Over recent years, Turkey has firmly established itself as a top summer holiday destination, on a par with Italy and even Spain, and it’s not hard to see why.
As well as guaranteed sun, visitors can enjoy fine hospitality, affordable local cuisine, a buzzing nightlife and some stunning beaches.
With summer 2013 looking set to be as busy as ever along the Turkish coast, here are three of the top resorts to consider if you’re looking to book a summer break there.
Long-overlooked in favour of its noisier neighbour, Bodrum, Gumbet looks set to be one of the stars of the summer.
Located just a short bus ride from the heart of Bodrum, the resort boasts the fine sands and warm, clean blue waters holidaymakers have come to expect from the Aegean coast, but without the crowds found in other destinations.
As well as being able to sit back and soak up the sun or spend a lazy day enjoying local cuisine at one of the numerous beachside bars and restaurants, visitors are able to get active, with a range of water sports on offer.
Gumbet is also ideally placed for seeing another side of Turkey. The bustling market town of Turgutreis, for instance, is just 30 minutes away by boat, while small vessels also take visitors on day trips to the nearby island of Kos and the ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus.
A jewel in the crown of the Turkish Riviera, the port town of Marmaris has been attracting sun-seeking tourists since ancient times. However, it’s only relatively recently that it has been transformed into a major resort catering for everyone from parents with young children right through to young adults on singleton holidays.
For most, Marmaris’s picture-postcard beach will be the highlight of their cheap Turkish holiday in 2013, with its calm, clear waters ideal for swimming.
Aside from enjoying the sand, visitors can try their hand at sailing and diving during the day before heading out to enjoy some of Europe’s liveliest bars and clubs once the sun goes down.
Other attractions of the Turquoise Coast resort include historic Marmaris Castle and the old town centre, complete with bustling market.
Situated on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, the resort town of Side is popular with both sun worshipers and history buffs.
Jutting out into the warm seas, the town – whose names means ‘pomegranate’ in the ancient Anatolian language – boasts idyllic sandy beaches on both sides of the small, charming town.
Between May and September, the beaches throng with tourists, most of them attracted by the clean sands as well as the calm sea, with wind levels at a minimum.
However, Side is much more than just a summer sun resort. In fact, it’s one of the best-known classical sites in the whole of Turkey. Ruins such as the Vespasian Gate, the Temple of Apollo and the ancient hospital give a glimpse into what life was like here during the times of Alexander the Great, the Romans and, more recently, the Byzantines.
Three coasts, endless choices
With three fantastic coastlines – the Aegean, Turquoise and Mediterranean – to choose from, you can be sure of finding a Turkish seaside resort that’s right for you in 2013.