The question on most folks minds this year was Is it safe to go to Turkey??? The media in general had whipped up almost to hysteria level about ISIS, bombings, and from a country that relies heavily on tourism, many people fell for the line it was dangerous.
I am not decrying people who decided not to go that is obviously a decision that only they can make for their family. My point is, London is on a higher terror threat than Turkey, most of the issues and dreadful bombings that devestated so many lives happened in countries less than an hour from the UK. Most issues in Turkey are at Syrian border over 10 hours away and in Ankara and Istanbul.
Maybe as a DE I am slightly biased towards Icmeler and Turkey in general but I offer my full and honest review, with no rose coloured specs.
Choose to book with Tommy Cook as flight times were good and in the end I was very lucky. My flight times did not change at all, although I am aware many other had flights moved
Check in at Glasgow airport was worse than dreadful. We had checked in online, but to hand our cases over we waited nearly 1 hour in queue
Flight left on time and arrived on time, enough leg room, and a decent flight over. Plane was just about full only a few seats here and there empty
We arrived at 16.05 and were the only flight in Dalaman. Through passport control quickly to cases. Started to panic a wee bit as my cases were one of the last ones off.
Off to pick up our speedy transfer, which was easy and we were just about to leave when 1 elderly lady in a party of 4 though she had left her bag in toilet. So back she went to get it, as it had her purse passport and money. No sign of it in toilets, so off she goes to security. One of her party for some reason looked in back of bus and there was the missing bag. So after about a 30 minute delay off we go.
Stopped off for the usual stop but the stop place was decent and food and drink reasonable, for 15 minutes exactly.Last ones off speedy shuttle as usual and it only took 2 h 5 min
Stopped at Celik aprtments which were very good and also pretty full most of the time. 16 apartments and usually 12/15 rooms booked. Plenty of return visitors as well and some even extended their stay, others have booked already for next May as well as staying in September
To be brutally honest Icmeler was not at its best, a few places closed that did eventually open as the weeks progressed. The area at Kontes/ Efendi/Maestro, all deserted or knocked down. A good few hotels not open, Hotel Royale/ Quadas/ Portofino/ Elite World and many more with very few guests. I thought some of the areas looked a little grubby and not the cleanest they have been.
Plenty of bars/restaurants with either very few or no customers most nights during our 2 weeks. I think unless there is a dramatic improvement in visitor numbers some of them will not last the season. Really empty places, Deja Vu/ Sylvias/ Sofra/ Charlies Place/Pagoda/ Masala/ Friends/Sizzler/BuffaloTurkish Delight/Canary.Liverpool bar/ Vodka bar/Sonys/ 3 Bells/ Romeo and Juliet/ Jimmy Okimo
I thought prices were up since last year, but still overall good value. Prices are detailed below
Even in the shops as there were so few visitors to the resort, no one was going in to the shops or buying anything. As the season goes on some of these places will also suffer unless there is an upturn in tourists
Hassle was no existent really a polite no was always enough. Biggest pain for hassle was the guys at Friends on the square. They have a large restaurant /bar and it was empty most nights, so they were a bit more persistant than others but not overly so.
As we have being going to Icmeler for years we decided to not eat a lot in the tourist restaurants and had many meals in the Pide places Besides we find that now some bread and meze and a main course is just about right.
Went to Nefis/ Kayra/ Cadde and the best one of all Kardelen( went there 5 times), meals were plentiful delicious and typically with soft drinks typically around 40 lira for 2. I would recommend any of those places. Also ate in Lovestar/ Tommys/ Tin Tins and the apartments all of which were also very good.
Spent many nights and some days in Tin Tins which generally was fairly busy. According to Mrs smc4761 they do the best latte in Icmeler and the fresh orange, freshly squeezed is also lovely
Went on several boat trips, booked with Eric at April Travel and went on Mehmet Reis boat. Holds about 35 people but was only around half full. This was the same for most boats. Food was lovely and a great day out for £10 which included an hour in Turunc. Again some of the boats are going out with few people on board and not going out very often
About the resort, very few Russian, German or Dutch tourists
Big thing this year is the large disability type scooters for 2 people. Plenty of the going around the resort for hire
A few prices, these are typical you will get things cheaper or dearer depending where you go all prices are in lira
Local spirit and mixer 12---15
Soft drink 5 small or 8 large
Cocktails 12-15 lira some doing 2 for 20 as a BOGOF
Chicken set meal 28--35
Steak set meal 35---50
Chicken dish 22-28
Steak meal 35---50
hot starter 8--12
In the supermarkets
bottle of cola 2 litre 3
small bottle cola 1.8
small water 0.5---1
large 5 l water 2.5--5
cereal eg cocoa pops 6
15 eggs 5
cooked chicken 11
fruit and veg is very cheap and delicious, much better than UK
As I said at the start this I hope is an honest review, Icmeler has lost its sparkle a little. With so many empty/quiet bars and shops. its not the same as it was say 5 years ago. The people are still as welcoming, the food is just as good and in some places the atmosphere is still there. Very little music in the resort from the bars, very few dancing waiters or Michael Jackson shows, which IMHO is a good thing
Maybe there are too many bars and shops competing for less tourists and some may have to close. This may allow Icmeler to become the resort it was years ago, as a laid back sort of place
I went through to Marmaris and some money has been spent there, you could tell and it looked a lot more vibrant and cleaner than Icmeler.
Icmeler has not quite lost its sparkle, it is still a good place to holiday, it maybe needs to up its act a little to maintain the high standards it set.
Final word on the terror threat. What terror threat, I noticed absolutley no difference around the resort, no obvious increased security presence, just folks going about there business and holidays same as they did years ago , all very relaxed and chilled
Hopefully this may put folks at ease a little. if you want any more info give me a shout