Turkey holidays

Turkey holidays

Deals from £112 per person

Turkey holidays are full of delights, from serene, golden beaches to a history spanning thousands of years and mouth-watering cuisine. There’s no shortage of bucket list-worthy attractions either, whether you’ve come here to paraglide over those famous Blue Lagoon waters or enjoy a soak in Pamukkale's hot springs.

And with a foot in both Asia and Europe, Turkiye holidays bring you the best of both continents. Swap Istanbul’s trendy neighbourhoods and modern museums for a glimpse into the mystic Sufi culture in Konya.

Things to do

There are endless things to do in Turkiye, whether you book a short city break or settle in one of its sundrenched beach resorts.

If you’re staying in Istanbul, you shouldn't miss a chance to tick off the city's impressive mosques such as Sultanahmet (aka Blue Mosque ) or Hagia Sophia with its stunning Byzantine beauty. Those keen to shop will also appreciate the bustling Grand Bazaar for its handcrafted items and unique atmosphere. Meanwhile, did you know Istanbul is one of the world’s only transcontinental cities? Part lies in Asia and the other sits in Europe, giving it two very two different sides.

Other must-see attractions in Turkey include the ancient city of Ephesus and the breathtaking 'fairy chimney' rock formations of Cappadocia. Alternatively, see the enormous Roman Theatre of Aspendos in the Antalya region, or visit the equally astounding Greco-Roman ruins of Pergamum (or Pergamon) in Bergama, Izmir.

At Turkiye’s modern beach resorts, you can enjoy days on the picturesque coast before tucking into a meal at a family-run restaurant. When night falls, sip on a freshly-made cocktail while watching live music, or dance the night away at one of its late-closing clubs.

The Turquoise Coast

Many of the most popular holiday destinations in Turkey can be found on the Turquoise Coast (in the southwest), which is recognised for its stunning pine-covered scenery. With over 400 miles of coastline in Antalya alone, it’s a big hit with beach lovers. It’s also home to Olu Deniz’s breathtaking Blue Lagoon, one of Turkiye’s most photographed shores for its bright blue waters and beautiful milky sands.

Another popular Turquoise Coast resort is the lively seaside town of Marmaris, where a traditional Old Town meets a smart marina. This idyllic area is also perfect for honeymooners, particularly Bodrum, where couples can step away from its beautiful bays and discover amazing antique wonders.

Places to stay

Wherever you stay, you’re never far from a sun-drenched sand spot or a dose of culture. Only a short 20-minute drive from Ephesus, Kusadasi is a great pick for visiting one of Turkey’s best-preserved cities. For a mix of family fun, history and lively nights, look no further than bustling Marmaris with a stay at the Grand Yazici Club Turban Thermal Hotel

Or if you’re looking for something a little more upmarket, the Antalya region is full of luxury hotels and Long Beach Resort Hotel & Spa Deluxe is as fancy as it gets! For the beach at your feet, Delphin Be Grand Resort has its own private stretch, while adrenaline junkies will appreciate the easy access to Wet & Wild waterpark from Aska Lara Resort & Spa.   

Hoping to delve into the country’s past? Base yourself in beautiful Bodrum! This historical hotspot is like stepping foot inside an open-air museum with its amphitheatre, 300-year-old village and ancient city of Halicarnassus – home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World! And you won’t have to wander far for a day on the sand thanks to its stunning peninsular beaches. If that hasn’t tempted you, a stay at the adult-only Marmara hotel will, with its panoramic views of Bodrum Castle.

If you want to truly get away from it all on your holiday to Turkey, you can always retreat to Club Tuana Fethiye. Situated in the under-the-radar city of Fethiye, it’s perfect for couples seeking a slower pace. Lose yourself among the streets of the Old Town and haggle your way around traditional markets before sipping cocktails in one of Fethiye's swanky marina setups.

