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Find me a stretch of Turkish coast with great towns please!?

We are planning a trip to Turkey this summer with our two kids, age 7 and 10. We aren't your typical family travellers, and don't look for tourist resorts or water parks. What we usually do is travel around for a couple of weeks stopping at 4- 6 places, usually a mixture of beach and towns, with a mixture of accommodation. We usually stay in fairly high end hotels, and then balance it out with some air b&b's and usually a bit of time in a villa with a pool. As an example previous trips we've loved have included south Spain stopping at Seville, Cordoba, Malaga, Tarifa and Cadiz; and a trip to Crete, Santorini and Athens, stopping at Phalasarna, Chania, Heraklion, Rethimno, and Elounda. We really like mooching around historic but vibrant old towns like Corfu Town or Rethimno with nice cafes and some shops, but we also love swimming in clear blue sea and beautiful beaches, especially ones that lean towards being a bit quieter and more remote. My son is into Greek history, and we might visit one or two sites, but generally we don't do tons of tourist attractions.

As I've started researching our trip I've realised how vast Turkey is and I feel a little overwhelmed choosing somewhere to go. We've got two weeks and will hire a car. We travel fairly light, and I don't mind doing an internal flight but don't want to waste too much time hanging around in departure lounges. So, can anyone recommend an itinerary that might work for us with a good mixture of places that would suit? Would need to be able to fly in and out from the UK via gatwick. It'd be even better if we could fly into one airport and out of another to avoid backtracking. My initial thoughts are that either Izmir or Bodrum to Antalya might work(?) but very open to other suggestions. Thanks

Posted by
19 posts

Here is some suggestions ;

If you havent been in Istanbul , you must do it first. Do not have a trouble renting a car there. Find a hotel nearby old city.

There are tons of flights from istanbul to Izmir , and rent your car at Izmir airport.
You decide where you will stay.. Izmir, Alacati, Çesme.. These are resort/beach towns with some archaelogical places.(Thats for your son)
Then keep driving to south for Ephesus and around. Then to Bodrum... If you have time make a visit to Kaş. More time ? Then Antalya..

If you skip Istanbul, there are direct flights from Gatwick to Izmir. Then start from Izmir.

Here is a website that shows places of interest on google map : Popular destinations , Biblical Turkey , Extraordinary Turkey

Posted by
2019 posts

We took an amazing trip up the western coast of Turkey a few years ago. If you fly into Antalya and then head north we recommend:

KAS — from here, you can take a day-trip by ferry to the Greek island of Kastellorizo. This gorgeous little island has a Lycian tomb you can easily hike up to, and offers boat trips to a spectacular blue cave (bigger than the one in Capri) — best done on a clear, sunny day. It has a deep water harbor so no beaches, but there are ladders to help climb out of the water, and you’ll often swim with sea turtles.

In Kas, you may see boat tours offered to the sunken city of Kekova but we found it a bit underwhelming and I think the kids would be bored.

PATARA — Just north of Kas, this tiny town boasts Turkey’s longest sand beach — 11 miles! — plus a chunk of the Lycean Way footpath, and some amazing Greek ruins. The ancient city of Patara was once a major seaport. You walk through a triumphal arch to enter the ruins, where an amphitheater, columns and tombs have been excavated — and we had it almost to ourselves. We stayed at Akay Pension — very basic, but very clean and run by a wonderful family. Breakfasts were great and dinners (which are optional) were some of the best we had in Turkey.

Near Patara is Saklikent Gorge, where people wade uphill through a river on slippery rocks. Some seemed to enjoy it but we saw a serious fall so be forewarned!

DALYAN — This little town featured riverboat rides (ending at a mud bath) and Itzuzu beach, with a sea turtle hospital. We stayed at the lovely Kilim Hotel, which had a private dock on the river and great views of Lycian tombs on the cliffs across the river. Lots of British tourists here (there’s an airport just outside town).

We made brief visits to Datca, Fethiye and Marmaris. Didn’t see Bodrum, but it might be a good stopping place for you.

This would probably fill 2 weeks but I hope someday you can come back and take the kids to Cappadocia for a hot air balloon ride!

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you both charlene and solareclipse. Are there any interesting towns with historic/pretty buildings on this stretch? Lonely Planet is a bit vague on the details of the area.

I think we'll probably miss Istanbul on this trip solareclipse as it seems idea for a long weekend some other time perhaps in the spring or autumn when its not so hot, so we'll probably just stick to the coast this time.

Posted by
19 posts

There are many interesting towns with historic/pretty buildings on this stretch rachel, Starting from İzmir Alaçatı ,then all the way down to south.. There are many.. Here is names of towns ;

*Seferihisar;a small worn located around a castle with narrow streets. İf you are there on Saturday , there is a local market where people sell local homemade foods,thats super cool place.

  • Urla : is a fishing village with a lot of fish restaurants and nice-short walk on the seashore with many coffeehouses.

  • Alacati : Very popular holiday resort town with beautiful houses narrow streets.There is a mosque that was a church before at the city centre.

*Kusadasi : You must go there for Ephesus.Kusadasi also a beach town. Although it is not as much as pretty Alacati or other places.

*Bodrum : There are many beautiful luxury hotels there. It is also historical place and there is a castle where underwater archaeloghy museum in.

*Fethiye : Beautiful nature and very sandy beaches.

*Dalyan river and Iztuzu beach : with sea turtles and history of Caunos ancient city.

*Kaş : Peauciful place that offer many activities : scuba diving... etc..

  • Phaselis: One of my favorite place in Antalya.. You can swim at the harbor of ancient city of Phaselis.

*Antalya : Endless beaches and history.. One of my favorite is Tremessos ancient city .. It is a trekking place.

Note : Antalya and that area you will visit will be very hot .. Especially Antalya...

  • Do not forget to get some spreys for mosquitos...
Posted by
2019 posts

Rachel, I would suggest that you visit Google or You Tube to see what some of these places look like. The smaller villages and adventures that I find appealing may not be what you’re looking for. You’ll find higher end hotels and buildings in Bodrum and Antalya, which might make good book-ends for your trip along the coast.

Ephesus is a must-see but is probably mobbed in the summer. An off-season trip to Istanbul and Ephesus might be worthwhile. And again, someday, Cappadocia.

Posted by
3252 posts

I spent about 4-5 days in Fethiye and absolutely loved it. It was beautiful; there were a lot of fascinating ruins nearby and lots of gorgeous beaches including Ölüdeniz Lagoon and Butterfly Valley. I took a few day cruises out as well - they also offer longer ones - and had a wonderful time. Here's an article that goes a bit more indepth about Fethiye.

Posted by
961 posts

Will be traveling throughout Turkey for about a month and, after a good deal of research, the Turquoise Coast with its ruins of the Lycian civilization and the National Parks and beaches will be the focus for a couple weeks. Beginning at Dalaman Airport with a car rental, then driving to Fethiye, Oludeniz and the ruins of Patara, Xanthos , Letoon and Tlos. Using Kalkan as a base. then using Cirali as a base for Olympos National Park, Demre and Phaselis. Final stop on the coast is Antalya which has many attractions and an airport for continuing onward.
Have a great trip!