It’s no coincidence that Turkey celebrates National Children’s. Kids really do have a special place in Turkish culture. Locals adore children so much that they are known to be uninhibited when showing their affection towards them, from pinching their cheeks to fondly greeting them masallah (by the grace of Allah) – a word which supposedly grants blessings and protects against the evil eye.
Needless to say, the kids would feel right at home wherever you go in Turkey. But if you truly want them to enjoy the trip, better head for the best places in Turkey for child friendly holidays!
A historic and culturally-rich city such as Istanbul may be the last place in mind that parents would want for their children, but you’d be surprised to know that it has much to offer. You can take them for ferry rides, have them try the Anatolian dondurma (ice cream) at Bosphorus, or tag them along for an exciting shopping spree at the Grand Bazaar and its more than 4,000 shops. Older children might enjoy visiting ancient ruins, museums, and other historical sites.
Coastal cities such as Antalya are much more relaxed than the crowded Istanbul. But what makes this city perfect for families aren’t the beaches but its wide range of daytime activities. Young kids will love the boat trips and jeep safaris. Teenagers and older children get to participate in more extreme adventures such as scuba diving, sea kayaking, and white water rafting.
Two child-friendly amenities you shouldn’t miss in Antalya are Aqua Park and Dinopark where kids below 6 are allowed to enter free. MiniCity, a museum featuring scale models of Turkey’s major landmarks, is a great way to introduce the kids to local culture and history in a fun way.
The region is famous for the myriad of outdoor excursions available to tourists. Among the things you can do here are nature trips, scuba diving, snorkeling, horse riding, and paragliding. Fethiye isn’t as well-known for its beaches, although there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor excursions.
One of the things you can do there is traveling to Butterfly Valley where there are a hundred different species of butterflies. You can take a water taxi from Olu Deniz and explore the pebbled beach and small waterfalls near the canyon. Lastly, the ghost town of Kayakoy would make an in interesting trip for older kids who can learn about its history.
A trip to Cappadocia is more suitable for people who wish to stay away from touristy coastal towns. The region boasts a rural atmosphere that allows families to relax and enjoy each other’s company.
While there, you should consider staying at the cave hotel. The hotel itself is fascinating. However, the main reason for staying is their guided tours. These day trips include the Goreme Open Air Museum and its ancient cave churches; a hot air balloon ride over the surrounding moon-like landscape; and an exploration of Derinkuyu, an ancient underground city.
At Avanos, children can learn to make traditional pottery or ride a gondola or jet boat by the river. You can also tag them along for a horse ride across Ihlara valley. Finally, enjoy a panoramic view of the region from the castle of Uchisar – the highest point in Cappadocia.
Beach-loving families should go to Izmir. The North Aegean city has the most child-friendly beach thanks to its flat and spacious promenade. Here, you can bask under the hot Mediterranean sun or have a swim in the cool waters while kids play in the sand.
South Aegean cities such as Bodrum, Akyaka, Kusadasi, and Marmaris are popular holiday spots. These places are excellent for families who wish to enjoy the comforts of modern travel. Some of their amenities include water parks, resorts, and water sports facilities.