More Turkey travel guides

Find out more with our guides to these Turkiye holiday hotspots: Antalya | Bodrum | Dalaman | Istanbul | Izmir

Map of Turkey

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9-34°C

Expect glorious sunshine in Turkey's summer months and mild temperatures during the winter.

Turkey holiday weather forecast >

Approximately four to five hours.

There are many international and domestic airports in Turkey. Airports served by the UK include Antalya, Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara, Dalaman and Bodrum.

Turkey is best for

Dazzling beaches: If you're into seaside beauties, Turkiye's the place to be. From the far-as-the-eye-can-see stretch of Kleopatra Beach to the stunning shores of the Blue Lagoon, you'll be in beachy heaven.

History lovers: From beautiful Greek and Roman ruins to Byzantine masterpieces, Turkey holidays are perfect for history enthusiasts.

Adventure seekers: With some of the best diving spots in the Med, Turkiye is big on watersports. Go white water rafting in its rivers, or float high above the treetops with an exhilarating parasailing adventure. And keen skiers can head inland during winter for some alpine fun without the crowds.

Fast facts for Turkey (Turkiye)

Language: The language spoken in Turkey is Turkish. Basic English is spoken in many hotels and attractions in popular areas, although it’s a good idea to download a handy language app so you can try out a few useful Turkish words and phrases.

Currency: The currency used in Turkey is the Turkish Lira (TL or TRY).

Local time: Turkey is 2 hours ahead in summer (BST) and 3 hours ahead in winter (GMT).

Fly to: There are a number of international airports in Turkey, each serving a different area:

        • Antalya Airport: Alanya, Goynuk and Side

        • Bodrum Airport: Altinkum, Gumbet and Turkbuku

        • Dalaman Airport: Dalyan, Fethiye and Kalkan

        • Izmir Airport: Marmaris and Kusadasi

Transfer times can be anywhere between 30 minutes and 2 hours 40 minutes depending on where you’re staying.

Time difference between Turkey & UK: All of Turkiye is on Eastern European Time (EET), which means that it’s 2 hours ahead of the UK (GMT).

Health: Before you travel, please check the latest advice from The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office for your Turkey holidays.

Tourist information: For more information on Turkish destinations, visit the official website for tourism in Turkey (Turkiye).

Getting around Turkey

By taxi: Getting a taxi is one of the easiest ways to get around in Turkey. If you’re staying in a popular resort you can often order by app, but hailing one down is also an option if you prefer to pay with cash. All vehicles are metered so it’s worth agreeing on a price before you set off.

By dolmus: For journeys between major tourist destinations and within Turkiye’s cities and larger towns, midibuses and minibuses (AKA dolmuş) are a great way to travel. With set routes, minibus passengers can hop on and off as they please – just let the driver know when to stop. Replacing dolmus in some destinations like Antalya, the newer midibuses only stop in designated places.

By car: If you’re travelling independently or want to venture off the beaten path, hiring a car is an easy and reliable way to get from A to B.

By coach: Those looking to save money on their holidays to Turkey should travel by coach. These fast, frequent services cover just about every town and city, so if you want to explore further afield these comfy vehicles are well-equipped for long journeys. There are many private operators, but we advise buying your ticket in advance if you’re visiting Turkiye during peak season.

Events in Turkey

Anzac Day: Aussies and Kiwis gather for Anzac Day, marking the anniversary of the World War I landings (25 April) on the beaches of the Gallipoli Peninsula, which is now part of Turkiye.

Race Week: Each October locals and tourists come together to celebrate all things nautical at Marmaris International Race Week. This maritime event sees 120 yachts speeding through the Med with sailors competing from all over the world.

Cultural events: Come to the International Istanbul Film Festival in April, the International Izmir Festival in June, or Bodrum’s International Ballet Festival in August.

Oludeniz Air Games: Marking the end of summer, time your holiday in October and witness daredevils taking flight at the famous Babadag Mountain with hang-gliders, base-jumpers, skydivers and acrobatic paragliders all getting involved in the adrenaline-inducing action.

