best turkish holidays
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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To take a mud bath

Best Turkish holidays

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Best Turkish holidays

Istanbul
Istanbul - Arabstoday

Istanbul Adrasan sits in a cove 10km off the main road. At the north end of the beach, Hotel Paradise perches on a riverside flowing down to the beach, with seating areas in the shallow riverbed – a very

cool ambience. For hikers the Lycian Way leads north over a rocky outcrop to Olympus, where the ruins are open to clamber over. Then it's a gentle 4km walk along the beach to see the eternal flames bursting from the rock at Chimera.

Dalyan
I don't think many British people have heard of Dalyan but it is such a lovely, small resort. Ideal for families, it has a variety of activities, from mud baths (lots of fun) to turtle-spotting. We stayed at the Aydos Club hotel in Dalyan, which is small and friendly, booked through Simpson Travel. Rahmi, the owner, organised activities to keep everyone entertained and we felt like royalty sailing in their traditional boat.
Turkmen Treehouses, Olympus
Tucked away among the cliffs and forests in an old Lycian valley are the Turkmen treehouses. Wake up each morning high up among the birds and enjoy breakfast in a hammock beneath your tree. Days are spent exploring the valley, with boat trips, canyoning, swimming and hiking. Evenings are for watching the bright stars from the comfort of your gazebo while listening to live music from the Golge bar.
Cirali
Last year, we found the perfect place for a "proper beach holiday" with our two kids: a little guesthouse on Olympus beach, southern Turkey. The owners looked after us with lovely home-cooked breakfasts and dinners served on the terrace overlooking the sea. The beach is a conservation area because it is a nesting ground for turtles. If you're there in August and fancy getting up with the sun, you can see new-born turtles making their way to the sea.
Cirali
The coastal hamlet of Cirali, 80km south-west of Antalya on the Lycian Way, is a pure delight. This low-key resort in the Beydaglari national park is a popular holiday spot with Turkish families and the odd western European who, like us, arrived by happy fluke. The excellent 3km beach is a popular nesting site for loggerhead and green sea turtles, and the crystal clear water makes for superb swimming. At the northern end of the beach you can explore the ruins of the ancient Lycian city of Olympus, where visitors to the beach ramble over the ruins of an amphitheatre, aqueducts and byzantine tombs. You can opt for quirky treehouse accommodation in the Olympus valley, or a more peaceful option is to stay in Cirali itself at one of the small guesthouses.
Hotel Patara Viewpoint
It's not posh, but it has enthusiastic, knowledgeable owners who really care about this wonderful area. It's comfortable and very affordable, and the nearby beach is world renowned, yet not overcrowded. There are amazing archaeological sites to be explored, and great excursions to be made.
Kalkan boat trip
Don't miss out on the snorkelling action when taking one of the great coastal boat trips – my top tip, if you wear glasses, is to visit your optician before you go and get a supply of disposable contact lenses. I did, although I hadn't worn lenses for 30 years – and instead of the usual frustration of blobby, indistinct shapes, I was able to follow fish that I could actually see.
Ottoman Palace hotel, Adrasan
This is a small hotel situated in beautiful natural surroundings on the coast near Lycian, the site of Olympus. Owners Jon and Sue Graham offer fantastic value holidays and organise activities for all the family – or you can just relax by the pool. They are exceptional hosts, making everyone feel like visiting friends rather than paying guests.
Suada
Suada is a floating swimming pool in the middle of the Bosphorus lined with huge beds and including a host of bars and restaurants that provide essential sustenance to guests. It's unmissable for its unique location and innate sense of calm.
Short Bosphorus cruise
If you don't have time for the full day Bosphorus cruise then IDO (Istanbul Deniz Otobus) also offers a two-hour trip along one of the world's greatest waterways without the lengthy (nearly three-hour) stop at the north end of the Bosphorus. It is also kinder on the pocket, costing a lot less than the full day tour.
Kadiköy
Kadiköy is a bustling district on the Asian side of the city. There is a market and lots of small speciality shops, selling such things as cheese, honey, herbal, gold, antiques and second-hand books. This is the place to see the Istanbul of Istanbullus. After browsing for an hour or so sit down at one of the many small restaurants for some meze or fish. Try the midye dolma, battered mussels. Çiya is a favourite restaurant of locals and visitors if you want to try unusual Turkish food. Keep an eye open for the fortune telling rabbits.
Golden Key, Bördübet
Watch kingfishers and black swans from your balcony of this hotel on a shady creek, feed the rabbits or take a tranquil boat trip round to the private beach club where you can swim out to laze on a raft or explore the empty coastline by kayak. We took a day trip to the hot springs and mud baths at the Sultaniye thermal spa, had lunch directly opposite the Carian cliff tombs at Kaunos and were back in time for a sunset dinner at the Golden Key's beach restaurant, on a little hill overlooking the tranquil cove. Heaven.
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