Wonders of the Ancient World
The wonders of Turkey aren't just the country's beaches – there are historical wonders scattered along the coast as well. Turkey is home to 13 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as well as two Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – the Mausoleum of Mausolus, found in Halicarnassus near Bodrum, and the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, near the region of Izmir.
There are the history-laden towns of Fethiye and Dalyan in the Dalaman region, ancient castles in Bodrum and the Roman ruins of Side Side.Here, Greek amphitheatres and fascinating museums detail Turkey's long and winding past.
Speckled around Turkey's southwestern regions you'll find a selection of waterparks and animal parks, along with a good choice of low-key spots. Turkish baths are world-renowned and, unsurprisingly, found around nearly every corner in Turkey, offering tense-shouldered holidaymakers a plush robe and hard-knuckled massage.
The height of luxury
With 5* accommodation offering cuisine from all four corners of the world, on-site Turkish baths and hook-ups to some of the best activities in town, you'll be treating yourself 24 hours a day on an All Inclusive Turkey holiday. And if for any reason glitz and glamour isn't your style, don't worry, there are Turkey holiday packages covering laid-back villas that'll get you in the thick of city life too – swimming pool non-negotiable.
Turkish cuisine is a fabulous blend of Mediterranean and Arabic flavours, with enough homemade raki to last a lifetime. At traditional restaurants – locally known as meyhanes – you'll be doted on with fish caught from the nearby sea, fresh produce and a smattering of mezze plates to help you get your feet wet with the local food.
The bigger the resort, the bigger the selection of food. Alongside Turkish restaurants, you'll find a healthy helping of British pubs, along with Greek, Indian, Chinese and American food, plus many more cuisines. You'll also notice the scent of freshly-fried street eats wafting through city avenues – some of the best bites including kebabs and Turkish donuts, which can be enjoyed on-the-go as you sightsee.
When the sun goes down in Turkey, many resorts become anything but sleepy. You'll especially find this in the more metropolitan towns like Kusadasi in Izmir, Marmaris in Dalaman, Bodrum city and Antalya city. You'll find everything from quiet waterfront couches to lively cocktail bars, all the way to neon-lit dance clubs at your fingertips during cheap holidays to Turkey.
Don't be fooled by the term 'ancient' Turkish bazaars – they're alive and well in Turkey's popular holiday regions, and actually quite modern. Most towns will host weekly markets, and some more. The best finds can be uncovered in the massive market at Turgutreis, or the stalls found in the shadow of Marmaris' castle. Even just wandering through the stall-lined lanes is an experience in itself.
Merchants manning these local markets are always up for some friendly haggling, so make sure you bring your 'A' game when shopping here. If a traditional shopping atmosphere is more your style, some of the larger resorts are privy to big shopping centres, where you'll find high-end fashion and designer jewellery.