Turkey visas

If you’re a British Citizen and you’re travelling to Turkiye for a holiday, you will not need a visa. You will only require one if you are planning on staying for more than 90 days in a 180-day period. For longer stays, you can apply for an e-visa on the Official Republic of Turkiye website.

It’s important to make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from the date you arrive, and that you have a full blank page available for the entry and exit stamps.

If you need any more advice on Turkey visas or other entry requirements, please visit the FCDO Turkiye guide for the latest government guidance.

Turkey weather

The climate in Turkey varies from region to region, but if you’re visiting during the summer you’re guaranteed glorious, beach-friendly temperatures wherever you are. Highs of 34°C are common in Bodrum and Antalya during July, while more comfortable temperatures in the mid-teens make spring a popular time to visit. To benefit from the best deals, book your holidays to Turkey during spring or autumn. 

Istanbul is cooler than the resorts on the southern coast, with frequent cold spells in the winter and hot summers averaging around 28°C in July or August. Holiday in resorts along the Turquoise Coast to take advantage of long summers, often lasting beyond September. Rainfall is also rare from June to August, which means you can enjoy sunbathing stints without the threat of a downpour. Still unsure of the best time to visit? Check the weather in Turkey to see which month is right for you.

Best hotels in Turkey

Discover the best destinations to visit in Turkey

Popular Turkey holiday resorts

Places similar to Turkey to visit

Turkey FAQs
FAQs
Is Turkey safe for holidays?

Turkey is generally seen as a safe place to visit on holiday. The country has a well-developed tourism industry and millions of people visit Turkey every year without incident. However, as with any destination, make sure you’re clued up on any local risks before you go – the UK government provides all kinds of useful information about places all around the world, including Turkey. It’s kept up to date by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

What are the best holiday resorts in Turkey?

With a reputation for rich history, eye-catching landscapes and sun-soaked beaches, there’s no shortage of fantastic resorts for a holiday to Turkey. Of course, it does depend on what you’re looking for, so to help you decide where to visit, here are some of the best places to stay:

1. Antalya: This beachside city is the cultural heart of the Antalya region, and is known for its stunning sand spots, sparkling blue waters and cultural heritage. The Old Town (Kaleici in Turkish), Hadrian's Gate and Antalya Museum are just a few of the city’s top attractions. Plus the Mediterranean Coast is the best area in Turkey for year-round holiday weather (so long as you're not planning to sunbathe in the winter months, when it does get a tad chilly!). It’s perfect for relaxation and adventure, with plenty of watersports and other activities to try.

2. Bodrum: A top-drawer resort town on the Aegean coast, Bodrum’s got plenty going for it! Best visited in summer when the weather’s divine, it’s great for family beach days, lively nights out and a bit of sightseeing. Top of the list of old sites to check out are the Castle of St Peter (aka Bodrum Castle) and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus – one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

3. Marmaris: Another big-hitter on the Aegean coast, Marmaris is perfect for summer escapes. Look forward to a wide range of activities – including diving, pedaloes, waterparks, boat trips and exploring Marmaris Castle – plus an exciting and eclectic nightlife scene. Not to mention the sheltered sand and shingle beaches offering something for everyone!

4. Fethiye: If it’s charm you’re after, head to Fethiye. It’s the place to go for one of Turkey’s most famous beaches, the incomparable Oludeniz on the Blue Lagoon. But that’s not the only thing to do in this part of Turkey. For starters, you can also step back in time with a visit to the spectacular Lycian Rock Tombs, or take a boat trip to the nearby islands.

5. Kusadasi: With everything from sandy stretches and various watersports to historical must-sees such as the ancient city of Ephesus, it’s no wonder Kusadasi is so popular. You could even hop on a ferry for a day on the Greek island of Samos, which is so close you can see it from the resort.

6. Alanya: One of the Antalya region’s stand-out resorts – Alanya is, like the rest of the Med Coast, known for its dazzling beaches and year-round sun. It's also home to several big-name historical sites, including Alanya Castle and the Red Tower, plus natural attractions like the dramatic Damlatas Cave.

