Deciding where to go on holiday can be a big challenge, especially when there are so many incredible destinations to explore.
Two favourites for British tourists are Spain and Turkey, which have developed into highly popular locations for a relaxing break in the sun.
Sun, sea and culture
Sunny Spain is packed with amazing resorts. Whether you want to see the delights of Madrid and Ibiza, or revel in the Canary Islands, there are plenty of great options for all kinds of travellers. However, Turkey has a selection of phenomenal holiday resorts. Regardless of whether you want a relaxed beach break or a party experience, the country has it all.
If you’re a history or art buff, the thriving metropolis of Madrid will be your ideal destination with incredible museums such as Nacional Del Prado and Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia within easy reach. On the other hand, Turkey has some of Europe’s top museums. Most notably, The Antalya Archaeological Museum which is one of Turkey’s largest museums with over 30,000 artefacts. Other points of interest include Hadrian’s Gate, Antalya Culture Evi and Hidirlik Kalesi.
Both Spain and Turkey have lively food markets where you will find some of the world’s best street food.
Foodies will also feel right at home in Spain, thanks to its extraordinary selection of restaurants and food being an integral part of Spanish life. We recommend you try at least a few of the following in Spain. Croquettes, Tortilla Espaniola or Paella. Croquettes are small breadcrumbed fried balls, normally filled with creamy cheese. However they are also available with Jamon or Spanish sausage. A Tortilla Espaniola or Spanish omelette, is a great starter to any meal, be it breakfast or dinner. Too top off the Spanish food, Paella is a dish every one associates with Spain. The rice based Valencian dish is excellent with chicken, rabbit or vegetables.
The Turkish cuisine, like the Spanish is world renowned and diverse from wraps to pizza’s, Turkey has it all. Our top recommendations would include Köfte, Pide and Börek. Köfte are meat balls which are eaten in a tomato sauce or in a sandwich. These make excellent street food when walking around the streets of Turkey. Pide is a Turkish take on the classic pizza, filled with meat, cheese or vegetables. Finally to round off the Turkish food, Börek. This is a pie, usually filled with cheese, potato and spinach or meat.
However, if peace and quiet is what you’re after, the Canary Islands should be at the top of your go-to list, with plenty of outstanding beaches and attractions spread across Tenerife, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura. Ibiza is renowned for its nightlife, but did you know; it also has a very quiet, relaxing side to it? The North West of the island is full of small towns, hidden beaches and quiet Spanish life; everything you need for a quiet holiday.
One of the leading destinations is Marmaris in Turkey, where travellers can wander round the aesthetically stunning old quarter and the restored castle of Suleyman the Magnificent, sample some delicious Turkish dishes or put their feet up on Marmaris Beach.
Oludeniz is another exceptional resort. What it lacks in size it makes up for in charm and natural beauty, with white-sanded beaches and the amazing Kidrak Natural Park, are just some of the most captivating spots in Turkey.
Monarch rating & winner:
To pick out a winner between Spain and Turkey, is going to be hard as both destinations have a great mix of things to do, foods to try and beaches to explore.
Turkey takes the lead for its museums and historical architecture, some of which dates back to 2,000 BC. The vast amount on show in the Antalya Archaeological Museum, is overwhelming and is on our bucket list. The food from both Spain and Turkey is delicious which you must try, however Spain is the winner here, pulling level with Turkey. There is nothing better than trying the authentic, world renowned foods of Spain from Paella to the Spanish omelette. At the moment we are tied with both countries on 1 point. The winning country came down to the wire, with Spain taking the points. Both Spain and Turkey have crystal clear waters and white sands, however the deciding factor, was Ibiza with its quiet side.
Spain is under 2 hours flight time from the UK and offers you sun all year round as well as excellent food and top beaches.