Straddling Europe and Asia, Turkey has enormously diverse scenery, with rolling central plains, soaring mountains, desert and orchards, white sand beaches and towering sea cliffs. Turkey’s thousands of kilometres of magnificent coast, sunshine and fine food have turned it into a major tourist destination. We offer great holidays in three regions of Turkey (Antalya, Dalaman and Bodrum) all with beautiful resorts.
Resort Guide to Belek
More an area than a single resort, Belek offers everything you could want from a sporting and sun-worshipping perspective. Approached through thick forests, it boasts a wonderfully long, mostly sandy beach, where you can park yourself under a parasol all day and occasionally indulge in the watersports on offer.
You’ll find shops sprinkled everywhere, with bars and restaurants approx. 3kms away and the hotels in the area are renowned for their excellent sporting and leisure distractions. For days out, head for the nearby ruined Roman city of Perge and the restored amphitheatre at Aspendos for a fantastic spot of sightseeing.
Journey time from Antalya airport: 40 minutes approx.
Resort Guide to Kemer and Lara Beach
Backed by the sheltering Taurus mountains, the all-new and cosmopolitan resort of Kemer offers a wealth of holiday attractions. Centring around a stylish modern marina lined with cafés and eating-spots, it offers the luxury of two beaches – a main shingle beach with fun loving watersports and boat trips, and a nearby sandy-pebbly beach bordered by citrus trees.
There’s also a satisfying array of restaurants, bars and lokantas, all enhanced by an upbeat, happy ambience. The blossoming resort of Lara Beach stretches along the magnificent sandy coastline, only 12 kms from Antalya and boasts some top class hotels and energetic watersports for your enjoyment.
Journey time from Antalya airport: Lara Beach 30 minutes approx; Kemer 45 minutes approx.
Resort Guide to Side
Pronounced see-day, Side is one of Turkey’s gems: quaint, historic and yet full of modern delights. The town sits on a headland edged by fine, sandy beaches, all offering numerous boat trips, watersports, bars, eateries and clubs.
When you feel in a shopping or cultural mood, the old town is woven with colourful alleyways heaving with jewellery and carpet shops, as well as an ancient Roman amphitheatre and temple ruins, all within the crumbling city walls. The cosmopolitan newer resort centre offers countless more shops and restaurants and there are also many ancient sites nearby to visit.
Journey time from Antalya airport: 1 hour approx.
Resort Guide to Altinkum
If you are looking for a relaxing beach holiday look no further than Altinkum, literally translated as Golden Sands. Stretching from the small harbour at one end of the bay to a rocky headland at the other lay two beaches and over one kilometre of golden sands, where lazy days can be spent soaking up the sun.
Just four kilometres away from Altinkum you will find the impressive site of the Temple of Apollo in Didyma which is an incredible testament to ancient civilisations. Altinkum by night retains its relaxed informal atmosphere and offers a good choice of restaurants and bars which makes it an ideal choice for a family holiday.
Journey time from Bodrum airport: 1 hour approx.
Resort Guide to Bitez
Located one bay up from Gumbet, Bitez will attract those seeking the tranquil Turkey. The surrounding mandarin groves set the tone for the resort – a laid-back, still traditional village, complete with teahouse and lots of friendly restaurants and bars.
The beach, with its gently shelving sands, borders a nearby sheltered bay and has plentiful watersports. Traditional Gundogan is one of the gems of the Bodrum peninsula: with a sleepy, distinctly villagey air that’s ideal for unwinding. Life here is slow, while the clean, sandy beaches are perfect for soaking up the sun and letting the hours slip by.
Boat excursions to nearby coves leave from the harbour and there’s a good line in shops, restaurants and bars fringing the waterfront. When you fancy a change, the excitements of Bodrum are 18kms away.
Journey time from Bodrum airport:50 minutes approx.
Resort Guide to Bodrum, Torba and Turgutreis
Cosmopolitan Bodrum is ideal for a fun and sun holiday in every sense. Turkey’s most sophisticated resort, it blends old and new beautifully, with gleaming whitewashed houses spilling down terraced hillsides overlooked by an impressive 15th century castle. Backed by pine forests, Torba is a peaceful resort, enjoying a scenic position on the north of the Bodrum peninsula. Tucked into a beautiful bay, the heart of the town is on the waterfront filled with restaurants, shops and cafés.
