The 7 Best Turkey Holiday Destinations | 13 Weeks Travel

The 7 Best Turkey Holiday Destinations

Turkey offers one of the best holiday destinations from the UK. The flight times are just over 4 hours from the UK, perfect for your little ones, the Meditteranean weather is fantastic and the food is glorious. If you have decided to visit Turkey but you are not sure where you would like to stay in Turkey, this post on the best Turkey holiday destinations will provide clear guidance that will help you make a decision.

WHY BOOK A HOLIDAY TO TURKEY?

Turkey is home to endless historic wonders – from the Duden waterfalls to Hadrian’s gate to the ancient ruins of the city Ephesus to rock sites of Cappadocia. There are amazing sights and scenes everywhere you turn. Turkey is home to lovely sand beaches, ancient Roman ruins, beautiful natural landscapes, and vibrant cultures. If you love architecture, you will be charmed by the Byzantine churches and ancient amphitheatres. If you are an entrepreneur looking to do Business, Turkey is the place to visit for unique products. If you are looking at options for cheap cosmetic surgery, Turkey is also the place to visit.

Turkey’s location makes visiting and holidaying in Turkey a popular destination with British Holidaymakers. If you are after breathtaking scenery, ancient history and vibrant culture, visiting Turkey will be a good decision.

elaborate building in sunset|Best Holiday Destinations Turkey

FUN FACTS ABOUT REPUBLIC OF TURKEY – THE COUNTRY

  • Turkey is a transcontinental country. It spans two continents – Europe and Asia.
  • It shares borders with interesting countries. To the North of Turkey. To the East of Turkey are Syria and Lebanon. To the South is Israel and Egypt, and to the West in Greece.
  • The capital of Turkey is Ankara.
  • Turkey enjoys the perfect Mediterranean climate – scorching summers and cool winters.
  • The first church in the world is found in Antioch, Turkey.
  • Santa Claus was born in Patara, Turkey.
  • The official currency is Turkish Lira, but Euros is widely accepted.
  • The official language is Turkish but there are over 30 languages spoken including Mesopotamian Arabic.
  • You will find one of the oldest markets in the world. The Grand Bazaar.
  • There are 18 incredible UNESCO World Heritage site. Great for the history lover.
  • Turkey is the home of Hazelnuts.

GETTING INTO TURKEY

BY AIR

Getting to Turkey by air takes about 4 hours 30 minutes and makes it an ideal UK family travel holiday destination. There are frequent direct flights between London and Antalya, London and Bodrum, London and Dalaman, London and Izmir with Jet2 airlines. Additionally, there are direct flights to Istanbul from London with British Airways where you can collect points.  If you wish to visit Turkey from outside the UK, there are about 35 International Airports for you to choose from. Your best bet is to look for flights going to these Turkey Airports – Ankara Esenbaga Airport, Antalya Airport, Sabiha Goken Istanbul Airport and Istanbul Ataturk Airport.

GETTING AROUND TURKEY

Is Uber available in Turkey?

No, The best way to get around Turkey is by hiring a car. Hiring a car is cheaper than taking a taxi everywhere.

DO I NEED A VISA TO TRAVEL TO TURKEY?

UK Nationals can get visas on arrival at Turkey airports.

  • A valid passport (issued within the last 10 years) with at least 3 months validity from the date of your arrival.
  • A visa ( depending on your nationality, destination, and length of stay)
  • Travel insurance that covers medical expenses
  • A return or onward ticket

COSTS OF BEST TURKEY HOLIDAY

The cost of All-inclusive holidays to Turkey is about £350 per person. Your holiday can be cheaper if you have a different package. For example, if you decide to go self-catering or if you decide to choose half board rather than the full board.

BEST TIME TO VISIT TURKEY

The best time to visit is between May to August for its hot weather. If you fancy milder conditions, visit Turkey between September to early November. The best time to visit Turkey during an offseason is February.

BEST TURKEY HOLIDAY DESTINATION

Turkey is a fascinating transcontinental country that serves as the bridge between the West and the East. The famous Ottoman rule and the Turkish empire reign makes it an interesting destination for everyone. Culture lovers, food fanatics, sunbathing lovers, couples, families, and adventure seekers will love Turkey for its diversity and historic sites.

