"Golden Sand"

altinkumcesNot to be confused with the overblown resort of Altınkum near Didyma, the Altınkum south of Çeşme has some of Turkey's finest sandy beaches, the wild dunes an antidote to the more over-developed resort at nearby Ilıca. There have been regular threats that five-star hotels would be built here but so far (July 2013) they are yet to materialise.

That said, the sands are by no means as pristine or as unknown as when I first saw them. On my most recent visit I was depressed by the rubbish strewn all around the point where the buses stop, and one large section of the beach was now completely carpeted with sun loungers and umbrellas for which there is a daily charge.

The other side remained more wild, and the cafe serving it still looked pretty ramshackle, but to get the most benefit from the undeveloped nature of the beach you really need to walk quite a long way along the sands.

Bear in mind that there is very little natural shade here. 

There are more amenities at the so-called Fun Beach just before you get to Altınkum proper.

Transport info

Buses to Altınkum leave Çeşme otogar every 20 minutes. You can pick them up in the town centre across the road from Kahve Diyarı, itself across the road from the Kervansaray Hotel.

The buses pass through Çiftlikköy which is worth a brief stop and has some decent restaurants.

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