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Why this is the year to holiday in Turkey

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How to do it: Tui’s (tui.co.uk) Sensatori Akra Sorgun, 2.5 miles from Side, is right on the beach. Like others in its Sensatori Collection, it offers all-inclusive luxury accommodation aimed at families, with separate zones for adults and kids, swim-up rooms, a kids pool and club, and six restaurants. One-week from £695 per person.

Take it all in 

Three times the size of the UK, Turkey may feel dauntingly vast and bewilderingly varied for the first-time visitor. Mega-sized, super-historic Istanbul straddles Europe and Asia, the legendary ruins of Troy stare out over the deep blue Aegean, tourist beach hub Antalya nuzzles up to the Mediterranean, and Cappadocia, with its fairytale rock formations, is more than 500 miles from Turkey’s western shores. All this means that it’s well worth opting for a small-group, guided tour if it’s your first time, and you’re hoping to really scratch the surface of this vast place.

How to do it: The Adventure People (020 8004 8886; theadventurepeople.com) has the 14-day Turkey Uncovered odyssey, exploring the country by road, including everything from the Gallipoli battlefields and Cappadocia, to a Mediterranean gulet cruise and backstreet introduction to Istanbul. Prices from £1,182 per person, excluding flights. 

Discover paradise on Lake Van 

A colossal 5,380 feet above sea level, ringed by peaks up to 13,000 feet high, seven times larger than Lake Geneva and with a soda content high enough to do your washing in, dazzlingly blue Lake Van is simply breathtaking. Throw in its famous fluffy white swimming cat, complete with one blue and one amber eye, stunning island-set Armenian church, fabulous breakfast spreads and intriguing Urartian ridge-top ruins, it’s little wonder the Armenians compared the region to paradise. 

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