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I went to the ‘St Tropez of Turkey’ – it is liked by celebs and has wonderful seashore nightclubs

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IT’S solely taken about 7,000 years, however Turkey is lastly making a reputation for itself as a winemaking scorching spot.

Trendy vineyards are popping up throughout the nation amid the traditional ruins to make sure it’s firmly on the viticultural map.

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The beautiful Sedir Island in the Gulf of Gökova

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The gorgeous Sedir Island within the Gulf of GökovaCredit score: Getty
Stunning views across Bodrum Marina

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Beautiful views throughout Bodrum MarinaCredit score: Getty
Dozens of superyachts line the bays in this Turkish city as well as the nearby Yalikavak, known as the St Tropez of Turkey

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Dozens of superyachts line the bays on this Turkish metropolis in addition to the close by Yalikavak, often known as the St Tropez of TurkeyCredit score: Equipped

Whereas the Thrace and Cappadocia areas are arguably most well-known for his or her grapes, I’d determined to focuse my consideration on the lesser-known south west, particularly the Aegean coast.

It’s residence to a number of award- successful producers and has the additional advantage of encompassing the stylish Bodrum peninsula — filled with breathtaking bays, beautiful delicacies and historic landmarks.

Might there be a greater combo?

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The primary cease on my wine tour was Karnas Winery, simply half-hour from Bodrum metropolis centre.

The family-run boutique vineyard is tucked away in a valley set again from the coast and affords sweeping views of its luscious environment.

It primarily produces Zinfandel grapes as a result of fertile soil and balmy microclimate which is analogous to that of the Napa Valley.

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However the crew at Karnas, who reside upstairs, make a number of different wine varieties too, together with Syrah, Vermentino and Cabernet Franc, totalling round 35,000 bottles a 12 months.

I opted for a wine-pairing lunch whereas I used to be right here, which includes 4 programs, all created from locally-grown produce and every accompanied by vino.

The close by Garova and Mor Salkin wineries are all so shut to at least one one other you can simply spend a boozy afternoon sampling one of the best from all three.

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Workers will stroll you thru all the pieces intimately. In case you get actually into it, then there’s at all times the choice of venturing additional afield to Sevilen, Lucien Arkas and Yedi Bilgeler, which sit north in the direction of the town of Izmir.

However I used to be eager to get again to Bodrum to do some exploring.

Dozens of superyachts line the bays on this Turkish metropolis in addition to the close by Yalikavak, often known as the St Tropez of Turkey.

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With a pristine promenade and designer outlets on each nook, it’s a magnet for the wealthy and well-known — Mick Jagger, Kate Moss, Tom Hanks and Invoice Gates have all graced its cobblestone streets.

We have been staying on the 5H Lujo Lodge, which has ultra-sleek rooms overlooking the blue ocean, a number of contemporary water swimming pools and even its personal “night time membership” on the seashore.

In case you’re on extra of a price range, the Diamond Of Bodrum Lodge will place you within the thick of the motion, plus it’s only a 20-minute stroll from the harbour the place you’ll be able to rent a ship to sail the coast.

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After boarding our conventional picket vessel, the Gulet Bodrum Queen, we spent the day exploring a number of shimmering coves, then kayaking over to white stone seashores and lazing within the solar with an ice chilly glass of native wine.

We felt like celebs on our luxurious yacht expertise, but it surely seems you don’t must be minted to provide it a go as a full day on board the 12-person Gulet Bodrum Queen will set you again round £108.34pp (guide with guletecapes.com).

A glamorous yacht day was adopted up with a extra native custom, meze on the Marina Yacht Membership restaurant.

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Such as you’re enjoying musical chairs, you are taking your seat in a restaurant then instantly rise up and head straight for the kitchen the place, in entrance of the busy cooks, you view your in depth choices in a glass cupboard earlier than pointing at what you’d prefer to order.

I’d advocate something with aubergine. Fried, baked, roasted, mashed or pureed, every model I had was filled with flavour.

In case you actually wish to do it just like the locals do, you need to wash all of it down with a glass of Raki.

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Made with twice-distilled grapes and aniseed, it’s the go-to meze spirit and is finest served topped-up with water.

Really feel like a film star

However as somebody who hates liquorice, it’s undoubtedly not for me (I used to be on the wine once more).

It’s not simply the meals that’s nice about this Turkish coastal area.

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Bodrum sits on the location of Halicarnassus, which as soon as held the Mausoleum — one of many Seven Wonders of the Historical World.

It is usually residence to a Fifteenth-century fortress and Museum of Underwater Archaeology, which homes one of many oldest prehistoric exhibitions on the earth.

And simply outdoors, there may be the village of Etrim, the place households have been making conventional Turkish rugs for a whole bunch of years.

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I obtained a purple carpet welcome from Engin Basol, who grew up within the space and defined the intricacies of double-knotting.

I watched in awe as his mum Ummahan, in her 60s, threaded, weaved and lower multicoloured strings at lightning velocity.

After having a go myself, I can see why one rug can take as much as a 12 months to finish.

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Carpets go for something from about £70 to a number of 1000’s of kilos.

And one of the simplest ways to keep away from being ripped off, Engin tells me, is to show a rug over and have a look at the white dots on the again.

The smaller they’re, the dearer it must be because it’s of superior high quality and took longer to make.

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While you’ve had your fill of tradition, it’s undoubtedly price squeezing in some heart-pumping journey actions whilst you’re there, like jet-skiing, horse driving or an off-road quad bike safari.

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Not solely will hurtling over waves or galloping by way of fields blow away the cobwebs, you’ll really feel such as you’re a film star doing it.

Bodrum is the right mix of historical and trendy. I’ll drink to that – and native wine, after all!

A feast of Turkish dishes

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A feast of Turkish dishesCredit score: Shutterstock
After having a go herself, Sun writer Alice could see why one rug can take up to a year to complete

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After having a go herself, Solar author Alice might see why one rug can take as much as a 12 months to finishCredit score: Equipped
The amazing Hallcarnassus Amphitheatre

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The wonderful Hallcarnassus AmphitheatreCredit score: Alamy
A fun fuelled trip on a jet ski for Alice

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A enjoyable fuelled journey on a jet ski for AliceCredit score: Equipped

GO: BODRUM

GETTING/STAYING THERE: 4 nights’ all-inclusive on the 5* Lujo Lodge Bodrum is from £1,775pp, together with flights from Stansted on October 16.

Seven nights’ all-inclusive on the 3* Diamond Of Bodrum Lodge is from £719pp, departing from Stansted on October 3. See jet2holidays.com, or name 0800 408 5594.

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