Chock-full of pulsating cities that never sleep, rich historical communities and diverse authentic cuisine – all set against a backdrop of gorgeous landscapes you won’t find anywhere else – Turkey truly is a destination with a difference. With a dazzling mix of things to do, with all the usual creature comforts of a standard resort holiday also on offer, we’re sure you’ll be swept up in the magic of a trip to Turkey. Whether you’re after sun-soaked bliss along the country’s shimmering coastline, a heady mix of sights and smells in Istanbul, or looking to get off the beaten track in Turkey’s more rural settings, you’ll be glad you booked in 2019 with Love Holidays. Experience a culture that’s as far removed from home as you can get, while also indulging in all the pleasures you’re used to on a sunshine holiday when you need some down time. One thing’s for sure – Turkey is a holiday destination you won’t soon forget.
For beach bunnies that want nothing more than to top up their tan, Turkey is often overlooked as a hotspot for beaches, and along its gorgeous coastline you’ll always be surrounded by jaw-dropping vistas. For your own personal slice of heaven, head to Antalya, lying amidst the stunning scenery of the Turkish Riviera. With a number of golden stretches for you to amble along, or simply stretch out on, and a plethora of top-class holiday resorts, it’s sure to inject some glamour into your getaway. When it comes to a vibrant retreat destination with a bit more local flavour, you can’t go wrong with the Bodrum region. With no shortage of coastal stretches and charmingly unique towns and villages, this area is sure to cast its spell on you. Each year, many holidaymakers also flock to the delectable Dalmatia region. Boasting magically quaint harbour towns, the finest seafood the country has to offer and a range of cute guest houses to provide for your every need, it’s perfect for those seeking some rest and relaxation.
Wine and Dine
Taking cues from its diverse history and influence from Asia, the Middle East, the Mediterranean and the Balkans, Turkish cuisine is rich and varied, practically exploding off the plate in a mix of scents and colours. With a huge stretch of coastline, seafood lovers will be in paradise in the Black Sea region, serving up the freshest gifts from the sea, night after night. Or, you’ll be equally content in the Mediterranean and Aegean regions, which boasts all the traditional Turkish seafood favourites with a Mediterranean twist. Take a seat alongside Istanbul’s harbour and enjoy stunning views with your meal. For a truly authentic experience, take our advice and try out a restaurant on a moored boat, where delicious barbequed mackerel served on traditionally prepared warm bread is a highlight. The town of Egirdir offers a plethora of fine restaurants on a tiny island on the town’s causeway, and incredible vistas are never far away to provoke all your senses. We haven’t even mentioned the amazing street food – kofta, and the pastry-based baklava and borek are sure to keep you refuelled when you’re out for a spot of sightseeing.
As the former capital of the vast Ottoman Empire, Istanbul is chock-full of historical and cultural delights galore for you and your family to explore. The division point between Europe and Asia, the shimmering turquoise waterway of Bosphorus provides a wonderful focal point for your family. Kids and big kids alike will revel in the chance to cruise the strait in a boat and drink in its historical significance. Elsewhere, be sure to marvel at the cultural wonders of the Blue Mosque, Aya Sofia and Topkapi Palace, which are all unique highlights. The historical aspect is gleaned easily and immediately apparent, and you don’t have to spend hours on end here to soak it all up, so even those with younger children don’t have to miss out. These historical wonders and stories surrounding them are sure to jump out at your little ones on a holiday they won’t soon forget. You could even escape the heat for a while and teach them how to barter around the Grand Bazaar. How’s that for a valuable life skill?
Action and Adventure
With an endless stretch of golden coastline always on display, it’s no wonder Turkey offers an abundance of water activities to get your pulse racing. You could go snorkelling deep within the shimmering azure waters of the Mediterranean, or work up a sweat trekking across the mountains along the coast and be rewarded with stunning vistas and incredible scenery. On Turkey’s revered coastline you can also partake in a number of water sports and boat excursions. Or, discover the ruins of Turkey’s past as you seek out shipwrecks and other wonders of the deep while scuba diving. The beauty of Turkey’s diverse landscape is that it offers both aquatic activities and winter sports – the Dalman River and Rize Firtina River boast white water rafting, canoeing and water skiing, while the snow-covered Agri-Mount Ararat and Rize Kacker mountains provide thrills for snow fans. Adrenaline junkies can enjoy the best of both worlds.
As a country located amidst the idyllic setting of the Mediterranean and Aegean seas, it would be a shame not to plan for at least a few beach visits while in tantalising Turkey. When it comes to coastal havens and gorgeous golden crescents, it doesn’t disappoint. Popular with tourists year after year, the beaches around the Marmaris region are stunning and packed full of all the beachside amenities you could ask for. If you’re willing to head off the beaten track a bit, you’ll be rewarded with the quieter local beaches found in the Datca Peninsula, and on the island retreats of Bozcaada and Gokceada. These glorious beaches are known to the local Turks, but foreign visitors are yet to catch on. So if you like some peace with your beach, take our advice and wander off the path a bit. Another must-see is Patara Beach in Patara – boasting 18 kilometres of splendid sand dunes, we’re sure you’ll find a quiet spot to unwind, even in the height of tourist season.
While predominantly known for its gorgeous beaches and rich cultural heritage, Turkey is no pushover when it comes to memorable nightlife, which has kept visitors from northern Europe coming back year after year. The country’s varied cultural make-up is a joy to experience, and this is no better reflected than in its nightlife, with something on offer for all tastes and wants. Partake in a spot of clubbing, brush shoulders with the locals for a night of live music, or simply soak up some relaxing vibes and have a few laughs with family and friends – all the while enjoying the views and savouring the local wine. The coastal hotspots along Istanbul’s renowned Bosphorus region offers a plethora of establishments to take you into the wee hours, including beer houses, bars, late restaurants, nightclubs and taverns – so you’re truly spoilt for choice. Elsewhere in the city, the Taksim area, the Flower Arcade and Nevizade all offer the crème de la crème of Istanbul’s nightclubs.
The air of mystery that surrounds this glorious nation creates romantic getaways effortlessly, no matter which location you choose for your couple’s holiday. Reconnect along the banks of Istanbul’s coast on a fantastic city break, with a plethora of romantic views, cultural hotspots and iconic architecture creating the ideal setting for just the two of you. Explore the Beyoglu area, where you’ll find some of the best views the city has to offer, which you can enjoy while tucking into a well-earned meal. If you’d prefer a more slow-paced lovers’ retreat, head for Islamlar where you’ll discover beautifully quaint streams and greenery, majestic villas and gorgeous olive groves – perfect for leisurely strolls hand-in-hand as you reignite your love. If it’s a life of luxury you want, look no further than the ultra-glam Alacati, which is lined with rows of top-tier hotels and gourmet eateries. Preening and pampering awaits.
As the cornerstone of the majestic Ottoman Empire, there’s no shortage of cultural activities, historical marvels and stunning architecture to get to grips with on a visit to Turkey. Chock-full of culture, any of the country’s ancient cities still hold remnants of the past and you’ll find incredibly well-preserved ruins as you amble around the city and get a taste of the ancient world. With over 5,000 years of historical significance to get to grips with, the antique city of Halicarnassus is simply unmissable. Similarly, Termessos should be near the top of any culture vultures list, perched delicately on the cliffside and providing stunning views of the Taurus Mountains. Additional features include the Lycian Rock Tombs, which are impeccably carved within the rock face with a mysterious significance – ancient civilisations believed this location would help the angels reach their loved ones buried there. There’s truly no end to the cultural delights on offer in this wonderful country.