The very first thing you should do after arriving in Didim is book yourselves in for a Hammam, (Turkish Bath) before you go to the beach and get sunburnt! For a more longer lasting tan you should always prepare your skin by having the sauna, scrub and foam massage at least. But, it’s even better if you combine it with a mud face & body mask followed by a full body oil massage. So now, not only will you be feeling totally relaxed at the start of your holiday, your body will be glowing and fit for the beach. There are heaps of Hammam’s to be found in Altınkum and if you’re staying in a hotel you could ask the receptionist to recommend and book it for you. You’ll get free door to door service I believe in most cases. Otherwise, if you don’t see any on your walk-about ask a tour operator or any restaurant staff member as I’m sure they will be able to advise you.
There are 3 popular beaches in Didim, Altınkum; main beach (which is the central beach) 2nd Beach and 3rd Beach (also known as üçüncü köy). Sunbeds and umbrellas can be rented at a reasonable price for the day and there’s a choice of 2 water sports providers, Onyx Water Sport and Baran Water Sport (at each end of the main beach), offering Parasailing, Paragliding, fast fun out on the speed boat, Jet Ski rentals, Banana Boat and Water Skiing. Water sports can also be found on 2nd and 3rd beaches too. There are also some lovely busy and quiet beaches to be found in Didim Akbük and Didim Mavişehir.
If you don’t want to bring a picnic to the beach you’ll be relieved to know that at various intervals throughout the day, there are many cheerful sellers of drinks and snacks scouring the beaches calling out what they have on offer, helping to keep your hunger at bay. And I believe some of the cafés & restaurants are equally happy to be of service to you while you relax and soak up some rays.
Maybe, if you fancy being a little more extravagant, there are some Private Beach Clubs along the seafront which you will pay to enter onto their platforms that extend out over the water, and where you can enter the sea without walking on the sand, then relax on their more luxurious sunbeds and cushions to the sound of soft music. There’s also a more sophisticated menu to satisfy your hunger and a more extensive range of alcohol from the restaurant bar, should you wish to indulge.
Apart from relaxing and having fun on the beach or Beach Club there are many boats (non private) offering daily 5 Bay Boat Trips departing from the old fishing harbour from 10.30am & returning by 5pm. You can book directly with them at the boat area in-front of Bariş café or through a tour operator. Although the price for this trip has always been and still is, £10 since the first time I visited Altınkum in 2006 and before, the exchange rate has steadily risen the Turkish Lira price from 25 lira to now 100 lira in 2021. This price includes lunch though you will pay extra for your drinks and snacks during your time aboard. Some boats offer a free pick-up service from your apartment or hotel and if someone in your group has a birthday or other celebration be sure to tell them before the day of the trip so they can make any preparations if needed.
As well as sunbathing and enjoying dancing to the loud English and Turkish ‘pop’ music you will be able to swim at each bay stop for around 30 minutes and these days I’ve also seen a speed boat that comes up to the boats while stationary, asking if anyone would like to take a fun15 min ride (for a fee), so there’s that option too while out at sea on the boat trip. Also, an ‘Ice Cream’ speed boat visits the boats at various intervals asking if anyone wants to buy ice cream and hot corn-on-the-cob. Most of the boats are fun party boats with loud dance ‘pop’ music and foam fun, though there are quiet boats for relaxation too, one of which is aptly called ‘Siesta’ boat. Towards the end of the season there are usually some ‘sunset’ boat trips a few evenings a week right up until the end of October.
* By Aleyna