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

Turkbuku

Turkbuku Holidays

Located on the Turkish Riviera, Turbuku hasn't been dubbed the St Tropez of Turkey by the New York Times for nothing. This gorgeous spot has a picturesque marina and top-class hotels sitting on the hillsides all around it. It's a popular destination with Turkish pop stars and celebrities, as well as families enjoying All Inclusive Bodrum holidays.

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A touch of Turkish class

This elegant area is surrounded by pine, cedar and cypress trees. But aside from the natural beauty of the surroundings, this is the place to head to if you're after a calmer and more exclusive experience than you'll find at some of the other resorts nearby. It's fantastic for people-watching, especially with all the local pop stars, writers and TV personalities who come here – you can have fun guessing who they are. Wealthy Turks also come to this area from the cities during the summer months either to stay in their holiday villas – or just to call in while they're sailing around the Aegean on their luxury yachts.

Slivers of beach are allocated to hotels and beach clubs mostly on the south side of the bay. The bay is separated by a river that flows into the sea and you have to cross a small bridge to get to get to this glitzy part of town. There are designated swimming areas and, although you won't be sharing the space with jet-skis or boats, you might find a duck or two floating by. The harbour is small and is home to fishing boats as well as the yachts and leisure craft for day trips.

Quick Tips

  • Islam
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  • Turkish
  • GMT +2

The high life

Once a small village, nowadays it's very easy to feel like you're living the high life in Turkbuku with its glitzy hotels often affiliated with the beach clubs set along the front. The hotels offer fantastic entertainment programmes throughout the day and night. The beach clubs overlook the Mediterranean Sea, where the fantastic fish that are lovely served grilled are caught - something you'll find in many of the restaurants here.

Relax on the sunloungers or under the canopies on the clubs' wooden jetties, where a waiter service is available during the day and into the evening when – around 7pm – the clubs turn into bars. At 9pm they become restaurants before the final phase of the night – boogie time. Maki 29 Beach is one of the most well-known beach clubs and bar. It can get very crowded but it's a lot of fun.

Even in the busiest spots, Turkbuku feels very laid-back because of its natural sense of style. There are some similarities to St Tropez but more in terms of offering an exclusive Mediterranean way of life than anything else.

Shopping, eating and drinking

Walk along Turkbuku's semi-circular bay and immerse yourself in the chatter of the local people. Meander around the cobbled streets filled with great shops, selling everything from colourful handmade jewellery and pottery to some lovely clothes. Further inland among the cobbled streets you'll find plenty of upmarket boutiques – great for just a browse, or if you've left your sarong at home or fancy a new hat to stroll around this elegant area.

Stop off for a traditional Turkish coffee at Belediye Cafe, then cross the bridge and find yourself in the glitzy part with beach clubs and jetties. Plenty of great places to eat – try Atilay Balik and Miam Restaurant, with their serene views across the Mediterranean.

Surrounding areas

Turkbuku is a great spot from which to explore the wider area on your Turkey holiday. Just a short drive away is Gundogan, which boasts a long stretch of golden sand that wraps around the town.

A 20-minute drive takes you to the more bustling city of Bodrum, a great spot if you fancy a change of scene – it's located on the site of the ancient city of Halikarnassus and there's a castle and amphitheatre overlooking the bay.

Closer to Turkbuku is the nearby village and bay of Golkoy, built on the ancient ruins of Caryinda. Turkbuku and Golkoy have expanded so much that they were recently joined and renamed Golturkbuku – but this one-area status is more for administrative purposes than anything else, as the two are quite different. Golkoy sits at the bottom of Karadag Mountain - a dormant volcano - and is a lush green area surrounded by orange, lemon and grapefruit orchards. It's a small village where families go about their everyday business – here you'll find more of a sense of the traditional Turkey.