Dikili is situated at the north of Izmir, and opposite the Greek Island of Lebos/Mitilini.
This charming county which is 120 km. away from Izmir, attracts Turkish tourists with its lovely beaches and clear water. The excavations revealed that the history of Dikili goes back to 4000-5000 B.C.
The drive into Dikili from Izmir (once out of the city) offers some spectacular scenery. For the most of the journey it is a straight road. Although the transfer is 1,5 hours I believe this is start of the holiday so try to book in daylight hours.
The scenery consists of mountains, olive groves, vineyards and cotton fields. See the people working the land; horses and carts are still widely in use. This is where you start to get a feel for real Turkish life.
Dikili is a seaside fishing town that is made up of mainly holiday villas and a few hotels. The charming centre with cobbled streets has restaurants, bars and shops.
American and European tourists from cruise ships briefly pass through on their way to Bergama. This means that although the resort remains uncommercialised, the locals are used to and interested in foreign visitors.
In the summer months, Turkish tourists with summerhouses venture there for their holidays, and at weekends.
Although Dikili is an uncommercialised resort it does have excellent facilities.
There are good transports links both internally and to the surrounding sites of interest at very reasonable prices. In peak season there are 4 buses per hour allowing the locals to travel in and out of the town centre for approx 30p a trip. At other times the Dolmus run 2 times per hour.
From the centre you can get frequent dolmuses to Candarli, Avyalik, Bergama and Bademli and other areas of interest. If you enjoy walking a walk to the centre across the beach will take approximately 20-30 minutes.
RESTAURANTS & EATING
There are numerous restaurants throughout Dikili though the majority are in the town centre and harbour. There are several places like beach cafes which are less than a minute walk away. Other restaurants can be found along the route to the center which can be reached by foot or by dolmus if you prefer. Eating out options range from the equivalent of Turkish fast food which includes Pides (Turkish Pizzas) or Cafes with a variety of pre-cooked hot food such as casseroles rice or vegetarian dishes. They may look quite basic outside but the food is normally very good and with prices a £1 for a meal. A step up is a visit to a Pide/Kebab Salonu which again look quite basic but serve high quality food including mezes, salads, Pides, Kebabs, mixed grills, and fish dishes. A meal in this type of establishment will normally cost in the region of £3 per person. Near the harbour and the Town centre you will find the posher restaurants that normally specialise in fish but do have a variety of food on the menu. These places are more expensive by Turkish standards at about £5-7 a head but again the quality is excellent and this would include mezes, a salad and bread. Overall you will be surprised at the variety, quality and cost of the food in Dikili which in my opinion you would be hard pushed to beat in the whole of Turkey.
Dikili has a weekly organic market on Tuesdays where farmers from the surrounding areas sell their produce. The market also sells other goods such as gifts so it is an ideal place to stock up on some presents. There is also a Tansas supermarket at the centre. Here you find most goods that you would expect to find in a European Supermarket with the exception of pork products (so if you can not do without your bacon sandwiches during your stay then don´t forget to bring some with you). People with young children will find the supermarket especially useful as it does stock items such as cornflakes, yogurts, and pampers nappies. For the older generation you can buy tea bags and even Nescafe. Items such as branded sun creams, shampoos and feminine care are also on offer at reasonable prices so it might not be necessary to bring these with you.
If you prefer to eat in then why not purchase some fresh fish from the harbour caught that day by the fishermen. Cooked slowly on your brick built BBQ and served with a fresh salad and bread, you will find a meal that is hard to beat, but takes the minimum of effort.
SHOPPING FOR GOLD, PLATES, CARPETS AND OTHER TURKISH GOODS
You will find numerous shopping opportunities both in Dikili and the surrounding areas. Gold can be purchased cheaply in Dikili and Bergama. If you are looking to buy a Turkish carpet then Bergama is a famous weaving region in Turkey. Turkish plates and leather can also be found in the more commercial Bergama which is only a 20 minute drive from Dikili.
A doctor service is available in Dikili. There are several pharmacies in Dikili Town centre too. A government hospital is at the entry of city which serves 24 hours.
In the summer months the Turkish professional classes, or those that can afford a holiday home arrive from cities such as Izmir and Istanbul to enjoy their yearly holiday. The main activities revolve around the harbour in the evenings where Dikili lazily comes to life. People eat drink and relax by having a fish supper and watching the stunning sunset. There is a small bazar where you can purchase local crafts and sometimes traditional music is arranged on the beach. The feel is very provincial and relaxing and catered firmly towards families and couples with a lack of noisy bars and discos thankfully. Children are welcomed with open arms in all establishments.
TWO BLUE FLAG BEACHES
The beach is 6km long and consists of a mid colour fine sand. Two beaches in Dikili hold blue flag certification and the sea is very clean and crystal clear.
1. Belediye Halk Plaj (public beach)
2. Kyra Beach
The areas near the hotel and the centre offer the most in terms of services (ie refreshments umbrellas sun beds etc). However many areas remain in their natural state. So depending upon what you like there is something for everyone in Dikili.
Although Turkey is a Muslim country alcohol is widely available in the restaurants, bars and shops. The Turkish vodka and gin is about £5 a bottle, drink it if you dare. Turkish beer is surprisingly good and refreshing on a hot summers day. The brands Efes and Tuborg are the most popular. Carlsberg, Miller, Becks, Corona and many more other beers are also available at markets, shops and bars.
VALUE FOR MONEY
Dikili compares favorably to other more commercial resorts in Turkey as it caters mainly for Turkish people who are aware of the real cost of living.
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Due to its unique location spanning two continents Asia and Europe, Turkey also has many site of religious importance for the main 3 faiths, Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Some Religious sites are located within easy reach of Dikili, including one of the 7 churches mentioned in the book of revelations.
Finally, the reason to choose Dikili is because it’s the place to have your holiday home because it remains uncommercialised, and is the ideal base to see some of most outstanding sights and scenery that Turkey has to offer. It also offers a unique insight into Turkish culture that is sadly lacking in some of the commercial resorts.
This holiday would suit the more independent traveller who has moved on from the package holiday but would still appreciate a luxurious base. It would also suit families with children who may also would like their children to enjoy the holiday. We would also recommend that a car be hired to make the most of the holiday. A personal chauffeur can be arranged including airport transfers.
All in all Dikili offers all the services you would expect to find in a more commercial resort but retains a charm that few can match.