Deciding where to go on holiday in Turkey with your family is easy because the country is family-friendly. Their culture strongly embraces the future generation and family set up and it is rare for establishments that are adults only. The added bonus is that a large part of keeping kids happy is entertainment, and certain places in Turkey do this in style.
If you are looking for everything all under one roof including entertainment, activities, food, drink, and somewhere to sleep, consider one of the mainstream holiday travel villages. Examples include designed family-friendly establishments like TUI Magic Life Water World in Belek, Aqua Fantasy in Kusadasi and Land of Legends in Belek.
Facilities include water parks, kids’ clubs, sports activities, and swimming pools. Such is the service of these family holiday villages; you need never leave the complex. However, if you are avid explorers and want to discover authentic Turkey by venturing around and exploring, our suggestions of the following destinations will give you the base to do that.
Where to Go on Holiday in Turkey with Family
1: Beach Holidays in Alanya
Alanya, at the far eastern side of the southwest Mediterranean coastline, belongs to the larger Antalya province which is the second most popular holiday destination in Turkey after Istanbul. Part of the reason for its popularity is the diversity but also long stretches of beautiful beaches of which Alanya is home to quite a few. If your idea of a family-friendly holiday is spending it seaside, Alanya is a worthy contender.
Alanya has over five beaches worthy of admiration. Coming in at number one though, Cleopatra’s beach also counts itself as the best in Turkey as rated by Trip Advisor. Other activities to do for children include daily boat cruises, Jeep safaris, exploring the Red Tower and Castle, entering the famous Damlatas Cave, adventure sports and a large aqua park. There is enough to keep the kids occupied for weeks.
2: Antalya Centre: King of Family Holidays in Turkey
Sitting a short distance from Alanya, we arrive at the king of family holidays that is Antalya city centre. Now, don’t think this is an urban landscape because two neighbourhoods make a roaring trade from foreign and Turkish families looking to soak up the Mediterranean vibes. Lara Beach that was also ranked in Trip Advisor’s top ten stretches of beautiful sand is home to large, all-inclusive hotels. Nicknamed Turkey’s version of Las Vegas, these themed hotels offer eating, drinking, sleeping and entertainment all under one roof.
Konyaalti district is also like a mini holiday village, but when booking the bed-and-breakfast or half board hotels, you still have the freedom to explore and discover. Kid-friendly attractions in Antalya city include Duden and Kursunlu waterfalls, Karaalioglu Park, an aqua park, and Antalya aquarium. Likewise, kids can also indulge in water sports, boat trips, jeep safaris, horse riding, and much more.
3: Oludeniz in the Fethiye Region
Ah, scenic Oludeniz. Belonging to the Fethiye region, locals steer this small resort up for family-friendly fun, and much of it centres around the long sandy beach stretching to the famous Blue Lagoon that often appears in mainstream travel magazines. Spend days at the beach or book a hotel with a pool but should you want alternative activities, excursion shops sell many options, including para-gliding from Babadag mountain. All rides are tandem with experienced instructors and teenagers are accepted.
Oludeniz is also close to other resorts in the Fethiye region like Hisaronu, Ovacik, the main city centre and Calis beach, which is famous for its sunsets. Kids will enjoy exploring Kayakoy ghost village, and some excursion shops sell horse riding tours through it. Otherwise think water sports, quad safaris, and jeeps to keep them happy.
4: Marmaris: A Pioneer of Family Holidays
Sitting on the Aegean and Mediterranean cusp, families have adored Marmaris for many decades. The resort has grown over time, and can now count itself as a large town, yet within this vast landscape is a wealth of children activities. Start by exploring the castle and old town part home to the harbour and marina. For night-time activities, traditional Turkish night shows make a roaring trade, but many bars also host family sit down entertainment with plenty of music, dancing, and games for youngsters.
Spend a full day splashing about in the water park or relax on one of the many beaches in the area. Also buy excursions to major attractions like Pamukkale, Dalyan mud baths or to introduce the kids to Turkish culture, a traditional village. There is much more to see, but the advantage of choosing Marmaris is the wealth of hotels, including budget and luxury five-star indulgence.
5: Gumbet on the Bodrum Peninsula
To be clear, the entire Bodrum peninsula is family friendly with waterparks, theme parks and stunning beaches. However, families gravitate to Gumbet, a small resort on the southern side preferred by British holidaymakers. Part of the attraction is a long sandy beach with water sports and night time bars with sit down music and entertainment.
To step up the pace or tap into further things to do, the main Bodrum town centre is a short drive away, and attractions include the castle, underwater museum, and a vibrant shopping and nightlife scene. The peninsula is also bursting with beautiful coves and bays, that can be seen on boat trips or by hiring a car and heading off for a family road trip.
6: Istanbul City Breaks
Istanbul is Turkey’s biggest city, but don’t assume it is all hustle and bustle for keeping kids happy in Istanbul. The advantage of being the biggest and best at everything is that it is easy to entertain everyone regardless of personal preferences. We suggest starting with a trip to Miniaturk, a small-scale model park displaying major landmarks from all over Turkey.
Youngsters will also enjoy LEGOLAND and the famous Istanbul aquarium. Displaying different marine life, watch the kid’s faces light up with delight. Other attractions include Vialand theme park. Istanbul also has a cable car and tram rides, but kids will enjoy a ferry ride up and down the Bosphorus.
7: Cappadocia: A Fairy-tale Story
Last on our list of where to go on holiday in Turkey with family, if you want to get your kids back to appreciating nature in all its glory, Cappadocia fits the bill. A unique lunar-like landscape, formed over thousands of years of wind erosion is home to shaped rocks known as fairy chimneys. The highlight though is staying in a cave hotel and discovering the many ancient cave churches such as those within Goreme open-air museum.
The weird and wonderful theme continues in underground cities like Derinkuyu that housed thousands of people hiding from invading forces, and stone cities like Zelve Valley, where people carved homes out of the rock. Horse riding and quad biking are both popular, but if you can get the kids up at dawn introduce them to an early morning hot-air balloon ride to see the unique landscape from a different angle.
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