It's got miles and miles of beautiful coastline, a great choice of affordable property and a vibrant culture but Turkey is also adding golf to its wide array of offerings.
Turkey is now the fourth most popular golf travel destination in the world, after Spain, Portugal and Scotland, according to accountancy KPMG's recent Golf Travel Insights 2013 report. Last year, the same report ranked the country fifth, behind the USA, which this year fell to eighth place.
Value for money, world-class courses and a steady increase in the hosting of high profile events, including its first PGA Open later this year, are driving Turkey's status as a global golf destination, at the same time adding value to Turkish property close to a fairway.
Turkey's golfing hub, Belek (pictured), which is near Antalya on the country's Mediterranean coast, was named 'Europe's Best Golf Destination' at the Golf Magazine Awards earlier this year. Golfing history will be made in Turkey in November this year, when the first Turkish Open takes place as part of the European Tour International Schedule. Based on a three-year, $7-million agreement, the Turkish Open will be played at the stunning Montgomerie Maxx Royal Club in Belek.
As a precursor to this, last October the Antalya Club in Belek hosted the first Turkish Airlines World Golf Final, an elite event won by the UK's Justin Rose that saw eight of the game's best players, including Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, go head to head.
Julian Walker, director at Turkish property specialist Spot Blue, said: "As Belek becomes more prominent on the global golf stage, property in the resort and in neighbouring areas is becoming more sought-after. While the centre of Belek has a selection of apartments and villas with easy access to the dozen or so 18-hole golf courses, the pretty resort of Side, popular with British families and mature buyers, is only 20 minutes away. Golf homes are always very lettable, but when the Open comes to Belek later in the year, properties in the areas of Side, Belek and Antalya will be especially in demand. Turkey's long season and balmy Mediterranean winters make it especially conducive to golf."
Belek's air access makes it ideally placed to receive golf players and fans from all over the world - Antalya's international airport, the second busiest airport in Turkey as well as anywhere along the Mediterranean, is just 30 minutes away from the centre of the resort.
Continued Julian Walker: "Typical of what is available in Belek are smart new two-bedroom apartments on small developments with a shared pool for around £60,000. Prices are similar in Side, but there is also the option to purchase in the livelier Antalya metropolitan area, such as at Lara Beach where we have luxury apartments in an upmarket area, close to the sea and a marina, available from around £87,000."
Away from Belek, Vita Park golf club has two international standard 18-hole courses, and is just 20 minutes from the chic resort of Bodrum and 10 minutes from the airport at Bodrum. The Kusadasi Golf and Spa resort in Kusadasi has an 18-hole course. Spot Blue has a range of property for sale close to both of these golf courses.
"Turkey has a bright future as an international golf destination," concluded Julian Walker. "And with the Turkish government making it increasingly easier for foreigners to buy, live and spend time in the country, second homes near a fairway should only become more desirable."
Get help buying a property in Turkey
A Place in the Sun Live is a great place to start your journey to owning a home in Turkey. Taking place at the NEC Birmingham on 27th-29th September, A Place in the Sun Live is the official exhibition of the hit Channel 4 TV show and features live appearances by the show's TV presenters Amanda Lamb, Jasmine Harman, Jonnie Irwin and Laura Hamilton.
Tickets to A Place in the Sun Live are on sale now at two for £15. Click here to book.