The landscapes of Turkey are breathtaking, with the Kings Tombs in Dalyan being simply amazing and supposedly dated back to 4 BC. The waterways in some areas of Turkey are also worthy of mention, acting almost like buses these boats will ferry you around in peace, allowing you to take in the scenery which includes long reeds growing well above your head and exotic birds you’ve probably never seen before. All of this is further complimented by simply wonderful food, the different areas boast different specialities but the freshly grilled kebabs would put anything we have in Britain to shame and plenty of fish – special mention must go to the freshly caught oven baked sea bass available in water front restaurants throughout Turkey.
For those looking to pick up some souvenirs, Turkey has enough to have your head spinning and your credit card burning a hole in your pocket. To make shopping more fun, the markets are a great place to go, where you’ll find bargains aplenty and are encouraged to barter. You’ll be amused at some of the tactics used to draw customers in, the constant refrain of “cheaper than Primark!” is certainly worthy of a giggle. While in the markets you might want to pick up some items for home, with Turkey specialising in beautiful carpets and delightful ceramics.
Be sure to examine some of the light shades and candle holders offered all over Turkey, made of intricate coloured glass and so well designed you’ll find yourself wanting everything in the shop. When buying at markets, the etiquette is very different as when you’ve concluded your bargaining the store owner will often invite you to sit down for tea, which is certainly different and when you unpack your bags at home you are likely to find an extra little gift added to your purchases, a little trinket to thank you for your custom.
One of the most popular regions in Turkey is Dalaman, where the atmosphere differs from resort to resort. The area boasts a number of amenities for visitors which are sure to keep everybody entertained and happy. The first thing on your list should be Dalyan Beach, which acts as home to Loggerhead Turtles which lay their eggs in the sand. For non turtles the beach, accessible by boat offers a snack bar serving drinks and snacks and a crepe stall, long swathes of golden sands and crystal clear waters which due to their high salt content are very easy to swim in. (Please note – stay away from the right side of the beach as there is a strong undercurrent there, signs are placed on the beach to advise you of this). If you plan to visit Dalyan Beach you might want to book a private boat for your party as when travelling in a small group (which is still very affordable) you can moor up alongside another boat which will cook you fresh blue crab (delicious) and fish for turtles with the shells, this draws unbelievably large turtles to the surface of the water alongside your boat where you can take pictures of them up close. Having eaten your scraps the turtle will swim back down to the depths, leaving your party happy and ready to hit the beach.
Another day out in Dalaman you might want to experience are the sulphur baths. Not as disgusting as it might sound (though the smell is something to behold) these baths involve you covering yourself in therapeutic mud, sitting in the sun until it dries hard and then showering it off, before taking a dip in the warm sulphur baths which is actually quite relaxing (as long as you breathe through your mouth) and really does leave your skin feeling soft and looking decidedly more dewy. For another day out suitable for all the family you could get a boat out to the Island of Cleopatra, said to be where the happy couple honeymooned consists of roman ruins and a beautiful bay with clear waters, perfect for snorkelling. Take a picnic and make a day of it, lazing on the sands relaxing and occasional dips in the cooling waters.
The resorts in Dalaman are varied and offer something different for everyone. For those seeking lively day and livelier nights the resort of Marmaris is a great choice. Offering a large beach complete with water sports and lined by bars, cafes, restaurants and nightlife, this resort is open almost 24 hours a day, so it might not be suitable for families with young children, though there are a number of accommodations on the outskirts of town which will keep visitors away from a lot of the hustle and bustle. Within easy reach of Marmaris is Icmeler, which is slightly quieter than Marmaris, yet offers a number of amenities sure to delight, including a large beach and a number of restaurants and bars.
Olu Deniz, also in the region of Dalaman offers an entirely different atmosphere to Marmaris and is well suited for those on a family holiday and couples looking for relaxation in this idyllic setting. For those blissful days you can laze on the beach or head over to the Lagoon which is perfect for swimming, snorkelling or just laying out on the sand in splendour. For something a bit more exhilarating there is the water park which offers a multitude of slides, chutes and rides as well as bouncy castles and restaurants for those midday snacks. All food and drink needs are taken care of in Olu Deniz with a number of restaurants and bars in the area. There is little in the way of nightlife so those seeking some evening entertainment may be better accommodated in the nearby Fethiye, where there is more to do at night.
