Stunning beaches, clean waters, ancient attractions, and a perfect blend of lively and peaceful - Turkey enchants those who visit...
Situated to the west of Asia and the south of Europe, Turkey is a complex mixture of these cultures and its own, offering great variety to visitors.
Holidaymakers fall broadly into two camps: those looking to make the most of Turkey hotels and beaches, where they can relax and unwind from everyday stresses in pleasant surroundings and abundant sunshine; and those who like to explore and experience some of the history of their chosen destination. Turkey can offer all of this and more.
The western region of Turkey is perfect for sun lovers, with its selection of resorts on the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts, which cater for everyone from families with children to young adults wanting a vibrant nightlife where they can let their hair down for a short while. Those who prefer not to spend all their time on the beach will find historic sites away from the resort areas. Two such areas, The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus and the Tomb of King Mausolus in Bodrum, are included in the known Seven Wonders of the World.
There is accommodation to suit every pocket in Turkey and much of it can be found in the resorts...
Rooms in most Turkey hotels have private bathrooms and the price will include breakfast. Anatalya on Turkey's Mediterranean coastline is known as the Turkish Riviera. Resorts such as Alanya, Belek, Kas, Kekova, Olympos, Patara and Side can be found there with a range of hotels to choose from.
Marmaris is one of the most popular resorts among British visitors. A family-friendly place with spectacular scenery, Marmaris offers water sports and land-based sports to keep you occupied, along with many ancient sites to explore.
Kalkan offers a more sophisticated, upmarket and authentic experience. The village is situated on a hillside above a harbour and consists of houses built from stone. The historic sites of Xanthos and Letoon are not far from Kalkan. Because of the steepness of the inclines the resort is not recommended for families with small children or those with mobility issues. Kemer is a purpose-built resort designed to match its surroundings. Ringed with bars, restaurants and shops, the marina at its core houses cruise yachts. The main resort can be found closer to the beaches at Beldibi, Camyuva, Goynuk and Tekirova.
There are many more resorts that offer hotels in diverse locations, including five-star hotels with all the facilities expected of luxury hotels in the well-known international chains as well as local Turkish chains. Four-star hotels with air conditioning usually serve a good breakfast in the restaurant, while drinks can be enjoyed at the bar. Comfortable three-star hotels, with satellite television, a mini-bar and access to a swimming pool and night club, are also available. Two-star hotels, meanwhile, offer good value but fewer facilities, such as a TV lounge if there is no television in the rooms. The budget one-star hotels offer few frills.
There are, of course, other options, such as local hotels, which are smaller and cheaper than the star-rated hotels. As with hostels, they are basic types of accommodation, with communal facilities and no breakfast service. They may be ideal for people on a strict budget who only require a bed for the night. Those found on the coast are considered to be convenient and friendly. For those who prefer to look after themselves there are villas and apartments to rent. These are becoming more popular and can be found all along the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts. Tourists who intend on staying a little longer can find long let apartments in the bigger cities.
Along with traditional types of accommodation Turkey has a range of unique establishments, such as old Ottoman mansions that have been renovated and converted into boutique hotels, historic houses and the Cappadocian cave dwellings. Prices vary for these types of accommodation and will reflect the number of facilities included.
The best time to book hotels in Turkey for your annual holiday is between April and May or September and October if you prefer sightseeing in more comfortable weather. Sun lovers may prefer to visit the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts from the middle of May to September and the Black Sea coast from the end of June to September. Eastern Turkey is best visited between the end of June and September, but be warned: outside this time the area can be subjected to freezing temperatures and snow.
Travellers should also be aware that mosquitoes can be an issue between June and August. There is no tourism during the winter in Turkey, so holiday accommodation in the popular coastal regions and some of Cappadocia is closed from the middle of October until the end of April.
The beaches lure crowds, but it's the rich history of this land that offers the greatest treasures for adventure-hungry tourists...
Spread wide and far and plenty in number, there's bound to be an exciting attraction not far from your hotel in Turkey. Here are some of the best:
Top five attractions
This Istanbul museum - a former church and mosque and nearly 1,500 years old - is a striking piece of the city skyline and the opulent interior leaves visitors speechless.
An easy day trip from many of the beach resorts of the south west, this mountain of white is a series of hot springs and mineral terraces in which you can bathe.
Temple of Artemis
With roots dating back some 2,500 years, this fascinating site at ancient Ephesus (near modern Selcuk) close to Turkey's west coast, is worth the day trip. The temple was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
Also known as the Tomb of King Mausolus and located in Bodrum, this was another of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The ruins are well worth a look if you're staying in or near Bodrum.
Take a hot-air balloon ride over the famed region of Cappadocia, where nature has crafted amazing rock formations and towns and villages have been carved into the hillsides. It's a place of staggering beauty and is located at the heart of Turkey.
Discover when to visit Turkey for huge festivals, and when the nation's hotels might be best avoided...
When making your hotel booking be aware that the coastal areas can be much more crowded between June and September. Where possible avoid public or religious holidays such as Kurban Bayrami, the most important Islamic religious festival in Turkey, which falls in October and lasts for about five days. All banks will be closed and the ATMs have been known to run out of money during this time.
Turkey has several festivals that may coincide with the holiday period. These include the annual Tulip Festival, held in Emirgan Park, Istanbul, every April.
April 25 or Anzac Day on the Gallipoli peninsula: This is best avoided unless you have planned your holiday specifically for this event. Hotels are likely to be very busy, so if you wish to be there during this time, be sure to book your hotel early. The day is honoured by Australians and New Zealanders for those who died in Gallipoli during the First World War, as well as all other fallen soldiers.
The Istanbul Shopping Fest; June: Held between June 9 and 29, this is a feast of retail therapy and fun.
The Istanbul International Music Festival; June-July: Classical music is mostly celebrated at this long running event, though dance, ballet and opera fans will also be delighted. You can catch performances of traditional Turkish dance and song too.