Dikili

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Dikili doubles as a fishing town and a beach escape for Turks from İzmir and İstanbul, as well as for foreigners whose luxury liners dock at the local port. While its population increases tenfold in summer, the town still manages to retain a comfortable, homey feel. During the day, vacationers catch rays on the beaches, leaving the streets eerily deserted, only to emerge at night from under their beach umbrellas to stroll along the harbor. It’s almost worth an overnight stay just to see the town’s main pedestrian boulevard come alive with people of all ages enjoying the pleasant sea breeze.

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ORIENTATION

Most of the activity in Dikili, as in all good beach towrns, is centered along the coastline. The garaj sits on S. Sami Akbulut Cad., parallel to Atatürk Cad., the pedestrian harbor road. These two north-south streets meet at a traffic circle, as you walk left 20m from the garaj. Uğur Mumcu Cad. begins across the traffic circle and follows the coastline north. A five-minute walk to the right out of the garaj, Atatürk Meydanı straddles S. Sami Akbulut Cad. and Atatürk Cad.

TRANSPORTATION AND PRACTICAL INFORMATION

Bus travel to most points outside the immediate vicinity of Dikili requires transfer in İzmir (2hr., 21 per day 6am-8pm, $2). Buses also run to Bursa (6hr., 9:30am, $7) and İstanbul (11hr., 9:30am, $11). Minibuses connect to Ayvalik (1hr., 12 per day 8:45am-6:30pm, $1) and Bergama (45min., 12 per day 8:30am-7:30pm, $.75).

The tourist office, a small kiosk just before Atatürk Meydanı on Atatürk Cad., provides free maps and English-speaking assistance. (671 81 63. Open M-F 8:30- 12pm and l-5:30pm.) The police station (671 26 95) is two blocks up toward the traffic circle. Türkiye İş Bankasi sits across from Atatürk Meydanı on S. Sami Akbulut Cad. and has an ATM with Cirras/MC/PlusAT. (Open 9am-12:30pm and 1:30-5:30pm.) Internet can be found at Internet Market on S. Sami Akbulut Cad., a few minutes’ walk right out of the garaj, (671 33 77. $.75 per hr.) The PTT is up toward the garaj from the bank. (Open daily 8am-11pm.)

Postal code; 35980.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Güneş Pansiyon  offers rooms with private bath and fans, as well as a public kitchen. To get there from the garaj, walk right onto S. Sami Akbulut Cad. and turn left at 312 Sok., following the signs. (671 48 47. Breakfast included. $5 per person.)

Dikili Pansiyon  is in a quieter location and has fairly clean rooms with private bath; most have balconies. At the traffic circle, follow the second street to the right of Akbulut Cad. until you see signs leading you one block to the right. (671 24 54; fax 741 52 07. $5 per person.) Travelers strapped for cash should check out

Özdemir Pansiyon , on the right of Akbulut Cad. as you walk right out of the garaj. It has the cheapest, though perhaps not the most attractive, rooms in town. Shared bath. (671 42 95. $2 per person.)

FOOD

Many of Diklli’s best restaurants line Çamlaraltı Sok., which runs off S. Sami Akbulut Cad. just opposite Atatürk Meydanı. Koron 2 is particularly good, with attentive English-speaking service and a greater selection of dishes than most pide and kebap joints, (671 78 79. Kebaps $1.50-3.50. Open daily 10am mid-night.) Sağlam Restaurant , on the left of Uğur Mumcur Cad. as you walk away from the traffic circle, is owned by the same family that operates two restaurants in Bergama. Spottier service than Koron, but offers a view of the sunset from its waterfront tables. (671 33 13. Mezes $1; kebaps $1.50. Open 10am-midnight.)

BEACHES

Visitors come to Dikili for one reason the beaches. Filled with coarse, brown sand, beaches run from the traffic circle along Uğur Mumcu Cad. There is a smaller, family beach on Cumhuriyet Cad., past the tourist office.

NIGHTLIFE

As a nightlife alternative to the thumping music and overactive strobe lights of the several disco bars on Uğur Mumcur Cad. (open 10pm-3am), stroll along Cumhuriyet Cad. with the rest of Dikili and grab an ice cream cone ($.10-.50) from a dondurma shop or a beer from one of the seaside restaurant- bars ($.75). If you continue down Cumhuriyet Cad., away from the traffic circle, you will eventually hit Bar Turkuaz, which features live Turkish music nightly. (67136 08.10pm-3am. Beer and rakı $1.50; whiskey $3.)

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