The best Turkey holiday destinations are:

  1. Antalya
  2. Istanbul
  3. Cappodocia
  4. Bodrum
  5. Dalaman
  6. Izmir
  7. Pamukkale

#1. BEST TURKEY HOLIDAY DESTINATION: Antalya

Duden Waterfalls Green flora | Best Turkey Holiday destinations

Where is Antalya, Turkey located?

Antalya is the tourism capital of turkey. It is located in the southwestern region of the Mediterranean, bordered by Taurus mountain. It is the second-most visited city in Turkey after Istanbul, over a million tourist visit Antalya yearly. The most prominent part of Antalya are:

  1. The Old Town Kaleici
  2. Konyaalti Beach (West)
  3. Lara Beach (East)
  4. The North.

Antalya is best for:

History lovers: who will love to visit Hadrian’s Castle Gate, Hidirlik Tower, Antalya Museum, Yivli Minare, Roman Fortress, Aspendos, Perge, Olympos and Chimaera, Karain Cave

Beach lovers: You have at least a minimum of 5 beaches you have to see when you visit Turkey. Adrasan, Lara, Konyaalti, Topcam and Lara Beach Kundu

Adventure lovers: Hike Taurus Mountain, take a quad bike along the trail

Where to stay in Antalya, Turkey

Lara is the most popular area to stay at in Antalya. Here you will find an array of hotels in the most glamorous designs. Many all-inclusive resorts are located in Lara.

The best way to get around Antalya

To get around Antalya, use a minibus, they are the cheapest option because of the distances between places. Taxi are available and more convenient but they can get expensive.

The Best Things to do in Antalya

  1. Marvel at the restored Aspendos theatre. Aspendos is a 15,000 seater Roman theatre that was the crown of glory in its days. It was the most preserved Roman Theatre when it was discovered.
  2. Visit Hadrian Castle Gate believed to have been built for Emperor Hadrian when he visited Antalya in 130AD.
  3. Explore Antalya Museum and learn about the fascinating Bronze Age and Byzantium era. Discover the finds from the excavation sites across the Turkish Coast.
  4. Spend a day at Perge. The old capital of ancient Pamphylia – Asia Minor. Go back in history and understand the way life was for the locals.
  5. Relax at the beach or go chasing waterfalls at Duden Waterfall.

#2. BEST TURKEY HOLIDAY DESTINATION: Istanbul

Gold ceiling at Hagia Sophia

Where is Istanbul located?

Istanbul is located in the northwestern region of Turkey and is the only city in the world in two continents. Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and most popular by all means. It was once ruled by the Greeks and named Constantinople. It was also the capital of the Byzantine Empire. The architecture in Istanbul reflects its rich history and gives a humbling experience with the fusion of Byzantine, Greek and Ottoman designs and architecture.

Istanbul is best for:

History lovers: who will marvel at its historical monuments at every turn.

City lovers: who wan to catch the vibe of a truly international city.

Where to stay in Istanbul, Turkey

  1. Sultanahmet – Istanbul old town – great for families because it is close to tourist attractions.
  2. Galata, Beyoglu – best for nightlife.
  3. Taksim – best for nightcrawlers.

The best ways to get around Istanbul

The best ways to get around Istanbul are through the trams and the buses. Although the stops are not announced in the buses, using a google map will help you alert the driver when you need to make a stop.

The Best Things to do in Istanbul

  1. Explore Hagia Sophia. This beauty was first a church, then it became a mosque and today it is a museum. Don’t miss the Viking graffiti scratched on the balustrades in the south gallery, a virgin and a child flanged by two Byzantine emperors – Constantine and Justinian. It is located just on the exit through Vestibule of Warriors.
  2. Wander around the Blue Mosque with its glorious blue Iznik tilework. Wear appropriate clothing and visit outside the praying times.
  3. Marvel at the splendour and lavish design of the Ottoman Empire at Topkapi Palace Complex.

#3. BEST TURKEY HOLIDAY DESTINATION: Cappadocia

Best Turkey Holiday Destinations | colourful Hot air ballon over fairy chinmeys in Cappadocia

Where is Cappadocia located?

