Fun in the sun
The Bodrum Peninsula is the perfect family destination and you’ll find some good Turkey holiday deals here. Dotted all around the peninsula are relaxed little villages and coves with sandy beaches where the kids can build their sandcastles in peace. For inspiration, you can even take them to a real castle! Bodrum Castle was built in the early 15th century by knights who were here during the Crusades.
The great beaches perfect for swimming tend to be to the west of Bodrum town and many of them offer surfing, windsurfing and body-boarding, which will excite even the surliest teenager. If you have small children, Gumbet Beach is a good choice because of the shallow waters here. There are several water parks in the area too, including the Aqua Park Dedeman Bodrum in Ortakent. At nearby Camel Beach, you can go for a ride of a more traditional kind: camels! The windmill-topped hills behind the beach resorts beg to be explored on horseback too. Boat trips along the coast and to the nearby islands are popular as well.
An epic adventure: Dalyan
Many of the hotels in the Bodrum Peninsula offer excursions to other destinations in this part of Turkey, such as Ephesus or the fairy-tale white calcium pools of Pamukkale. A trip that will appeal to your little Indiana Joneses is a quick visitto Dalyan. The best way to get to this small town is by boat, which you can book in Marmaris to take you first along the coast and then up into the estuary and through a maze of reeds. There is a fascinating ancient city here and it’s one that I’ve-seen-it-all teens can’t simply dismiss with a ‘Whatever’. The rock tombs of Caunos were created in around the 4th century BC for the kings of Lycia and they look like palaces carved into the cliffs.
Dalyan is famous for its mud baths and let’s face it: The child that doesn’t like to be covered from head to toe in gooey mud still has to be born! Since this mineral-rich mud just might be the fountain of youth, you have the perfect excuse to get down and dirty yourself too.
The estuary and beach just south of Dalyan are a protected area. You’ll be able to spot different bird species, including storks. The real attraction though is found at Iztuzu Beach. In summer, endangered loggerhead turtles come here to nest and at Kaptan June’s Hut you can find out more about these creatures and the efforts to conserve them. If you’re lucky, you may see baby turtles hatching and making their way to the sea: a sight that nobody in your family will ever forget!
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