Turkey sits at the intersection between Europe, Africa, and Asia, helping to create one of the most culturally diverse and exciting holiday destinations on the planet. It’s not only overwhelmingly beautiful; it also has a cuisine to rival anywhere in the world, has incredible ancient ruins that offer glimpses into Turkey’s unique history, and a populace renowned for being friendly and welcoming. You can expect blissful Blue Flag beaches, beautifully varied cities, tiny and traditional villages, and a bewildering range of places to eat, drink, explore, and party.
Whether you are going on a Turkey holiday with family, a loved one, or friends, there are endless things to do and see.
History buffs: The striking architecture and archaeological sites offer insights into the distant past: ancient churches, Islamic monuments, and colourful bazaars sit beside modern malls and stores.
Food fans: The Turkish cuisine is a melting pot of tasty delicacies.
Relaxation: Beautiful Blue Flag beaches, Turkish baths, and tranquil scenery make Turkey a haven for visitors seeking peace and calm.
Marmaris is one of the most popular tourist spots in Turkey. It’s a large resort set on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, and offers a cultured old town, a lively bazaar, a pleasing marina, and the chance for dancing and partying, too. Don’t miss a chance to visit the 16th century Turkish bath Suleymaniye Hamami, and check out the vast range of watersports you can enjoy in the sea along Marmaris’ long beach.
Antalya is known as the Pearl of the Mediterranean, and has mountain-backed beaches and a vibrant nightlife. The charming old town is called Kaleici, and offers visitors a historic stroll through ruins and monuments dating back to the 2nd century AD. Alternatively, Antalya city itself is a cultured and urbane, with a range of contemporary shops and eateries standing beside markets and bazaars with a far more traditional feel. The Taurus Mountains offer spectacular views of this sensational region.
Side’s ancient ruins are some of the most impressive in the country, and include towering ancient pillars and an incredible amphitheatre. There’s also an entrancing coastline of beaches and an unspoilt old town to relax in and enjoy when you aren’t tempted by the thrilling watersports or by a day trip to the busier and more exciting resort of Antalya.
Olu Deniz looks like a picture from a postcard, with its enthralling lagoon at one end of the beach, its mountain backdrop, and serenely tempting seafront. The Blue Lagoon is a nature reserve that is one of the most beautiful sights in the country, and the nearby restaurants and cocktail bars let you drink in both the stunning surroundings and some of Turkey’s most delicious tipples and dishes.
Dalaman has attracted visitors for centuries, and while it remains a low-key resort it is also popular with couples and families seeking a gorgeous shoreline and a unique atmosphere. While Marmaris and Olu Deniz are two of the more popular resorts found here, there is more to Dalaman than these. You can also visit Icmeler, Hisaronu, Calis Beach, Dalyan, and Fethiye, each of which have their own excitement, charm, and distinctive character.
Bodrum attracts celebrities and visitors who are hungry for the more glamorous side of Turkey, where the atmosphere is electric and the visitors and residents diverse. It may not have its own beach but you’ll find plenty close by, and when evening draws in you’ll have countless cafes, bars and clubs to choose from. Bodrum is a favourite resort for many visitors, so during the summer by night you will be surrounded by fellow revellers enjoying the area.
You’ll find delicious food, historical monuments, beautiful beaches, and a fun nightlife throughout Turkey, but let’s look at a couple of highlights. In southwestern Turkey you’ll find the snow-white natural site of Pamukkale. Just south of Antalya, there’s the astonishing Roman Theatre of Aspendos, while in Bergama there are the temple remains of Pergamum. Olu Deniz is a beautiful sight from the ground, the beach, the mountains, or even from a soaring, sky-high paraglide. Istanbul is the bubbling capital city, while Cappadocia and Ephesus are both exciting historical regions. And make sure that, if you’re a meat eater, you try a REAL Turkish kebab during your visit.
Turkey is popular with families, and for good reasons. It’s a country of beauty and adventure that is ideal for parents with older children hungry for breath-taking experiences and active days out, and those with younger children looking for fun in the sun. Mountain biking, diving into turquoise waters, riding horseback across Cappadocia, and hiking opportunities are everywhere you look. Families will also love Turkey’s famously beautiful beaches, for those days when adventuring feels like too much effort and you just want to relax.
The Turkish landscape has to be seen to be believed, and the country’s scenic diversity is one of its most lovable qualities. Compare Cappadocia’s alien-looking rock formations with the sun-kissed greens of the Aegean olive groves, or the mountains edging Lake Eğirdir with the pristine beaches of the Turkish coast. There are countless ways to soak up Turkey’s wonderful scenery too, by trekking across the land or flying high above it in a hot air balloon.
In Turkey, the country’s history and culture can be found everywhere you turn. Contemporary stores and businesses contrast with Byzantine masterpieces and age-old churches, and ruined cities litter the twinkling coastline of ancient Caria and Lycia. If you are hungry for art galleries and museums, you’ll find plenty in cities like Istanbul and Ankara – but there really is no better way to get to know Turkey than by exploring the historical sites in areas such as Gumbet and Belek.
Turkish food is world-renowned. From the rich, flavourful breakfasts of Turkish sausages, dried meats, and locally-made bread, to the soups, pastries, and stuffed meat of their evening meals, Turkey’s cuisine is a delicious taste adventure. If you want to try new dishes you may not have sampled back home, Turkish meze offers selections of appetizing flavours that can include white bean or eggplant salad, Circassian chicken, stuffed vine leaves, and countless other delights. Alternatively, you may have tried kebabs at home, but you don’t know how good a kebab can taste until you’ve tried grilled or skewered meats in Turkey.
Nightlife in Turkey is as exciting and varied. There are huge opportunities for clubbing and bar-hopping, not least because half of the population is aged under 30. Dance clubs and jazz bars fill the party areas of cities like Antalya, Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir, while holiday resorts such as Marmaris, Bodrum, and Olu Deniz offer holiday makers from the UK and across Europe pubs with drinks deals and sports bars. If you would like to experience some more traditional Turkish entertainment, there are dazzling belly dancing shows to be found in hotels and venues across the country – though you probably won’t find many locals there anymore.
You will need to have at least 6 months left on your passport. Always check for further travel advice here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/turkey
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