Take touches from east and west, mix it up with some old-world charm and add a little contemporary flair – the result is Turkey, a captivating land of contrasts. Discover for yourself with a villa holiday in 2020.
Most people head straight to Turkey’s dazzling coast, images of long, lazy beach days and sparkling clear seas on their mind. But don’t discount iconic Istanbul for a villa holiday – a melting pot of cultural influences, there’s a reason it’s one of the most popular destinations in the country.
The city feels as if it’s in a constant state of flux – one minute you’re strolling through centuries old streets, the next admiring art in a contemporary gallery. Take your pick from one of its lively central neighbourhoods, such as Kadıköy, Fener, Balat and Beşiktaş, for a real local experience.
If you’ve got your heart set on the seaside, however, head south and book a villa in Izmir. Known as the ‘Pearl of the Aegean’, it’s a laidback destination packed with culture and history. Shop around and you should have no trouble finding a cheap villa in the area. Same goes for Bodrum, one of Turkey’s most popular seaside resorts. In-between coffees in endearing cafes, check out its eponymous castle and sleek marina.
Sticking to the coast, if you’re looking for classic sun, sea and sand, a villa holiday along Turkey’s Mediterranean coastline might be your best bet.
Popular spots include Marmaris, Oludeniz and Icmeler. Meanwhile, Antalya, with its excellent beaches Lara and Konyaalti, ancient old town and bustling harbour, is a top choice for both couples and families. Elsewhere in the east, Alanya has a buzzing nightlife, off-track Anamur beguiles with its banana plantations and beaches, and Mersin is home to amazing seafood.
For an altogether different seaside experience, venture north to the opposite side of Turkey and the Black Sea coastline. More rugged, windswept and traditional in character, it’s ideal if you’re after a quieter and less touristy experience. You should have no trouble finding cheap villas here, close to places like Amasra, Kilyos, Giresun and Trabzon.
Beyond the coast, there’s also the brilliant Turkish heartland, where a more traditional side to Turkey is waiting to be discovered. If that sounds like your kind of thing, look for villas in and around cities, towns and villages like Safranbolu, well-known for its saffron-tiled Ottoman houses; Erzurum, famed for its architecture and mountainous backdrop; Uzungöl, recognised for its picture-perfect lake and green mountains; and the otherworldly Cappadocia, with its bizarre rock-coned landscape and hot air balloons.
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