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Located on Turkey's attractive Mediterranean coast, the popular resort of Belek has become one of the major centres of the country's tourism industry. Increasingly popular as a golf resort and attracting sun seekers from across the UK and Europe, Belek is a fantastic choice for those that want modern holiday facilities without compromising on culture or natural beauty. The resort area has grown considerably in recent years, although the town itself remains an attractive and laid back spot. As with much of this corner of Turkey, Belek enjoys an excellent climate with over 300 days of sunshine each year. The summers are hot and dry, the winters mild and the clear Mediterranean water always warm and inviting.
Those looking for a relaxing break in the sun will not be disappointed in Belek thanks to the resort's seemingly endless stretch of white, sandy beach. Fringed by fragrant pines and gently shelving to the turquoise waters, Belek is one of the finest beaches in Turkey. Visitors can simply relax and take in the spectacular views of the pine-clad mountains in the distance and a number of larger hotels even have their own private beaches for guests. The water is calm and clear, making it ideal for those with children. If you prefer a little more adventure, the beach areas also offer visitors the perfect opportunity to try a wide range of water sports. No matter whether you are experienced or a complete beginner you can have a go at wind surfing, water skiing and rafting or head out into the open sea in one of the many interesting boat tours on offer. Most tours include food and drink and can take you to secluded beaches, uninhabited islands and ruined cities along the coast.
The mountainous landscape inland of Belek makes an interesting change from the beach and it is well worth spending at least a day exploring this beautiful terrain. A number of clearly marked hiking trails will take you through the mountains and into the stunning valleys and forests. Or if you prefer something a little less strenuous, a unique way to get to know this part of the town is by jeep safari, which can easily be arranged with any of the local operators in Belek.
Belek is an up-and-coming golfing destination and the resort attracts significant numbers of golfers each year. Those keen to spend some time on the green during their holiday will be spoilt for choice, with a wide range of courses within easy reach of the resort centre. There are no fewer than ten championship courses in the Belek area catering to all levels. The dramatic mountain backdrop and Mediterranean coastline assure golfers of a beautiful and inspiring spot to work on their swing.
A number of excellent day trips and excursions are possible from Belek, making this a good base from which to explore the Antalya region of Turkey. An interesting excursion for those that want to discover the colourful history of this region is the ruined town of Perge. Despite being affected by various earthquakes over the years, much of this ancient Roman town is still standing. Guides are available to show visitors around the site and to provide some useful, and often fascinating, facts about its history. Another popular trip takes in the impressive amphitheatres at Aspendos, which has been so well-preserved that it is still used to this day for occasional concerts and entertainment events.
Belek is a thriving resort town and there is no shortage of things to do once the sun goes down. The dining options are extremely varied as most of the major hotels offer several restaurants. With over thirty high-end hotels in Belek there is no reason to stick to the restaurants in your own hotel as most welcome non-resident diners. It would be easy to eat in a different restaurant every night of your holiday. Outside of the hotels you can also find a selection of low cost cafes and restaurants in the town centre, where you can sample some traditional Turkish delicacies.
Most hotels provide evening entertainment for guests, such as live music, discos or cabaret shows and the majority of foreign tourists tend to stick to these in the evenings. However, there are some bars and pubs in the resort centre where you might come across traditional Turkish folk music or enjoy a chat with the locals. v
Situated around 22 miles east of Antalya on Turkey's southern coast, most visitors enter Belek via Antalya International Airport. Flights to Antalya from the UK take between four and five hours and direct flights can also be found from most major European cities. Travelling around the region is relatively straightforward, with good public transport links to the major cities, including Antalya itself.
If you plan to venture off the beaten path or want to make a number of excursions during your visit then renting a car is often a good way to fit more in. Most rental companies can provide a road map and signs tend to be in English. Some popular trips from Belek include Side and Alanya, both along the coast to the east; and further inland, the untamed beauty of the Koprulu Canyon National Park is a fine choice for nature lovers.
Whether you wish to spend your holiday relaxing in the sun, exploring ancient ruins or getting your pulse racing in the great outdoors, Belek is a great base from which to explore the best of Turkey's southern coast.