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Southern Turkey Family Holidays & Breaks

Mosque in southern TurkeyMosque in southern Turkey
Ancient ruins in the Antalya regionAncient ruins in the Antalya region
Olu Deniz beachOlu Deniz beach
Ancient theatre outside AntalyaAncient theatre outside Antalya

The Mediterranean coast of the fascinating country of Turkey – the point where west meets east, Europe meets Asia, and hence offering a heady mixture of both – is a great spot for family holidays: it offers loads of great child-friendly beaches and ideal waters for sailing but also charming inland villages that haven’t changed in donkey’s years, and more Greek ruins than there are in Greece itself! The Mediterranean province of Antalya in the southwest (part of the Aegean province of Mugla) is the heartland of ancient Lycia, which thrived in the 4th century BC.

As everywhere in the country, kids are welcomed and spoilt rotten by locals in southern Turkey, and you’ll feel even more at home if you join in with one of the many local festivals that take place year-round. And Turkey remains outside the Eurozone, making it one of the best-value family holiday options around.

 
Flying Time 2.25 hours
Carbon Footprint 2.44 tonnes CO2
Timezone GMT +2
Local Currency Euro
Current weather
Clear sky
23°C
 

Things to do with kids in Southern Turkey

Marvel at the sunken city of Kekova, on a small island and preserved by salt-water after being partially submerged during successive earthquakes. Adults and older kids can canoe over parts of it, or you can dock in a boat and explore the remains of a church, shops, houses, staircases and more.

Hop from Kekova to the pretty, jasmine-scented seaside resort of Kas, relatively unspoilt and offering tranquil cafés, bars and guesthouses. This is one of Turkey’s best sites for diving, with courses for ages 13+ offered by the likes of Nautilus. As well as dramatic dive sites (including shipwrecks), there’s a wealth of sealife to encounter, from octopus to dolphins.  

Seek out the number of ruined Lycian cities in this area – Pinara, Myra and Xanthos. Or, if the ancient sites are too exhausting a prospect for family holidays, this is a region of rocky inlets, turquoise seas and pretty harbourfront towns – an ideal way of exploring them is by gulët, traditional wooden yachts.

Spend time in the provincial capital of Antalya, an elegant town with a seaside setting and a dramatic mountain backdrop. Its boulevards are lined with palm trees, and it is famous for its shops and parks. It is also a good base for exploring a number of classical sites: Termessos, Perge and Aspendos.

Venture further down the coast to the picturesque resort of Side, where ancient remains are interspersed among traditional village streets. In this region to the east of Antalya, the Mediterranean coast becomes considerably less developed, and the ambience becomes much more Middle Eastern.

Eat

The food in southern Turkey is like other Turkish cuisine, but with an even greater emphasis on fresh local produce, fish and olive oil – in short, healthy, tasty and great for family holidays! In larger towns, international staples can be found on many menus.

By Liz Wyse

When to go to Southern Turkey

The Mediterranean coast has mild winters and hot summers – you can swim from late April into October, so southern Turkey is a good destination for family holidays in the May and even the October half-terms if you’re lucky. Avoid high summer, especially July and August, if you don’t fancy the crowds or the temperatures (up to 45°C).

How to get to Southern Turkey

There’s an international airport at Antalya. The frequent flights from the UK – taking about 4hrs – are increased by charter flights during high season.  

You’re also within relatively easy reach of the international airport at Dalaman on the Aegean coast.

Cost

Turkey remains one of the cheaper destinations in Europe because it’s outside the Eurozone. Count on a spend of £2000–4000 for one-week family holidays for 4, depending on the time of year and standard of accommodation.

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Family friendly places to stay in Southern Turkey

As on Turkey’s Aegean Coast, those opting for southern Turkey for family holidays can choose from plush child-friendly hotels with kids’ clubs and spas, fantastic activity holiday centres (this is a wonderful place to sail) and money-saving self-catering apartment blocks.

Key:
Self-catering
Hotel
Editors favourite
Kids Club
  • Gloria Golf, Belek

    5-star all-inclusive golf resort on Turkey's Aegean Coast with superb facilities even for the non-golfers.

  • Holiday Village Turkey, Sarigerme

    7 pools, a kids club and lively entertainment teams all in a safe environment in Southern Turkey.

