Holidays in Turkey are about more than soaking up the sunshine. Bridging the gap between Europe and Asia, it's rich in culture and history as well as beautiful beaches. With ancient ruins to explore, bustling marketplaces to browse and a burgeoning art scene to discover, there's plenty to keep everyone occupied. Here's what to add to your hit list.
Melding together the sun-bleached beaches of the Mediterranean with the mystery and allure of the Middle East, Turkey is a fascinating destination to visit at any time of year. As an added bonus, the current pound to lira exchange rate also makes it a particularly inexpensive travel choice. Whether you’re planning a weekend city break or a long holiday in the sun, there are several different options to see Turkey on a budget.
The best time to visit Turkey depends on the places you want to see, as well as the activities you have planned for your dream holiday. The summer months are ideal for catching some rays in the tourist hot spots of the Turkish Riviera. The weather in Dalaman and Antalya remains gorgeously balmy until late October. If, on the other hand, you’re planning to tour Turkey’s wealth of ancient sites, or go gallery-hopping and shopping in Istanbul, then it might be best to opt for a spring or early autumn holiday.
We’ve picked the best things to do in three of the country’s most beautiful and affordable holiday destinations. All you need to do is bag the cheapest flight and hotel deals. And don’t forget to pack your sunscreen!
With cheap direct flights from 13 UK airports, Dalaman is one of the top destinations for a budget holiday in Turkey. Here landscapes of exquisite beauty meet enigmatic ancient landmarks and a bustling nightlife. As Dalaman’s most popular tourist attractions in Fethiye and Marmaris get really busy at the height of summer, it’s worth considering a mid-autumn holiday to take advantage of the cheap flight and hotel deals. And, to top it all off, you’ll have the area’s unspoilt beaches all to yourself!
1. Take a dip in the Blue Lagoon at Ölüdeniz
The Blue Lagoon at Ölüdeniz is Dalaman’s star tourist attraction, a haven of turquoise waters surrounded by lush vegetation. One of the perks of visiting in the far more relaxed month of October is swimming alongside sea turtles shyly sticking their head out of the water. This is, after all, a protected natural park.
2. Check out the view from above
If August is your month of choice and you find there’s little space to lay your beach towel, Ölüdeniz offers an even more spectacular alternative: you’ll find numerous companies providing tandem paragliding flights from the imposing Babadağ mountain. Although paragliding doesn’t come cheap, tandem flights here are some of the most affordable on offer. It’s little wonder Ölüdeniz is one of the world’s most sought-after paragliding destinations. Nothing beats the view of the Blue Lagoon from above!
3. Explore the wild beauty of the Hidden City
Consider hiring a car to explore Dalaman’s spellbinding scenery at your own pace – it’s the best way to see Turkey on a budget (prices start at £27 in July). About 45km from the centre of Fethiye lies the 20km-long Saklikent Gorge, otherwise known as the Hidden City. An easy stroll along the boardwalk offers astounding views of the canyon. However, there’s nothing more fun than dipping your feet in the cold water and following the adventurous path away from the crowds. The towering limestone cliffs are a sight to behold.