With a long Mediterranean coastline, charming resort towns and villages, warm, hot summers and fascinating seaside cities, Turkey is one of the most popular countries in Europe for family holidays.
The Turkish Riviera’s just over four hours flying time from the UK and between May and September there are direct flights from several UK airports to Bodrum and Antalya.
Spring’s a good time to visit for trekking and climbing in the Taurus Mountains or walking part of the legendary Lycian Way. And the weather’s still warm and sunny well into October for inexpensive half-term beach breaks.
Istanbul is one of the world’s most remarkable cities and a fantastic experience with teenagers but check UK government advice before booking travel.
Direct flights from UK to Istanbul and Ankara all year round, and flights to Antalya, Bodrum during summer months. Flight time is just over four hours.
Turkey has 16 UNESCO World Heritage sites including Hierapolis-Pamukkale, the historic centre of Istanbul, Xanthos-Letoon and Ephesus.
July and August temperatures of 30 – 40˚C on Mediterranean Turquoise Coast.
Istanbul is the only city in the world to straddle both Asia and Europe.
The Turquoise Coast or Turkish Riviera contains two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus and the Mausoleum of Maussollos in Halicarnassus.
The 540km long Lycian Way from Ölüdeniz to Antalya is one of the world’s top 10 great walks.
Turkey’s fifth largest city and capital of the stunning Turquoise Coast, Antalya’s a perfect Mediterranean holiday with older kids or teenagers. Think huge, sandy beaches with views of the Beydağlan Mountains balanced by one of Europe’s loveliest walled old towns, major museums and galleries, teeming markets and shiny malls.
Just over an hour’s drive east of Antalya, Side is quite probably the loveliest resort on the Turquoise Coast. Legend has it that Mark Anthony and Cleopatra had trysts in Side and, looking at the ancient Greco-Roman temples today, it’s not hard to believe. Aside from the historic quarter, the resort’s famous for flawless white sand beaches, lively markets, good seafood restaurants and water sports.
Sitting above the Mediterranean against a backdrop of the mighty Taurus Mountains, Alanya is one of the most popular resorts in Turkey. It’s mix of historic city and lively, action packed resort is a great balance for families and older kids will love the water sports and big, lively beaches.
The Bodrum Peninsula, to the west of the Turkish Riviera and centred on the pretty town of Bodrum, is a string of lovely beaches, pretty little villages, seaside resorts and glorious mountains and forests.
Dalyan’s famous for its marvellous river setting, the Byzantine rock-cut Kaunos tombs and Iztuzo beach’s loggerhead turtle conservancy.
Party town Marmaris is as famous for relentless nightlife as big, water sport beaches and good value resort hotels. Not a choice for families looking for the peaceful beauty of the Turkish Riviera, but it’s great to visit with older kids and packed with attractions.
Regular and inexpensive dolmus services run between most of the resort towns and villages along the Mediterranean coast. Public transport in cities is the best way to get about with private taxis in the evening – agree the fare before you head off. Hiring a car is the best way to explore independently but there are excellent and very reasonable tours to major attractions like Pamukkale and Iztuzu Beach. If you do hire a car in summer and you’re driving inland, take plenty of water and watch your fuel – garages are few and far between.