kokorec or Balik manti. Also, I suggest you visit some of these fish restaurants: “Orfoz”, “Sait”, “Memedof”, “Garo’s” and “Miami”.
The beaches in Bodrum are suitable, in addition to swimming, diving, and snorkeling. The most beautiful beaches are separated from the city noise and crowds and most of them can be reached by boat or local bus. Bagla beach is considered the most beautiful beach of Bodrum, 13 kilometers from the city, and is located on the south coast. Sailing enthusiasts are recommended Gumbet, and in the fishing villages Turgutreis, Jalikavak, and Gumušluk you will find many beautiful beaches. I recommend a visit to the beach Bitez. Some of the most beautiful hotels in Bodrum are: “Rixos Premium Bodrum”, “The Marmara Bodrum” and “Vogue Hotel Supreme”.
Fethiye, one of the most beautiful places for paragliding
Throughout history, this city was called Telmesos and was one of the most important cities of Lycia. Telmesos was a city with a large number of cultural and historical monuments, and even today we have numerous remnants of Lycian culture in the form of sarcophagi on the streets. The Fethiye region is generally considered to be the place with the most beautiful beaches in Turkey. Dalaman Airport is approximately 60 kilometers away, which is a three-hour drive from Antalya. Oludeniz Beach is 12 kilometers from the city. It is officially the most beautiful beach in this part of Turkey and is adorned with crystal clear water and white sand. It is also called the Blue Lagoon. Above Oludeniz beach is Mount Babada, which offers entertainment for the bravest and bravest. Flying over the beach with paragliding will awaken the adrenaline in you and create unforgettable memories. At the same time, this is one of the most beautiful places for paragliding in the world.
Since many Britons choose to spend their holidays here, the traditionally cordial locals mostly speak English as well. Bathing is possible during nine months of the year, since the water temperature does not fall below 16 degrees.
The Butterfly Valley (Kelebeklervadisi) is the most beautiful bay in Fethiye. The beach can be reached only by boats. It is named after a large number of butterflies, more than 30 species. This valley is one of the best kept secrets of this region. Some of the best hotels in Fethiye are: “Jiva Beach Resort”, “Club and Hotel Letoonia”, “Club Tuana Fethiye”.
Marmaris, endless lemon plantations and swimming in the mud
Marmaris is located in a beautiful bay around which the Aegean and Mediterranean seas meet, and it is surrounded by endless lemon plantations and a pine forest that descends to the beach. Here you will find wonderful beaches, great restaurants, you will be able to enjoy the nightlife and numerous adventures.
One of them is a full day boat ride from Marmaris to Dalian with a stop in the lagoons, where you can enjoy swimming in crystal clear water, diving… Most of these tours include lunch and drinks. One of the stops is the Turtle Beach, where you can see turtles, mostly in June and July. One of the unusual things you can do in Marmaris is swimming in the mud.
Numerous local agencies offer this trip, and locals believe that bathing in mud prolongs life by five years. I believe that each of us would like to extend his life for a few years, so I recommend this unusual excursion. Marmaris Fortress is the most significant historical monument of this region. It was built 3,000 years BC and is one of the few fortresses in Turkey that also owns a museum. For those who want to feel the history of this place, the fortress and the archeological museum are the right choices, and the entrance to these buildings costs 12 Turkish lira, which is approximately 3 KM.
Another place that will take you back in history is the Nimara Cave. It is located on the highest point of Paradise Island, which is not far from Marmaris. In ancient times, religious rituals were held in this cave in honor of the goddess Armetis and the mother of the goddess Leto, who is believed to have been the mother of the god Apollo. Paradise Island is protected by law, a decision made in 1978 due to its natural and archaeological wealth.
When we mention the Grand Bazaar, everyone thinks, of course, of Istanbul. However, Marmaris also has its Grand Bazaar where you can find your favorite souvenirs, spices, clothes, and many other things. If you are a fan of shopping, this is the right place for you, a place where traditional with modern offer merge, and traditional bargaining will give additional charm to the very act of shopping.
The beaches in Marmaris are mostly pebble or sandy, and the sea is warm, crystal clear, and perfect for swimming. The city beach is a bit narrow, and traditionally, as in all resorts, the most beautiful beaches are located outside the city. Half an hour’s drive from the city is the island of Cleopatra, where, as the locals say, it is the best sand in the world. Icmeler Beach is only 15 minutes away from the city and is much more spacious, comfortable, and quiet than the beach in Marmaris itself. The most beautiful hotels in Marmaris are: “Blue Bay Platinum”, “Casa de Maris Spa and Resort” and “Hotel Aqua”.