On August 11th 2006 I excitedly set off for my first ever trip to Turkey. It was in fact my 46th birthday and I was going on a solo adventure. I had read a little about Altınkum in Didim from the internet about how lovely the weather and beaches were and that property was very cheap there. So, it was mainly due to those 3 things that attracted me to the then, little known seaside town of Altınkum. And by the way, Altınkum means ‘Golden Sand’ and if you’ve never had the pleasure of visiting, if you ever come, you will soon see why it’s also know as the Aegeans Corner of Paradise due to its historical and natural beauties and has some of the most beautiful coasts of the Aegean.
Prior to my departure to Didim, I had contacted a property developer and had arranged with them for one of their drivers to pick me up from Bodrum airport and to stay in one of their holiday apartments for one week. Then, the day after my arrival, and over the next couple of days they would show me their properties that were for sale as well as the plans for their upcoming projects. After the first couple of days of viewing property, plans and discussions I was left to enjoy the rest of the week and to ponder on my thoughts of buying or not. Now it was time to discover, explore and enjoy the beach and night life!
Although the apartment I was staying in wasn’t particularly close to the sea, it was easy enough to hop on a dolmuş minibus that took you all the way. I was pleased to find out that I could even get on and off anywhere along that route and the price was very cheap too, back then only 1lira, though you might not always get a seat. I soon found out that the mini-buses were running until 2am in the morning so you could stay out late for the entertainment and still get a ride home. And if you were out clubbing at one of the night clubs after 2am there were plenty of taxis available too.
In the evenings along Altınkum seafront, I found it difficult to choose which restaurant to use as all of them had a friendly boss or staff waiting at the entrance to their establishment eager to take your hand and entice you inside where the aroma coming from each kitchen was equally exquisite. And since I didn’t know any Turkish language back then it was a relief to find out most restaurant staff spoke a certain level of English. I also noticed how well they treated families with children and went out of their way to make sure everyone was happy and even entertained the smaller children.
All in all, I thought that week of experiencing Turkish food and hospitality was a very positive one that I would happily return for. And the beaches, so many beautiful beaches with golden sand, some with shingle and some without and gorgeous clear blue sea. When you experience this stunning Aegean coastline it will make you want to return again and again. And if you are wondering, yes I did buy a property after returning to England and had to wait patiently until it was built and ready before I could go back to put the furtniture in. I gave Power of Attorney to the property agent before returning to the UK so everything could be handled while I was out of Turkey.
I have been living in Didim since 2013 but prior to that I was renting out my summer home to English holiday makers from May to October. I love living in Didim as there are so many sunny days and I’m close to the sea. I also love the views of the surrounding hills and visiting places such as Akbük. Mavişehir and the beautiful Bafa Lake. Maybe you’ve given some thought about moving or retiring abroad somewhere and Didim could be just what you’re looking for. Since the town’s population is increasing year after year, due to people choosing to move here, the Construction and Real Estate industry is thriving and continues to grow due to the demand for residential property, summer holiday homes, luxury villas and commercial buildings. The population has doubled since I bought my property in 2008 from approx. 46,000 to now (13 years later) approx. 86,000 and is still growing. It does include Akbük, Mavişehir and other surrounding close areas.
* By Aleyna