Not so many years ago, Didim was a small fishing village which had a scattering of humble locantas (cafes) spread along the sea front, adjacent to a football field. There was no promenade, just a weather beaten track that had been worn down by the locals.
Then things began to change…
Turkey, who benefits from 300+ days per year of glorious sunshine and temperate winters began actively promoting Tourism. In 2007 Didim received the title of Touristic Development – which simply means at Government level, Didim had been chosen to become a modern Touristic town that would be enhanced to reflect the amenities and expectations of modern tourism.
Didim is one of the few Touristic resorts that is serviced by two International Airports – Bodrum and Izmir. Transfer times from the airports is 60 and 90 minutes respectively. Both airports have had new multi-million pound Terminals built to accommodate the arrival of the new International Tourists which are rapidly increasing annually.
Didim is best described as a province which encompasses several built up areas. One such area is Altinkum - Translated; Altin (Golden) Kum (Sands) and rightly so, there are several beaches that have enviable golden sands and the crystal clear tepid Aegean coastline which has earnt them the prestigious European Blue Flag Award. The majority of the beaches are shallow for some distance and non-tidal – this makes for safe bathing for the whole family.
A large water based amusement park located just 15 minutes away on the local bus has water slides, splash pads, water playground and various other recreational bathing and swimming environments for all ages, even for infants. Everything has been considered for the entertainment of the whole family whether it be fast, dynamic and adrenalin-pumping slides or the relaxing bathing and splash pools – no one will leave disappointed.
In 2013 Didim received the go-ahead to revamp its 1km long promenade with new characterful granite tiling, lighting scheme and steps leading down to the beach. The promenade is utilised throughout the day by the sun worshippers and swimmers but on an evening changes to an excellent location for entertainment with a multitude of bars/restaurants that will satisfy the most discerning of Tourists. Towards the harbour is the more relaxed area which plays live cultural music but as you move along the promenade the music gracefully adapts to more modern tastes of music and the Medusa nightclub is at the furthest end of the promenade which does not close till the early hours of the morning.
For those that would like more than Sun, Sand and Sea, Didim’s Old Town will not disappoint. The main road was replaced in 2008, again with new granite cobbling, lighting scheme and 8mtr high Palm trees, which provide a characterful area to stroll on an evening. You certainly will not get your roast beef and Yorkshire pudding on the menu here – but what you will get is good wholesome food which the locals will eat on a daily basis (always a good sign that the food tastes good and is well priced).
Temple of Apollo
Ten minutes walk up from the old town is the infamous Apollo’s Temple – this is one of the best preserved Temples of Ancient Civilisation. The Temple has monumental proportions and began construction 300 years B.C. and took several hundred years to construct. Sadly the Temple was never finished (if it had been completed it would have been the largest Temple in the Hellenic world) nonetheless, of the originally intended 120 Columns only 3 remain standing at an impressive 20 metres in height. Ninety percent of the structure is made from marble – the largest singular piece weighing in at a hefty 70 ton.
Completed in September 2009 Didim’s new Marina was officially opened by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Marina is one of the largest non-commercial marinas in Turkey and can host 400 boats in the dry docks and extensive workshop areas and 600 in the water. Didim’s Marina is one of the few along the coastline that can accommodate and Service Mega Yachts (Boats that are longer than 50 meters in length) Total cost of construction 40 million pounds.
Didim’s Yacht Club is open to anyone that appreciates fine dining and a daily pass can be purchased for anyone who would like to take advantage of the extensive pool, gym equipment and spa services. Seasonally they have promotions advertising an afternoon 3 course meal for 20TL (less than £6) which is incredible value for money. Keep an eye in the local papers for Entertainment on an evening in the Yacht Club which often has Classical Evenings with National Musicians.
Completed in 2014, the new Town Square provides an area for entertainment and events and has been cleverly designed with a large quantity of LED illuminated fountains that look spectacular on an evening.
Only 15 minutes on the local bus will see you in a place called Mavisehir (Translated; Blue Town) again this is a small fishing village which has a small number of restaurants on the waters edge making for a fine place to dine on an evening due to its westerly facing direction taking in the vibrant sunsets every evening. Mavisehir also has an evening Market during the Summer season which is a great place to purchase some local organic produce or gifts for the family back home.
Didim’s first Camel wrestling competition began in 2012, nonetheless, the number attending has ensured this will remain a popular annual event. The Turkish are extremely passionate about the sport and are very friendly towards any foreign spectators (often sharing their food and drink).
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