TURKEY was the breakout travel star of 2018 and continues the trend as a top holiday destination for 2019.
Brits love the warm weather, blue-flag beaches, delicious Middle-Eastern food and that it's cheap – with the value of the Lira still low.
Winter season in Turkey is much cooler than the hot summer months, with cold but sunny days – but lower prices and fewer tourists are compensations.
And you can still enjoy plenty of Mediterranean sunshine and pleasant days along Turkey’s southern shores with an average temperature of 19°C in December.
So if you're planning your Christmas family holiday, read on for our round-up of the best Turkey resorts – and the cheapest family holiday deals for your stay.
We specifically looked for deals within Christmas school holidays from December 21 to January 2 – but you're likely to find cheaper deals if you're travelling outside of these dates.
Family holidays in Antalya area
If you're a family of beach bums, head to Antalya: the gateway to Turkey's southern turquoise coast, which holds the record for the most blue flag beaches in the world.
It's not all about the beaches though.
The kids will love the beach park – which is home to Aqua Land – and plenty of water sports such as rafting on the Koprulu River.
Meanwhile, mum and dad can meander round historical old towns, try traditional Ottoman cuisine and head out to buzzing bars when the sun sets.
Alternatively, animal-loving families should make their way to Ciralı – a protected beach that is a nesting site for sea turtles.
Plus, time your visit right and you can experience a beautiful sunset down by the glistening waters of the Old Town's harbour.
TOP RESORTS NEAR ANTALYA
Boasting 16km of white sandy beach, this family-friendly resort is ideal for kids with lactivities such as riding, cycling and tennis.
GO: Travel Supermarket have Belek Beach holiday deals with prices starting from £401 per person all-inclusive for a week's stay in December 2019. Book here.
Have a fun-packed stay with beautiful beaches, designer shopping outlets and stylishbars at Turkey's answer to Las Vegas.
GO: Love Holidays have Lara Beach holiday deals from £322 per person for a seven-night stay in December 2019. Book here
Family holidays in the Dalaman district
Located on the Turkish Riviera (south-western coast), the Dalaman area offers up lively tourist resorts, ancient Roman ruins and stunning surf beaches.
The Mediterranean and the Aegean are still warm in December, at an average of 18°C, and these mild waters stop the air from cooling too much and keep temperatures enjoyable at resorts along the Dalaman coast.
Try your hand at a range of water sports – from windsurfing to kite-boarding – or just kick back and relax on the white sandy beaches.
See the nesting sites of the rare loggerhead turtles and the Lycian Rock Tombs with a boat ride down the Dalyan River – and the Blue Lagoon national park in Olu Deniz is well worth a visit.
TOP RESORTS NEAR DALAMAN
There’s an air of peace about the town in winter and you can walk the streets and sit in cafes and bars totally undisturbed.
Find family attractions – from the safe, child-friendly beaches and the Marmaris Dolphin Park to Quad & Buggy Safari Marmaris Castle – and great late-opening nightlife options at this popular Turkish holiday destination.
GO: Lastminute.com have Marmaris holiday deals from £356 per person for a one-week stay (in December 2019). Book here.
Located 8km from Marmaris, this laid-back resort boasts peaceful beaches – and the Aqua Dream Water Park – while also retaining a traditional Turkish feel with authentic restaurants and markets to visit.
GO: Love Holidays have Icmeler holiday deals with prices starting from £187 per person for a seven-night stay in December 2019. Book here.
Family holidays in the Bodrum area
From the marina filled with luxury yachts to the high-end seafood restaurants, you may well be rubbing shoulders with an A-lister or two in Turkey's answer to St. Tropez.
Whether you're walking along the esplanade at the edge of the harbour, exploring the ruins of the Mausoleum – an UNESCO World Heritage Site – or bagging a bargain on market day; Bodrum is a great city to discover.
Get the best of both worlds here with quality resorts dotted along the Bodrum peninsula, plus glorious beaches and action-packed water sports to keep the whole family busy.
TOP RESORTS NEAR BODRUM
Just outside Bodrum, it's easy to discover the delights of the city and then return to the beautiful beaches, water sports and great choice of restaurants and bars this resort has to offer.
GO: Travel Supermarket have Gumbet holiday deals from £264 per person for a week's stay in December 2019. Book here.
From its family-friendly seafront restaurants to the glamorous marina and al fresco beach clubs; this small, upmarket resort has a bit of something for everyone.
GO: Lastminute.com has Torba holiday deals from £374 per person for five nights in December 2019. Book here
Family holidays in the Izmir region
An up and coming tourist destination, the Izmir region along the spectacular west coast or Turkey has great surf beaches and water sports for a fun-packed family break.
If you're looking for a bit more than the beach, you'll find the ancient city of Ephesus – a preserved Roman settlement – the Dilek National Park and Kusadasi’s Grand Bazaar to keep you busy.
For a more cosmopolitan vibe, there's also a bustling harbour, modern shops and a huge range of water-side restaurants to enjoy.
TOP RESORTS NEAR IZMIR
With soft sand and shallow waters, restaurants to suit even the fussiest of eaters and the ancient Grand Bazaar marketplace to explore, this child-friendly resort has got all bases covered.
GO: Lastminute.com have Kusadasi holiday deals – including flights and a hotel – from £367 per person for a week in December 2019. Book here.
Still with the feel of a former fishing village, enjoy a peaceful family escape with idyllic beaches, outdoor activities and laid-back restaurants at this relaxed resort.
GO: Love Holidays have Ozdere holiday deals from £410 per person for seven nights in December 2019. Book here.
Not taken with Turkey? Find tons more family holiday inspiration from Cyprus to the Algarve.
If you really want to give the kids a treat, Disneyland Paris has just revealed its exciting Christmas season schedule with new shows and traditional parades returning to the park in November.
We also have a guide to the best winter cruises for this year's festive season.
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