Turkish holidays grow in appeal

By | Category: Travel destinations

very distinctive tree houses and lodges!

Turkey is slowly, but surely, coming back on the tourism track after months of increased security alerts in the main cities of Istanbul and Ankara. Although the terrorist attacks were far away from the coastal destinations, the popular seaside towns and beaches were also affected and they emptied of tourists. Tour operators like Thomas Cook have reported increased interest in holidays in the country.

Patara’s amphitheatre

When I recently arrived in the Ataturk airport in Istanbul, I was amazed to see the high level of security on arrival. The visible presence of the police and the armoured vehicles in the city was also reassurance that everything was under control. I noticed that the security was also very tight in the underground stations, with bags being searched and people having to pass through security scanners. A similar level of security was also present at my hotel.

Lycian rock tombs

In an interview with Arif Erdugan, chief advisor to the ministry of foreign affairs, he told me that there have been several terrorist attacks in France and Germany. “Incidents can happen anywhere in the world and Turkey should not be blamed for experiencing unexpected attacks”, he said. “Turkey welcomes tourists and makes all necessary security arrangements to ensure the safety of the visitors who are also their guests.”

The charming city of Istanbul, a bridge between two continents of the East and the West, with all its beauties and diverse traditions, is a great tourist attraction from visitors around the world but it is to the beach resorts that many Britons will travel.

Olympos

ake Antalya for example. It is one of the main pivots of the Turkish Riviera, a well-known destination for its sun and sand, with a long stretch of coastlines at the Mediterranean Sea. Not only does it attract holidaymakers to its beaches but it actively promotes itself as a destination for health, medical and sport tourism. Yet what caught my attention and curiosity to visit it during my stay in Antalya region was the beauty of nature in a preserved environment along with the ruins of an ancient civilization.

For three days I hardly went near one of those famed beaches. I stayed not in a beach resort but at Kadar’s Tree Houses in a wooden lodge among several Tree Houses. I had the opportunity to explore the nearby attractions of Olympos and walk along the coastline of Adrasan, a boat trip to Adrasan Water Island and visit the ancient Lycian Tombs and Patara’s Amphitheathre.

and more more than just andy beaches

Turkey’s charming past history and ancient heritage combined with the sun, the sand and friendly welcoming people continue to seduce tourists to visit the country. The sense of calm and stability in Turkey after the recent referendum and the greater scope of stability reinforced Turkey’s position as a country that offers one of the widest choice of tourist experiences.

Turkish and Atlas Airlines run regular flights from Gatwick and Heathrow to Antalya via Istanbul.  easyJet, Jet 2, Thomas Cook and Monarch provide direct services from the UK.  From London Victoria and London Bridge, both Gatwick Express and Southern have services to Gatwick but Southern is cheaper and the journey time is only a little longer. Heathrow is served by the tube (Piccadilly line) and Heathrow Express.

To see more of Reza’s images of Turkey go to http://www.amirinia.com/turkey/ or click here.

Images and story © Mohammed Reza Amirinia

 

 

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