Gumbet’s sandy beach is long – a 10-minute easy walk from one end to the other – and broad, making it one of the most popular beaches in the peninsula for lazing around in the sun. The clear water of the sea is warm, shallow and safe, really making it a great destination if you’re a young family.
The beach is also close to many hotels in the area as well as the centre of town – adding further to its appeal. A breeze naturally blows into the bay, which will not only help to cool you down during the warmer days but also provides ideal conditions for watersports. If you’re an enthusiast or just want to give something a go there are centres offering water-skiing, wind-surfing, pedalos and ringos – just make sure you hold on tight.
Out and about
For a different side of Gumbet take a walk to the Sunday market. Although it’s small, there’s a nice buzz – you’ll spot locals buying fruit and veg, and you can haggle for clothes and footwear which are also on sale here. For a break from all the shopping, sunbathing and general milling around town, there are so many restaurants and cafes lining the stretch behind the beach, it can be hard to know where to go.
You’ll find that many of the restaurants that seem dormant during the day light up the sky at night. Most of them serve Turkish, international and British food and some of the most popular venues are Peter’s Place, Windmill Restaurant and Carpe Diem. And there’s a great club scene here that will keep you up ’til the early hours.
Great fun whether you’re 10 or 40. There are two waterparks near Gumbet, which you should be able to book through your resort. The closest one to Gumbet is compact but enjoyable, while there’s a larger one 15 minutes’ drive away called Aquapark Dedeman – and at 40,000 square metres, it’s the largest in Turkey.
As you might expect, there are plenty of exhilarating slides and flumes – some of which are nearly vertical and exhilarating if you’re a thrill seeker, then there’s the Crazy River and the more relaxing wave pool. You can even sunbathe in a peaceful spot under a pine tree. During peak season there’s a free bus to get you back to the centre of Gumbet at the end of the day.
If you get the opportunity, you should visit a Turkish Hammam in Gumbet or nearby Bodrum City. Part of Turkish life for centuries, the Hammam’s a great experience that helps to cleanse, relax the body, and soothe tired muscles.
Before entering the Hammam room for your treatment, you’ll shower then sit in a sauna for about 10 minutes. Time for your treatment and the marble room is the centrepiece of this experience. Sit yourself down next to a niche with a fountain, then continue to wash yourself down with a bowl and water. You’re then asked to lie face-down on a warm marble stone called gobek tasi – belly stone – in the middle of the room where the treatment will begin.
First, a sandpaper-glove scrub is used to exfoliate your skin, then there’s a rub-down with a pillow filled with soapy foam, which provides the massage element. The grand finale involves being splashed with water. then you get to cool off, either in another room or outdoors. You can always ask for extras such as a full-body oil massage or a mud – or chocolate – bath.