For a family holiday you’ll always remember, it’s got to be Turkey (Türkiye). Here, child-centric magic comes in the form of storybook castles, splash-tastic waterparks and all-ages attractions. The golden beaches are prime sandcastle-sculpting real estate too! But the best bit? You can indulge in a little luxury for less as there are great-value options galore. Read on for our handy family guide on where to go with your tribe in tow!
If your family loves nothing more than sun-kissed days wiggling toes in shimmering sands and making a splash in crystal-clear waters, then the Antalya Area’s just for you! This captivating coastline spans for 400 miles across Turkey (Türkiye)’s south-west corner, so you’re never far from a beautiful beach! It expertly balances age-old traditions with modern attractions, so you and your clan can switch up all-day lounging with buzzing bazaars.
Don’t miss: The Duden Waterfalls
This natural wonder is sure to wow the kids, boasting two attractions in one, the upper and lower falls. The lower falls cascade into the Mediterranean Sea so are best viewed by boat, while the upper falls can be found in the centre of city. It’s the perfect spot for an al fresco lunch so don’t forget to pack a picnic!
Best beach: Konyaalti Beach
Grab your sun cream and inflatables and head down to the gloriously golden, sand-and-shingle Konyaalti Beach. The shallow waters are perfect for pint-sized paddlers, while the water sports on offer are teen-approved. Its Blue Flag status is a bonus too!
Family-favourite resort: Side
Cultural clans will be enchanted by Side’s treasure trove of ancient ruins. Children can bound through the pages of history at the Temple of Apollo and ancient amphitheatre. And just a short hop out of town, you’ll come to natural wonders like the Manavgat Waterfall. The short transfer from the airport’s a winner too, leaving less time for choruses of “I’m bored” and more time for making memories.
Whether you’re dreaming of holidays spent beach-baking or meze-munching, the beautiful Bodrum Area offers families a pick and mix of treats to choose from. The sparkling shoreline gets a big thumbs up from the tots and teens, sprinkled with secluded coves to explore and child-friendly waves to surf. Eating out won’t break the bank either, with plenty of purse-pleasing bars and restaurants to try.
Don’t miss: Bodrum Castle
Perched on a rocky outcrop, standing sentinel over the harbour, is Bodrum Castle. Mini explorers can roam the ramparts and learn all about its fascinating history. Wander up to the top and you’ll be treated to 360-degree views, so get ready for lots of “say cheese” snaps. Inside, you’ll also find the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, which is crammed full of shipwrecked treasures.
Best beach: Bitez Beach
In this area, there are more than 60 Blue Flag sweeps, and one of our favourites is Bitez Beach. It has everything you need for a bumper beach day, including excellent facilities, ample water sports and a fab selections of snack bars and cafés for tired-out troops. The palm trees offer welcome shade in the summer months too!
Family-favourite resort: Altinkum
Altinkum, which means ‘golden sand’ in Turkish, is a one-stop-shop for families! There are three awesome beaches to hop between, with the Main Beach conveniently located in the centre of town, so you won’t have to trek far with your beach supplies. As evening falls, the town bursts to life with bustling bars and street performers. Altinkum is also connected to the history-heaped town of Didim, so you’ll have even more sights at your fingertips!
The Dalaman Area’s got family-friendly stays down to a tee. Its à la carte menu of wonderful wildlife, natural beauty and ancient history, guarantee boredom-banishing breaks for all that visit! Beyond its Mother Nature magic, there are plenty of man-made curiosities to uncover, like the ghost town of Kayakoy and the cliff-carved Lycian rock tombs. Foodie families will find the bounty of finger-licking treats served in the local restaurants hard to resist, from charcoal-grilled kebabs to flatbreads showered in spices.
Don’t miss: A gulet cruise
Ahoy, sailors! Family days out don’t get much better than hopping aboard a traditional Turkish sailboat and gliding across the Mediterranean. Enjoy the sea breeze as you uncover a treasure trove of coves, caves and breathtaking bays. You’ll often have the opportunity to cool off with a dip in the teal-tinted waters too!
Best beach: Olu Deniz Beach
It’s no surprise that Olu Deniz Beach in Fethiye, close to Dalaman, is often heralded as one of the world’s best, as a blanket of snow-white sands surrounded by pine-topped mountains. It’s also home to the Blue Lagoon, where you can swim or snorkel in azure waters. After a sun-soaked day, there are plenty of restaurants nearby, so you can refuel on flavour-packed Turkish delicacies.
Family-favourite resorts: Marmaris and Dalyan
Marmaris ticks all the boxes for a family break, especially those who like their lounging with a side of adventure! Water sports of every type are on offer along the coast, from leisurely pedalos to thrilling boat rides. The whitewashed, castle-topped old town is not to be missed either! When it comes to accommodation, you’ll be spoilt for choice, with a wide range of all-the-bells-and-whistles hotels. There’s lots for tots in Dalyan too, like Iztuzu Beach, where little ones can spot nesting loggerhead turtles.
This is a region where ancient relics, aromatic markets and sun-toasted sands all jostle for your attention. Life revolves around the shore, so you can expect plenty of waterfront eateries and fantastic facilities on tap. You’ll also have plenty of bucket-list locations at your fingertips, such as the hot springs at Pamukkale or the beautiful Dilek National Park.
Don’t miss: Ephesus
Give the kids a history lesson they’ll never forget with a trip to one of Turkey (Türkiye)’s most famed ancient sites. The once grand city of Ephesus dates back to the 10th century BCE and is one of the world’s best-preserved Roman settlements. Roaming around the towering temples is sure to spark the imagination of your youngsters!
Best beach: Ladies Beach
This golden-sweep gets its name from a time when it was a females-only stretch, nowadays though, it’s open to all. The clean, shallow waters are perfect for paddling and the flour-soft sands are primed for siesta snoozes. All beached out? Grab a table at one of the restaurants along the promenade and enjoy a sea view supper.
Family-favourite resort: Kusadasi
Kusadasi’s the resort of choice for beach broods, thanks to its collection of eight beaches and pancake-flat waters. It has another ace up its sleeve when it comes to keeping the kids happy: not one, not two, but three splash-happy waterparks! For a glimpse into local life, amble along the backstreets to the Grand Bazaar. This feast for all the senses is bursting with exotic aromas, handmade trinkets and street-food snacks.