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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Bitez

Bitez Holidays

The coastal town of Bitez sits in the south west corner of Turkey, nestled amid lemon and mandarin tree groves and traditional whitewashed houses. While the area has recently seen an influx of modern hotels and now offers more Turkey holiday packages than ever before, the wooden rowing boats bobbing in the bay pay homage to the village's simple fishing past.

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Fun throughout the day and night

Bitez has a laid-back atmosphere and days can be spent lazing on the sandy beach, dipping in the cool Aegean ocean, taking advantage of the beach-side restaurants servicing the sunloungers. If all that sun worshipping gets too much, take to the winding back streets dotted with pink and purple bougainvilleas, and explore citrus groves and traditional buildings hidden behind the beach promenade.

At the harbour you'll find fewer crowds than at the main beach, as well as small day boats offering private and scheduled tours of the surrounding area. Sit in a harbourside cafe sipping apple tea, watching the working fishing boats arrive with their catch of the day or take one of the nearby hiking trails over the hill for a scenic view of the coastline.

Evenings in Bitez are spent eating and drinking in one of the many restaurants, most of which are located along the seafront and offer live entertainment that is sure to become a highlight of cheap Bodrum holidays. For a more bustling night scene, Bodrum Town, a 10-minute drive away, has more bars than you'll know what to do with.

Quick Tips

  • Islam
  • Turkish Lira
  • Turkish
  • GMT +2

Beach days

The sand and shingle-covered, crescent-shaped bay is abundant in beachside restaurants servicing a multitude of sunloungers. The kilometre-long stretch of Aegean coastline offers a selection of watersports, from pedalos to parasailing, but the main attraction here is windsurfing.

With a windsurfing school right on the beach, the gentle warm winds in the morning and shallow water make Bitez's beach a great place to learn. In the afternoon as conditions get choppier, sit back in the sun and watch the experts grapple with the conditions as you sip ice cold cocktails.

Try traditional Turkish cuisine

At breakfast try menemen – scrambled eggs cooked with sauteed vegetables and served with hot bread – and tuck into plates of cheese, olives, sourdough bread, yoghurt and jam.

For a light and quick lunch you can pick up a lahmacun, a flat, crispy bread topped with minced meat, salad and lemon juice, from most street corners or fresh off the kebab rotisserie. For a real local experience, wash it down with an aryan, a cold yoghurt drink mixed with salt.

Head down to the main promenade along the beach and you'll discover a whole host of restaurants with outside dining terraces and beautiful ocean views, where you can enjoy an evening meal of mezze, grilled seafood and slow-cooked meats.

Explore Bodrum Town

A 10-minute drive east will find you in Bodrum Town, which is bursting with history and culture. Explore St. Peters Castle, a medieval fortress built partly with stones from the Mausoleum, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that has been transformed into an open-air museum. Visit the Ottoman Tower and amphitheater, where you can enjoy unobstructed views of the area and Myndos Gate, which was the scene of one of the greatest battles during the siege of Alexander the Great.

After a long day of sightseeing and collecting souvenirs, head down to the marina and enjoy a traditional Turkish meal while gazing out across the ocean, past the illuminated castle.

Discover Dalyan

Take a classic boat trip to the Dalyan Delta, a conservation area rich in wildlife and a refuge for loggerhead sea turtles. Cruise through the maze-like passages of the Delta, stopping off at the magnificent Rock Tombs of Caunos that are carved high in the cliff, as well as at the five-mile-long Iztuzu Beach. Finally, experience the Turkish delights of the therapeutic hot springs, and rejuvenate in the mud baths and sulphur pool.

Barter at a bazaar

You'll find a local bazaar where you can pick up some great souvenirs every day of the week in Bodrum Town and the surrounding villages – not to mention some bartering skills just by watching the locals do deals with market traders. Bodrum's textile market is a riot of colourful, local fabric, handmade carpets and clothing. Its food market is laden with the region's rich flavours, including wild herbs, fresh vegetables, local cheese, edible fungi and fragrant Turkish delight.

Every Sunday, Bitez holds a flea market where you'll find a mixture of locals and visitors rummaging through piles of everything from second hand clothes, random household items, handmade linens and jewellery. In the same spot, the farmers market arrives every Thursday, a sprawling mass of food and clothing stalls.