Dog Day Afternoons

İt is a sizzling 35 degrees in the big city today, time to put all thoughts of Istanbul real estate out of my head.

If you can't resist a dip in the Bosphorous then maybe time to get out of the city

If you can’t resist a dip in the Bosphorous then maybe time to get out of the city

İt is so hot that İ get out my guide book and refresh myself on the getaway spots that are within an hour or so from the city.

One of my favorites is undoubtedly a day trip to The Princess İslands, a group of four islands in the Marmara Sea. The ferry trip takes about an hour and you can get on at Kabatas for a very low price. The boat trip itself is one of the highlights of the day, as passengers perform all kinds of stunts feeding the flocking sea gulls. Everybody always seems to be in a good mood and İ am almost guaranteed to get in a good chat with one of the Mehmets.

Location, location

Location, location

As for the İslands themselves, there are a number of activities to fill out a day. Taking a short horse and carriage ride seems to be the most common. you can also rent a bicyle and have a leisurely peel. A nice long walk, followed up by a short swim makes for a lovely afternoon. İ say a short swim, as İ feel a little dubious about the water quality due to the fact that the beaches are quite regularly closed and the water can also be quite rough at times. There are plenty of options for dining, with the fish restaurants obviously dominating. İf you want to stay overnight, you had better plan ahead. last time İ almost got stuck on the İsland of Heybeliada without a place to stay.

Perfect

Perfect

There are not so many options, but Buyukada has a few medium sized hotels. İf it is a large resort hotel you are looking for, probably best to go elsewhere. Last time İ checked there seemed to be a growing number of apartment rentals geared for short terms stays. İ also came across an amazing restored, wooden villa with terrific views.

İf it is a day at the beach you are after, the logical choice is Kilyos in Sariyer, north of the Bosphorous on the Black Sea. There are a few beach clubs here, where you can buy day passes.

All within a few miles of the big metropolis

All within a few miles of the big metropolis

There are also several private clubs, with my choice being the one run by the Bogazici grads. Again, the Black Sea can be a bit tricky and temperamental, so swimming is not for novices.
And if it is a party scene you are after, Kilyos regularly host what seem like weekend long parties. İt is fairly young and sharp crowd though, so İ usually head home when the sun sets.  They also seem to take their beach wear pretty seriously, so İ leave my tatty shorts at home and try to wear something surfer-like, so as not to stand out as some kind of Canadian hillbilly.

Polonezky - on Istanbul's doorstep

Polonezky – on Istanbul’s doorstep

Polenezkoy, an old Polish settlement also attracts the day traveller looking for a short respite. İt is a lovely, green area, with lots of shining examples of smartened up Ottoman era houses. Hiking or picknicking seem to be the main activities. İt is a serene area and one of the few outdoor places that is in İstanbul where you actually can feel good reading a book.

A bit of Switzerland

A bit of Switzerland

You can also find some Polish food. How cool is that? the only drwaback is that it takes about two hours to get there with public transport (İt is on the Asian Side, so obviously less time is required if you are embarking from there).

And hey, if you have any chill spots near İstanbul that make for a great day trip, why not write and share them with us!!! the summer thumps well on into October here, so there can never be too many options.

www.lilimont-istanbul-realestate.com

 

Why owning Istanbul real estate is a beach

As the summer holiday season hits full gear, let’s look at a few of the places that the Istanbul property owners frequent when it gets a little too steamy in the city. 

Without doubt, the “in place” for the moneyed Istanbulu is Cesme, with it’s idyllic masmavi (blue as blue can be) waters, fine kitesurfing  and windsurfing, this has become the hot spot for the bikini-clad crew who ferry back and forth on the multiple flights from Istanbul daily.

Life's good

Life’s good in Cesme

Whether or not you are a fan of this jet setting crowd, one thing that can be said is that they tend to have a pretty highly evolved sense of taste. If they are thronging there by the numbers, there is a good reason…or reasons.

The Life worth living

The Life worth living

Of these, count great fish restaurants, a placid and delightful landscape, ultra chic hotels and clubs, and the best service in the Turkish tourism sector. But beware, Turks are willing to pay for this, and pay they do. A laid back four day weekend including hotel and fine dining will set you back several thousand TL. But I bet you will have more fun and better value than Monte Carlo, or than that wasteland they call Ibiza. Just make sure you have the right shades on and try not to let them see you sweat when they present you with a hundred lira bill for a few drinks. Sweating optional, wallet not, dude. And whether it poses a health risk or not, ditch the sunscreen. 

Bodrum is the catch all for holiday makers. Although it doesn’t always get the best reviews, in my experience, there is always somewhere in Bodrum that will have appeal for individual tastes. Bodrum has so many small villages, with each having a distinct feel.

Early evening light in Bodrum

Early evening light in Bodrum

Turbuklu is the equivalent of Cesme and again attracts the same kind of crowd. For more humble settings, Yalikavak, with its cool breezes and new marina, make for a good choice. Avoid Bitez and Gumbet, as they cater to cheap package tourism and feature bland (being generous) food, loud music, overcrowded beaches, and poor service. And the prices are as much as you would pay in much more desirable locales.

Bodrum center is crowded and hot, but the views of the old fort make it worth at least stopping by there en route to somewhere else. If you are young and enjoy clubbing, this is also the center for that, as well as my shopping you may need to get done.

Antalya is one of the bigger tourist pulls in the world, but not a favorite with the Istanbul crowd.

Antalya

Antalya

In my opinion, it can be a good non peak season choice, with its year round mild weather, beach weather extending well into November.

A few more perennial favorites well worth the visit are Kas, Fethiye, and Patara Beach. One thing you can be assured of for a 6 month period is sunshine and warm waters.

Kas

Kas

It is no wonder that Turkey, with this rich variety on offer, is one of the leading tourist destinations worldwide. Having said that, it seems to be he areas which do not pander to cheap package tourism that are thriving, while maintaining their inherent charm.