Fairy chimneys, crystal waters and idyllic beach spots combined with Ottoman architecture and to top it all – Baklava to die for!
By Reta Robberts

Turkey is a great place to visit culturally and historically with beautiful nature, fantastic beaches and lots of outdoor activities to choose from, not to mention a vibrant nightlife and more. The Turks are well known for their hospitality and if you are travelling with your kids, prepare for an even warmer welcome! Many hotels have kids-clubs, giving Mom and Dad much needed time for themselves.

A PEEK INTO TURKEY
Don’t be a turkey, the key to having a great time on your holiday is to plan early and the best time to visit is during Spring and Autumn when temperatures are more mild and the
skies are clear. Turkey’s warm welcome, beautiful beaches, climate and wealth of family-friendly resorts are hard to beat. Adventurers can try parasailing, jet skiing, surfing, scuba
diving, etc. Turkey is a non-euro zone, its currency is the Turkish Lira, cheaper than the likes of Spain, Italy and Greece, which makes it a very affordable destination. Make sure everyone has a valid passport and speak to your doctor regarding any medical requirements.

WHERE TO STAY
Heading for the popular resorts around the Aegean or Mediterranean coast – Bodrum, Marmaris, Fethiye or Antalya in particular, are the more established coastal areas well catered to families. Ranging from luxury to little family run hotels, you are sure to find accommodation to suit your budget. You may also choose a self-catered stay in a villa or apartment in Turkey. Large families or groups of friends can hire a villa in Fethiye, a stunning coastal port, or an apartment in Bodrum. Renting a Turkish property is very reasonable if split between guests and the bonus is that you get to live as a local, visiting
the fabulous open markets or supermarkets for food.

PLACES TO VISIT
Istanbul and surrounds:
Situated on both sides of the Bosporus, the strait and nternationally significant waterway that separates Europe and Asia, majestic Istanbul offers a fair amount
of fascinating places to see. The compact old city of Istanbul, Sultanahmet, is full of lovely parks and stunning sights. The Blue Mosque is famed for its blue Iznik tiles and unique six minarets. Hagia Sofia was constructed in the 6th century as a Christian church until the conquest of Constantinople in 1453, when it became a mosque. And just around the corner is Topkapi Palace and make sure to visit the aromatic Egyptian Spice Bazaar. Take a halfday-cruise (you can buy the tickets at the harbour) on the Bosporus. The cruise is a hop-on-hop-off trip and if you feel like some exercise whilst on the cruise, climb the Pierre Loti hill and catch a beautiful view of the Golden Horn. Experience a Turkish bath or go for an Oriental Turkish Show in a night club or a gastronomic dinner cruise.

You can do day-tours to Troy, Gallipoli, Ephesus, Kusadasi and Izmir – take a dip in the turquoise pools and drink healing water in Pamukkale.
Learn more about the Turkish history in Ankara and visit Pergamum.
Explore the caves in surreal Cappadocia, some of them 6 storeys underground where the Christians hid from the Romans or enjoy the view from a hot air balloon.

FOOD ANYONE?
Dating back to the Ottoman Empire, baklava is one of the most iconic Turkish dishes – you will find it in most bakeries and best when enjoyed with a rich cup of Turkish coffee, often
laced with cardamom, yum! To encompass a variety of street eats, try any kebab – whether it is beef, lamb, fish or vegetarian.

Kofte -Turkish ‘meatballs’, can be eaten solo as street snacks, dipped in plain yoghurt or served with rice and salad or a pide – a flat bread topped with cheese and assorted meat and vegetables, heated in a stone oven, much like a pizza. But when in doubt, order Meze –a range of traditional delicacies which includes about 20 items.
Turkey is affordable, fun-filled and family-orientated … just the place to create memories …