My husband and I will have 5 nights to spend on the Aegean coast of Turkey, after visiting Ephesus and before we head back to Istanbul. There seem to be so many options of where to go, after a lot of thought we are still undecided! We generally enjoy quieter places and don't need a vibrant night life, but a good restaurant scene is important to us, along with a lot of character and opportunities for relaxation. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thank you!
I will put a plug for El Vino Hotel and Suites in Bodrum - it is literally a slice of heaven. Bodrum isn't the smallest or most quaint place - it's go the nightlife after all - but that hotel makes one feel like he's in paradise - it's a little isolated up a hill but short walk from everything. Bodrum has tons of attractions - including a fascinating museum of discovered shipwrecks (yes it WAS really interesting) and you can catch ferries to Kos and Rhodes in Greece and Datca (Turkey)
I don't know if you'd find it too quiet, but I really liked Datça which is a ferry ride from Bodrum. Totally relaxing and I found great food in mom and pop type of places. I'm not sure if by "restaurant scene" you mean hip and trendy - if you do, then that kind of place is likely to be the opposite of quiet and it probably will have a vibrant night life. Quiet places can have very good local, but not trendy restaurants. My idea of great food is not necessarily trendy but fresh from the sea - and there are lots of places like that in coastal Turkey. My recommendation is to read up on this area in Lonely Planet Turkey and you'll get a sense of which area best fits your needs. It is a long coastline after all - Marmaris, Bodrum, Fethiye, Antalya probably all have a different vibe. Cesme is closer to Izmir and Ephehsus though.
Check out Gumusluk near Bodrum, it's a lovely village in a small bay about 30 minutes outside the city.
I second the recommendation for El Vino in Bodrum. Loved this hotel. Make sure you reserve a seat for dinner on their rooftop . Lovely and great food.
HI Jessica - My family of 4 stayed in the little town of Sigacik (2 nights) and enjoyed it very much. Its a small town...mixture of locals and tourists. Located close to Ephesus. A suggestion....stay a night (we stayed 2 nights and wished we stayed another night) in Selcuk which is right by Ephesus. Selcuk has the local character you're looking for. Selcuk has great restaurants. I enjoyed Wallabies especially. While in Selcuk my family went to the Turkish Bath in town. About 1/3 the cost of Istanbul's bath. It's coed. Not many tourists. We had no clue what to do and they were helpful letting us know what to do. Do both the bath and the message. Walk the back streets of the town by the ruins....very interesting. Sirince is near Selcuk...very beautiful. Back to Sigacik....it's not so much a beach resort type of town...it's a small lazy town on the water. Have your husband get a haircut. That's an experience...you can watch. They have videos on youtube. Go to Teos...a small ruins that you can walk and have the place to yourself...complete with sheep grazing. Selck and Sigacik arre good spots if you have a car to explore the surrounding areas. For me Sigacik is a bit small to warrant 5 nights in that town alone. I would recommend 3 in Selcuk and 2 in Sigacik.