When it comes to planning a family holiday, simplicity and sun are often at the top of the list of requirements. Finding a destination that pleases everyone, from the history buff to the little daredevil, can be tricky. For a getaway that guarantees a great time for all ages, you need look no further than the golden beaches of beautiful Bogazkent in southwestern Turkey.
It’s a fantastic choice for those with a big brood thanks to its convenient location, which is just 40 kilometres from the airport. This means you can kick-start your holiday feeling without hearing “Are we there yet?” 100 times. More importantly, its warm climate that extends into the winter months and central location make it the perfect relaxation destination. Bogazkent is close to a number of quaint Turkish villages, which make for a lovely day out, while the town itself offers a chance to enjoy some quality family time.
There really is something for everyone on Turkey’s ‘Turquoise Coast’, giving little opportunity for boredom to set in. Your options range from an exhilarating day at a waterpark to spending a couple of hours getting close to wild sea turtles – and that’s just the beginning. Read on to see all you can experience while on holiday here.
For the Sporty Ones
If you’re a group who loves activities, then you really can’t go wrong while in Bogazkent. The surrounding area offers a huge range of sports that will keep everyone entertained. Choose from an extensive list of things to do, including horse riding, sailing, go-karting, whitewater rafting, water sports and much more.
For a fun family excursion, a trip to Troy Aqua Park is a fantastic choice. With 15 different slides (including the adrenaline-inducing 20-metre high Hera and Zeus slide), surf simulator wave pools and paddling pools, everyone from the thrill seekers to the tiny tots are guaranteed to have fun. This waterpark is the perfect option for when you want to cool off and have a laugh.
Top tip: If Mum and Dad are keen golfers, Belek has a number of great course options to choose from if you can get a babysitter for a few hours.
For the Foodies
If you and your family are a bunch of gastronomes, then Bogazkent is the right place for you. You’ll find a great variety of restaurant options offering all sorts of delicious Turkish food, such as kebabs, the Turkish take on pizza, grilled fish and other traditional cuisines.
A couple of my favourite places to eat are Can Restaurant, which offers scrumptious ethnic food including Turkish-style pizza and kebabs; it’s a great choice for fussy eaters. I also love Yakamoz Restaurant and Bar, which is located right on the beach so you can dine to the soothing soundtrack of waves lapping against the shore. The menu is varied and affordable and the bar often has live music, making it the perfect place for Mum and Dad to have date night.
Top Tip: If you’ve opted for the self-catering option, there are plenty of supermarkets and local farmers markets where you can buy excellent fresh produce.
For the Nature Lovers
Tourists aren’t the only fans of Bogazkent’s soft stretches of sandy beaches that extend into the turquoise sea. During the summer, magnificent sea turtles flock to the shore to lay their precious eggs. Take the kids to the beach at sunset and you may be lucky enough to spot them paddling in the shallows as they make their way ashore.
If the turtles are playing hide and seek – or you’re visiting outside of summer – the Kuş Cenneti bird sanctuary will fascinate both young and old. Here, you’ll have the chance to see over 200 species of birds as they fill their habitat with their tropical calls.
If you only have time for one thing, visiting Kursunlu Waterfall is a must. Set in a shady pine forest, the waterfall connects seven small lakes. It’s one of the most attractive landscapes in the area, so you’re sure to get a beautiful family photo here.
The nature park that surrounds Kursunlu Waterfall is like something out of a storybook, with fragrant blackberries, blooming roses and vibrant greenery, as well the numerous small creatures that call the park home. Let the kids explore their surroundings and reconnect with nature.
Top tip: Pack a picnic to enjoy with the little ones when you visit the nature park. There are viewing terraces, playgrounds and a picnic area, so you can spend some time slowing down and soaking up the beauty all around you.
Where to Stay
Sherwood Dreams Resort – Located on the coast of Belek and complete with its own private beach, this all-inclusive resort is the perfect choice for families who want hassle-free accommodation. Rooms are air conditioned and offer sensational views of the surrounding area. There are five restaurants onsite that offer all sorts of cuisines, a tennis court and a kid’s club for ages 4-12 (which will give Mum and Dad a chance to have some alone time).
Kaya Belek Hotel – Situated right on the seafront, Kaya Belek makes organising a beach day effortless. The hotel also boasts two outdoor pools, one indoor pool and children’s pools with waterslides – so no need to worry if you can’t make it to the Aqua Park. Rooms offer free WiFi, air conditioning and a flat-screen TV. The buffet restaurant ensures that everyone is catered to; even the fussiest eaters are sure to find something!
How to Get There
I recommend flying to Antalya Airport, which is easily reached by a number of services from London in only four hours. The journey from the airport to Bogazkent should take about three and a half hours, so I advise you pre-book an airport transfer with Shuttle Direct. They will get you to your accommodation as quickly and easily as possible.
About Shuttle Direct
Shuttle Direct is one of the leading providers of airport transfers throughout Europe and North Africa. We’ve been making sure our customers get from A to B safely and comfortably for a decades. Let us help you kick start your holiday!