The huge, super-family-friendly resort of Liberty Hotels Lykia Turkey (formerly called Lykia World) is just outside Olu Deniz on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, a region I visited some 20 years ago as a free-spirited student. Of course the area has changed quite a bit – it's more built up and touristy. But then so have I – with a husband and two kids in tow, I now plan my holidays in minute detail. And I want something altogether different from a trip abroad…
What hadn’t changed was the region’s turquoise sea, clear blue skies and sparkling sunshine. And Liberty Hotels Lykia Turkey itself is just so big – holding up to 2,500 guests at any one time – that it doesn’t seem crowded. The Lycian Mountains tower behind it and it unfurls along nearly a kilometre of coarse sandy beach. The Village area close to the kids' clubs is home to the main village square, where much of the evening entertainment takes place. The Residence area is slightly quieter.
All 19 (yes, 19!) swimming pools, many tucked away in smaller, more intimate areas, and two of which are adult-only, are surrounded by pine trees and well-manicured gardens. But the pièce de resistance for kids is the Children’s Paradise, an adventure and waterpark at the top of the resort, with 18 slides, seven pools (some heated), a babies’ beach, water cannons, trampolines, swings and slides… Even the toilets are kid-sized, and there is a children’s restaurant.
Other on-site activities range from tennis, archery, scuba-diving and paragliding to step aerobics and belly dancing. A tennis lesson reactivated my passion for the game despite my hopelessness. Nineteen courts means there is lots of scope to get a game, and taster lessons are available for adults and kids . There are also tournaments for enthusiastic grown ups, and there is talk of visits from ex-pros in the future.
The quality of all the resort’s restaurants was extremely impressive. The three main restaurants, all buffet style, have a huge choice. A further five speciality restaurants charge a small supplement, and then there are two children’s restaurants. My favourite was Sofra, a Turkish restaurant where you dine alfresco while being entertained by belly dancers, and can even join in (as I found out) if you’re brave enough!
In terms of accommodation, the rooms are of a good size and there are plenty of interconnecting rooms for families. Overall, this is a brilliant family resort with reliably good weather (October half-term is a good time, outside the heat of summer), a warm sea, masses of activities, plus a relatively short transfer time from Dalaman airport.
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