If you're looking for adventurous holidays somewhere new this summer but don't want to travel too far away, then Turkey is the right place for you to rent a villa this vacation. This country is located over two continents, Asia and Europe, and has a diverse culture which takes influences from historical empires such as the Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans, as well as ancient Greece, making it a unique location to rent holiday villas in Turkey for an exciting vacation with plenty of history and culture. If this is still too far away for you, but you like the sound of the historical aspects of the country, how about a trip to Pompei in Italy where you can discover the city submerged by ash after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, or visit the Acropolis in Athens. Turkey experiences various different climates due to its position, the areas on the coasts of the Mediterranean and the Aegean Seas are much warmer with their Mediterranean climate, whereas the Black Sea coast tends to be slightly cooler throughout the year and also experience more rain. The seasons in Anatolia can vary very acutely, from the west being very hot and sunny during the day in summer, to eastern Anatolia reaching lows of -15°C during the winter (although it still gets hot here in the summertime)! Most people booking Turkey holiday rentals are looking for a luxury beach holiday, or a city break to places like the capital, Ankara, or the country's most populated city, Istanbul. If you want to travel to Turkey and hold a British passport, you will need a visa to enter the country. Get one before you travel to make sure there are no complications – a multiple entry e-visa costs around £10 and allows you to stay up to 90 days, but don't forget that your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your return date. The currency in Turkey is the Turkish Lira so double-check you've exchanged enough money before you travel!
Istanbul - the Cultural Centre of Turkey
The metropolis of Istanbul is in fact the largest of the country and also has the largest population, despite it not being the capital. This city is home to one of the oldest, biggest covered markets in the whole world, the Grand Bazaar, where you'll find an intricate network of 61 colourful streets under painted domed roofs and thousands of shops selling all sorts of Turkish specialities, from fashion and jewellery to ceramics, carpets and textiles and herbs and spices. This is a bustling markeplaces which should definitely not be missed during your stay in Turkey holiday rentals in this beautiful old city on the Marmara Sea. Take the children to this market and they will be amazed by the colours, sights and smells surrounding them, and don't forget your camera as this will be a perfect photo opportunity! If you want a more modern shopping experience, head to Forum Istanbul shopping centre – the largest in Europe. Looking to combine your city stay with a visit to the beach? You can access True Blue Beach in Istanbul, or BURC Beach, about an hour further north on the coast of the Black Sea. How about crossing the sea to one of Istanbul's secret Princes' islands, for example Büyükada, where you can take a tour on a horse-drawn carriage (as no other vehicles are allowed on the island except for bikes!) and take a dip in the (cold) sea on one of its little beaches which haven't yet been discovered by the flocks of tourists that head to Turkey each year. Other stunning beaches near to Istanbul are on Bulgaria's east coast, or slightly further away is the beach-lover's paradise coasline of North Cyprus.
Stay in Sunny Kalkan
Kalkan is a popular tourist resort on the coast of the Mediterranean known as the Turquoise Coast or the Turkish Riviera, and is often recommended for those searching for a romantic getaway. This is quite a quiet area, with a rich history which allows you to visit many ruins and archaeological sites, such as the half-submerged remains of houses and a harbour at Kekova, or the ancient theatre and Roman baths at Patara. If you're interested in history, travel to the ghost village of Kayaköy, where the hundreds of greek-style churches and homes remain empty and uninhabited after the residents fled during the Greco-Turkish War. Other sites near to Kalkan include ancient Xanthos with its large ampitheatre and tombs and Tlos which was home to a Roman stadium and fortress. For a family beach holiday, Kalkan is perfect. Although it is a stony rather than sandy beach, you'll completely forget this as the waters are so clear you'll have a perfect view of the turtles that you can swim with here! Patara Beach is also superb, and located in a national park which means there is plenty of wildlife to spot. Kalkan is also a great spot for walking, as the scenery here is so picturesque, making it ideal for family activity holidays or even a romantic getaway with someone special. Book a self catering holiday apartment in Kalkan to enjoy that extra bit of privacy in this beautiful area.
Marmaris on the Turquoise Coast
The seaside town of Marmaris is on the south west coast of Turkey, just an hour's ferry ride across the Mediterranean Sea from the Greek island of Rhodes (don't forget your passport if you fancy a visit!). The temperatures here get particularly hot during the summer months, and there are often heatwaves during July and August, so many travellers chose to come during early Autumn when the weather is more bearable. Turkish culture is known to be lively and relaxed, friendly and hospitable, and the port town of Marmaris is no exception to this rule. At nighttime, the town comes to life with some cosy and small, quiet cafes and bars as well as dance clubs and parties on the beach, so there's something for everyone. This even includes traditional Turkish Nights with belly dancing and Turkish drinks and music. Some of the best beaches along this part of the coastline are Marmaris Folk Beach and Long Beach, which are both located in the centre, so they are easily accessible from your Turkey holiday rentals, and there are plenty of watersports available here, too. Half an hour away from Marmaris is Sedir Island, where you'll find the idyllic Cleopatra Beach, close to the historical site of Cedrae, an ancient walled city. Other attractions for when you've spent enough time on the sand include trying out the Turkish Baths, or Hamam as they are known here, visit some of the historical sites such as Marmaris Castle, or take a boat trip to Dalyan, where you can take a dip in the mud baths, see the rock tombs carved into the cliffside and (if you're lucky) swim with the Loggerhead turtles on Turtle Beach.
Antalya - the Golf Capital of Turkey
Located in the Gulf of Antalya, this ancient city is a popular tourist destination thanks to its Mediterranean climate, which makes it an ideal place to visit not only during the summer, but for those winter holidays if you're hoping to avoid the colder months. This is an excellent time to come, as the streets in Kaleiçi, the historic town centre, as well as other attractions such as remains from Antalya's past (like the city walls and Hadrian's Gate) will be free from the summertime tourist crowds. Antalya is not only home to some lovely beaches such as Lara Beach, but also boasts tumbling waterfalls such as Manavgat and Düden. This is the perfect spot for a luxury holiday in Turkey, as you can rent Turkey holiday villas with a private swimming pool and a terrace, where you'll be able to sunbathe for as long as you want in the privacy of your own rental property. The region of Antalya is also very well known for having some exceptional golf courses, such as at Carya Golf Club and the Lykia Links course in Belek.
Discover One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World in Bodrum
The once ancient Greek city of Bodrum is located between the green, wooded hills and the sparkling sea on the south coast of Turkey within the region of the same name. One of the main reasons for its fame is for being home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Mausoleum of Mausolus, whose ruins can still be seen here today. There are also other notable historical site such as Bodrum Castle and the Theatre of Halicarnassus (the ancient Greek name for the city) which you can view if you book Turkey holiday rentals nearby. Take a trip to Yalikavak to spend some time on one of its blue flag beaches, and if you go on a Thursday make sure to walk into the bustling centre and check out the market. Not only is Bodrum famous for its nice bays and beaches, but it also has a variety of up-and-coming cool beach bars and clubs which attract party people from all around the world, such as Bobeach Bodrum and the famous Billionaire Club, making it a great place for young couples and partygoers alike!