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Many of Turkey's visitors come here for a relaxing, sunny break against the backdrop of the Mediterranean, the Aegean or the Black Sea. And Turkey is a great sun, sea and sand package holiday destination. But it's a whole lot more besides. Turkey drips in the region's most dramatic history and is decorated with the treasures of Rome, the Byzantines, the Ottomans and a dozen other colonisers and visitors. And some of the ancient world's greatest sites and cities are now some of the best places to stay in Turkey.

Turkey's landscapes are also a reason to visit. The alpine crags of the north east border near Georgia and Armenia, the lush valleys of the Bosphorous, Turkey's drier south, once Mesopotamia, and of course the magically bright turquoise coastlines with their peninsulas and rocky promontories. These are all spectacular settings in which to walk, ride or sail.

Istanbul is an obvious place to start. Ancient, and rich with cultural and historic treasures, this is the only city in the world which has straddled two continents. And it is truly one of the world's greatest cities. It's not all old treasures; as well as the bazaars and the Bosphorus, you can also cruise the most modern of bars and clubs.

Cappadocia is another well known Turkish highlight, the wondrously lunar looking landscape with the villages of caves built into the basalt, by Christian communities burrowing into safety.

For many people, Ephesus, near Kusadasi on the Turkish Aegean Coast, is, the main reason to visit Turkey. This isn't just the best preserved classical city in the eastern Mediterranean, it's also a gladiator graveyard and home to some of the ancient world's most beautiful treasures.

While you're down there you might want to consider strolling part of the Lycian Way, which stretches 500kms from Anatalya to Fethiye.

The Best Places to Stay in Turkey

For a historic city break in Istanbul

Historic Turkey is all around you, but this is especially apparent in Istanbul. The centre is littered with ancient relics, from Roman catacombs to Byzantine battlements to Ottoman palaces (many of which have become some of the best places to stay in Turkey) and the graceful domes of mosques and Orthodox churches.

  • Hotel Les Ottomans is a must for those who love over the top luxury. The pool terrace is lavish and the rooms make you feel like a Sultan or Sultana.
  • In the heart of the historic Sultanahmet District, Sari Konak offers elegant and great value rooms, including triple suites for groups or families. Plus a roof terrace with fabulous views.

Cappadocia: Mysterious, Magical and Peaceful

Ürgüp is one of Cappadocia's largest towns and its upmarket hotels and fine restaurants have given it the reputation for being one of the best places to stay in Turkey. It is also a good spot to explore this whole region from, and you're right near Ortahisar, where there's a castle, a monastery and a folk museum. Most of the best accommodation in Ürgüp is in the town's honey coloured buildings, or in the back alleys of the Old Town where there are some prime examples of the local architecture.

  • The Hezen Cave Hotel is a particularly fine example, rustic but chic, and with plenty of exposed stone.
  • Serinn House is another wonderfully chic hotel in a rustic setting. The minimalist decor makes the most of this beautiful, almost fort-like building, against this picturesque backdrop.

For sun and turquoise seas

Bodrum is gathered prettily around its harbour. Here the preferred method of travel is by sailboat, or yacht, and the most popular meals are made with the freshest bounty of the sea - served in the city’s nicest restaurants which line the coast. Tourism is Bodrum’s cash cow, and more than a million visitors flock to its beaches each year. But Bodrum retains a bougainvillea-shaded charm and remains one of the best places to stay in Turkey if you're planning a beach holiday.

  • If you're looking for your own little piece of this beautiful region - and some peace as well - book Antik Zeytin. Just back from Golturkbuku at the foot of the forest, the eight stone cottages of Antik Zeytin make the most of the panoramic views of the Aegean, and the forest and olive groves in the foreground.

On a broad bay dotted with pretty islands, Fethiye has one of the most beautiful natural harbours on the Turkish Mediterranean coast. It's also within a short drive of two of Turkey's most beautiful beaches, Çalış Beach and Ölüdeniz.

  • The Villa Mandarin, perched on the cliffs with spectacular beach views, is one of the best places to stay in Turkey for walkers. It's an eight room country house with plenty of charm, sea views from private balconies and gourmet Turkish food. if you want to explore the Lycian Way they have special weeks with guided walks during April, May and October.

