Saturday, July 30, 2011

A day at Fun Beach (ex Kum Beach) in Çeşme...

Dear readers,

Welcome to day 5 (written on day 6) of my trip to Çeşme! Time is quickly passing and I believe I will be leaving in a few days to either return to Istanbul or make a stop over in another jewel of the Aegean coast - Bodrum! Bodrum is a city that I know like the back of my hand and have been visiting the city for the past 30 years - at least. This trip for me is both business and pleasure as I am researching the region for the next issue of Fodor's Travel Guide on Turkey which will be published in March 2012 and I have been commissioned to edit and update the section on the Central and Southeast Aegean regions. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it!

After an incredible evening of good food, cheer and music at MONK by Babylon last night (see previous article), we decided to spend a day at the beach yesterday and then go-karting in the evening - something my nephew has been asking us to do for days!

Our beach club of choice yesterday was Fun Beach - previously called Kum Beach. Fun Beach is located in Altınkum and just to give you an idea, it is about a 10 minute drive from downtown Çeşme and about a 20-25 minute drive from Ilıca where I am staying.

We had made a reservation for a table (always a good idea) at Palm Restaurant. We got there around 2:00pm... we didn't want to go too early as it is very hot. Also, we were tired from the night before and moving in "slow-mo" mode! It is also a good idea to make reservations for the chaise lounges (about 680!) on the sandy and spacious beachfront or for one of the 21 cabanas (can seat up to about 8-10 people) situated right on the water. As we didn't want to sit under the sun, we didn't reserve a chaise lounge but my sister was lucky enough to find one as she wanted to sun for a while. 

As it is the start of the weekend, it was very crowded, but it is a very large area, so you don't feel cramped.

Our trip to Fun Beach included my sister Meltem, my brother-in-law Ibrahim, my nephew Arman and my little puppy Luka. Luka has become quite the swimmer and goes into the water at least twice - but, I don't think he really likes to swim, but it does cool him down and his "aunt" takes care of his swimming expeditions.

Just when I was saying that I am not completely satisfied with the quality of food at Beach Clubs, The Palm Restaurant at Fun Beach proved me wrong! I did visit Fun Beach last year too and had enjoyed the food as well.

The menu at Palm Restaurant is quite extensive with apps, salads, mains, fish, pizza and more. The food is quite good and the prices are moderate to high depending on what you order. I can recommend the grilled shrimp, Mediterranean toast sandwich (toasted whole wheat bread with sundried tomatoes, black olive paste, white cheese and salami); and grilled eggplant and grilled green bell peppers with a side of plain yogurt. The hamburger is also good which of course was Arman's selection!

We were there until about 7:00pm and went through a couple of bottles of ice cold rosé wine (Egeo - Kavaklıdere) and a couple of frozen watermelon and strawberry cocktails.

We had a lovely day at Fun Beach - the weather was very hot, but as we were sitting under the shade it felt good! We ran into some friends we knew... the music that the DJ was spinning was fantastic... what else can you ask for?

Fun Beach is open daily from 10:00am to 7:00pm. There is an admission charge and parking fee... there is a restaurant, several bars and an area where you can get a massage right on the water! Tel: (0232) 722 12 92.

As we had a long day at the beach, we ate dinner at home and afterwards went to Alaçatı Go-Kart in Alaçatı because my nephew wanted to try a hand at go-karting. As he is now 10 years old, he is allowed to go-kart. Of course, while he was doing it, we too decided our hand at it! I haven't done go-karting in over 20 years, but let me tell you - it is a lot of fun!!! The race course is not very long, but you can still have a good time. The cost is 20 TL for 10 minutes for adults with cars with 6 mph... and 20 TL also for kids for 10 minutes. We did 15 minutes so we paid 30 TL/each. They have faster cars and the prices change accordingly. ( (Tel: (0232) 716 23 65.

It is now about 3:30pm on Day 6 of my trip and we are just relaxing at home around the pool... all the beach clubs get very crowded on the weekends, so if you have a house - best to hang out at home! But, we will make up for it in the evening and go out... more on that in my next post!


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