In recent years, Turkey has shot to the top of the holiday destinations hot list and it’s little wonder its popularity is booming. No matter what type of getaway you’re after, holidays in Turkey can cater for the dream escape. From the culture, cuisine and stunning architecture in Istanbul, to the beaches, bars and family-friendly resorts of Antalya, this melting pot of European and Asian culture ticks every box. Oh, and the weather isn’t bad either.
Just four hours from the UK, Turkey holidays serve up a plethora of options. Beach holidays and city breaks are its bread and butter, but the country also boasts nightlife, outdoors adventures and ancient history as well.
Antalya and nearby Bodrum are the stand-out destinations when it comes to beaches, resorts and family fun, but the whole stretch along the glorious Aegean coast and sweeping down into the Turkish Riviera is simply stunning and bursting with Blue Flag beaches. Those looking for first-class package holidays will be in their element.
If you’re looking for city breaks in Turkey, Istanbul should be at the top of any list. In fact, it should be challenging for top spot on any list of European city breaks too – and even further afield. The city – often mistaken as Turkey’s capital – is teeming with history, culture, sumptuous cuisine and a bustling atmosphere.
The Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace Museum and Basilica Cistern are among the top sights, while visitors can also enjoy a different view of the city from the River Bosphorus or the top of the 14th century Galata Tower. While in town, be sure to sample delicious (Turkish!) delights including baklava, authentic doner kebabs, Turkish coffee and the lesser known but no less mouth-watering kumpir – essentially a loaded baked potato which is absolutely divine.
After all that walking, it would be rude not to treat yourself to a traditional Turkish hammam. Leave your inhibitions at the door and relax with a full body scrub and massage (as standard, natch), with many baths also offering face masks or reflexology as an added dreamy bonus.
The former Ottoman Empire is also teeming with history, with castles, Roman ruins and temples dotted throughout the land. Ephesus, near the western coast, is perhaps the most fascinating area of all when it comes to ancient history. The city was built in the 10th century BC and still to this day boasts the Ephesus Archaeological Site, Hercules Gate, the Temple of Hadrian, Celsus Library, Ephesus Ancient Theatre, the Temple of Artemis and the Cave of the Seven Sleepers among its ancient remains.
Elsewhere, culture vultures will want to spend some time in the magnificent Antalya Museum. Among Turkey’s largest museums, its displays showcase the history of the Mediterranean and Pamphylia regions across 13 exhibition halls and an open-air gallery. The Ancient City of Aphrodisias is located between Izmir and Antalya and is also well worth a visit for those keen on ancient history.
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