Bitez Holidays – One of Turkey’s top watersports destinations
A small, relaxed seaside town on Turkey’s southwest coast, Bitez is a popular choice with families and watersports enthusiasts. You’ll find a long, sandy half-moon beach backed by a laid-back Turkish resort that has retained much of its character; traditional wooden houses and shops intermingle with the newer hotels and holiday apartments amongst the fragrant pines. The surrounding countryside is beautiful; think ancient olive trees and shady orange groves. Families will like the quiet, peaceful atmosphere and calm, shallow waters of the sheltered bay; watersports fans will be in their element as this is considered one of the best spots in Turkey for windsurfing and sailing, due to the constant warm winds.
Nightlife here is fairly low key – mainly centred around the seafront tavernas and bars on the beach promenade. For a livelier night out, the larger resort of Bodrum is just 10 minutes’ drive away, and there are more bars and clubs to explore in the Gumbet area neighbouring Bitez. There is plenty to do in the area, including boat trips along the coast on a traditional Turkish gulet, excursions to the ancient crumbling ruins of Troy, Ephesus and the natural pools at Pamukkale, as well as cycling, horse riding and walking in the stunning countryside.
When to go
For windsurfing and sailing, the best time for Bitez holidays will be between June-September when the winds are strongest. For those who just want to relax on the beach, the hottest months are between June-August. These are also the peak summer season months, so holiday prices will be higher and the resort will be busier over this period – good for those who like a livelier bar scene. For those who want to explore the surrounding countryside, the spring months of April-May are perfect, with lower temperatures more suitable for walking and cycling, and the chance to see the orchards and orange groves coming into bloom. September-October also sees plenty of sunshine but cooler temperatures, as well as lower ‘off-peak’ prices.
The weather in Bitez
Resorts on the Bodrum and Izmir Coast such enjoy a warm Mediterranean climate, with a long, hot and dry summer season. Being on a peninsula jutting into the Aegean Sea, Bitez also sees strong, blustery winds – hence its popularity with windsurfers and sailors. The spring sees temperature of 21-26C with between 9-11 hours of sunshine per day. Summer really hots up, with temperatures averaging 30-34C and highs well above this in the high 30’s or even early 40’s. September-October is the autumn season, with temperatures falling from 30C to around 25C. November marks the beginning of the winter season, which stretches through to March. Temperatures range between 14-20C during this time, so a winter sun holiday is possible, particularly in November-early December.
Getting the best deal
Bitez can get very crowded during the peak summer months. The best-priced accommodation will sell out fast over this period, so it’s wise to book as early as possible to get the best deal. The off-peak seasons of spring and autumn generally see lower prices, as well as some great last minute holiday offers if you’re willing to book late. Consider an all-inclusive holiday to Bitez if you want to keep a tight rein on your holiday spending; the initial cost of the holiday may be slightly dearer, but you won’t have to worry about any meals or drinks while you’re away. Avoid notoriously expensive periods such as the Easter, summer and half-term school holidays. Find the best prices we have to offer by looking at the deals below or alternatively by visiting our late deals offers here.
Airport and transport need to know
Visitors to Bitez will fly into the Milas-Bodrum Airport (BJV), which is located around 45km from the resort and takes approximately 50 minutes to reach by road. The airport is modern and spacious, with two terminals – one international and one domestic – and a second international terminal under construction due to be completed in 2012. There are restaurants, bars, cafes and shops here, as well as cash machines, currency exchange and care hire.
It will take between 4 and 5 hours to reach the airport from the UK, depending from whereabouts in the country you fly from. London Gatwick, Luton and Stansted, as well as Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham and smaller regional hubs like Bristol and Leeds Bradford all offer flights to Bodrum Airport. There is a greater range of flights to the airport between April-October than November-March.
The easiest way of getting to Bitez from the airport is by taxi. Taxis wait outside the Arrivals hall at the international terminal – you can’t miss them. A large sign indicates the price tariffs to the various resorts. It is a 24-hour service. You should expect to pay around £40 for a car seating 4 people. You can pre-book a taxi though companies such as Bodrum Transfers. Alternatively, you can pre-book a shared shuttle taxi (usually a minivan), which works out cheaper but takes longer. A party of 4 can expect to pay as little as £5 each for a shared shuttle service, but the journey can take almost twice as long depending on how many other passengers there are and where they need to be dropped off. A-T-S.net provides pre-bookable shared shuttle taxi services. .
You can also catch a public bus to Bitez from the airport - this is the most time-consuming option but also fairly cheap. It will cost under £10, but can take the best part of 2 hours if not longer. Catch a HAVAS bus (see here for time tables and prices) to the main bus depot in Bodrum city centre. From there, you can pick up a connecting bus to Bitez.
The best beaches in Bitez
Bitez is located on a small peninsula that juts out into the warm, aquamarine Aegean Sea. For such a small area, there is a surprisingly diverse selection of beaches on this southern outcrop, from busy tourist beaches with plenty of facilities, to secluded, tranquil bays with few or no amenities. There are no charges for the sun beds or parasols at any of these beaches.
The beach at Bitez is a long but fairly narrow stretch of golden sand and shingle, sheltered in the east by a long spit of land below Gumbet that forms a curling, horseshoe bay. There are plenty of sun loungers, parasols and even hammocks for those lounging around in the sun. Behind the beach is a promenade with numerous beach bars, shops and restaurants. A number of boat trips leave from the beach, including tours of the coastline and moonlight cruises. One of the main draws of Bitez beach is the watersports scene here; windsurfing and sailing are particularly good due to the constant peninsula winds, or for the more amateur enthusiast there are banana boats, jet skis and pedaloes.
A half hour walk or 5-minute drive from Bitez is the popular beach resort of Gumbet. Gumbet beach is a small, popular sandy beach located on the outskirts of Bodrum. It has warm, shallow waters and plenty of amenities including public toilets, sun loungers, parasols, beach bars, cafes and restaurants, making it a popular choice for families. There are various watersports on offer here, and a few minutes’ walk further inland you’ll find Bar Street.
Camel beach (Bağla)
Around half an hour’s drive from Bitez on the south-westernmost tip of the peninsula, you’ll find the peaceful, secluded Camel or Bağla beach. The beach’s off-the-beaten track location means there are far less tourists here, and therefore far fewer facilities. It’s a great spot for those who like to get away from the crowds and commercialism of the bigger, more touristy resorts. The beach gets its name from the camel rides that are offered by the locals on the shore.