Cappadocia is located in the middle of Turkey – Central Anatolia. It is about 3 hours drive from the capital city of Ankara. It has direct flights from Antalya and Istanbul. Cappadocia is the perfect destination for a romantic holiday, adventure holiday and historical holiday. It combines the best outstanding landscapes with intriguing fairy chimney rock-cut houses, hills and monument particular to this region alone.

Cappadocia is best for:

History lovers: who will go bank to the 10th century to learn more about why the houses were designed this way.

Adventure lovers: who will have a choice between going on a horse safari or an ATV Quad Safari.

Where to stay in Cappadocia, Turkey?

The best areas to stay in Cappadocia are:

  1. Goreme: best for the unique Instagram pictures of the hot air balloon, restaurants and nightlife.
  2. Uchisar: best for luxury hotels and stunning views because it is located at the highest point in Cappadocia. Uchisar is also quieter at night and works out perfectly with for families.

If you are looking for the best hotel to stay at for the most stunning Instagram pictures, try the Mithra Cave hotel or the Sultan Cave Suites in Goreme.

The best ways to get around Cappadocia

The best way to get around Cappadocia is by renting a car at Goreme or hiring a private tour guide. There are also local buses

The Best Things to do in Cappadocia

  1. Take the famous hot air balloon ride which takes you over the fairy chimneys and rock-cut houses.
  2. Explore the valleys by foot with a group.
  3. Visit Museums. There are 2 prominent museums that can educate you more about the history of Cappadocia. The UNESCO World heritage site – Zelve Valley Open Air Museum and Goreme Open Air Museum has an array of fascinating Byzantine art and Christian monks exhibit dating back to the 10th century.
  4. Visit Uchisar Castle. It is located at the highest point region and you will see breathtaking views of Cappadocia.
  5. Get adventurous and go on a 4×4 offroad Safari Ride or an ATV Quad Safari or just a simple Horse Safari.
  6. If you are looking for romantic things to do in Cappadocia, watch the sunset and sunrise.

#4. BEST TURKEY HOLIDAY DESTINATION: Bodrum

Boats and yatch at Bodrum Pennisula

Where is Bodrum located?

Bodrum is located in the Southern coast of Bodrum peninsula in the southwestern Aegean region of Turkey. Flight time to Bodrum from the Uk is 4 hours, perfect for families with young children and the time difference is 2 hours ahead of UK time. Bodrum boasts of long stretches of golden sands, clear blue seas and lively coastal resorts. It is an upcoming luxury holiday destination.

Borum is best for:

History lovers: who will love to see the Medieval Castle of St Peter.

Beach lovers: there are several secluded beaches with stunning hillside olives.

Where to stay in Bodrum

The best areas to stay in Bodrum are :

  1. Downtown – best for you if you seek the lively lifestyle.
  2. Gumbet – this is a family-friendly area with a popular waterpark within minutes of walking.
  3. Turgutreis – This area is best for you if you seek complete relaxation on your holiday.
  4. Turkbuku – This is the perfect destination for luxury travellers. You will love the laid-back village feel in a stylish and elegant way. There is an air of sophistication in this area and it attracts many luxurious travellers. You can dine at the waterside restaurants along the marina or enjoy lunches and romantic evenings with your family.

With Jet 2 Holidays, you can stay at Bitez Beachfront Resorts or head to Torba for the best, peaceful mountainside village experience.

Getting Around Bodrum

To get around Bodrum, use a minibus, they are the cheapest option because of the distances between places. Taxi are available and more convenient but they can get expensive.

The Best Things to do in Bodrum

  1. Visit the Castle of St Peter – Enjoy the views of the perfect bays. Explore a 7th-century Byzantine Wreck in its museum of underwater Archaeology.
  2. Explore Bodrum Hamam – The stone-built Turkish baths.
  3. Inspect the glamourous yacht in the harbour
  4. Get on a ferry ride to Kos.
  5. Re-enact the past life of natives by visiting Bodrum Amphitheatre.

#5. Best Turkey Holiday Destinations: Dalaman

Blue sea views with landscape Dalaman

Where is Dalaman located?

