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Travel: Turkey opens up a world of possibilities as country says it’s eager to welcome British tourists this summer

© Laura SmithKalkan, Turkey.
Kalkan, Turkey.

Although overseas summer holidays still hang in the balance, news that several countries are eager to welcome British visitors has been met with a positive response.

While the debate over Covid passports rumbles on, Turkey has announced it will welcome holidaymakers without the need for a vaccine certificate – making short-haul sunshine a real possibility this year.

A colourful blend of ancient history and natural beauty, the country offers an opportunity to stimulate both body and mind, with a range of historic sites and beautiful beaches. But it’s the coastal attractions that really sparkle. From adult-only escapes to mountain-backed lagoons, here are a few beach holidays to consider.

Boutique Bodrum

Lined with resorts ranging from affordable stays to more luxurious hideaways, Bodrum has a reputation for being the St Tropez of Turkey, attracting hedonists and fashionistas. But there are still quiet corners reflecting the region’s more authentic way of life.

New 36-villa property Bodrum Loft has been designed like an Aegean village and is situated on a peninsula with easy access to a peaceful beach. Facilities include a spa, gym and gourmet restaurants, with an option for in-villa dining.

Sensitively carved into the rocks, the resort has been constructed with sustainability in mind.

Endemic trees such as sandalwood, olive and laurel have been preserved in the landscaped gardens, and green roofs collect rainwater to be recycled through a water filtration system and used in irrigation. A one-week stay in a two-bedroom villa starts from £2,351.

Seaside jewels

Lapped by waters with more twinkle than a pirate’s chest of treasures, the Turquoise Coast is one of Turkey’s top beach destinations.

Fringing the south-western shore of the country, it’s an area that’s also famous for its historical sites, making it possible to combine sun-worshipping and sea-splashing with cultural immersion.

Head to Dalyan to see the ruins of an acropolis and 6th century church at Kaunos, then search for nesting turtles along Iztuzu Beach. See the Xanthian Obelisk (regarded as important as the Rosetta Stone) at Xanthos, and go for lengthy strolls along Turkey’s longest beach, Patara.

Abercrombie & Kent offers a three-night Highlights Of The Turquoise Coast holiday from £1,315pp. Various dates until September.

Mighty Marmaris

Backed by mountains and washed by the Aegean Sea, Marmaris is home to a collection of resorts. Once a sleepy fishing village, it’s now dominated by marinas, which swell with activity during the summer.

A 20-minute drive away, the Adakoy peninsula is a peaceful escape, where the 151-room Cook’s Club Adakoy occupies a remote, untouched bay. Guests can admire the views from their own balcony or terrace, or gather around the pool to listen to DJs.

Cook’s Club offers all-inclusive rooms from £165 per night (two sharing).

Gorgeous Göcek

Set between Fethiye and Dalyan, coastal village Göcek is a hidden paradise. Six marinas are dotted along a large bay filled with islands and secret coves, making it a magnet for yachting enthusiasts.

Located in the centre of the village, D-Resort Göcek has private access to the only beach in the area – a 250-metre stretch of fine white sand imported from the Sahara Desert. Sunbeds and parasols are spread along the shore. Doubles from £200 per night, room only.


P.S.

Did you know Istanbul lives on two continents? The city is separated by the Bosporus, a strait, and thus consists of a European and an Asian part. Overall, 95% of Turkey is in Asia, and 5% is in Europe.