How to see the real Turkey on a budget

Turkey is a destination that everyone can enjoy, from the youngest members of the family who want to run around and have a bit of fun, to the older ones who want to relax in the sun. It has something for everyone from clubs and bars, to sun and sand, to a rich history and culture.

Whether you’re travelling alone or with family and friends, it’s probably likely that you’ll have a budget to work with. Well, have no fear because Turkey is the perfect destination for this – it has become much more popular in recent years, meaning that there are plenty of activities to do and a wealth of sights for tourists to see a the same time as remaining a place for very cheap holidays. If it’s possible, try to visit when it’s not high season; not in July and August. Not only will it be more expensive, it’s also busier and much hotter, meaning it might be difficult to see and do everything you want.

butterfly-valley2

Image by Yodod 

One thing you can always do on a budget in Turkey is go to the beach. This is free for all, unless you choose to spend a bit on sun loungers and drinks. To make it a more enjoyable experience, ensure that you pick a beach that’s ‘off the beaten path’ such as Butterfly Valley. Hidden in between two huge cliffs that meet in a giant V, it has no electricity, roads or buildings and can only be reached by a rocky path.

If you’re staying in one of the popular resorts such as Fethiye or Marmaris, get a bit more active than spending your days sat around the pool and beach and head into the mountains. Many of the resorts offer ‘Jeep Safaris’ which will take you on a day’s outing into the mountains that line the coast and into the tiny villages that dot them. You’ll be able to sample local cuisine as you traverse the countryside as well as experiencing some amazing views. Depending on where you’re staying, you may pass ancient sites which you’ll have a chance to wander or rivers you can cool down in.

One of the most popular trips for travellers in Turkey around the Dalaman region is the river cruise. For a minimal price, you’ll get to experience many aspects of the real Turkey in one day. They offer some traditional Turkish delicacies on board such as blue crab, you’ll float right past the ancient sunken city of Kaunos, and most exciting of all for many is the wallowing in the mud baths that are said to make you look ten years younger!

hammam

The one thing you cannot miss when in Turkey is the hammam, the traditional Turkish bath. You’ll be surprised at the super cheap prices you can get these for, usually around $10. The experience includes relaxing in a sauna or steam room, a rub down with soap, often a hair wash too, followed by a massage with essential oils.

You can also experience Turkey on a budget in a very simple way: the food. You don’t need to eat in all the expensive restaurants to get traditional food, in fact it’s usually the opposite. Find out where the locals go to eat and head there or the markets. You’ll be able to pick up some ‘real’ Turkish food at a fraction of the price.

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