A study we carried out shows that Turkey is the third most popular holiday destination for British holidaymakers and it’s easy to see why. It’s definitely one of my favourite places to visit; I’ve been back a couple of times and normally swear I’ll never go to a place more than once! But I’d still happily go again in a heartbeat. Here are six reasons why I think you’ll love Turkey holidays.
1) Incredible beaches
I can honestly say that Turkey has some of the best beaches I’ve ever been on. From the beautiful golden sands of Çalis Beach near Fethiye, to the popular Lara Beach in Antalya; you can easily spend your days soaking up the warm, Mediterranean sun on its incredible shores.
In my opinion, two of the very best beaches in Turkey are Turtle Beach in Dalyan and the Blue Lagoon in Ölü Deniz. As the nickname would suggest, Turtle Beach (or Iztuzu Beach) is a special conservation area and one of the last nesting places for loggerhead turtles, so you should be able to catch a glimpse of them in their natural environment. It also happens to be in a breathtaking setting too, which makes it even better. And the Blue Lagoon? This beautiful, tear-drop beach is the most photographed beach in Turkey. What more can I say? I just love it.
2) Stunning scenery
Something that I can’t get over whenever I visit Turkey is just how stunning the scenery is. Aside from the beautiful beaches, you’ll find incredible, lush green backdrops. People, including myself, are often surprised at just how green and mountainous Turkey is. Head further inland and there’s plenty more impressive scenery to explore and capture on camera to keep the memories of your holiday going.
One area in particular that I really loved, and never knew this kind of place existed in Turkey, was the remarkable Saklikent Gorge. Located in Saklikent National Park, it’s one of the deepest gorges in the world and well worth a visit while you’re on holiday in the Dalaman, Fethiye or Ölü Deniz areas. You can explore your rocky surroundings by foot along the wooden walkways or for some real fun, do what I did and hop on an inflatable tube to cruise down the rushing water in style.
3) The weather
The reason we all go on holiday is to escape the British weather right? There’s nothing better than getting on that plane and relaxing around the pool with a cocktail (or two). It’s the best way to top up your tan and relax. Just make sure you apply plenty of sun cream.
Turkey’s climate varies by region, but summer means hot sunny weather all around. On the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts temperatures reach 30°C and above in July. Spring and summer are pleasantly warm, and winters average around 10°C, but there can be some rain showers. The Black Sea coastline is more humid and wet. And, on the Anatolian plateau temperatures are more extreme with very hot summers and severe winters.
4) Luxury and relaxation
I already touched on this in my point above, but despite what some people may believe, Turkey really knows how to do luxury. But what’s really worth noting is what great value for money holidays to Turkey are too. You can get a luxurious 5-star holiday in Turkey for the same price as a 3-star holiday in Spain’s Balearic Islands, which is a no-brainer, if you ask me. Whether you’re wanting a seafront location with your own private beach, a spectacular infinity pool, 24hr All Inclusive or a first-class spa with luxurious treatments, you won’t struggle to find your ideal Turkey hotel.
Speaking of spas, no holiday to Turkey would be complete without experiencing a famous Turkish bath. This is a traditional spa treatment that exfoliates your whole body and covers you from head to toe in a mass of fluffy bubbles; it’s amazing! It’s well worth doing at the start of your holiday to prepare the perfect base for a golden tan.
5) History and culture
Despite being an incredibly popular holiday destination, what’s admirable about Turkey is that it still stays true to its traditional roots. With this in mind, there are many opportunities to delve into the local culture while you’re there on holiday. Visit the local markets and bazaars and try your best to haggle a bargain with the different stall owners; don’t be shy, they expect you to do it! Visit a Turkish delight factory and see for yourself how the popular sweet treat is made; and of course, sample it too. Or head to one of the country’s many ancient sites and ruins, such as the Temple of Apollo in Side or the amphitheatre in Ephesus to feel like you’ve really stepped back in time.
One of my favourite historical sites to visit in Turkey is the abandoned village of Kayaköy near Fethiye, which is an absolutely fascinating place to explore. It was once a Greek-speaking village, until its inhabitants were driven out and forced to flee back to Greece in 1922. They were then barred from returning and the village has since become a ghost town museum that you can still walk around today.
6) Fun and adventure
If there’s one thing for sure, you’ll never be short of things to do in Turkey. Whether you’re travelling as a couple or with a group of friends, you’ll have no problem filling your days and evenings with unforgettable experiences and non-stop fun. You can make your own fun on the beaches by trying out some of the great water sports available to you. Or book yourselves on an exciting boat trip, where you can visit some otherwise unreachable beaches, coves and valleys, before jumping in the turquoise sea and then enjoying a delicious BBQ on board.
Without a doubt, one of the best days out you can do in Turkey is a jeep safari. There’s nothing more exciting than being part of an open-top jeep convoy, heading out into the Turkish countryside and exploring the area around you. You’ll visit sites of stunning natural beauty, take a dip in a natural mud bath and indulge in a tasty local lunch too. And what I really loved about it is how it becomes one big water fight in the hot Turkish sun, with children from the local villages waiting for the jeeps to pass, so they can throw buckets of water and spray hose pipes at you. It’s brilliant!
Have you ever been on a Turkey holiday before? Did you realise this amazing country has so much to give? Let me know in the comments below.