Some time to yourself
The quaint resort of Ozdere has remained unspoilt by the tourist boom in Turkey, making it the perfect choice if you're looking for cheap Izmir holidays. Even so, the area still attracts interesting crowds of people – meaning you'll have all the privacy you need without ever feeling like you're missing out on the action. Whether you're looking to kick back and tan on the sandy beaches, or sit at one of the many bars looking over the ocean with a cocktail in hand, you can do it all, and do it in style, in Ozdere.
This resort is ideal for rest and relaxation, with plenty of hotels complete with hammam baths. These public steam-rooms are praised for their health benefits, particularly for the skin, so you'll come back home looking radiant and rejuvenated. Most of these hammams also offer incredible foam massages, which are a traditional Turkish treatment designed to relieve you of stress. You'll not forget that feeling of serenity in a hurry.
The ancient site of Ephesus
Ozdere is just half an hour south of one of the most breathtaking ancient sites in Turkey. Complete with UNESCO heritage status, the Ephesus ruins are home to the Temple of Artemis, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Today Ephesus is considered an unmissable attraction for those travelling to Turkey.
The photos in guide books really don't do this place justice, so seeing it with your own eyes is a must if you want to actually feel like you are standing in a place which was once considered the trade centre of the ancient world. A walk between the temple and the Virgin Mary House will transport you back in no time, and you'll understand just how important this place was in the classical periods.
Explore the kaleidoscopic bazaars of Kusadasi
Half an hour south of Ozdere, you'll find Kusadasi, another beautiful Turkish resort, which boasts more golden beaches and remarkable scenery. Stop in at one of the restaurants for a traditional Izmir lunch, or sit back at a bar and watch the boats come in and out of the harbour. They alternate between little fishing vessels and huge holiday cruisers, so you really get a sense of the importance of both trades in this town.
The real attractions in Kusadasi, however, are the remarkable sights and sounds of the bazaars. These massive market-trading centres sell everything from salt to silk and silver, and merchants welcome an opportunity to barter with locals and tourists alike for these fine handmade products. Once you've haggled in Kusadasi you'll be considered a pro anywhere else.
A waterpark right on your doorstep
If you're staying in Ozdere then you'll have easy access to the gorgeous Paloma Club Sultan hotel. This grand accommodation option doubles up as a fun-filled waterpark which is fantastic fun for kids and adults alike. Two areas – a kids' pool and a large slide section – split the park in half, with palm trees and loungers lining the entire place.
Walk down the coastal path from Paloma Club Sultan and you'll find that the waterpark also has its own private strip of beach, which has deck-chairs and parasols to sit under to get some shade. A small beach bar with a palm leaf roof sits to one side, serving cool and refreshing drinks to the guests of this magnificent resort.