Dalaman is located in the southwestern coastal region of Turkey. It has an airport which takes direct flights from the UK and it is a popular destination for UK travellers. You will love Dalaman for its peace and tranquillity and you will be pleased to get lost in one of its many secluded beaches.

Dalaman is best for?

Families: Seeking to explore Atlantic Waterpark in Marmaris.

Nature lovers: who will enjoy spotting nesting Caretta Loggerhead Turtle.

Where to stay in Dalaman

The best places to stay in Dalaman are:

  1. Fethiye – Best for a relaxed beach holiday.
  2. Olu Deniz Lagoon – Best for paragliding.
  3. Marmaris – Magnet for partygoers
  4. Dalyan – A riverbank town great for seeing the Lycian tombs on cliff face.

Getting Around Dalaman

The best way to get around Dalaman is to use a minibus, they are the cheapest option because of the distances between places. Taxi are available and more convenient but they can get expensive.

The Best Things to do in Dalaman

  1. See the famous Loggerhead Turtles at the beach.
  2. Go for therapeutic mudbaths.
  3. Enjoy the splendour of the Butterfly valley.
  4. Explore the 16th century Marmaris Castle.
  5. Visit the ancient Lycian Rock Tombs.

#6. Best Turkey Holiday Destinations: Izmir

The ruins at Ephesus |Best Turkey Holiday Destinations

Where is Izmir located?

Izmir is the third-largest city with one of the largest ports in Turkey. It is a deeply cultured city with Turkish Tavernas, bustling bazaars and harbours. You will find white and gold sand beaches dotted across the region and ancient landmarks.

Izmir is best for:

History lovers: who will want to rediscover the ancient city of Ephesus.

Beach lovers: there is a choice of golden sand beach or white sand beach for you.

Nature lovers: who will love the Dilek National Park with mountainous walking trails.

Where to stay in Izmir

The best area to stay in Izmir is Kusadasi. It is a picture-perfect beach destination with a busy old town filled with authentic bazaars.

Getting Around Izmir

The best way to get around Izmir is to get a taxi. They are affordable and convenient to use. However, you can decide to walk around the city. There are well laid out walking routes and most of the sightseeing attractions are located close to the city centre.

The Best Things to do in Izmir

  1. Choose from the superb selection of white and golden sand beaches
  2. Explore the region’s most famous historical site – The ancient city of Ephesus. It is 45 miles south of Izmir.
  3. Go surfing
  4. Visit the many chic marina restaurants

#7. Best Turkey Holiday Destinations: Pamukkale

Pamukkale Turkey Holiday Destination.

Where is Pamukkale?

Pamukkale is one of the most tourist attractions in Turkey. It is located about 19 kilometres from Denizli and a two and half hour drive from Kusadasi near Ephesus. Pamukkale is a natural site in Denizli, in the southwestern region of Turkey. It is a cotton castle made up of natural minerals basins.

Pamukkale is best for:

History lovers: who will enjoy visiting nearby Hierapolis

Adventure lovers: who can go have a go at paragliding over the beautiful Travertines.

Where to stay in Pamukkale?

There are different hotels that will suit every budget in Pamukkale. Try the luxury Doga Thermal health and spa.

The Best Things to do in Pamukkale.

  1. See the ruins of HierapolisPamukkale. Hieropolis is the sacred city believed to be founded by Apollo. It is famous for its mineral pools and hot springs. There are also ruins of castles and Byzantine church that you can explore further.
  2. Visit Hierapolis Theatre. Just like the theatre at Aspendos, the Hierapolis theatre is well preserved and stills seats about 10,000 people today for musical concerts.
  3. Soak up in the hot Pamukkale Pool. Popularly referred to as Cleopatra’s pool. The pool is believed to have cleansing powers and it enriches your skill with its rich mineral water. You are only allowed in the pool once but you can stay for however long you wish to.
  4. Take a warm tip and use the mineral-rich mud on your skin as you dip into the travertines. Remember to take a bag, you will need to take off your shoes as you are not allowed to wear them on the terraces. Also, tread carefully on the terraces because they can get slippery.
  5. Paraglide over the beautiful water terrace and experience the best views of the Pamukkale water terrace and the Hierapolis ruins.
  6. Go for nature’s walk at Pamukkale Nature Park. Enjoy a picnic and go in the paddle boats available.

