Family Holiday Heaven
Looking for the perfect place for a family holiday in 2010? Turkey may just be it. Now Britain’s Mediterranean escape of choice, over 2 million British holidaymakers visited last year – many of them families. So why is Turkey so popular, and which are the best areas to buy a dream holiday property in the sun?
Undoubtedly, the main draw for most sun-starved Brits is the country’s glorious weather, with sunshine and blue skies guaranteed throughout the long summer season – which stretches from May to October. The weather at Easter and the summer and autumn half-term holidays may actually be better for younger kids than the hottest months of July and August when temperature are well into the 30’s, though even in the height of summer most coastal area have a cooling breeze.
The next ingredient for a happy holiday – a sandy beach – can be found all along the Turkish coast. Some of the best beaches are Sarigerme in Dalaman, Oludeniz near Fethiye, Patara near Kalkan and the beaches around Belek and Side in Antalya province. But there are many other smaller coves and sandy stretches to lay out your beach towel and build sand castles.
For older children there are water sports like windsurfing, sailing, water skiing and parasailing available in most resorts and tours can be arranged to the historic sites and ruins that are scattered along the Turkish coast.
Another important draw for families is how child-friendly Turkey is. Wherever you go, from shops to restaurants, expect the children to be doted on and spoilt. It is also an extremely safe country for you and the kids, with low crime-rates compared to the UK.
Reached in 3-4 hours flying time from UK airports, there is no long-haul nightmare getting there and back. The choice of flights is good with charter operators like Thompson and Thomas Cook and no-thrills airlines Easyjet, who fly from Gatwich to Dalaman, Pegasus and Flyglobespan, who operate from Scottish airports.
Sitting outside the eurozone makes Turkey an excellent value holiday destination. Even before the credit crunch Turkish property was significantly cheaper than traditional Mediterranean favourites like Spain. With the global slow-down prices for resale property have dropped in the main resorts and developers are offering some excellent deals. Most new complexes in Turkey have been designed specifically with families in mind and have great facilities such as large swimming pools and tennis courts to keep the kids entertained for hours. It is also likely they will find other English-speaking friends to play with, leaving the adults free to relax.
Checklist for the perfect family holiday home
- Choose a property within 1 hour of the nearest airport
- Choose a development with good communal facilities
- Choose an area with activities locally
- Select a resort where there are other English-speaking kids
Holiday Home Hot Spots
Located on the Aegean coast close to Izmir airport, Kusadasi is popular with families because there is so much to do in the area. There are great beaches, water parks and the historic ruins of Efesus. The nearby Dilek National Park is perfect for family picnics on the beach.
The Melito Villas are large 4 bedroom semi-detached villas within easy walking distance of the beach. There’s a huge communal pool visible from all the houses, so you can keep an eye on the kids while relaxing on your terrace. Prices from £71,500, with mortgages available.
For details contact Buying in Turkey, Tel 0845 351 3551, www.buyingin.co.uk
Unspoilt Dalaman has plenty to keep the family busy including boat trips, nature tours, mud baths, white-water rafting and the Blue Flag beach at Sarigerme, which is one of the few beaches in Turkey with life guards. For the adults, an 18-hole golf course is opening in 2010 at the Hilton Dalaman Golf and Spa Resort. The international airport has plenty of flights from the UK and the kids can be playing in the pool within an hour of touch down.
Akkaya Gardens is a family-friendly development with excellent facilities including a large outdoor swimming pool, an indoor pool, sauna, a fitness centre and a café. The surrounding woods are great for exploring and there are exciting boat trips up the Dalaman river gorge. The last remaining 2 bedroom apartments start from £54,500, with 3 bedroom villas from £132,000. For details contact Curbanoglu, Tel 0845 355 5625, www.curbanoglu.co.uk
Altinkum & Akbuk
Good beaches and lots of activities for the kids make Altinkum a firm favourite with British families. Nearby Akbuk is a lot quieter, but has some great sandy beaches too. The area has some of the cheapest property on the Turkish coast with two-bedroom apartments with communal pools starting from £45,000. For details contact Buying in Turkey, Tel 0845 351 3551, www.buyingin.co.uk
Notes for editors
Buying in Turkey
Buying in Turkey is the UK’s leading independent guide to buying and owning property in Turkey. First published in 2005, the 140-page guide has helped hundreds of people purchase villas, holiday apartments, investment properties and retirement homes in Turkey. The guide is available for free download from www.buyingin.co.uk