Where is this secret?
Just 35 minutes drive from Dalaman Airport in Turkey, lands you in a pearl of the Mediterranean that has all the status of a National Park.
Göcek used to be a sleepy town, frequented by the artists of Bodrum, but it soon became famous in the yachting sphere due to its sheltered, pristine marinas and 12 surrounding islands to explore in its crystal clear waters.
To sell itself further, it neighbours lush gardens, picturesque coves and majestic mountains scented in pine. Low level villas, boutique hotels and the beautifully crafted, traditional Gulets offer visitors both the chance to unwind in dramatic, peaceful scenery, yet enjoy the upmarket bars, shops and restaurants on the doorstep. Due to the area being protected, Göcek will never succumb to the high rises that can sadly blight a previously pretty town, making it an ideal retreat for generations to come.
Places to go
The beach clubs Upper Deck Club and D-Marin are the places to be seen. D-Marin is popular for its independent shopping, small cafes and bars. It neighbours the impressive D-Resort, and as well as a white sand Blue Flag beach it hosts a variety of upscale activities for adults and families alike throughout the season. Coming up there are Art Days, Sunset Concerts, Kids Workshops, Fishing Competitions, BBQ nights, Classical Concerts, a Summer Party and even a Tree Planting Day.
As an alternative, the main island beach is reachable by water taxi from the marina and takes about 15 minutes. It’s surrounded by pine trees, calm turquoise waters and makes for a comfortable, secluded beach day by offering a cafe, bar, changing facilities, sun loungers and parasols.
There are some idyllic small sailing boats taking discerning groups on the 12 islands tour from the main marina. The full day will include stopping at picturesque spots for swimming, freshly prepared Turkish cuisine, all drinks, plus a professional crew. D-Resort also provide luxury private tours.
For non sailors, but keen divers, ancient ruins of the old town, Kalimche, can be explored in pristine nearby bays. According to Lycian legend, this is where Icarus fell into the sea following flying too close to the sun.
If you like your history, nearby Fethiye occupies the site of the ancient Lycian city of Telmessos, and some impressive rock tombs are well worth exploring.
The Local ‘must-do’ activity
If you’re there on a Sunday, then Göcek market is a must-see, as the sheer selection of local produce and spices on offer is something to behold. If only to take back fresh fruits, vegetables, bread and Turkish pancakes back to the boat or Villa.
Restaurants to be lured in by
Can Restaurant in Skopia Marina specialises in seafood, and in particular its meze. So good, even the locals have to book. There is a sheltered terrace overlooking the boats, calm waters and most importantly the sunset.
The Sea Breeze Restaurant, D-Resort, (see above) has a spectacular terrace and serves up high-end, deliciously fresh produce that will leave you returning again and again.
West Cafe and Bistro ticks the traditional box, but with stylish flair. Come here for great Turkish coffee, juices, varied menus throughout the day all freshly prepared and presented impressively.
An Offer worth grabbing
The Discerning Collection currently have a saving of up to £200 per person at the D-Resort hotel during May and September. This comes with many extras slipped into the deal, meaning a great post-school holiday getaway, or enticing last minute pre-Summer break.