Göltürkbükü, Turkey

Photo: NO81 HOTEL
Photo: NO81 HOTEL

This trip was set up months ago. You’ve been dreaming of the perfect weather, the warm water, and the gorgeous scenery along the Turquoise Coast. You’ve been planning to relax in the sunshine, watch sailboats glide through the harbor, and sip fruity cocktails. You’d sleep late, forget about your diet, and dance late into the night. It was supposed to be a true escape with no real itinerary.

Now your Turkish plans are up in the air. A terrorist attack, an attempted coup, and continued unrest have left the country in shambles. Istanbul Atatürk Airport, the country’s largest international airport, is open, though flights continue to be canceled. While travel warnings do nothing to ease your fears.

So you may have to postpone your vacation to the Turkish Riviera right now. You had planned to travel to the Bodrum Peninsula, see the ancient city’s historic sites, and explore the tightly woven streets. You were going to stay on the north shore of the peninsula, where an old fishing village, Göltürkbükü, is now better known for its luxury hotels and second homes. High hills ring its harbor, leaving it well protected like an enormous swimming pool. A half-circle boardwalk is lined with cafes, shops, and bathing docks. Plus a small hotel borders the seafront just steps from the center of town.

Photo: NO81 HOTEL
Photo: NO81 HOTEL

No:81 Hotel’s low buildings, draped with bougainvillea, were created to preserve their surrounding environment. Tall grass and large stones surround a little pond. Stone paths lead through the colorful gardens. A quiet pool is hidden behind another rooftop garden. While the minimal rooms have modern bathrooms, pops of red, and balconies with views of the truly turquoise water.

It’s along the waterfront where you’ll spend most of your time. A boardwalk, instead of a sandy beach, lines the waterfront. Red-cushioned sun loungers and white umbrellas sit along the edge. Ladders descend into the incredibly warm water, which is usually calm until an afternoon breeze rolls in. Plus wooden platforms are just a quick swim off the coast.

You’ll sit in the sun, swim in the water, and eat Mediterranean salads, topped with salty feta, at Daze Beach during the day. Sunset will bring bottles of crisp white wine and plates of fresh vegetables (zucchini blossoms and artichokes) and fish (poached white grouper and grilled sea bass) at a waterfront table. Champagne cocktails and hip-shaking music will arrive with the stars as lights from across the harbor dance over the water. While you’ll have no worries at all on your beach vacation. Even if you have to wait longer than you expected for it.

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