Fethiye on the western coast of Turkey is a fabulous, bustling resort which welcomes holidaymakers in their droves every year. Part of the reason it proves so popular is the landscape with gorgeous beaches, secluded bays and beautiful blue skies. The food in Fethiye is varied yet always delicious, featuring traditional Turkish cuisine and international treats, so even the pickiest eaters will be satisfied. The evenings are full of fun in Fethiye too, with a selection of bars with cool and breezy terraces offering live music and even the occasional disco.
Another popular holiday resort in Turkey is Bodrum, which is a great choice for those who want every hour of the day filled with activity and fun. This cosmopolitan resort is packed full of amenities to keep visitors of all ages and tastes entertained. The area is also known for its fantastic shopping, with markets and bazaars available so you might want to travel light and with an empty suitcase. The sheer amount of items available is amazing from speciality teas which you are invited to try at the stall before you buy, Turkish delight in pretty boxes which are perfect as gifts, clothes galore for men, women and children and handmade jewellery which is simply beautiful. Bodrum really excels itself when it comes to luxury items though, especially ceramics. The shops offering pottery are well worth a look, especially as each item is hand painted and if you ask you’re likely to find that the designs have some sort of meaning or even a traditional Turkish story behind them. If you do purchase something be sure to ask the storekeeper to pack it well for your flight home and they’ll be happy to pack it well for you.
If you are staying in Bodrum self catering you can find beautiful food in Bodrum, the local butchers and greengrocers offer great produce, freshly grown – which will be perfect for rustling up a delectable meal. For those nights when you don’t want to cook then there are plenty of restaurants in the area, some providing traditional Turkish food (they usually also offer some English food for picky eaters or children) and there are many dishes which we would recommend. The meats in Turkey are fabulous of course, well seasoned and cooked to order, but special attention must go to the stews featuring a meat of your choice, cooked with green peppers, onions and mushrooms, all in a beautifully spicy tomato sauce. Usually served with rice and seasonal vegetables these stews (known as kusu guvec) are so tasty you might find yourself ordering them night after night. Bodrum is within easy reach of a beach and a short ride on a dolmus will take you there, where you can experience golden sands and azure blue water. In the evenings Bodrum is a lively place to be with a number of bars, offering live music and of course belly dancers and discos and clubs opening later.
In Bodrum there are many resorts available which offer a little something different. For those holidaymakers seeking relaxation there is the idyllic resort of Altinkum, where your days will be spent on the beautiful beach, bring your book and pick a sun lounger and spend an unencumbered day relaxing. When you’re looking for something more active there are a number of trendy boutiques in the area, where you can pick up a little something for yourself or gifts for loved ones. The area also boasts a selection of discos and bars for your evening entertainment, promising to keep you happy and smiling.
Gumbet is another resort in Bodrum, offering a completely different atmosphere to Altinkum. Gumbet is all about partying, where there are a number of bars, discos and nightclubs happy to keep you occupied well into the morning. The morning after can be spent lazing on the beach, soaking up the sunshine. Food is just as beautiful in Gumbet, offering a selection of traditional and international cuisine, guaranteed to have you full and contented.
Antalya in the south western region of Turkey is another region which is popular for tourism. Offering a range of sights and amenities this resort is a great choice for your summer holiday. As with the rest of Turkey the resort offers a number of shops, restaurants and of course a stunning beach covered in golden sands and beautifully blue waters. As the sun sets and evening draws in Antalya livens up further with a number of bars offering live music and plenty of drinks while the discos and nightclubs stay open until late and offer a warm welcome.
Alanya situated in Antalya is a popular resort in this region. Visitors are encouraged to take part in some sightseeing, including the Seljuk fortress which dates back to the 13th century. For some more relaxing pursuits there is plenty of shopping to be done down by the marina with special attention to carpets and rugs, spices and embroidered linen. Alanya also offers a number of bars and nightclubs for those who want their nights to be just as exciting as their days.