Luxury villas in Turkey

Turkey’s riches from Istanbul and Cappadocia to Antalya will amaze visitors with busy markets, ornate mosques and a diverse culture. Experience everything Turkey has to offer with a luxury villa holiday.

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turkey villa holiday guide

Turkey’s riches from Istanbul and Cappadocia to Antalya will amaze visitors with busy markets, ornate mosques and a diverse culture. Experience everything Turkey has to offer with a luxury villa holiday.

Eating and drinking in Turkey 

Whether you’re eating out or cooking for yourself in your private villa, Turkey’s excellent produce and delicious dishes will be a feast for your taste buds. Turks start the day with a traditional breakfast of crusty bread with white cheese, honey and olives with lashings of sweet black tea in tulip-shaped glasses – you can easily rustle up this simple meal for yourself. Surrounded by four seas, Turkey is a pescetarian’s dream, with deep-fried anchovies in Trabzon and pan-fried slabs of mackerel with rocket and onion served on waterfront wooden tables in Istanbul. The region’s variety of culture and landscape is matched by its variation of kebabs, from spicy Adana kebabs in Şanliurfa, to Bursa’s smooth Iskender kebab, basted in tomato sauce smothered in yoghurt. Fiery anise liquor raki accompanies traditional fish or meat dinners – why not pick up a bottle to sip by the poolside of your villa?

Chef making kebabs

Relaxation in Turkey

After a day’s sightseeing, and before you return to your villa, join locals for a steam and massage in a traditional vaulted hamam (Turkish bath). Leave Istanbul’s crowds behind as you take a relaxing boat trip up the Bosphorus to be refreshed by the sea air. Turks love sinking into therapeutic waters, such as zingy hot springs in Pamukkale and mineral baths in Çekirge. After that, nothing beats a glass of tea or Turkish coffee – find a local teahouse or çaybahçe (tea garden) where locals gather to gossip or watch the world go by. Or simply lay back around your private pool and enjoy relaxing in the comfort of your own luxury villa.

Classic Interior of a traditional Turkish hammam

History in Turkey

See thousands of years of history in one country. Explore the enormous site of Ephesus, where the Greco-Roman world comes alive with temples, amphitheatres and Roman baths. Istanbul’s Byzantine history is on show in the mammoth-domed Hagia Sophia, a focal point in Constantinople as it is now in modern-day Istanbul, plus mosaics in the hidden-away Kariye Church. For 20th-century history, head to Ankara’s Anitkabir, the hillside mausoleum for the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Atatürk. A sobering tour of the Gallipoli Peninsular brings you around World War II battlefields, memorials and cemeteries of thousands of Turkish and foreign soldiers.

Chora museum, (Kariye Church) Istanbul

Turkish coastal stay's

While you’ll love relaxing around your villa’s private pool, it would be a shame to miss out on day trips to Turkey’s beautiful coastline. Kick back and relax on a gület (traditional wooden sail boat) as you drift around the Mediterranean coastline. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, try tandem paragliding off the rocks at Ölüdeniz soaring above the deep blue lagoon before heading to remote Butterfly Valley. It’s an easy day trip from Istanbul to the car-free Princes Islands, filled with forests and remote beaches – a peaceful haven for locals. Popular resort Alanya draws visitors to its fine sandy beaches, its mighty hilltop Seljuk castle stunningly lit up at night. It’s easy to escape the crowds at the 18km-long golden beach at laid-back Patara.

Footprints in the sand on the famous Turkish beach Patara, Kas

Shopping in Turkey 

You’ll be spoilt for choice while shopping in Istanbul’s mammoth Grand Bazaar, a trading hub since the 15th century. Here, haggle for anything from inlaid backgammon sets to hand-dyed kilims and leather jackets. The city also houses slick shopping malls – Kanyon is worth a trip for its contemporary architecture alone. Bursa is famed for its two-storey Silk Cocoon Hall, where June sees the region’s silk breeders gather for the major buying festival. Turkey is a hotbed of traditional crafts. Find hand-painted ceramics in Çanakkaleand hand-beaten pots in Gaziantep’s copper bazaar. Choose homemade sweet fruit wine in village of Şirince, near Ephesus

Traditional Turkish ceramics on the market

Art and culture in Turkey 

Istanbul’s diary is filled with year-round cultural events, including international jazz festivals and performing arts. You’ll also find the nation’s best collection of contemporary art here, with Istanbul Modern, a converted warehouse, plus myriad commercial galleries. For a unique experience, head to the summer Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival, held in a 2,000-year-old Roman amphitheatre near Antalya. Summertime at the coastal resorts welcomes plentiful live music, from top Turkish bands to international DJs at pumping beachside clubs. Or for traditional culture, see shadow puppet performances in Bursa, where the craft originated.

Panoramic view of amphitheatre in Aspendos

Travel and transport to Turkey 

Driving in Turkey can pose some challenges, but can be useful if your villa is outside of the major resorts or cities. Just make sure you’re clued up on the rules of the road before setting off. However, with Turkey’s excellent network of buses, you may not even need to hire a car.  You’ll also find trains and ferries to help you explore the country for some exciting day trips. 

The East express train between Ankara and Kars, Turkey

Visa for Turkey

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have a current passport valid for travel to Turkey and a visa in advance should you require one. Read more about Turkey visa requirements here.