In 2018, Turkey is firmly back in the spotlight.
You’re walking through the blizzard, trying to catch the bus that (you hope) will take you to work before 11am. While you scroll through your Instagram feed thinking that a gap year in Hawaii would be a great idea; stop for a moment and remember that you have two whole weeks of holidays that you could (and should) take in May. Now forget about the snow that is making your life a nightmare and imagine a hot summer’s day, sipping a freshly squeezed juice overlooking the Lycian Coast.
Turkey is coming back as the hot spot this year. The latest ABTA report stated that summer holiday bookings for Turkey were up 69% for summer 2018 – and rightly so. The pound is up 24% against the Turkish lira, low-cost airline Jet2 is almost doubling its capacity, Istanbul is opening a new airport this year, and you don’t even need a visa to travel to the sunny peninsula if you’re a British citizen. You have literally no excuse – the cosmos is serving you this holiday on a silver platter. If you have never been to Turkey, you are in luck: here is Stylist’s guide to help you discover the little piece of paradise that you deserve.
If it’s your first time in Turkey – you can’t miss the beauty of Istanbul. Explore the colourful bazaar district to bring home your next favourite summer accessories or take in the sunset on one of the many ferries that slide around the city’s waterfront. Most importantly, don’t forget to lose yourself in the breathtaking skyline, observing the seven hills that surround the Old City. A perfect backdrop for a romantic terrace dinner around Beyoğlu.
Where to stay: Soho House Istanbul
Not far from Istanbul, the sleepy seaside town of Ayvalik is a local secret to discover. Located on the Northern Aegean Coast next to a clutch of islands, this old Greek village is the perfect base to explore undiscovered Turkey and this charming stretch of coastline composed of numerous islands. The ideal place for a stress-free stay full of fresh seafood, water sports and stunning sunsets by the sea.
Where to stay: Murat Reis
With a series of mesmerising waterfalls surrounding the city, Antalya is a Turkish delight. After a stroll through the streets of the old town – which lies directly above Antalya’s picturesque marina – head towards the ancient clock tower at the top of the hill (Saat -Kulesi), and work your way down to inspect the various cafes and shops. If you don’t mind some shopping, save your money for nearby Belek where you’ll find some good designer knockoffs waiting for you.
Where to stay: Cornelia Diamond Resort
You want to feel like a movie star? The buzzing city of Marmaris is your Turkish heaven. If you are after a fun and relaxing holiday under the sun, just head to the D-Resort Grand Azur hotel (reopening in April, just in time for our May break). After a long day in the spa or sunbathing, enjoy a stunning 180-degree view of the beautiful coastline from the rooftop cocktail bar. You are welcome.
Where to stay: D-Resort Grand Azur
The perfect destination for the luxury traveller, Kalkan is one of the tourists’ most loved spots in Turkey. A dreamy Ottoman Greek town built on the hills, surrounded by a shimmering sea that will take your breath away. After a visit to the 11-mile golden sands of Patara Beach – the longest in Turkey – finish your day with a relaxing walk around cobblestone alleys and the picturesque rooftop restaurants of the small town. While you’re there, make sure to visit Kaputaş. This tiny cove on the Turquoise Coast is one of Turkey’s best beaches. Trust us, you don’t want to miss it.
Where to stay: The Waterside