We first fell in love with Turkey on a holiday to Olu Deniz, with its enchanting, properly blue lagoon. That sparkling azure sea, white sand, the feta cheese pastries, baklava and the fabulous Turkish people proved to be an irresistible combination. Since then we’ve been back many times, including to Kusadasi, for the spectacular ruins at Ephesus, and of course Istanbul, which is probably one of the most captivating cities in the world.
I think that what makes a holiday in Turkey such a winner for family breaks (apart from its obvious charms, not least the glorious sunshine and stunning beaches) is that it’s superb value for money; you can eat out really cheaply (and the food is gorgeous – all that meze and fresh fruit and fish). I also love that when you go bargain hunting at the bazaars they always give you copious amounts of apple tea – elma çay; we still have boxes of it in our kitchen cupboards. Plus if you’re into water sports this is the place to do it – all that unspoilt coastline and sea life. In fact, I learned to both snorkel and scuba dive in Turkey, and take it from me, nothing beats the thrill of being in an underwater world with all those tropical fish and ancient ruins. We also had a lot of meals al fresco, either in villages or by the harbour at Fethiye; absolutely magical. And of course the shopping is superb.
If you’re thinking about taking a family holiday to Turkey for the first time then my advice would definitely be to book with a company that really knows the region, because that way you’ll get to experience the very best the area has to offer, while benefitting from local knowledge. I’d still recommend heading for the glittering Turquoise Coast and Olu Deniz, or the Antalya area which is also stunning (and has dramatic waterfalls as well as golf courses if you’re holidaying without kids), but do make time to go on a few excursions so you get to experience Turkish culture and see some of its sights. And of course, a Turkish bath is an absolute must 😉