PLEASE NOTE: The currency in Turkey is the New Turkish Lira (I will refer to them as T$s). At the time of writing, US$1 = T$5.83 (it was T$6 three weeks before).
I was making my way slowly up the mediterranean coast from Antalya to Istanbul.
I was currently in Marmaris.
It was, now, time to move on to Gulluk (in the Bodrum Peninsular) …
At 9:30am I walked outside the front of my hotel (on Kemal Seyfettin Elgin Blvd) and flagged down a passing bus going to the Marmaris Otogar (Train Station) 4-5 kms away.
The price to the Otogar was T$3.25. We were there in 15 minutes.
The buses leave regularly (every 30-60 minutes). Mine left at 10am. The price was T$12.75. We arrived at the Mugla Bus Station (a small station on the edge of town) at 11am. Here, I walked across the road to connect with a bus to Milas.
I waited 10 minutes before a kindly local gentleman passing in his car stopped and offered me a lift into town. We chatted in broken German. We were there in 10 minutes. He dropped me off at my hotel. I arrived at 12:40pm.
Gulluk is foremost an unspoilt fishing port north of the Bodrum Peninsular. Mass tourism has never reached Gulluk. It is not one of the well-known holiday resorts on the Bodrum peninsula … it is a bit of a ‘hidden gem’ with a good location, natural appearance, and laid back atmosphere.
Originally known as Kulluk, it served as a trading port for the Greeks during the reign of the Ottoman Empire. The store buildings and warehouses are today restaurants and shops.
As we climb slowly up hill back to my Hotel.
We find a couple of secluded swimming spots:
Then head back to town.
Unlike north of town, south of town offers some good holiday options.
A pretty little non-touristic fishing town.
I couldn’t search for the April-May Shoulder Season so, here is what was on offer in the month of October 2019:
PLEASE NOTE: Booking.com did not work in Turkey whilst I was there. You will have to pre-book from outside of the country.
PLEASE NOTE: HOTELS usually displays prices INCLUSIVE of TAXES. Many search sites don’t provide a ‘private bathroom’ filter so, be careful with some of the cheap hotels and make sure that you read the room details.
PLEASE NOTE: Other sites (such as Homeaway, FlipKey and VRBO are also worth a look).
GRANDPAckers cannot afford to come here in Peak Season: June to September. You will have to come in Shoulder Season (April-May or October-November). For the best discounts / prices, book at least 2+ months in advance. You may need to ‘get inventive’ and use some of the less popular hotel search sites.
I used ODAMAX.COM:
They had no wifi when I was there. They had some sort of ‘problem’ that they said would be fixed in a few days. I fell back on my own TurkCell Data Plan (see, below).
The only down-side is that it is up a bit of a hill and about 1km away from the ‘town centre’. BUT, there is very little available within GRANDPAcking price range so … build a bridge and get over it 🙂
WHERE TO STAY:
Most people would prefer to avoid the hill walks and stay close to the water.
GRANDPAckers have no options … you will be where you can afford to be.
Have a look yourself:
EAT & DRINK:
There are 2-3 Supermarkets in town, so this makes a villa option more viable.
Unusually, you don’t seem to find any ‘budget’ restaurants in the back streets. You don’t really find any restaurants at all … they are all down on the waterfront.
There are 1 or 2 ‘budget’ options around the harbour area.
You will get the same T$10 beer in the cheapest restaurants for T$15 but expect to usually pay T$18.
The Cheers bar is very popular and it is reasonably priced (500ml local beer T$18). They have quiz nights a couple of nights each week and a ‘Curry Night’ on Thursdays. It attracts a lot of British.
You should get your Breakfast included in your hotel room rate. If not, expect to pay an average of T$20 each for a cheap local Breakfast with tea / coffee.
Expect to pay an average of T$25 for a cheap Lunch with fruit drink.
Expect to pay an average of T$35 for a cheap Dinner with a Fruit Juice / Small Beer.
I don’t know taxi prices, sorry. But, from what I hear so far, expect to pay about T$5 for ‘flag fall’ and T$5 per km.
A public bus trip to an attraction within a 1 hour drive should cost about T$8 each way.
You will find at least one Bank / ATM in town (Garanti). It is in the harbour. There is no Bureau De Change. Many places take Credit Cards.
Prices in shops are set prices; you get charged the same as locals do. HOWEVER, for ‘tourist items’ you should still try and ‘haggle’ – this includes the price of meals not shown on a restaurant menu.
ATMs charge between 5% and 10%.
MY ADVICE: Use one of the bigger and better known nation-wide banks for the best rates.
INTERNET / WIFI:
Your accommodation ‘should’ provide good wifi.
You will, also, find free wifi in almost all of the restaurants and bars.
