Prices quoted are for the first week of October 2021
The seaside village of Yalıkavak has seen big changes in recent years, with a gleaming, multimillion-pound marina built along its shoreline. Yet, five minutes’ stroll up into the hills and the town’s tranquil feel and slow pace remains unchanged. The 4Reasons makes an ideal base for exploring the villages that fringe the Bodrum peninsula; owner Esra is happy to arrange everything from guided walks to horse-riding, although it can be difficult to ignore the siren call of the pool and the superb meze served up by Bistro 4.
• Doubles from £141 B&B, 4reasonshotel.com
The Courtyard, Kalkan
Kalkan has seen major development in the past decade, but the old town remains unspoilt, and the Courtyard offers a chance to stay at its heart. Owners Marion and Halil have carefully divided two old village houses into six bedrooms, with a flower-filled garden joining it to their original White House guesthouse. This is a sociable place to stay: guests gather on the roof terrace for sunset drinks, or get chatting over breakfast. Kalkan’s beaches are a few minutes’ stroll, and there are dozens of restaurants just outside the door.
• Doubles £112 B&B, courtyardkalkan.com
Badem Tatil Evi, Selimiye
The rugged Bozburun peninsula – stretching south from Marmaris – is relatively undiscovered by overseas tourists, and the seaside village of Selimiye has kept a slow-paced charm, with waterfront restaurants and a pleasingly ramshackle clutch of small shops and boutiques. The Badem Tatil Evi is a short walk out of the village: just four simple rooms, all with lovely views, with a small infinity pool below. The food is the thing here – breakfasts of local cheeses, bread, honeys and homemade jams, with traditional local dishes and freshly caught fish for dinner.
• Doubles from £103 B&B, bademtatilevi.com
Asur Hotel, Dalyan
It is the riverside location that sets the Asur head and shoulders above many of Dalyan’s hotels: shady gardens are dotted with hammocks and basket chairs, perfect for snoozing the afternoon away after a boat trip to nearby Iztuzu beach. A honeycomb of octagonal rooms stretches away from the pool and terrace, classically furnished with cedarwood ceilings and fittings, and small – but adequate – bathrooms. The centre of Dalyan is a 15-minute stroll along the river; idyllic in the early evening, with the sun dropping behind the town’s famous rock tombs.
• Doubles from £65 B&B, asurotel.com
This low-key guesthouse in the backstreets of fashionable Alaçatı is a world away from the glitzier design hotels that dot the town, and all the better for it. Run by the delightful Sabahat and her husband, there are two restored stone houses around a shady courtyard, with eight bedrooms furnished with antiques and paintings by local artists. Alaçatı has become famous for its restaurants and nightlife; Sabahat’s home is an oasis to retreat to after an evening on the town.
• Doubles from £52 B&B, incirliev.com
Su Hotel, Bodrum
Central hotels with any charm aren’t easy to find in Bodrum, which makes the Su such a treat: a clutch of simple, whitewashed rooms with brightly painted balconies around a swimming pool flanked by palm trees. The owner, Zafer, oversees everything with considerable elan; barbecue nights on Friday and Saturdays can become a full-scale party, on other nights, the courtyard is a peaceful spot for freshly made meze and fish straight from the sea. If you want the hustle and bustle, Bodrum’s historic centre is five minutes’ walk away.
• Doubles from £55 B&B, suhotelbodrum.com
The Mandarin, Faralya
The road to Faralya is not for the fainthearted, as it is a spectacular tangle of hairpin bends, zigzagging up the mountainside to a cluster of village houses and small hotels. The Mandarin is a long-established bolthole with a newer sibling, the Mango, across the road (guests can use the facilities of both); the eight bedrooms are airy, with a decked pool offering sea views. This isn’t one for those in search of bright lights and buzz, instead nature-themed walks (often guided by owner, Ghislain), stargazing and snorkelling are knitted around lazy afternoons by the pool.
• Doubles from £201 B&B, villamandarin.com
Hotel Sobe, Cunda Island
One of the beauties of visiting Cunda is that you may not hear another English voice; this small island, joined to the town of Ayvalık by a causeway, is still firmly the preserve of holidaying Turks. The lattice of bougainvillaea-draped streets is dotted with cubbyhole bars, restaurants have enticing meze counters rather than menus, and places to stay come as small, charming guesthouses. The Sobe is one of the best: seven simple rooms with a warm welcome from Ömür, who serves up quite possibly the best breakfast in Turkey.
• Doubles from £95 B&B, otelsobe.com
Çıralı’s long stretch of sandy beach is among Turkey’s most beautiful, and happily saved from development by its protected status as a nesting place for loggerhead turtles. The Arcadia is at the back of the beach, with a clutch of timber bungalows amid gardens dotted with hammocks. The no-frills accommodation feels in keeping with the low-impact vibe; time at Arcadia is all about the outdoors, whether alfresco yoga, breakfast under the trees or gentle cycle rides along the mesmerically beautiful coast.
• Doubles from £136 B&B, arcadiaholiday.com
Turan Hill Lounge, Kabak
In Kabak – famous for its beautiful beach – the Turan Hill has retained its hippyish, back-to-nature vibe over the past three decades. Accommodation is in simple wood and raffia bungalows, some with aircon, but the vine-clad terraces, all with spectacular views, are where you’ll want to spend your time. There are daily yoga classes and the restaurant caters for vegans, veggies and gluten-free diets – and if you fancy upping the energy levels, the bright lights of Ölüdeniz are about 40 minutes’ drive away.
• Doubles from £103 half-board, on Booking.com