Turkey holidays go heavy on the sandy stuff, with a sprinkling of spice markets, temples and age-old cities thrown in for good measure.
When it comes to holiday destinations, Turkey’s got the wow-factor in more ways than one. Straddling Asia and Europe, this place is packed to the rafters with poster child beaches, adrenaline-pumping attractions and left-behind landmarks.
Blue Flag beaches
You can’t really make a wrong turn along Turkey’s coastline – that’s how many A-star beaches there are. For starters, you’ve got the Aegean Coast, AKA the west coast, which takes in Bodrum, Izmir and Kusadasi. This curls around to the stunning Turkish Riviera – a chunk of shoreline sandwiched between Antalya and Fethiye. All the beaches here are Mediterranean Coast beauties. Look at Lara Beach, for example – with its long golden sands and glitzy hotels for top-notch package holidays.
Beaches aside, Turkey’s got lots of tourist-pleasing tricks up its sleeve. In Dalaman, Olu Deniz is home to one of those rare finds that actually lives up to the tourist board hype – the Blue Lagoon. And there are plenty more natural assets to track down – after all, this massive country has its fair share of mountains and diving hotspots, too. Meanwhile, Belek provides the golf courses and Bodrum sorts the raucous nightlife.
You can spice up your beach holidays with city breaks in Turkey. This place is a history buff, with tonnes of ancient cities on its books. Antalya is an old-new hybrid, with souvenir-stacked bazaars, museums and a swanky marina. Side turns it up a notch with an amphitheatre, Roman baths and a Greek temple. Or you can really wind the clock back at the classical City of Ephesus.
Finally, there’s Antalya, the gateway to the Turkish Riviera. This region has 400 miles’ worth of beach to its name, and is home to resorts like Side and Belek.
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With the Taurus Mountains for a backdrop and the Mediterranean Sea front and centre, the Antalya area’s lucked out in the scenery stakes. The Karain Cave – once believed to be home to Neanderthal dwellers – dates back up to 200,000 years. Capping it all off is the Manavgat Waterfall – this natural wonder’s such a crowd-pleaser that it was once pictured on Turkish banknotes.
The Bodrum peninsula is where old meets new and the pair get along famously. On the one hand, this region – at the southern end of Turkey’s Aegean coast – is home to the battlegrounds, palaces and castles of past empires. On the other, it’s the stomping ground of Turkey’s fashionable set, who can’t get enough of its sleek marinas and boutiques.
If anywhere puts Turkey on the travel map, Dalaman does. This stretch, also known as the Turquoise Coast, is all serene coves, white sands, and blue-green waters – hence the nickname. Nudge your way inland, meanwhile, and you can’t move for sights including the Caunos tombs, Pamukkale and Turkey’s biggest crowd-puller – Ephesus.
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Built in the 2nd century AD, the Aphrodisias Stadium, about an hour and a half from Bodrum town, was once the equivalentof…View details »