A stunning coastline, lots of sunshine and great value for money have made Turkey a firm holiday favourite for over 20 years. The same things are now attracting property buyers in ever increasing numbers too, with the prospect of EU membership in the not-too-distant-future making the country one of the Mediterranean's hottest emerging property markets. Most foreign interest has been concentrated on the country's beautiful southern coast, between Izmir in the west and Alanya in the east. Backed by pine-forested mountains, with unspoilt scenery, the coast has a string of popular resorts, such as Altinkum, Bodrum, Fethiye, Kalkan, Side and Alanya. Many of these boast excellent beaches of fine white sand. Some are also close to fascinating archaeological sites, like the fantastic marble remains of Ephesus. For adrenalin junkies, the Turkish Mediterranean also boasts adventure sports, such as white water rafting and paragliding. Or if you prefer to take it easy, you can cruise off-shore from marinas at Bodrum, Gocek, Fethiye and Marmaris, with several more for the Dalaman area soon. There are also golf courses planned for several areas.
The Bodrum peninsular is one of the coast's most popular holiday spots - and now, places to buy property. Spread around a double bay, with the medieval Castle of St John as a magnificent centre-piece, Bodrum is the country's most cosmopolitan resort, attracting the cream of Turkish society, along with lots of package tourists from the UK and Europe. The resort's nightlife is legendary. It also has some great restaurants and shopping too. The town's harbour and marina are choked with sailing boats and traditional wooden gulets, which set-off in summer on day-trips and coastal cruises.
Property in Bodrum can be expensive, particularly if you want a view of the castle but beyond the town itself, a string of former fishing villages have become small resorts in their own right, and offer better value property.
The village of Gumusluk has a small, pretty harbour, a shingle beach and is particularly famous for its waterside fish restaurants. There is a lot of development between Gumusluk and the nearby resort of Yalikavak, which has just gained a new marina, however at present the infrastructure in this area is limited. Further east, beside the planned site of a 18-hole golf course, several developers are selling apartments and villas off-plan in the Tuzla area.
The package resort of Altinkum is a firm favourite with British families thanks to its sandy beach, and there are over 3,000 British-owned properties in the area. The temple of Apollo, famous in ancient times for its oracle, is in the town, while the archaeological sites of Ephesus, Miletus and Priene are just a short drive away. The nearby Buyuk Menderes Delta and Lake Bafa are havens for aquatic birds and other wildlife.
Property prices in Altinkum are some of the lowest on the coast, with apartments available from as little as £30,000. Nearby Akbuk is quieter than Altinkum and is attracting growing interest from developers and buyers.
Dalaman has been getting lots of interest since it was ear-marked for major investment by the Turkish government. At present it is a work-a-day market town with a busy airport in summer, although the fantastic beaches of Iztuzu and Sarigerme are close-by, and there are plans for a new marina, as well as talk of a golf course.
Nearby Gocek is one of the coast's most upmarket resorts. Set on a narrow bay surrounded by forested mountains, there are several marinas and a neat promenade, with restaurants and bars overlooking the water. Local prices are high due to the scarcity of land and strict building controls.
On a wide bay backed by forested mountains, the pleasant market town of Fethiye is at the center of another area popular with British tourists and property buyers. Fethiye itself has a good selection of shops and services, along with a colourful weekly market. The nearby resort of Calis has a long beach backed by hotels, villas and apartment complexes.
Surrounded by pine-forested mountains, the nearby resorts of Hisaronu and Ovacik are close to the beautiful beach and lagoon of Oludeniz. Fethiye is one of the country's top property destinations, particularly for the British, and there is an excellent selection of apartments and villas.
Once a tiny fishing village, Kalkan is now an atmospheric holiday resort tumbling down a steep mountainside to a small harbour. The town's pebbly beach is hardly spectacular, but Patara, one of the best stretches of sand on the entire Turkish coast, is just a short drive away. So are a clutch of other fascinating sights, making Kalkan an excellent base for exploring the rocky Lycian peninsular. Local property prices have risen sharply in recent years, though there is a good selection of villas and apartments.
Antalya is a rapidly growing city with a large airport, which is one of the main gateways into the region for charter and scheduled flights. Comparatively few tourists stay in the city though, with most heading east to the resorts of Belek, Side and Alanya. Nearby Belek, 30 km east of the city, has become the Turkish riviera's main golfing centre with six international standard courses to choose from, as well as an excellent sandy beach. Accommodation is mostly in huge resort hotels and the local infrastructure is quite limited at present, but several companies have started high-quality golf developments, which represent excellent value for money.
Side is a popular package resort with excellent sandy beaches. The approach to the town centre, which has lots of shops, bars and restaurants, is dominated by the remains of ancient Side, which include a large Roman amphitheatre and the atmospheric waterside Temple of Apollo. The Roman theatre at Aspendos is also close-by and there is rafting action in the Koprulu Canyon National Park. Most of Side's property is apartments due to high land prices, with villas available in neighbouring Colakli.
Once the winter capital of the Selcuk Turkish empire, Alanya has grown from a small fishing town into one of the coast's largest resorts. Spread out in the shadow of a Medieval castle, perched on a rock jutting into the sea, the resort has good beaches, several of which have been awarded the coveted Blue Flag, lively nightlife and lots of things for families to do. Improvements to the coastal highway mean Antalya airport is only 90 minute drive away. The resort's pleasant winter weather, mild even by the standards of the Turkish coast, has attracted lots of permanent residents from Scandinavia, Germany and the UK. Most of the resort is fairly high-rise with apartment blocks stretching out from the town centre in either direction along the coast, but public transport is excellent. Prices are low, particularly as you move away from the centre to areas like Mahmutlar and Demirtas.