It should come as no surprise that along with the surfacing of COVID-19, caravanning, in other words, traveling by caravan, has seen a spike in popularity for vacationing all over the world. Even in Turkey, where it is admittedly a less frequent form of travel, motorhome sales are said to have increased by 300% since the announcement of the pandemic. Whether you refer to them as motorhomes, camper vans or caravans, the bottom line is having your own personal space as a means of transportation and accommodation is one of the best ways to see the sights while keeping safe this summer.
While caravanning is surprisingly not as popular a form of travel in Turkey as it is in the U.S. and Europe, it is still very possible to rent or buy a caravan here, and there are a number of wonderful spots to park and holiday. The following is a list of some of the top tried-and-true caravan campsites along the Turkish Riviera.
Aktur Datça Camping
Aktur Datça Camping is by far the most well-known, well-equipped and acclaimed campsite for camper vans in Turkey. Located in Emecik, which is on the southeastern end of the Datça peninsula, Aktur is a residential community and campground and motorhome park for the more affluent summer vacationers that flock to this beloved region on Turkey’s southern coast. A bit further to access as it is beyond Marmaris by car and reachable by ferry from Bodrum, it is well worth the work as the pristine sea and relaxed atmosphere gives way to the region’s famous saying: “If you are in a rush, what business do you have in Datça?”
Nevertheless, this mega holiday resort region has a residential complex, guest rooms, tent camping and dozens of plots for caravans, equipped with electrical hookups, communal restrooms, a kitchen and a laundry room. The site also has a supermarket, pharmacy and holds weekly farmers' markets as well as offers a variety of sea sports and is in close vicinity to the ancient ruins of Knidos and the Temple of Aphrodite.
Akyaka Forest Camp
Situated in a pine forest along the sea, Akyaka Orman Kampı, or Akyaka Forest Camp, is a great parking spot for a camper van or for camping out or staying in one of the stone guest rooms. Within walking distance of the beautiful boutique holiday town of Akyaka, which is situated along Azmak Creek yet across the bay from the kitesurf beach the region is famed for, this is a fun and action-packed area to stay in while relaxing in nature at your campground. There are more than 30 caravan parking spots with electric hookups and communal bathrooms. Although it is admittedly a bit pricier than its counterparts, it is well worth it for the destination alone.
Altın Camp Ören
Ören is a typical Turkish holiday town in Burhaniye in close proximity to the more popular vacation destination of Ayvalık, the national park in the Ida Mountains (also called Mount Kaz), the thermal baths region of Güre, and a 90-minute drive to Assos and another 40 minutes on to the ancient ruins of Troy and then you are practically in the youthful and picturesque city of Çanakkale. Thus, this particular campsite, which is sprawled along a sandy beach in the Gulf of Edremit, serves as a great base to discover western Turkey. The facilities have been operating since the early 1960s, and there are options to park in their tree-filled garden area or directly on the beach. There are electric hookups, communal facilities and a restaurant on site.
Kaş is a quaint coastal vacation spot and town located on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast between the holiday hub cities of Fethiye and Antalya. Kaş Camping is the region’s most popular and picturesque camping spot for tents and caravans alike. The spot itself is laid out on platforms over a rocky shoreline, and there are communal facilities, a cafe and bungalows. It is a 10-minute walk from the town of Kaş itself.
Located in Akbük in the Gulf of Gökova, which just happens to be one of the top stops along any Blue Cruise of the Turkish Riviera, Azmakbaşı Camping is yet another excellent caravan parking spot for a holiday along the southern coast. Situated on a grassy and green plateau along a lake that leads to the sea, this pleasant and expansive campsite has bungalows, tents and caravan parking spots and is a short walk to a pebbly beach and the pristine sea. It is also less than half an hour drive from the Hellenistic ruins of Keramos and the town of Ören.
Renting a caravan in Turkey
It’s easy to rent a caravan in Turkey, though prices start at TL 500 ($73) per day and many camper van rentals are based in Antalya. Let’s Go Camper and Ultra Caravans have a wide range of motor homes available for rent, and Karavan Bul is a website that connects private owners with renters. Meanwhile, car rental companies such as Avis have even jumped on the bandwagon and rent out motorhomes as well as detachable camper vans; however, in the case of the latter, you need to rent the car that drives the camper from Avis as well.
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