From the 13-year-old princess to the 19-year-old party queen, Joanna Booth outlines what Turkey has to offer
The teenage years. It’s a troubled time, and ‘teen’ is a troubled term – it covers a multitude of different stages.
Try telling a 17-year-old that they should want the same things from a holiday as a 13-year-old. However, excitement and a certain level of independence would probably be high on the list for all. But this presents a second difficulty for agents.
Teenagers’ parents may be pro-freedom, but only with a healthy dose of safety and security thrown in for their peace of mind. It’s a complicated cocktail to mix. Happily, Turkey can provide a veritable menu of choices to suit this difficult market – take a look below for some inspiration.
ON A GRAND SCALE
All-inclusive resorts can be a no-brainer for some teenage families – younger family members can wander off and order drinks and ice-creams without picking their parents’ pockets.
Bodrum is home to Mark Warner’s only all-inclusive resort. Sea Garden’s Indy Club is for 14 to 17-year-olds, and a typical day might include windsurfing, beach volleyball, water polo and kayaking. Then at every meal a member of the staff will host a teens table, so they don’t have to dine with mum and dad, and there’s evening entertainment too.
Active teens will love the large LykiaWorld Olu Deniz resort. It’s home to a diving school, 19 swimming pools, 19 tennis courts, and activities including rock climbing, rafting, canyoning, mountain biking, jeep tours and water sports.
For real adrenaline junkies, there are even six and 12-day paragliding courses. Thomas Cook offers seven nights’ full board for a family of four from £2,904 in September with flights.
Golf-mad teens – or even families with golf-mad dads – should consider the Gloria Golf Resort in Antalya.
There are two 18-hole and one nine-hole course, and those who don’t care to tee off can take their pick from a mind-boggling list that includes a climbing wall, bungee trampoline, archery, air rifle tournaments, dance lessons and pedaloes. Prestige offers seven nights’ all-inclusive from £988, including flights.
For families with a teen and a younger child, hotels with on-site water parks might prove popular. Consider the four-star Aqua Fantasy Aquapark Hotel & Spa near Bodrum, one of First Choice’s SplashWorld collection (from £839 for seven nights’ all-inclusive in August), and the Concorde Deluxe Resort at Lara Beach.
The latter is a best-seller for Cosmos, which offers it on an all-inclusive basis, and includes activities such as tennis, basketball, table tennis, aqua aerobics, canoes and pedaloes. In September, seven nights start from £909, including flights.
Not all teens – and not all their parents – are happy in big hotels. There are smaller options that are suitable too.
For something authentic and Turkish try Kalkan, a harbour town an hour and 40 minutes from Dalaman. The winding cobbled streets are filled with bougainvillea, and the roof terrace restaurants and bars provide tasteful nightlife.
Exclusive Escapes recommends teens visit one of the stylish beach clubs by day – try the one at Hotel Villa Mahal – or escape to the deserted white-sand beach at Patara, 15 minutes’ drive away. Activities include gulet cruises, white-water rafting, and sea kayaking.
Exclusive Escapes brochures a range of luxury boutique properties here, including the chic Pool Suites at the Kalkan Regency. Seven nights’ B&B start at £1,150 including flights.
Anatolian Sky has added the Elvina Apartments in Kalkan to its programme and they are an excellent choice for families with teenage kids, offering the flexibility of a self-catering break with resort-style facilities. Each of the 16 two-bedroom apartments has a terrace or balcony, and the centre of Kalkan is just a short walk down the hill.
For a smaller hotel with some great family facilities, try the Bay Beach Club in Fethiye, where Anatolian Sky offers seven nights’ full board in a deluxe villa from £4,999 for a family of four, including flights. With 20 rooms and 26 wooden bungalows, and a secluded setting in gardens by a sandy beach, it can offer peace and quiet for parents.
However, there’s enough for teens too, with a large pool, watersports, pool, table football, table tennis, volleyball, darts and mini golf. Parents and teens alike will love the hammocks dotted around the gardens.
The family rooms at Hotel Yucelen in the bustling seaside village of Akyaka have been recently refurbished and are very popular with Ilios Travel’s clients. Sitting on a safe Blue Flag beach, there are windsurfing, kite-boarding and water-skiing opportunities, plus basketball, volleyball and a tennis court.
For teenage friends who want to holiday en masse with all their families, the operator recommends Rosea in Turgutreis on the Bodrum peninsula, which sleeps 12. It’s stylish with a large pool and gardens, but only a 15-minute walk to the beach or the town centre.
Accommodation-only, a week in August will cost £3,950. For a similar large house property, Exclusive Escapes offers the May Koy in Kalkan where, again, up to 12 can share.
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