Calm beaches, waterparks and ancient ruins for the perfect family holiday
A relatively short flight of around four and a half hours and the promise of child-friendly beaches, waterparks and plenty of sports activities is the reason why so many families choose to holiday in the Bodrum area of Turkey.
Altinkum is particularly popular when bringing the kids and offers boat tours to explore the coastline and the ancient ruins of Didim just 10 minutes away. The town’s Dolphin Square has plenty of restaurants serving English and Turkish dishes and a wander round the local market gives you the chance to haggle over the price of souvenirs.
Amid olive and citrus groves, Gundogan is one of the more peaceful parts of the Bodrum region, yet you can still mix with the locals at the bustling bazaar. The pine-clad hills surrounding the village are perfect for hiking, or cruise along the coastline to one of the nearby islands – on Apostle Island you’ll find archaeological remains including a Hellenistic theatre and a 13th-century tower.
The picturesque fishing village of Akyarlar has a good choice of restaurants along its marina, from where you can hop on a boat to explore the peninsula or head to Camel Beach to ride on the animals.
Best family friendly beaches
Altinkum, meaning golden sands, has three fantastic beaches which shelve gently into the Aegean, making them perfect for families with young children. Choose from a relaxing day sunbathing, get active with watersports or book a boat tour on First Beach and explore the nearby coastline. Second beach is well-known for its family-friendly bars and a marina and funfair are based at Third Beach.
Akyarlar has long sandy, secluded beach with calm, shallow water. Or head to the tranquil, bay of Gundogan, with its Blue Flag beach and shallow water is perfect for little ones to paddle in. A popular stop for boat cruises, Camel Beach is named after its camel rides and you can sign up to experience the bumpy transport for yourself.
Best family-friendly activities in Bodrum
No family holiday in Bodrum would be complete without a day out at the Aquapark Dedeman Bodrum in Ortakent, with wave pools, tube rides and steep dropping slides. The Castle of St Peter, overlooking Bodrum’s seafront is also worth a visit and children will be fascinated by the glass-blowing workshop at the Museum of Underwater Archaeology.
This region abounds in historical sites, including ruins near Kadikalesi and Ortakent, home to some of the region’s oldest settlements. Take a leisurely stroll along Yalikavak’s Palmarina, with its elegant shops and luxury yachts or browse the local markets for authentic Turkish souvenirs for friends back home. Boat cruises offer the chance to explore mini islands and secluded coves.
Other popular holidays in Turkey
Home to the sparkling Blue Lagoon and known for its beautiful coastline, history and markets, the Dalaman region is nicknamed the Turquoise Coast and provides an attractive base for a family holiday. Other popular choices are the Antalya and Izmir regions, with miles of beaches, ancient ruins and waterparks.
If Bodrum is your preferred choice, read more on it in our travel guide and here are some of the best family-friendly hotels in the region.
This 4* minimalist hotel has a beachfront setting, just a five-minute walk from the centre of Gundogan. As well as the main pool, children have their own pool with waterslides. For the adults a choice of activities – basketball, aerobics, a Turkish bath and fitness centre – are covered in your All Inclusive deal. Treatments at the spa and beauty centre are charged separately. Evening entertainment is provided along with a mini-disco for the kids. And if you fancy venturing out of the hotel grounds, Bodrum is just a 20-minute taxi ride away.