Best Turkey Holiday Destinations: Final Thoughts

Turkey is big, beautiful and rich in history. It is a must-visit for holidaymakers. This post shares the best Turkey holiday destinations and looks at a brief introduction to 10 different destinations in Turkey, it looks at the region each destination is located, discusses the type of travellers that will give they most of each destination and the best things to do in each Turkey destination.

What is your experience in Turkey?

Let me know in the comments your best Turkey holiday destinations if you have been to Turkey and if you are yet to travel to Turkey, I will like to know the first place you will like to visit in Turkey.

the best turkey destinations

Want to get started?

BOOK A FREE CONSULTATION
Bolupe Maborukoje

Bolupe Maborukoje

Bolupe was once an architect. She now designs holidays from her Cambridge based travel agency. She is on a mission to help you turn your travel dreams into a reality. She is a luxury travel expert, helping you see luxury travel in the 'New Light'. Bolupe believes luxury travel is about the adventures, experiences and perspectives that are gained. She has the secrets to affordable luxury travel and that's the type of holidays she designs.

34 thoughts on “The 7 Best Turkey Holiday Destinations”

  1. With everything that’s happening in Turkey I am not suuuuper comfortable traveling there and leaving my money to the government that is so terrible to women 🙁 But I am definitely up for going later on when things get better!

    Reply
  2. I have been to Turkey once and visited several of the sites you mention. I particularly loved Cappadocia and Istanbul for their amazing history. It’s a bit disappointed with Pammukale, because most of the pools were empty as they severely restrict the water flow. Also the pools were so much “dirtier” than all the travel pics represent. I would love to go to Bodrum and Ankalya. Thanks for your recommendations

    Reply
    • Pammukale has improved greatly at the time of my visit, I was worried about the stories I read before I visited. It could also be because I visited during the off-peak season.

      Reply
  3. I hadnt though much about visiting Turkey before. But you make it sound like a really awesome choice. I will have to consider it for the future!

    Reply
  4. I would love to visit all of these spots in Turkey! Looks like such a beautiful country and I would love to explore all of these cities 🙂 Thanks for so many great suggestions!

    Reply
  5. I have been to turkey on three occasions, all different times and different locations , and absolutely enjoyed it every single time. There’s still more to see! What I love about Turkey is the food, tea, and the warm smile people have.

    Reply
  6. Such an informative post! I don’t know much about Turkey except for the hot air balloons in Cappadocia and Istanbul – I learned a lot from this post! Thank you – hopefully I get to visit soon!

    Reply
  7. I have always wanted to visit Turkey, but didn’t really know where to start. This is an awesome article, which I will definitely be saving for my future travels! I love all of the detail, this is definitely a comprehensive guide to Turkey!

    Reply
  8. I’ve been wanting to come to Turkey for soooo long now, and especially to visit Cappadocia. The early morning photos of the hot air balloons are magnificent! Bodrum looks stunning too. I can’t wait to go!

    Reply
  9. The best thing to do in Bodrum is to go on a day boat trip. This area of Turkey is famous for its Blue Cruise excursions because of the beauty of the landscape and the clarity of the water. It’s a popular yachting destination, but day boats are just as much fun. But you can’t visit this area without visiting Gumusluk. It’s popular with domestic and international tourists – but we love visiting here in the off seasons – May-June and September to Mid-November.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Jay for your insights and I know you live in Bodrum so it’s great to get an expert view on the best time to visit. I definitely have to return to Bodrum to see Gumusluk, I didn’t get a chance to visit the last time.

      Reply
  10. I really love the landscape in Turkey it’s so beautiful. Ortakent and Demre are my favourites. But definitely want to visit more of Antalya

    Reply
  11. wow! I most definitely did not know that Turkey is situated between two continents! Pamukkale and Izmir are now on my top lists of places to visit in Turkey. I most especially want to check out the beaches and hot springs but love that there is a historical component in these places.

    Reply

Leave a comment

10%

Off

On Our All-Inclusive Holidays