Altinkum means ‘golden sands’ and with its beaches which gently shelve into the inviting turquoise blue Aegean, you will soon see how the resort got its name. There are excellent beach facilities in Altinkum on any of the three great beaches, with water sports of many kinds and also pedaloes for those who prefer the pace of life a bit slower. Sunbeds and umbrellas are available for rent on any of Altinkum’s beaches and once you are settled, there will be no need for you to move until sunset, with handy bars and restaurants very close by.
Altinkum is a small and friendly resort. You will get to know the local people of Altinkum very quickly because they will enjoy talking with you and offering a cup of Turkish tea or apple tea. It does not matter if this is your first or last trip, you will find yourself coming back to Altinkum year after year to visit your new friends.
Didim, the area where Altinkum is located, is shaped as a peninsula surrounding Mugla on the east coast with huge inlet of Akbuk, the Aegean sea on the west and east coast, Lake Bafa and the Menderes River on the northern coast. It takes about an hour by car from Bodrum, Milas Airport.
Altinkum is about 106 km to the city of Aydin, 53 km to the town of Sake, 73 km to Kusadasi and famous Ephesus and 110 km to Bodrum.
Altinkum has many great restaurants, bars and nightclubs. From Typically Turkish to Basically British, you’ll find everything you want here.
Out and About in Altinkum
The Temple of Apollo located in Altinkum was called the Didymaion in ancient times. The Greek traveller Pausanias who travelled during 160A.D. recorded that the temple was constructed even before Greek colonization took place and that was in the 10th century B.C. The general belief is the temple in Altinkum actually dates back to the 2nd millennium B.C. However, excavations have unearthed the initial level of the temple and archaeologists feel that the temple dates back to the 8th century B.C. and the walkway was constructed a century later. Click here for more details.
Lying on the sunny Aegean coast, Altinkum is famous for its gently sloping sandy beaches fringing crystal clear waters, Altinkum means ‘Golden Sands’. There are two central beaches, Main and 2nd Beach, and they lie at each end of the resort, starting at the harbour and finishing at a rocky headland promontory, so providing over 1 km of beach. The sun-warmed waters along these beaches are mainly shallow for a couple of hundred metres and are ideal for both supervised children and non-swimmers. Sunbeds on the sands make it easy to relax in tan-building comfort, or if you are feeling energetic canoes and pedaloes are available for hire.
Main Beach in Altinkum is fronted with bars and restaurants, and only yards from the town centre, Dolphin Square. This is the busiest beach, and can get quite crowded.
If you stand on the Main Beach promenade facing the sea, walk to your left and you eventually come to 2nd Beach. This is smaller than Main Beach but with all the same facilities. If the central beaches seem a little too much, and quieter times are the order of the day, try one of Altinkum’s other beaches.
3rd beach in Altinkum is located towards the harbour end of the resort and is popular with families with small children, as the beach is small and the water is shallow. A free minibus service is offered to holidaymakers wishing to visit the beach. Operated by local restaurant owners, they will collect you from your hotel and take you back at the end of the day. The restaurants offer a wide variety of menu, including a snack menu, children’s menu, traditional Turkish cuisine and a full English roast!
Diving in Altinkum
Whether you are a beginner or a certified diver, the crystal clear waters in Altinkum offer a variety of diving. You can expect to see various types of marine such as moray eels, octopus, tuna, jacks, barracuda’s, lobster and even dolphins. Altinkum’s scuba diving centre Okenos, offers courses for all abilities. The Okenos Diving office is situated opposite the ‘chill out’ bar.
Horse Riding in Altinkum
Altinkum has its own Horse Riding Ranch, called Pegasus. They are situated near 3rd beach and have 10 stables. Pegasus offers horse safari trips along several paths in idyllic surroundings that end up by the sea, where you can cool off, swim & enjoy lunch. Safari’s can be booked direct with Pegasus.
Sightseeing & Activities
Altinkum isn’t just about lazing in the sunshine, as there is plenty to do during both the day and evening. Even if history was never your thing at school you can’t ignore the ancient world when you stay here as Altinkum is close to many fascinating ancient sites where you can almost feel the past. Nearby is the small resort of Didim with the Temple of Apollo where the famous snake-adorned head of Medusa stands, and the sheer size of the columns is truly amazing. For a longer day-out visit the inspiring ruins of Ephesus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Or for something completely different you could take a boat trip to the Greek island of Samos, or perhaps enjoy a walk around the nearby beautiful Bafa Lake with its magnificent mountain backdrop.
In and Around Altinkum
Temple of Apollo
The only tourist spot of interest in Altinkum is the historical and mythical monument of the temple of Apollo. However, do not get disheartened the temple itself is so large and has so many things to see that you will soon be complaining about the lack of time. Apart from that the golden beaches in themselves are one of the main attractions of Altinkum.
The Temple of Apollo was called the Didymaion in ancient times. The Greek traveler Pausanias who traveled during 160A.D. recorded that the temple was constructed even before Greek colonization took place and that was in the 10th century B.C. The general belief is the temple actually dates aback to the 2nd millennium B.C. However, excavations have unearthed the initial level of the temple and archaeologists feel that the temple dates back to the 8th century B.C. and the walkway was constructed a century later.
