Leyla Yvonne Ergil
ISTANBUL: If you’re after fun in the sun in a chic environment with worldly cuisine and dancing to the country’s top DJs at sunset sessions then look no further… Check out this list of 2022’s most happening beach clubs along Türkiye’s southern coast
A recent survey conducted by Bounce listed Istanbul as the fourth trendiest city to visit amongst TikTok users, following Dubai, New York and London. This got me thinking about a little lesser-known side of Türkiye’s southern Aegean coast. These very hip destinations harbor lively beach clubs, where you can chill out and lounge in style while also listening to some of the country’s most popular electronic music DJs.
Located in Yalıkavak’s Tilkicik cove, Ruins Bodrum is gearing up to host this year’s Chill-Out Festival, which is a daylong extravaganza of workshops, activities and electronic music, which will take place on Aug. 21. This is quite an impressive feat as the venue only opened to much fanfare in July and has been hosting DJs from all over the world since then. Ruins stands out for its magnificent stone building resembling the Esma Sultan mansion on Istanbul’s Bosporus. The building at Ruins houses an art gallery, a spa and a Tapas restaurant and opens onto a refreshing and expansive pool in addition to a sandy beach with sunbeds.
The original host of the Chill Out Festival, Xuma Village, has been and will probably always remain the most elevated beach experience. From its remote feeling location in a secluded cove with the most luxurious boats in the Aegean docked in the actual bay, to the expansive grounds of the site which includes a wellness spa and yoga workshops as well as a revered restaurant serving international cuisine, with people coming back for the crispy duck alone to the pristine beds that line the beach for literally laying out in the sun. this place has it all and a regular line-up of the world’s most sought-after electronic music performances.
Sea Me Beach
Making the headlines last year as the secluded bay and exclusive beach club where Bill Gates was reported to have held a secret 60-year-young birthday bash, with the now second richest man in the world Jeff Bezos as one of the guests. Sea Me Beach is a Bali-esque beach club located in Fethiye’s Boncuklu Bay that is famed for their sunset parties led by Türkiye’s top DJs. The beach club, with rustic furniture, pillows and creative sculptures, is divided into two sections, one for families with an international cafe and the other “adults only,” which also harbors a sushi restaurant.
The Beach of Momo
Opened five years ago, The Beach of Momo has become “the” address if you aren’t surfing in Çeşme’s Alaçatı. Located in Çeşme’s Dalyan, which is just past the windsurfing beach and the beach clubs that adjoin it, The Beach of Momo feels like you could be anywhere in the world with inspired decor, fine Mediterranean dining and some of the best DJ music in Türkiye and from abroad. Voted the best beach club in Türkiye for the past three years, Momo has since become somewhat of a brand opening an exclusive speakeasy in Arnavutköy and this summer a new beach club in Bodrum’s Tilkicik Cove. So, The Beach of Momo in Bodrum could very well also be on this list, especially since their Saturday sunset parties are now all the rage. Meanwhile, the sunset DJ parties also continue full force in Çeşme.
Previously known as Göcek Island, Fimi Island has become an “it” spot for electronic music-lovers, especially when they host dayslong festivals devoted to DJs and dancing, morning to night. This beach club, which has been transformed and renamed in recent years, is actually only accessible by boat, but luckily there are boat taxis that set out from Göcek’s seaside to take guests there. Once you get there, it’s all worth it as the setting is spectacular and especially the ginormous wooden bar which is actually part of an even larger sculpture of an Indigenous man. Needless to say, it’s impressive and the setting is like a tropical deserted island yet outfitted with very comfortable sunbeds, a restaurant with tuille curtains amongst pine trees and DJs playing electronic music in the background.
A place dear in my heart, you may recall I recently mentioned this beach club for being an excellent spot for sea kayaking, but Kargıcak Bay is actually one of the trendiest beach clubs that is being discovered and uncovered this summer. Not only is it a great place to kayak or stand-up paddle, but it will also be featured in the “Hidden Aegean” travel documentary I was a guest on that will air on Amazon Prime, with its farm-to-table menu and gourmet dining with ingredients sourced from the organic farm on the premises.
I found out about Kargıcak Bay because of the musical guests that come out there to play starting at sunset and sometimes leading into the evening hours. From top DJs to live musical performances by the likes of folk-pop star and local resident Evrencan Gündüz, Kargıcak hosts concerts, has a full menu of mouthwatering Turkish fusion dishes, a full range of water sports available, pristine white sunbeds and sits on a spectacular stretch of sea just left of the famous İztuzu turtle beach and just right of a “cove” that is easily accessible via swimming, with the most illuminating turquoise water one could envision.