7. Belek: Head here if you’re seeking a touch of luxury. There are plenty of stylish hotels to choose from. This swish beach town has an upbeat atmosphere too, with lots of restaurants, bars, and shops to keep you busy. And to complete the picture, it’s also one of the best places in Turkey for a golfing holiday – you’ll find many world-class courses in the area.

Where are the best beaches in Turkey?

Turkey is known for its beautiful coastal spots – there are many great options to choose from. Here are some of the best beaches in Turkey:

• Ölüdeniz Beach – Just outside Fethiye, Ölüdeniz Beach is famous for its incredible scenery. It's a popular spot for paragliding and other water sports on the supremely Instagrammable Blue Lagoon.

• Patara Beach – This long, sandy beach on the Lycian Coast is known for its natural beauty and unspoiled landscape. And that makes it a wonderful place for families, couples and friends looking to relax and enjoy the sun.

• Iztuzu Beach – Located near Dalyan, Iztuzu Beach is a protected area that's home to sea turtles. It's a sight to behold with fine sand and clear water. 

• Lara Beach – There’s no way we were missing this one from the list! Lara’s one of the ritziest beaches in Turkey, thanks to its luxe hotels and top-notch entertainment. And as it’s been awarded a Blue Flag, you can be sure of quality standards while you’re digging your toes in the sand or taking a dip.

• Bodrum Beach – Attracting countless visitors to the town of the same name, this popular stretch of seashore is in the heart of Bodrum. And that means you’ll be an easy flip-flop stroll from plenty of bars and restaurants.

• Cleopatra Beach – One of Turkey’s most famous beaches, Cleopatra is named after the Egyptian Pharaoh who is said to have gone for a swim here. Located in Alanya, it’s known for its fine sand lapped by the sparkling sea.

These are just a few of the many beaches to check out in Turkey. Other winning holiday hotspots include the enchanting Butterfly Valley beach in Fethiye, and Olympos Beach, which is in a nature reserve on the Lycian Coast.

Do I need a visa for a Turkey holiday?

If you’re a British citizen you won’t need a visa for holidays to Turkey, so long as you’re there for less than 90 days in total during a rolling 180-day period. So, if you’re off on a two-week holiday and don’t go to Turkey very often (for any reason, business or pleasure), you’ll be absolutely fine to go without a visa.

For full details and the most up-to-date information, check the advice from the UK government’s FCDO.

Is Turkey cheap to visit?

Turkey’s a popular destination with a low cost of living, so there are all sorts of options for accommodation, tours, and activities. That helps keep prices reasonable, making it a good destination for an affordable holiday.

Like most places around the world, the cost of holidays to Turkey can vary based on the kind of trip you’re planning. That includes details such as the time of year, whether you nab a last minute deal, the type of hotel you book, how you get around, what you want to do and where you decide to eat.

Our top tips for a cheap holiday to Turkey:

Hotel options range from budget-friendly to sleek luxury. Whatever you’re looking for, make sure you check out the huge array of All Inclusive holidays to Turkey, as that can be a great way to manage your budget.
Taking the kids? Look out for the many hotels with an onsite waterpark, which is usually free for guests to use. That could save you some dosh on family days out!
When you’re out and about, street food and local markets offer tasty and affordable options, especially if you’re keen to sample authentic flavours. Restaurants and bars can range from inexpensive to high-end, so you might want to do some research before you set off.
From exploring ancient ruins to relaxing on the beach, Turkey offers a variety of activities for holidaymakers on all budgets. Many, such as hiking or visiting local markets, are free or low-cost, meaning you can experience Turkey without breaking the bank.
Local transport options, such as buses, dolmus (minibus) and metro systems, tend to be pretty cheap, while taxis can be more expensive. Book your airport transfers before you go and that’s one less cost to cover while you’re away!