With the weather warming, you might be turning your thoughts (somewhat apprehensively) to the summer holidays. Mom and dad know that once school’s out for the summer, the task of entertaining the kids will indeed weigh heavy on their shoulders. If you can’t stand one more summer by the paddling pool, consider trying something a little more exotic.
Belek, on Turkey’s south coast, is a vibrant resort town that boasts Blue Flag beaches, ancient Greek ruins, and top-notch golf courses. But this popular location has plenty for the kids to do too. From leaping dolphins to secret caves, Belek is one holiday they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.
What to Do
Troy Aqua and Dolphinarium
For a full day of aquatic fun, head over to this waterpark and aquarium. Zoom down water slides, float in an inner tube along the artificial river, or even try your hand at the surfing simulator! After a morning of splashing around, head over to the adjacent Dolphinarium to watch the trainer put dolphins, whales, and walruses through their paces.
İleri Başı Mevkii, Belek/Antalya, Turkey
Tel: +90 242 715 1122
Kursunlu Waterfall Nature Park
Set amid a beautiful pine forest 20km north of Antalya, these scenic falls inspire awe in visitors of all ages. It is here that a tributary of the Aksu River drops from the plateau down to the coastal plain – and eventually, out to sea. Though the water flow tends to taper off in the hot, dry summers, the falls are a magnificent sight. Bring a picnic to eat by the turquoise pool at the base of the falls, which is so clear you can see the fish swimming in it!
07119 Fettahlı/Aksu/Antalya, Turkey
Pirates of Side
For a chance to sail the Mediterranean like the pirates of old, try out this swashbuckler-themed boat trip. This all-day excursion begins at the history harbour of Side, once inhabited by the ancient Greeks. Here you’ll board an old-fashioned ship and set off into the turquoise waters off the Turkish coast. The staff aboard will help your children fashion eye patches and pirate hats, as well as conduct pirate-themed games throughout the day.
Pickups available for selected area hotels. 9:00am-4:00pm. Lunch included.
The south coast of Turkey is riddled with caves, many of which have been in use since the Paleolithic Age. Beldibi Cave, about 25 km from Antalya, is one such cave. This massive cavern is located at the foot of a towering limestone cliff, with part of it underwater. An important archaeological site, Beldibi cave is home to several cave drawings made 5,000 to 15,000 years ago. Small carved tools of stone and bone have also been found at the site. The cave is a popular site for tours either on foot or by boat.
No matter how old your kids are, they’re sure to find something fun to do at Aktur Park. Whether you want a gentle ride on a carousel or want to jostle around in the bumper cars, this amusement park has it all. All rides are paid for with tokens available for purchase at the entrance, so you can decide in advance how much you’d like to spend.
Arapsuyu, Atatürk Blv. No:12, Konyaaltı, Turkey
Tel: +90 242 229 1984
How to Get to Belek
Belek is served by Antalya airport on Turkey’s south coast. There are a few nonstop flights straight from London – Thomas Cook runs a service from Gatwick – but you’ll have far more options if you look at flights with one stopover. Pegasus and Turkish airlines both offer reasonable prices for flights with one stopover in Istanbul. Total travel time for nonstop flights is four hours – and, naturally, a stopover could add several more hours to your trip. Make sure you pack plenty of snacks, toys, and games to keep your kids entertained on the plane and at the terminal!
After a long day of travelling, you’re probably looking to get from Antalya to Belek with minimal wait and hassle. With Shuttle Direct’s private transfer services, you can have a car waiting for you at the airport – no hailing a cab or puzzling out public transportation schedules. Book online to set up your transfer and reserve child seats for the vehicle.
Where to Stay:
Orfeus Hotel – Step out onto the palm tree-lined patio of the Hotel Orfeus and the first thing you’ll notice will be the huge rainbow slide leading straight into the pool. You can bet your kids will be spending a lot of time here zooming into the water, so grab a sun lounger and just relax! When the fun is over for the day, relax in your comfortable room with the balcony door open wide to catch the sea breeze.
Lara Hotel – Set high on cliff above the coast, the Lara Hotel boasts spectacular panoramic views from each room. Dine at the hotel restaurant where you can nibble on Turkish mezze while taking in the sea scenery. For a special parents-only treat, pamper yourself at the Turkish bath and sauna.
Denizhan Hotel – Located right in Antalya’s city centre, the Denizhan Hotel is well-positioned for both urban and beachside sightseeing. Double and triple rooms offer plenty of flexibility for families, and the onsite restaurant serves up kid-friendly meals both inside and out on the terrace.
About Shuttle Direct
Shuttle Direct provides fast, easy and economical transfers from airports, railway stations and ports to destinations all over Europe and North Africa. Our user-friendly online booking system makes it easy to organise your travel arrangements before you leave home, and one of our friendly drivers will meet you at the airport and transport you and your luggage to and from your final destination without delay.