Still not sure which tp book? Browse though our list of all the best places to stay in Turkey, or contact, one of our friendly gurus for advice.

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The best hotels in Turkey

See all » 35 hotels in Istanbul

  • Hotel Nomade

    Istanbul (Ticarethane Sokak 15,)

    Recently renovated in modern Turkish design and an unbeatable location. Superb rooftop bar-terrace where fantastic sea views can be enjoyed. Well designed uncluttered rooms with wall-hung killim rugs and traditional colours. An excellent base for exploring and reasonable rates too.

    16 rooms from $50
    Value chic  -  Very reasonable rates for beautiful hotel with interiors by French designer Dan Beranger, right in the heart of the old city.
    Sights nearby  -  Just a few steps from the Old City's main monuments including the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia.
    Local markets  -  Spend your day haggling for goodies at the nearby Grand Bazaar.
    Full of character
  • Garden House Hotel

    Istanbul (Mehmet Pasa Sokak 11/13)

    A friendly oasis offering four-star comfort in the heart of the old town. Enjoy breakfast in the lovely garden courtyard and al fresco dining in the Turkish restaurant. Elegant rooms feature polished wood floors, kilims and wooden furniture. A real steal in a great location.

    24 rooms from $55
    Romantic Break  -  This 19th century Ottoman Mansion is ideal for a romantic getaway, with luxorious rooms and a charming leafy garden.
    Local markets  -  Get lost in the nearby Grand Bazaar, an ideal spot for picking up bargains to bring home.
    Sights nearby  -  This central hotel is just five minutes from Hagia Sophia and the majestic Blue Mosque.
    Full of character

See all » 25 hotels in Turkish Aegean Coast

  • Anzac Golden Bed Pansiyon

    Kusadasi, Turkish Aegean Coast

    Friendly, owner-run guesthouse with rooftop bar, hidden away in a maze of alleys above the harbour. Stunning views from the rooftop over the city. Simple, comfortable rooms with traditional furniture are light and airy. Indulgent local breakfasts. Well priced and located for local exploring.

    9 rooms from $28
    Value chic  -  A well priced small hotel with stunning city views within walking distance of the port and beaches.
    Sights nearby  -  Just a 20 minute drive from the ruins of Ephesus.
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
  • Otel Antikhan

    Izmir (MezarlikbasiIzmir)

    Characterful property in a central location. Pretty central courtyard filled with bougainvillea. Simple, traditional rooms - some with three beds makes this, along with the very reasonable rates, an ideal choice for families.

    30 rooms from $38
    Local exploring  -  Well placed in the city centre, perfect for exploring the rabbit warren streets of this ancient city.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the Roman ruins of Ephesus, a must for any visitor to this area.
    Local markets  -  Haggle for goods at Kemeraltı Market, just steps from the hotel.

See all » 11 hotels in Bodrum

  • Sah Hotel


    A contemporary seaside hotel just outside Bodrum. Spacious rooms simply decorated. Lovely garden and pool. Walking distance to beaches and restaurants. A great value spot for a no frills beach holiday.

    12 rooms from $67
    Value chic
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
  • La Boutique Alkoclar

    Bodrum (Hoşgörü Sk)

    A sleek boutique seaside hotel. Stunning all white rooms and suites with large living areas, private balconies and all the mod cons. Enormous sun bathing areas, pool, open-air restaurant, kids club, and immediate access to the beach and watersports. A wise choice for an all round beach holiday.

    33 rooms from $127
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Beach Life

See all » 10 hotels in Cappadocia

  • Fairy Chimney Inn

    Goreme (Aydinli Mahallesi)

    A rustic hotel that offers a traditional Turkish experience. Rooms (some sleep up to 6) are sparse in decoration with stone walls, killim rugs, and fireplaces. Fantastic authentic Turkish cuisine and cooking lessons. A great value choice for groups of friends and families exploring the area.

    14 rooms from $62
    Groups  -  Some rooms sleep up to 6.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Value chic
  • Sultan Cave Suites


    A wonderfully traditional Sultanesque house with huge cavernous rooms. Bedrooms and suites are sparsely decorated but elegant with stone walls, attractive beds, and killim rugs. Lovely open-air restaurant and lots to do in the hills around.