  • Club Med Palmiye, Kemer

    Set between the beach and the mountains in Southern Turkey, this all-inclusive resort is ideal for active and relaxing familes.

  • Hilton Dalaman Resort & Spa, Sarigerme

    In an enviable location, between the beach and mountains, this luxury hotel on Turkey's Aegean Coast has something for everyone.

  • Hotel Club Turban, Marmaris

    With a beachfront location, three swimming pools and tree-lined pathways criss-crossing the grounds, the Hotel Club Turban has everything you need to relax.

  • Hotel Lara Beach, Antalya

    With enough swimming pools to rival a waterpark and a restaurant for every day of the week, it’s no wonder this hotel in southern Turkey is so highly rated with reviewers.

  • Club Alize Apartments, Marmaris

    This all-inclusive hotel in Southern Turkey is top for family holidays. Just a short walk from the shops and the beach

  • Club Candan, Marmaris

    A small but friendly self-catering apartment complex on Turkey's Aegean Coast, close to the main tourist resort, beach and with a kids club.

  • Babadan Apartments, Marmaris

    A small complex of self-catering family apartments on Turkey's Aegean coast, sleeping up to 6 people, near the beach, with 2 pools and a kids club.

  • Club Hotel Letoonia, Mediterranean Region

    A secluded all-inclusive resort in Turkey with 3 private beaches, an ideal resort for families with large rooms and kids clubs.

  • Paloma Grida Village & Spa, Mediterranean Region

    A popular family-friendly all-inclusive hotel with a wide range of activities for all ages on the southern Turkish coast.

  • Liberty Hotels Lykia Turkey, Olu Deniz

    Self-contained all-inclusive holiday village for family activity holidays, with 19 pools and kids clubs for all ages.

  • Ela Quality Resort, Belek , Belek

    A pioneer of the ultimate all inclusive concept, with family rooms, kids' clubs and entertainment programme.

  • Royal Dragon Resort, Side

    A good choice for an all-inclusive fun family beach holiday on the Mediterranean coast in southern Turkey.

  • Concorde De Luxe Resort, Lara, Antalya

    With its great range of facilities, everyone will be kept very busy at this family-friendly resort in southern Turkey.

  • Delphin Palace Hotel, Antalya

    All inclusive holiday resort on the southern Turkish coast, next to a wonderful beach front and with plenty to do for all the family.

  • Ali Bey Club Manavgat, Manavgat

    An all-inclusive resort located on the beachfront in Southern Turkey, with an adjoining waterpark, kids clubs plus lots of sporting activities.

  • Arcadia Golf Resort, Belek

    Located on the beach, with all-inclusive facilities, activities and food and drinks, plus spacious family rooms and childcare for 4-12 year olds.

  • Crystal Sunset Luxury Resort and Spa, Antalya

    A luxury all-inclusive family holiday resort in Southern Turkey, with a large on-site waterpark, huge selection of places to eat and things to do.

  • Barut Lara, Mediterranean Region

    A top class all-inclusive family holiday resort in southern Turkey, with childcare, sporting activities, a spa and exceptional food.

  • Papillon Zeugma Hotel, Belek

    A stylish modern all-inclusive with highly rated family facilities including kids' pools plus childcare and activities from ages 4 to 18.

  • Papillon Belvil Turkey, Antalya

    An all-inclusive family resort on the southern Turkish coast with a waterpark, sporting activities and kids clubs from 4-18 year olds.

  • Voyage Belek Golf & Spa, Belek

    A family-friendly all-inclusive resort in southern Turkey; voted of the best by Trip Advisor.

  • Club Excelsior , Marmaris

    A popular family aparthotel is just 1km from Marmaris centre in Turkey and close to the beach, it includes a kids' clubs, pools and lots of activities.

  • WOW Topkapi Palace, Antalya

    A good choice for families looking for an al-inclusive lively holiday in Southern Turkey with an on-site waterpark and kids club.

  • Royal Wings Hotel, Antalya

    A top choice for an all-inclusive hotel-based family holiday, with an on-site water park, funfair and kids club, in southern Turkey.

  • Julian Club Hotel, Marmaris

    A stylish all-inclusive hotel in southern Turkey with children's club, pool and sports, plus evening entertainment and a selection of restaurants.

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