Whether you want to laze your days away on the beach, take in the history or dance the nights away after cocktails – there’s a destination for everyone in Turkey, home to a wealth of destinations. Experience seven of Turkey’s top spots for everyone.
Sand and sun seekers: Fethiye
The sandy beach of the Blue Lagoon at Oludeniz is a relaxing getaway just 90 minutes from Dalaman Airport. It would be easy to spend an entire holiday at this turquoise slice of paradise but Oludeniz has plenty of other idyllic bays just a hop, skip and jump away. Water taxi services sail from the town beach to the stunning Butterfly Valley canyon and to Paradise Beach where the smell of pine lingers in the air. Other beaches best accessed by road include the remote valley of Kabak Koyu which has clean waters and great views, with a visit to the Olive Gardens an absolute must, while Gemiler is the place to head to for water sports.
Read more: Why we love Fethiye.
Culture vultures: Bodrum
Bodrum's glorious mix of old and new, makes it a stylish resort town and a great place to soak up some history – and it’s only a half hour road trip from Bodrum-Milas airport. Your camera won’t have time to shut down as you pass buildings that deserve a spot amongst the holiday snaps. The white-washed houses with their bright blue trim draw in the eye, the ancient ruins are amazingly well-preserved and the 19th century castle is home to the Museum of Underwater Archaeology. Flying to Bodrum-Milas Airport means you're just 30 minutes away from the action.
Read more: Why we love Bodrum.
Outdoor adventurers: Belek
The resort town of Belek is known for its white, sandy beaches, lavish hotels and its spas - but don’t let the sit and soak options stop you from exploring what else is on offer. If you enjoy a round of golf, Belek has more than a dozen greens to bat a ball around and if you’re into something more active, there’s mountains to climb and rapids to ride. You can cruise the rugged terrain of the Taurus mountains on a buggy to take in the impressive views. For the thrill seekers, there’s white-water rafting, kayaking and canyoning tours to take you on an unforgettable journey.
Explore: golf property in Belek
Nightlife lovers: Bodrum
If you’re wanting to dance the night away or just chat at the side-lines with cocktail in hand, you can’t go past Gumbet for the nightlife. It’s believed to have the most bars per square mile than anywhere else in Turkey. Bars on the beachfront are great for a relaxing drink before stepping up the energy at sunset. Lasers and neon lights replace the daylight as soon as the sun goes down, with plenty of bars, nightclubs and discos to choose from. You’ll find music to suit everyone, including classic euro-disco, house and hip-hop.
Read more: The bohemian nightlife of Bodrum
Celeb wannabes: Turkbuku
Turkbuku boasts luxury hotels and holiday villas which is possibly why it’s the holiday destination of choice for Turkey’s upper class and often called the Saint Tropez of Turkey. Going to the beach has a whole new meaning in Golturkbuku and it doesn’t include a towel laid out on the sand, mainly because there are no sandy beaches. Sun-worshippers elegantly sprawl themselves over ottoman cushions spread across the wooden pontoons that border the bay and reach out into the cool sea. This town, previously a fishing village, is just a 25 minute drive north of Bodrum.
Child wranglers: Side
Side has an unpretentious appeal and with its village feel and peaceful surrounds, it’s the perfect resort getaway for young and old. There’s plenty to do, from building sand castles and catching some rays on the lovely beaches, to taking in the sites of ancient ruins and museums. The town has two main beaches, the East Beach and West Beach, both catering to different crowds. The West Beach is closer to hotels with fine sand and calm waters perfect for water sports. For a relaxing day, the East Beach is rockier but less popular, which is probably why more locals hang out here. If a bit of retails therapy is in order, there’s a modern mall less than 4kms away where you’ll see some familiar stores. Side is only a quick 45 minute transfer via a shuttle bus from Antalya Airport.
Romance seekers: Kalkan
Kalkan is a sophisticated historic town with a little bit of everything, set by a picturesque harbour at the foot of the Taurus mountains, and with some of the loveliest villas in Turkey. Days can be spent exploring the quiet cobbled streets where you’ll find quaint cafes, shops selling everything from jewellery to antiques, and examples of Ottoman-Greek architecture. And if a true Greek experience is what you’re after, it’s an easy two-hour return trip by bus and boat. While Kalkan may lack a sandy beach, you don’t have to travel far to reach one or you can head to one of the many beach clubs on the shoreline. For a dining experience with a view, many restaurants offer roof-top dining with spectacular sunset sights.
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