For years, a premiere destination for sunshine and a great value package holiday has been Spain. But with the Euro in trouble and wildcat strikes halting flights in Spain, a new contender has entered the holiday arena – vacations to Turkey.
Flights from US to Britain are comfortingly affordable during the winter season and exotic Turkey is just a short 3 hour flight away. The currency exchange is also in your favor. At this posting, one Turkish Lire is worth 1.49 USD – so one TRY will cost you only 67 cents. What better way to mix up a holiday abroad then to step into a whole new palette of sights, sounds and smells.
As recently as eight years ago, people started to realize that Turkey offered all the advantages of Spain as a destination both for holidays and for buying property. Those who were smart enough to make an investment in the country have seen their investments grow by as much as 500%, and property prices in Turkey are still some of the cheapest in Europe.
But Turkey has realized that the spotlight has been focused well and truly on its spectacular landscapes and shorelines as a holiday destination as well. Consequently, a massive amount of investment has been poured into the region to cater for all styles of holidaymaker – from the family package holiday right up to luxury apartments for the rich and famous. Indeed, Hollywood A-listers are abandoning the traditional destinations of Monaco and the south of France for a more exotic and just as luxurious holiday in Turkey. And where Hollywood leads, the rest of the world follows.
Bodrum – region of choice for visitors
The most popular area is the coastline between Kusadasi in the north and Alanya in the south-east, which includes the resorts of Bodrum, Marmaris and Izmir. Bodrum is one of Turkey’s largest and most cosmopolitan destinations. With flights to Bodrum now readily available from most UK airports, this jewel on the Turkish coast is now the destination of choice for an increasing number of visitors from all over the world. The bustling harbour town of Kusadasi and Altinkum, with stunning beaches, are both rapidly expanding resorts. But if resort life isn’t your ideal holiday environment, a short drive away from the resort areas will quickly take you into the real Turkey.
And it is this that is attracting the more adventurous tourist. This juxtaposition between superb resort facilities, high class hotels and easy access to direct flights to Bodrum and the ability to experience a completely different culture that is well preserved and vibrant and with ancient roots. It is this that gives Turkey its appeal. A warm welcome, the chance to experience Turkish life by just simply taking a stroll through a village market and yet still having access to five star hotel facilities and all the trappings of a perfect holiday – Turkey offers the best of everything to the visitor.
A cultural melting pot
Will Turkey usurp Spain entirely? Well the answer is probably not. Spain is still a massively popular destination and always will be. But as our horizons expand, more people are willing to travel a little further afield and dip their toe into the cultural melting pot that is the Eastern Mediterranean. Turkey, in turn, has learned from Spain’s mistakes and while there is talk of over development in some areas and the occasional poor quality hotel, the vast majority of Turkey’s development has been sympathetic to the existing culture of the region.
A greater emphasis has also been placed on environmentally sensitive development so while there are some generic developments in the more popular resorts, Turkey has preferred to focus on smaller, more culturally reflective growth that allows visitors to really ‘experience’ Turkish life. The result has been a tourist trade that has been impressed with what Turkey has to offer so far, and is coming back for more.
With flights to Bodrum and other destinations across the region easily available, there has never been a better time to explore this ancient and fascinating country. Be sure to check to see if you will need a Turkey Visa to enter the country in advance of your holiday and then start planning your grand adventure to discover why Turkey is the new Spain.