About 25km southwest of Antakya, SAMANDAĞ is an Arabic-speaking resort town of about 30,000 people. The town is currently undergoing something of a building boom, financed in part by local boys made good in the Gulf, displaying their newfound wealth with gaudy villas and four-wheel-drive utility vehicles. It is served by regular dolmuşes from Antakya’s köy garajı, which will deposit you in the town’s unprepossessing centre, a couple of kilometres inland. Here you’ll find a few shops and restaurants and a couple of banks. To get to the beach, take any dolmuş heading for “Deniz” (the sea) – although swimming here is not really recommended because of pollution from İskenderun, 50km or so up the coast.