Just like last year the question on many lips was is Turkey a safe place for a holiday. I am aware of many people who will not go because of the troubles at the border with Syria ( over 1000 miles away) and the coup last year. In my opinion this fear is unfounded but I do understand peoples concerns. Unfortunately for Icmeler and other Turkish resorts, this fear is having an impact.
The report below is an honest and frank review through my eyes and having been to Icmeler every year since around 2003, sometimes twice a year there are many changes still happening and the majority are not good for the resort.
I had booked Easy jet flights from Edinburgh to Dalaman when they first came out and got them for a great price, £340 for both of us with luggage. Flights have however increased quite dramatically and again this may put folks off.
Off to a bad start, I checked the flight tracker on day of travel, about 10 hours before flight and noted a 1.5 hour delay. Check in at Edinburgh was excellent but flight delay was now 2 hours and it changed again before we finally took off 2.5 hours late
New easyjet plane, very smart inside and plenty of legroom, I am 5ft 11. We managed to make up some time and arrived 25 mins early
We had booked speedy shuttle, 4 stops only but when we checked in as flight was late they could not do this. We went to a 16 seater minibus and had usual 15 minute stop. As we were about to get back on minibus a private car arrive from tour company and us an another couple were transferred to this. Thereafter a very quick transfer. From moment plane arrived, through passport, collected bags and arrived at apartment was just a tad over 2 hours
Stayed at KURT apartments which were very good. About 2/3 full with many returning guests. No pressure at all to eat there. Decent pool, all balconies overlook pool with bedrooms at back so fairly peaceful. Typical Turkish apartment, 2 single beds which were a bit low and hard maybe for some, kitchen with fridge, 2 ring cooker and kettle. Plenty of sunbeds and no bun fight queuing for sunbed
Out and about overall most places were either quiet or very quiet and some even dead. A few places still closed, Marti la Perla and Portofino hotels. In the village as well as Wayside, Sylvias and Robin Hood has now gone. Most nights we would go out around 8.15 and many restaurant, Buket, Deja Vu, Titanic,Vince's the Indian restuarant next to Vela,Pagoda,Friends Lovestar Hanedan, Meryem,Sonys and all of the 4 beachside bars, Pier 15, Coco beach had very few customers most nights.
Richards Place was jumping most nights, the Champagne had some in but not many most nights
Even the bars that over the years were always busy, Sports Inn, Friends opposite Loveboat had some in but overall very quiet. Liverpool bar, Vodka bar and Geordie bar were also people free zones at around 11 oclock. Went to go to Kaktus one night but as no one in tried Magic Garden then Eddies then Oscars and not 1 person in any of them. Even my usual haunt of Tin Tin which is normally busy was less than half full most nights. Buffalo was also quiet
There are some busy places, Richards, Wonder bar, the new Daisy and Cheers pubs had a few in most nights but they are all very lively bars and very loud. If you like some crotch thrusting from young waiters you will love these places. Even Romance Palace quieter than normal.
The area where the Cafe del Mar and Brothers on the walk to Marmaris is all gone and the area looks pretty poor
My first boat trip was cancelled due to lack of number, 28 May, but we went to harbour and got another boat, the OZGE which went out with only 11 adults and 2 young children. Great day out and food was plentiful and delicious. Water was freezing. All for £10 for a full day out
Went on out original boat trip, Eren 1 later that week water was much warmer and again boat only had about 20 people on board. Stopped at Turunc for an hour on both boats.
We find nowadays that we can no longer eat big set meals so had most of our meals at the Pide places, Kayra, Kardelen and Nefis' Food there was always good and still plentiful, with amazing prices. Kayra was the best of them. But a wee bit naughty on our last visit they had increased the food and drinks by between 10 and 25%, although still well priced. Also went to Vinces, Tommys and the best one the Lovestar
For those who have been going for a few years, Ozzys used to be in Village up near Wembley. He now has a new restaurant, opposite Tin Tin, in the old Champion bar. Had a meal there as well and it was good.