With its own narrow main strip of beach, you can simply chill out and sunbathe your holiday away. Unspoilt Turgutreis spreads through a valley of olive groves and orchards. The waterfront faces west and sunsets over the offshore islands are to die for. The village is friendly, with just enough café bars and shops to keep you busy.
Journey time from Bodrum airport: Bodrum & Torba 40 minutes; Turgutreis 1 hour 15 minutes approx.
Resort Guide to Gumbet
This self-contained resort acts as Bodrum’s local beach, and is known for its upbeat, young-oriented atmosphere and terrific watersports. Set in the cup of a scenic bay, the 600 metre beach is buzzing with sunbathers and watersports, so you’ll be in heaven if you want to mess about on a windsurf, sailboard, go snorkelling or take to water-skis and pedalos.
A walk along the waterfront also reveals a multitude of bustling shops, restaurants, bars and lokantas. By night, the pace steps up, with countless disco bars and hip nightspots that will keep you partying. Bodrum lies just three kilometres away, so all you need do is hop on a local dolmus.
Other nearby destinations include some pretty little fishing villages scattered in Gumbet’s vicinity, most notably Gumusluk.
Journey time from Bodrum airport: 45 minutes approx.
Resort Guide to Dalyan
Offering much unspoilt charm, pretty Dalyan sits a little back from the coast in an idyllic river setting. The nearest beach, boasting sands and turquoise waters, is protected as a turtle habitat and reached by a short boat or dolmus ride through fantastic scenery.
Back in resort, excellent restaurants and bars await, with a couple of nightclubs on the outskirts so as not to disturb the low-key, relaxed atmosphere. Regular buses run to Marmaris and some of Turkey’s famous herbal and mud baths are nearby.
Journey time from Dalaman airport: 30 minutes approx.
Resort Guide to Hisaronu, Fethiye and Ovacik
It sounds odd to build a resort 4 kilometres from the beach but the once sleepy mountain village of Hisaronu is just that, and it works wonderfully. In part that’s due to the dolmus which takes you to Olu Deniz for next to nothing in next to no time. Night-time Hisaronu’s streets and bars fill with hustle almost until the sun peeks over the mountain to announce tomorrow.
Fethiye is an ancient Lycian town with relics dating back to the 4th century BC, and is reputed to have been visited by Alexander the Great. Set against the magnificent backdrop of the Taurus Mountains and surrounded by a beautiful, island-strewn bay, the town is now a vibrant holiday destination. The picturesque old quarter is packed with bazaar-style shops, restaurants and bars. A wide range of boat trips are available at the nearby waterfront.
Journey time from Dalaman airport: 2 hours approx.
Resort Guide to Marmaris and Icmeler
If you want lots of holiday action Marmaris is the place to be, and is Turkey’s biggest resort. The town is set in a huge, sweeping bay and surrounded by dramatic, pine covered mountains. There’s something for everyone here, from a sand-pebble beach, to a delightful promenade and a 16th century fortress.
There’s also a smart, modern marina graced with chic shops and eateries and a bustling bazaar. At night, the town positively bubbles over with activity. Icmeler is a cosmopolitan resort with a strong European flavour and lifestyle. Lying in a sheltered bay neighbouring Marmaris, its main attraction is its stunning sandy beach framed by rows of stylish hotels.
But when the mood takes you, there’s an abundance of bars and restaurants and a great range of shops you can haggle in, and lokantas are also here in strength.
Journey time from Dalaman airport: Marmaris 2 hours approx: Icmeler 2 hours 30 minutes approx
Resort Guide to Olu Deniz
Olu Deniz boasts the most photographed beach in Turkey, a sensational curve of powdery white shingle framing a shimmering blue lagoon where you can stretch out in bliss or enjoy a variety of watersports. Nearby, you’ll find cafés, bars and restaurants many of which come alive by night, so evening entertainment is right on hand.
Up in the mountains close by is Hisaronu, a cooling hillside resort with a great variety of restaurants and a host of up-tempo nightspots. A frequent dolmus service runs to Olu Deniz, so it’s ideal for daytimes on the beach followed by an upbeat evening or two.
Journey time from Dalaman airport: 2 hours approx.