When it comes to booking a holiday, you always want to hear a wise word from someone in the know. We caught up with our Turkey expert, Ilhan, to discover what makes Turkey so great for families. Hailing from Turkey originally and now a frequent holiday-maker there, we couldn’t think of anyone better to give us the Turkey lowdown!
So, Ilhan, when you think of Turkey, what springs to mind?
Weather, culture, cuisine, and most of all, friendly people. It’s a holiday with soul, not just luxurious hotels.
Can you tell us about the culture of the country?
Turkey’s very diverse, it’s a laid-back country with a huge mix of cultures where everyone feels welcome. It’s the perfect place to haggle, drink tea and build genuine friendships.
What should you have at the top of your list to see when you’re in Turkey?
One of my favourite excursions to do would be a trip to Cappadocia, where you can find the ‘fairy chimneys’. Here you can ride in a hot air balloon, it’s very romantic! There are ancient ruins too like Ephesus and lots of stunning greenery in Dalaman. The Lycian Way makes a great day out for the kids and is packed with lots of interesting history if you’d like a break from the beach.
Where are the best beaches?
Belek and Antalya have lovely beaches, but I personally prefer the sea in Dalaman. You could also take a short trip to Patara Beach on the south coast which is a protected area with white sands and turquoise waves. Izmir’s lovely too, with a gently-shelving shore that’s perfect for paddling.
Which areas are best for families?
They’re all great for families to be honest, every hotel has something special for kids, whether it’s an aqua park, Kids Club or even a funfair! There are large rooms in some of the Turkey hotels, with up to three interconnecting rooms in one suite.
What Turkish food would you say you have to try?
When people talk about Turkish food, they automatically say Kebabs! But that’s not necessarily home cooking at its best. One of my favourite Turkey dishes is bulgur wheat with tomatoes, aubergines and other veggies. Everything that grows here is very different, it smells and tastes so much better. I’m not sure whether it’s the climate or the soil but it’s all very fresh and fragrant.
Finally, what are your favourite things about the country itself?
It’s got to be the space; the space in the rooms, by the pool, on the beach. You’re never left fighting for an empty sunbed. It’s also truly is All Inclusive experience, so there’s no extra money for sunbeds on the hotel beach, pool towels or any other nice-to-haves that they’d charge for in other places. It’s also a great place to catch some winter sun; it’s just as warm as any other destination around four hours away, but the facilities are far superior.
So, there we have it! Could you be tempted to head to Turkey for a bit of winter sun? Or are you a Turkey expert yourself? I’d love to hear your experiences below.