Turkey – a country that used to come behind Italy, Spain and Greece in rankings for popular holidaying destinations, has recently become a more desirable location for summer frolicking. Given current situations and the value of the Euro to the Pound (Turkey’s currency remaining as the Lira) it seems to come out as a more affordable option all round.
My parents have a keen eye for a good deal, and so 10 years ago when they were presented with the chance to invest in land and build properties in Turkey they took it: riding the crest of the country’s popularity wave (have a look at the apartments here, also pictured below). I’ve holidayed there every year since and I’m very fond of the country.
If you haven’t been before, here’s some reasons why you’ll love it too:
>> It’s bloody hot! – In the height of summer it can reach temperatures of up to 48 degrees, so try and make your getaway in the months sandwiching July and August to find a happy 30-35 degrees. It’s worth baring in mind that if you have to hide away in the shade when it’s 22 degrees outside then this is probably not the place for you!
>> It’s cheap – Once you’ve touched down in Turkey it’s fairly reasonable. Eating out is affordable unless you visit Istanbul: here it’s as expensive as any other capital city. Local spirits and Effes (turkish larger) are the ones to go for above and beyond expensive imported brands. The local markets are amazing with fresh fruit, veg and fish at ridiculously low prices – we bought freshly caught tuna steaks for £6 to grill (thy would have set us back almost three times that back home).
>> You can barter a bargain – Head to the local markets and you can pick up leather bags, shoes, jeans etc for a good price. Be sure to barter with the salesman, as the first quote always has an inflated tourist price tag. Pick and choose your battles though – some sellers thrive off the bartering game, whereas others simply get the hump if you push them too far.
>> It’s not too far away – It’s only a 3.5 to 4 hour flight, which in the scheme of things isn’t very long, and flights are around £250 return if you buy them in advance (this is based on London to Bodrum).
>> The landscape is beautiful – Before I went to Turkey I imagined slightly barren landscape, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s actually a really lush country filled with picturesque mountain scenery and tropical coastlines.
Tempted? Then here’s where you should go:
To bathe on tropical beaches: For tropical beaches and picturesque scenery visit Ölüdeniz, a small village in Fethiye on the southwestern coast of Turkey. Known as the ‘Blue lagoon’ the coastline offers tranquil blue seas (famous for its shades of turquoise) where the Aegean and Mediterranean meet. Rated among the top 5 beaches in the world by travelers and journalists alike, the sandy bay will not disappoint.
To indulge in 5 star luxury: Turkey is littered with 5 star hotels. And these aren’t your usual European ‘we’re calling it 5 star but really it’s a 2’ hotels, they’re the deluxe all-inclusive resorts which make you feel like you’ve been dropped into paradise.
With A-list celebs like Beyoncé and Jay Z vacationing in such resorts, you know they must be pretty special. And the good news? If you’re smart you can grab a bargain, so keep an eye out. Here’s some of the best to mull over:
Kempinski, Bodrum – Visit here
Rixos, Belek – Visit here
World of Wonders, Bodrum Resort – Visit here
Titanic, Antalya – Visit here
Gloria Golf Resort, Belek – Visit here
And… to view the attractions: Aside from the obvious (such as the Blue Mosque and Bodrum Castle) Turkey offers a wealth of interesting attractions for travelers. Here’s a small selection of what’s to offer:
Set within the city of Antalya, Aspendos boasts one of the best preserved ancient theatres of antiquity. It was built in 155 AD during the rule of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius and could seat between 15,000 and 20,000 spectators. Aspendos is the best-known attraction among the ruins of Turkey.
Pamukkale & Mud baths
Pamukkale (meaning ‘cotton castle’) is an unreal landscape famous for its white terraces made from travertine rock which contain natural hot springs. People have bathed in these pools for thousands of years, helping them become a major tourist attraction.
Turkey offers numerous mud baths, but the largest is located in Dalyan on the South Western region of the country. Not only does Dalyan have one of the largest natural mud baths, it holds the world-famous Turtle Beach and awe-inspiring Rock Tombs.
Located in the Turkish capital, Istanbul, Hagia Sophia was originally a basilica constructed in the sixth century. The impressive dome (102 feet in diameter) has been the largest enclosed space for over 1000 years. The Hagia Sophia was converted into a museum in 1935 and is now one of the top attractions in Turkey.
All things considered, Turkey is a great holiday destination and is definitely worth a visit if you haven’t tried it before.
If you happen to be looking to buy in Turkey, drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Words by – NJ