An important part of many people holiday. Below is a typical example of prices, some will be cheaper/dearer
Efes/ Tuborg mainly 10/12 lira but some selling at 8
local drink Vodka etc and mixer 15/12 lira. Some doing BOGOFF for about 20 lira
Soft drinks 5--8
small water 2
5 litre water 2.5--5
can of coke 2
2 litre coke 3
cooked chicken 13
breakfast cereal 9
chicken or pasta set meal 30-36
steak set meal 40--55
English brekkie 5-15
wrap and chips 8--12
burger and chips 12--15
Excursion prices same as last year. Dolmus to Marmaris 3 lira, taxi boat 15 lira
Sam Buca show is £18 with meal and drink or just £ for show only
The mobility scooters are this years big thing, they are every where for young and old. Mainly double mobility scooters
The Russians are back and there are plenty of them especially on the front hotels and all the big hotels at the beginning of Marmaris.
The 2 weeks absolutely flew in and first week weather was a bit iffy a few cloudy days and rain, wee bit cold at night. But by 2nd week temps had picked to around 33-35
Exchange rate dropped from 4.55 to 4.40 then back up again slightly. Supermarkets are giving about 3 kourous more than exchange places
Time to go home. We got picked up at 16.55 for out flight back at 22.25. Travel time in the minibus was just under 2 hours
DALAMAN airport--- Read at your peril this is not for faint hearted;)
As you go in you place your cases and bags on scanner, you also get frisked remove belts wallets etc. Go to check in, they are charging if your cases are overweight. Went to Security passport control, again hand luggage scanned, remove belts wallets etc. This was fairly quick. Onto duty free, prices OK but many perfumes etc can be had cheaper in UK
Now the fun starts for those still reading. Dalaman airport prices have not changed still ridiculously overpriced. Almost a tenner for a McDonalds, £8 for a beer £2.50 can of coke. Please do not encourage them if you can take your own food. I know for many however this is still a part of the holiday and they will pay no matter what the prices
Now the fun bit. We got called to our gate at 21.25 for our 22.25 flight. To be fair this is a wee bit earlier than previous years. Again queue up to go through, this time there are 2 tables and your hand luggage gets opened, they search it quite thoroughly, you are swabbed, patted down again. Now with each search taking between 2-3 minutes with about 180 passengers, you do the maths the flight will not be on time. By 22.15 they still had around 50 people to check, eventually they decided to add 2 more desks and eventually we were all boarded a 22.50
The 2 flights due out before us are also delayed by about 30 minutes
The plane reverses out then sits for 10 minutes, Then back to parking area. A customer is not feeling well and needs to get off.By the time they are off and their luggage another 40 minute delay
Now I know security is very important but do you really need to be searched 3 times. If so fine but at least put on the resources to allow for all the additional checks.. Many in the queue were really hacked off especially with the final hand luggage search. I can see this putting a few people off going to Turkey especially when you also add in no Kindles, phones laptops etc
I would love to have painted a glowing picture of Icmeler but in many ways the resort has gone downhill. This has resulted in fewer folks going, bars being quiet which in turn is putting folk off. There is nothing worse than walking into a near empty bar/restaurant, with no atmosphere. No one was going into the shops, far less actually buying anything. Boat trips numbers are down and business are suffering. The season seems to be starting later, many apartments are very quiet.
On the plus side, I thought the resort looked cleaner this year, flowers were in full bloom, council workers were everywhere tidying the resort.
Icmeler still has something for everyone loud bars, Wonderboys, Daisy and plenty of laid back places. Still great value for food, maybe not so much drinks wise. people are still as genuine, and warm Never say any trouble anywhere, no drunks or arguments
Is Turkey still safe? Well in my opinion absolutely. Did not feel unsafe at any time, very little police/ Jandermare presence. Just a very laid back holiday feel to the resort.
So if you still swithering on whether to go. Go on you know you want to.
If you have any questions please feel to ask and I hope you all have a wonderful holiday wherever you ,may goEdited: 08 June 2017, 00:44