The interior of the Temple was a sacred place in the ancient times. In fact, it was here that all the oracles were delivered by the priestess. This place had a secret society and the people came here to receive the oracle but only by paying a heavy price. The so called oracle delivered by the priest were a few words that could be interpreted in a variety of ways. The inner sanctuary was called the Naiskos and it contained the cult statue and the sacred spring, which was used in the oracle.
The two Ionic Capitals are the only remains of the 122 columns that graced the temple in the Roman times. The huge columns are in ruins today but narrate a past that was glorious. In the Christian era St. Paul gave public sermons from the Gospel from this very temple.
Didim Aqua Park
The Didim Aqua Park is just outside of Altinkum, set on a hill on the way to Soke. The Aqua Park was built in 2004 and has proved to be ever-popular with English tourists.
Bafa Lake is quite near Altinkum and is becoming an increasingly popular destination for Turkish and foreign tourists. However, strict building regulations mean that the area has remained unspoilt.
Samos lies to the north-east of Altinkum and is in the Aegean sea and a distance of 174 nautical miles from Piraeus. It has an area of 475 sq. km., a coastline of 159 km and a population of 40.000 inhabitants. The essential beauty of the nature, the historical sites that are spread all over the island and the charming mountainous landscape of Samos create a unique atmosphere which enchants the visitors and carry them in another era. In an era of myths, heroes and philosophers.
The Theatre at Priene
Near to Altinkum you will also find the Theatre at Priene. Built in the 4th century BC this theatre is still in good condition. Like all ancient Greek theatres, the building consist of three main parts i.e. the Skene (stage building), the Orchestra (horseshoe shaped space in middle) and the Cavea (space where the spectators sat). Taking into consideration all the present day remains, it has been calculated that the cevea had 50 rows of seats and that it had the capacity to seat an audience of 5,000 people.
Byzantine Church at Priene
This church not far from Altinkum was built in the 6th century A.D, understood to be the church for the Archbishdopric and comprises of three wings. The middle nave is separated from the others by the rows of Doric columns on its sides. The apse has not completely been escavated. It is understood that the church originally had a flat roof, and that the dome was added later.
Temple of Athena
Dating back to 4th century BC, this temple, located on the culminating point of the city of Priene, close to Altinkum, rose over a wide terrace of rocks and the defence walls and it was the largest, oldest, most important and most magnificent building in Priene. It was oriented on an east-west axis in conformity with the city plan and faced east. The building was completely destroyed in an earthquake in ancient times and the pieces were scattered over a large area. Fortunately, the construction of the plan and the reconstruction of the building have been possible through the fragments found in the excavations. The building rests on a three-stepped platform, 37.2 meters long and 19.15 metres wide. Th columns of which the bases are built in the Ephesus type, have 24 flutes in their shaft.
Not far from Altinkum, this theatre was first erected in the 4th century BC and it has taken its present form by later alterations undergone in the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods. The theatre could seat 5,300 spectators in hte Hellenistic period but this grew to 25,00 spectators in the Roman period. This theatre was mainly used for lion fights
About an hour from Altinkum, Ephesus is the best-preserved classical city on the Mediterranean, and perhaps the best place in the world to get the feeling for what life was like in Roman times. As a strategic coastal gateway to the Eastern World, this Ionian refuge grew to be the second largest city in the Roman Empire, the site of a Christian shrine, and one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Legend has it that the Virgin Mary, accompanied by St. Paul, came to Ephesus at the end of her life, circa 37-45 AD. Renaissance church historians mentioned the trip, and it is said that local Christians venerated a small house near Ephesus as Mary’s. In 1967 Pope Paul VI. visited the site, where a chapel now stands, and confirmed the authenticity of the legend. Also the Basilica of St. John is located near Ephesus. St. John is said to have lived the last years of his life here and after his death, a shrine was located over his grave.
About an hour and a half from Altinkum is Pamukkale. This has always been a very popular settlement where the hot springs were believed to have healing powers, so the city became the center of a pagan cult in antiquity and a spa resort today. The city was on the borders of Caria, Lycia and Phrygia and had a mixed population. Citizens were usually involved in the wool industry and little has changed as it is still a textile center.
About 45 minutes from Altinkum is Kusadasi, one of Turkey’s principle holiday resorts, offers an excellent environment for an unforgettable visit. Situated on the west coast of Turkey- 90km south of Izmir, Kusadasi, is reputed for one of the most attractive cities of the Aegean, as it is close to the important historical sites including Ephesus, Priene, Miletos-the principals of ancient times, and ideal for sightseers.
About an hour’s drive or a 30 minute boat-trip from Altinkum you will find Bodrum. A visit to this busy resort is a wonderful day out. The Castle of St Peter with its amazing maritime museum is fascinating; alternatively stroll through the marina with its charming boutiques and elegant yachts. There is a fantastic selection of waterfront shops, and Bodrum’s pedestrian shopping lanes will keep you busy during the day. All around the Bodrum peninsular there are wonderful opportunities for water sports. You can try your hand at water skiing, parasailing, dinghy sailing, and windsurfing or perhaps the more sedate pastimes of canoeing or pedaloes. Bodrum town is a famous resort place, both among Turkish and foreign travellers. The heart of Bodrum beats loudest in the narrow streets clustered around the bay where shops, restaurants, bars and discos via for attention. Strolling along the most popular of the streets, Cumhuriyet Caddesi (the locals call it Bar street), the visitor becomes immersed in a blend of native and cosmopolitan culture that is Bodrum today.