Published on January 15th, 20130
5 Cheap Turkish Destinations
Lonely Planet has named it as one of their Top 10 countries to visit in 2013, and with the Turkish lira looking pretty weak next to the Canadian dollar, there’s never been a better time to search for cheap flights. We all know Istanbul is the ultimate in trendy travel destinations, but if you want to see more of the Anatolian peninsula, try these cheap destinations.
Lauded by Time Out magazine as “the next St Tropez”, Bodrum is an ancient city filled with colour and beauty. Bougainvillea is ubiquitous in the narrow streets, while the majestic 15th Century Castle of St Peter presides over the town. You can pick up some bargains in the market- if you know how to haggle. Look out for Ottoman style pottery and chandeliers. As for food, you can ask for restaurant recommendations at hotels in Bodrum, or follow your nose to Meyhaneler Street for a real rustic meal.
Forget the sea view and discover the real Turkey by heading inland. The bonuses are twofold: you’re getting off the tourist trail, plus accommodation is far cheaper. The area specialises in agriculture: mostly tobacco, and is popular with laid back bohemians from Istanbul. Be sure to take a visit to the ghost town of Kayakoy; with its desolate churches, and palpable sadness, it’s an interesting sight indeed.
If you want the beach, but also the solace of a peaceful holiday, head to Akyakya. The small harbour towns and villages in this area are peaceful, and have little in the way of tourist traps. While you’re there, take a boat to Sedir Island: legend has it that the sand was imported from Egypt by Marc Anthony, for his new wife Cleopatra. As such the sands are protected: sorry, no sunbathing allowed.
The town that launched a thousand restaurant names, Marmaris is an obvious choice for a cheap holiday in Turkey. Sure, the big resorts can be loud and noisy, but you can also pick up some great package deals with a beach club holiday if you travel off season. Head away from the restaurants on the marina if you want to find authentic, cheap eats; one interesting point is that some restaurants accept international currency, and may give you discount if you pay in dollars.
A little slice of paradise on the coast, Dalyan is environmentally protected and perfect for lovers of all things peaceful. Take a visit to the ancient rock tombs along the side of the river estuary, or spot rare birds and wildlife in the marshes. There’s a fabulous outdoor spa, too. There’s even a disco on the outskirts of town if you decide to party the night away.