Back in Selcuk, I bought a new TurkCell SIMcard for T$100 and a 1 month Promotional Package for T$25. The latter came with 2GB of Facebook / Twitter data, 3GB of Internet data, 300 minutes of talk time, and 200 free SMSs.
I went to TurkCell in Marmaris to top it up. They had a 4GB 1 month package for T$35. I chose their 6GB package for T$40 that included:
- 6GB standard internet;
- another 2GB bonus internet;
- another 1Gb bonus internet;
- 500 standard minutes of Talk Time;
- Unlimited TurkCell-TurkCell Talk Time at the weekends;
- 1,000 SMSs;
- Lots of other stuff that I didn’t understand.
I paid a T$2 fee.
HEALTH & SAFETY:
The first thing that you notice is the number of smokers; there is still a large % of smokers here. They even smoke in ‘no smoking’ areas without anyone complaining. Not a surprise when you can get a 20 pack of Rothmans ‘Click’ for T$11.
There is no reason to feel unsafe. As always, exercise normal levels of caution … don’t make yourself an obvious target.
WHEN TO GO
Mugla has a hot mediterranean / dry-summer subtropical climate that is mild with moderate seasonality.
Summers are dry and hot due to the domination of subtropical high pressure systems – while winters experience moderate temperatures and changeable, rainy weather due to the polar front.
These climates usually occur on the western sides of continents between the latitudes of 30° and 45°. Seasonality is moderate.
Peak Season is June through September. Shoulder Season is mid April to May and October to mid November. Rainy season is December through March.
WHAT TO DO:
Gulluk has a market day each Thursday selling fresh fruit, vegetables, dried fruit, nuts, spices, clothes, and hardware. Well worth a visit.
Local attractions include the beach, pleasure boat trips, and glorious sunsets.
- The ancient ruins of Iassos are an impressive sight and located within a short drive;
- Explore secluded bays on the daily, pleasure boat trips that depart from the harbour;Take a four day Blue Voyage Gulet Boat trip around the coastline and see more amazing coastal resorts on the Bodrum Peninsula;
- Take the ferry boat from the harbour (or bus) and visit Bodrum town centre with its impressive castle, underwater museum ,and cobbled back streets;
- The surrounding countryside and coastline are great for those who enjoy walking holidays;
- Take a day trip by local bus to Bafa Lake to explore old villages, ancient hillside ruins, and scenic landscapes.
Or, just chill out around your hotel pool.
Read About – GRANDPAcking Costs if you don’t know how to interpret my figures.
MY ACTUAL COSTS:
My costs are broken down into:
- Cost of Existence: The basic costs of just being there
- Cost of Living: The additional costs that make being there fun
COST OF EXISTENCE (COE):
I EXISTED well within GRANDPAcking standard.
My accommodation was T$133 / US$24 per night.
I already had my working and topped up TurkCell SIMcard.
I have apportioned T$28 for my Turkish eVisa.
I averaged about T$48 per day on food and water.
My COE worked out to be about T$143 (US$26) per day.
COST OF LIVING (COL):
I LIVED to GRANDPAcking standard.
In / Out Costs: My public transport costs from Marmaris to my Gulluk hotel came to T$34.
Living Costs: I averaged about T$37 per night on drinks.
My total COL was about T$190 (US$34) / day. This was only 66% of my budget.
COSTS FOR 2 GRANDPAckers:
Again, costs are broken down into Cost Of Existence (COE) and Cost Of Living (COL).
COST OF EXISTENCE (COE):
Accommodation: I have booked you into a budget hotel for the first 2 nights that includes Breakfast. There are only a few budget accommodation options around town but you should be able to negotiate a better long-term room rate. Alternatively, find somewhere with access to a kitchen and bring in groceries.
Transportation: I have budgeted a return bus trip to Bodrum on a local bus each week.
Communications & Fees: I have budgeted a TurkCell SIMcard and 1 month promo package. I have included the cost of 2 Turkish eVisas.
Food: Your meals budget averages about T$121 (US$22) / day for 2 people. This is to eat Lunch and Dinner in Cheap Restaurants.
Your COE is about T$270 (US$49) / day. This is 7% UNDER budget.
COST OF LIVING (COL):
This leaves you almost nothing to LIVE on.
To afford a month here you will need to:
- Come off-season (e.g. in mid April – May or October – mid November);
- Negotiate a long-term hotel rate once you are here;
- You are unlikely to be able to secure an Holiday Home within GRANDPAcking price range (but, you may get lucky if you try and book one months in advance whilst you can still get deep discounts).
If you can get an Holiday Rental (or budget hotel with a good shared kitchen), you can easily reduce your food costs by half and, by doing so, have enough spare money to LIVE on more easily.
Could you afford to retire here on a GRANDPAcking budget? MAYBE…