If you’re anything like me, your thoughts turn to your next holiday the minute you’ve returned from your last one. I came back from Spain late on Sunday night, and with the clocks going back and Winter drawing in fast, I’m already looking for a return to some sunshine, beaches and lazy, hazy days. But where to go next? When to book? And will I need to sort some sort of Visa in order to travel.
One of the places on my list is Turkey. Last year we travelled to Rhodes in Greece, and could gaze out at Kusadasi across the water. We also had an illuminating chat about Turkey with one of our taxi drivers during our transfer. He mentioned that a lot of people who usually travel to Greece have instead been travelling to Turkey, as the pound sterling was favourable against the Turkish Lira, and tourists from the UK could get far more for their money.
This got me thinking that maybe it was time to try a Turkish holiday again. I have only travelled their once, in 1995, when I stayed in Marmaris. It was a beautiful resort, and we had a great holiday there that we truly enjoyed, but the world is a big place and there was so much to see. But now, more than 20 years later, and now with a young son, I have been looking at the resorts and feel they are really family friendly. I do remember however, that you needed a Visa to travel to the country, and so this is something that needs to be considered.
Getting Your Turkey Visa
You may be wondering if you need a visa if you travel to Turkey. The fact is that all British citizens, and any other nationalities that are not part of the visa-exempt countries for Turkey, will need to apply for a visa. This applies to both adults and children, you are only allowed to enter the country if you possess your own Turkey visa. The Turkish immigration service will stop you at the passport check after your arrival in Turkey to check your visa, so this is something you need, whether it be a paper version, or an e visa Turkey that can be sent to you via your email.
It is actually really easy to apply for your Turkey visa and the whole process can be done online with a simple form that can be filled in within a matter of minutes. You must have a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining on your passport, and you need a visa to for your whole party. You do not need a visa if you are entering Turkey via a cruise ship unless you are planning to stay longer than 72 hours. Your e-visa is valid for up to 180 days, and you can stay in Turkey for up to 90 days, which could be split into separate trips.
Where to stay?
Where you stay depends very much if you are travelling for culture or beaches and relaxation. Turkey is rich in both. Istanbul has a wonderfully rich history that has seen it be Constantinople and Byzantium and is a must visit for those who love the culture of historic cities, with both the Hagia Sophia and the Camlica Mosque must see landmarks in a city that is full of them. (The Camlica Mosque is the largest mosque in Turkey, with four towering minarets.) Another must see is the Topkapi Palace that was once the home of the Ottoman sultans, and is now a large museum and has been aUnesco heritage site since 1985.
Antayla is known for it’s wonderful beaches, with Konyaaltı Beach considered to be one of the top ten beaches in Turkey. There are some wonderful family friendly hotels in the area, with many resembling small resorts in themselves, catering to your every need. You could check out the Royal Wings resort that has its own water park and is set in 18 acres of its own grounds.
If you are a movie buff, the chances are you have seen The African Queen, John Huston’s masterpiece, so a trip down the Dalyan river, where the movie was filmed, is an absolute must. If it was good enough for Bogie and Hepburn, then it is a must visit. Look out for the incredible catacombs that can be viewed on a river cruise.
Best time to visit?
Turkey does get incredibly hot during the Summer, so Spring months are a great choice if you want to do some serious sightseeing. Now would be a great time to book up so you have lots of time to pay your trip off, sort your visa, and save some serious spending money because did I mention the shopping? Well that’s another post all together…