Turkey is a popular tourist destination for good reason – the skies are blue, the beaches fantastic, the history and culture fascinating, and the locals friendly. A non-eurozone just a 4 hour flight from the UK, it is still relatively cheap in comparison to many European holiday destinations and the ideal location for romantic breaks, honeymoons, family holidays, history buffs and sporting breaks. Turkey has a little something for everyone, no-matter what your age, taste or budget!
Turkey’s most popular holiday destinations.
Turkey is a vast country with many regions and resorts popular for different reasons. The majority of holidaymakers tend to visit either Istanbul or one of the many coastal resorts. Those looking for something off the beaten track head towards some of the smaller village resorts or Cappadocia.
Istanbul. Many budget airlines like Easy Jet and Pegasus fly from the UK to Istanbul and often run great deals for weekend breaks and shopping trips. A colourful city both in character and feel, Istanbul was voted the “Worlds Hippest City” by the design and fashion press – this gives you a little indication on what to expect. It is a city of contrasts. A city steeped in history with an abundance of important historical buildings nestled between new modern shops, boutiques, hotels and restaurants. The food is fabulous – a mix of budget and traditional all the way through to world class restaurants serving international fusion cuisine. There is little excuse for not visiting Istanbul at least once in your lifetime. It’s a city that’s easily reached and navigated and a city that leaves an impression on each and every visitor. For an in-depth overview on Istanbul see our Istanbul Guide or speak to Istanbul locals on our Turkey Expat Forum.
Bodrum Peninsula. The charming and popular coastal region of Bodrum is one of the most visited areas on the Turkish coast. Certainly picture postcard pretty, with little white washed houses and modern villas and hotels looking out over the stunning Aegean Sea, it’s not hard to understand why so many visiting Bodrum once, return again and again! Bodrum is a stunning location for a holiday and offers visitors a good choice of locations from the lively town itself and surrounding resorts like Gumbet, to a number of more remote and traditional towns and villages. Easily reached via Bodrum airport, it has a fabulous marina, some great restaurants and bars, hot sunny climate from April to November, and a heap of activities to keep even the most active busy. For more information on Bodrum resorts and activities see our Bodrum Guide. You can also speak to locals in Bodrum on our Turkey Expat Forum.
Fethiye Region. The Fethiye area is best known as home to the wonderful and much photographed Oludeniz blue lagoon. Fethiye town itself is nestled into the back of a sweeping natural bay, it’s pretty yacht and palm lined harbour and bustling little town, a real treat for shoppers and all those that like exploring little bars, boutiques and restaurants. The famous beach resort of Oludeniz is probably the most visited and photographed beach in Turkey – its bay and lagoon quite simply stunning. Fethiye and its resorts are easily reached via Dalaman International Airport that operates regular UK and European flights throughout the summer months. The area is certainly worth visiting with a little something for everyone from walkers, paragliders, windsurfers and history buffs, to sun worshipers and the party crowd. For more advice and info on visiting Fethiye see our Fethiye Guide or speak to Fethiye locals on our Turkey Expat Forum.
Antalya Region. Antalya is one of the largest coastal cities on the Mediterranean coast. A modern, hot and bustling hive of activity through the summer months, with a number of large hotels open in the winter, it attracts many international and UK tourists year round. The Antalya region is large and stretches from the quaint bays and towns of Kalkan and Kas through to the popular resort of Alanya. Antalya has a modern international airport operating flights throughout the year and has resorts suited to every taste and budget. The Old Town of Kaleici is fabulous – a walled and fascinating place right in the heart of Antalya ideal for exploring, an evening out, or a romantic break in one of the stylish boutique hotels. The all-inclusive resorts on the front are colossal with many activities, restaurants and facilities on offer. For more information on Antalya see our Antalya Guide or speak to locals in Antalya on our Turkey Expat Forum.
Cappadocia. The lunar like landscape of Cappadocia feels a world away from Istanbul and the many lively Turkish coastal resorts. A spooky and magical place in the heart of Turkey, it has cave dwellings and churches built into the cliff walls and underground. Cappadocia is way off your average UK tourist trail, a place best likened to a sci-fi movie set and certainly well worth visiting. Albeit no fancy beach or tourist resort and a place the full English breakfast has yet to reach, it does boast the most amazing troglodyte houses to explore, hot air balloon rides over the marvellous landscape and stunning boutique hotels and restaurants. Cappadocia gives you the chance to say you have been to one of the most amazing places in Turkey, possibly the world! For more information please ask locals on our Turkey Expat Forum.
Where to find the best holiday deals to Turkey.
The internet is a good place to start your holiday search for Turkey. There are countless travel companies offering good deals to most Turkish resorts and destinations and many run special offers and promotions. For beach holidays in Turkey tour operators like Thomas Cook, First Choice and Thomson seem to have great deals and reasonable flights during the summer. These larger operators also take many coastal hotels over on an exclusive basis so check their websites, or with one of their sales agents, for special offers or early/late booking deals. For independent travellers it is worth looking into smaller operators or booking cheap flights online then booking your accommodation direct with hotels. Those looking for something a little off the beaten track, something more exclusive or boutique, operators like Exclusive Escapes, Tapestry, Anatolian Sky and Cachet all have some wonderful hotels and locations on offer, and for those wanting self-catering or to hire villas and apartments, Owners Direct and Holiday Lettings are a good bet where you organise bookings direct with property owners.
For up to date advice on where to stay, what to do and when to go to Turkey ask our Turkey Expat Forum for advice. Our online community lives in Turkey and can best guide you in the right direction!