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 have started to try and get ‘off the beaten track’. My first attempt was Calis Beach in Fethiye.
My second attempt was Gulluk.
Now, I wanted to take a plug at the Didim Peninsula … I chose Fevzipasa …
One arrived at 10:30. The price to Milas was T$7.
PLEASE NOTE: It is easy to get on a local bus with luggage because they have a big luggage area at the front behind the driver.
I asked around for a bus to Didim. The locals were helpful and introduced me to a bus driver going that way at 11:30am. We left on schedule and stopped at the main Otogar along the way to pick up more passengers. The price was T$12.50. I was expecting to, perhaps, change bus … but no. I don’t know whether you have more bus options from the Otogar or not … but, read on …
I was expecting the bus to drive up the D525 to Lake Bafa Golu, then turn southwest to Didim. Wrong!
I asked around for a bus to Didim and I was directed to a bus just about to pull out. I showed the driver a map and explained that I was going to Fevzipasa (not Didim Town) and asked (in sign language) if he could drop me off at the road junction. He said yes. BIG MISTAKE! … I should have been more specific …
The price was T$3.50. After 20 minutes, he stopped and told me that this was my road junction for Fevzipasa. I got off. He had dropped me off at the Yellow Star half way between Akbuk and Fevzipasa. I waited at the junction for a passing bus but none came. I ‘bit the bullet’ and decided to walk the 1 km to the waterfront … hopefully, I could catch a bus from there …
I had no choice but to ‘bite the bullet’ and walk another 2 kms west up to the main road junction. Perhaps I could find a bus stop there? No! This was dual carriageway. I was still 3-4 kms away from my hotel. I started walking. After 1 km a young guy stopped and picked me up. He was kind enough to drop me off at my hotel in Fevzipasa.
Needless to say … I was hot, knackered, and thirsty. I went straight out for a couple of cold beers 🙂
MY ADVICE: In Milas, catch a bus going to Soke. Get off at the ‘D525 – Aydin Didim Yolu’ junction west of Lake Bafa Golu. Catch a bus from there going to Didyma. Get off at the proper Fevzipasa junction (if he will stop).
BETTER ADVICE: Don’t come to Fevzipasa at all. Get to Akbuk and catch a bus to Didyma / Didim Town. Get an hotel there.
Everything revolves around it.
Fevzipasa was definitely ‘off the beaten path’. You are a ‘captured market’ in a gated community.
This is what was on offer in the month of October 2019 (Shoulder Season):
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 Turkish hotel search engines.
I paid a ‘deeply discounted’ price of T$118 / US$22 per night including Breakfast. My room was a good size:
I had a small balcony overlooking other houses:
It was a standard Turkish Breakfast with cereals, fruits, jams, boiled eggs, cheese(s), cold meat, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, and bread. Each morning they provided something extra like an omelette or chicken nuggets with chips. Breakfast was served between 8am and 11am:
The wifi was OK and good enough to stream video at night … slower during the day.
OK value for money but it was very quiet … the restaurant was empty except for breakfast time when you saw 4-5 other people.
WHERE TO STAY:
You can stay anywhere.
GRANDPAckers have no options … you will be where you can afford to be.
Have a look yourself:
EAT & DRINK:
You have your own hotel and 1 other option.
My hotel prices were at least 25% more expensive.
A local 500ml beer was T$15 down at the Boyoz Cafe and T$20 at my hotel.
The Boyoz sells 1.5L bottled water for T$3. In Didim Town you should be able to get the same for T$1.
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$40 for a cheap Dinner with a Fruit Juice / Small Beer.
A public bus trip to an attraction within a 1 hour drive should cost about T$8 each way.
PLEASE NOTE: There is no public bus to Fevzipasa. BUT, there is a minibus from the beach 1 km to the east (where the Gullet Cruises go) which takes you back to Akbuk.
Back in Didim Town or Akbuk you will find several Banks and ATMs.
ATMs charge between 5% and 10%.
MY ADVICE: Use one of the bigger and better known nation-wide banks for the best rates. I used Garanti several times.
INTERNET / WIFI:
You will, also, find free wifi in almost all of the restaurants and bars. But, not in Fevzipasa.
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
Didim 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:
If you are in Fevzipasa, all you can do is chill on the beach or ‘hang’ in the Boyoz Cafe.
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$118 / US$22 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$47 per day on food and water.
My COE worked out to be about T$131 (US$24) per day.
COST OF LIVING (COL):
I LIVED to GRANDPAcking standard.
In / Out Costs: My public transport costs from Gulluk to my Fevzipasa hotel came to T$23.
Living Costs: I averaged about T$48 per night on drinks.
My total COL was about T$179 (US$33) / day. This was only 62% 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 an AirBnB near Didim Town at a long-term / Monthly Discount room rate. Make sure that Breakfast is included (which is normal in Turkey).
Transportation: I have budgeted a return bus trip on a local bus each week to somewhere with a 1 hour drive.
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$131 (US$24) / day for 2 people. This is to eat Lunch and Dinner in Cheap Restaurants.
Your COE is about T$291 (US$53) / day. This is 0% UNDER budget.
COST OF LIVING (COL):
This leaves you nothing to LIVE on.
Fevzipasa is hard to get to and I am not sure that it is worth the trouble. I suggest that you try and get somewhere in the Didim Town area. For some, unknown, reason the Didim area is more expensive than other areas of Turkey.
To afford a month here you will need to:
- Come off-season (e.g. in mid April – May or October – mid November);
- Get a cheap Holiday Home;
- Buy in groceries and eat at home.
There are better options.
Could you afford to retire here on a GRANDPAcking budget? NO.