    30 rooms from $90
    Views  -  Wonderful views over the surrounding countryside from the stone terraces
    Great walks  -  Fantastic walking and hiking in the area
    Sights nearby  -  Cappadocia Cultural Centre on site
    Four poster beds  -  For romantics.

See all » 10 hotels in Dalaman

  • Hideaway Hotel

    Kas (Kas)

    Small, friendly guesthouse with caring staff, great views and a small pool on the outskirts of bohemian Kas. Beautifully simple rooms with white washed walls decorated with tiles and local artefacts. Traditional cuisine served along with local wines. Ideal for completely unwinding.

    19 rooms from $51
    Hideaway  -  Enjoy organic meals on the terrace overlooking the rugged mountains and sea, or unwind in the library with a good book.
    Active Holiday  -  The hotel can organise a number of outdoor pursuits either by land or sea in the surrounding area.
    Great walks  -  There are miles of trails and tracks to wander in this stunning terrain, bring your dog and explore.
    Sights nearby  -  Check out the fascinating Lycian and Roman remains that scatter this ancient land.
  • The Mountain Lodge

    Dalaman (Yaka-Tlos)

    A charming family-run lodge, in from the seaside resorts, but not too far off the beaten track. Set within jasmine and palm filled gardens with a pool overlooking the Xantos Valley. Simple, traditional, rooms with beamed ceilings and white washed walls. Lovely home cooked food. A relaxing stay.

    8 rooms from $66
    Total relaxation  -  Unwind in style at this homely lodge- bask in the sunfilled gardens, lounge by the pool or sip wine under the canopy of stars.
    Country Escape  -  A charming countryside retreat surrounded by lovely jasmine scented gardens and fringed by mountains and the sea.
    Birdwatching  -  Twitchers bring your binoculars- Patara National park is a great area for birdwatching.
    Great walks  -  Hike to the local waterfalls through lush vegatation and mountainous paths.

See all » 9 hotels in Alacati

  • IncirliEv

    Alacati (Çeşme İzmir)

    A charming boutique hotel. Traditional elements combined with contemporary chic. Lovely white washed rooms with four poster beds and parquet floors. A quaint inner courtyard garden and breakfast room. Easy access to beaches, and good value.

    8 rooms from $90
    Full of character
    Value chic
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
  • Tas Otel

    Alacati (Yeni Mecidiye Mah. 3009 Sk)

    A gorgeous country style house come rustic chic guesthouse. Romantic bedrooms with creamy furnishings and white washed walls. Lovely pool, garden and breakfast terrace. Close to the beach and lots to do in the area. A romantic spot.

    7 rooms from $90
    Beach Life
    Romantic Break
    Sights nearby  -  Located in the centre of Alacati
    Restrictions on children  -  Over 12s welcome.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape

See all » 8 hotels in Fethiye

  • Yonca Lodge

    Fethiye (Yaniklar Koyu)

    It's all in the location at this small hotel set in stunning gardens with a private beach. Traditionally styled rooms feature open fireplaces and terraces. Mediterranean and Aegean cuisine is served by a stream. An abundance of activities within easy access. Ideal for family holidays.

    14 rooms from $87
    Eco break  -  Great attention is paid to eco processes and sustainability- all natural building materials and the restaurant is organic.
    Total relaxation  -  Unwind in the lovely organic fruit orchards, overlooking the beach with comforting home cooked meals served al fresco.
    Diving  -  Head to one of the local dive centres and explore the crystal clear fish filled waters.
    Fishing  -  Fishing is available from the hotel, without charge. Try your hand at catching dinner!
  • Hotel Unique


    Built in line with traditional Turkish custom, this boutique hotel exudes local originality. From its Lycian ruins entrance to stone and wood walls, it's a celebration of Fethiya's culture. Explore the stunning coastline or dive into enthralling market streets. Ideal for a taste of Turkish culture.

    19 rooms from $90
    Romantic Break  -  A deeply romantic resort with elegant suites overlooking the turquoise waters, Turkish hammam and fantastic food.
    Beach Life  -  An incredible cliff-side resort carved into a series of terraces leading down to the sparkling Aegean Sea.
    Local markets  -  Check out the local market place, within a short walk of the hotel.
    Sights nearby  -  The Telmessos Rock Tombs are within a mile of the hotel.
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
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