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3 January 2018 / Lifestyle

Best Places to Live in Turkey for Expats: Retire to the Sun

Many places to live in Turkey offer expats an attractive lifestyle, regardless of your background. An overhaul of lifestyle trends in the last 15 years means it can match any developed country regarding infrastructure, liveability, low crime, affordability, utilities, and the bonus is the low cost of living. Indeed, some of the best places are home to sizeable communities of foreigners who wanted to live in a country with safety, English speaking locals, low prices, and beautiful scenery.

Retiring expats generally stick to Aegean and Mediterranean places while overseas workers gravitate to the large city of Istanbul. The northern coastline is slowly attracting foreign buyers looking to relocate, but smaller expat communities are less established than on the west and south coastlines. Likewise, hardly any foreigners venture southeast, because it is more conservative, and doesn’t offer beaches. So, let's look at towns, villages and cities worth considering if you are undecided as to where to live.

6 Places to Live in Turkey


1: Fethiye Town: Beautiful Scenery

Many retirees, say Fethiye is the best place to live. Enjoying a different climate zone to the Aegean coast, winters in Mediterranean Fethiye are distinctly mild. The biggest attraction by far is its reputation as a stunningly beautiful place. Global publications give front-page coverage to its scenic landscapes including the Blue Lagoon in Oludeniz that is Turkey’s most photographed beach. Otherwise, Butterfly Valley, a rural community within a green canyon attracts trekkers and avid snorkelers, while Kayakoy ghost village earned international fame for its crumbling houses scattered over the hillside.

Indeed, everyone adores Fethiye, and with a range of budget and luxury homes for sale, it is also a buyers’ market. If the town’s centre’s hustle and bustle are too much but you adore the region’s scenery, look at smaller surrounding coastal resorts like waterfront Calis beach, Oludeniz, Hisaronu, and Ovacik.


2: Laid Back Yalikavak:  Socially Unconventional

Yalikavak on the Aegean coast has, for many decades, attracted foreigners looking to get away from social conformity. As a favourite destination for artists, celebrities, musicians, and anyone looking to find themselves, community vibes revolve around a belief that life is what you make it. Yalikavak embraced tourism decades ago, so most locals speak English, and residents enjoy the best of both worlds because a luxury lifestyle is prominent. Still, you can stick to a budget in the old town as well.

If the buzz of Yalikavak is too much, the Bodrum Peninsula on which it sits includes many other areas to live. Neighbouring Gumusluk features a more modest, close-knit community, while Turkbuku is a prestigious and upmarket Turkish Riviera hub, with a discreet atmosphere. Alternatively, the town’s heart is a mixture of old and new, modern, and traditional. Another bonus for all Bodrum peninsula coastal resorts is the region's airport close by, so once you step off the plane, getting through your front door is easy.


3: Places in Istanbul: The Heart of Turkey

Rather than being a retirement location, many working foreigners base themselves in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city. Naturally, as a hub of tourism, finance, good schools, business, economy, industry, and major place to invest in, it is to Turkey what London is to the UK, and Paris is to France. It offers the best education facilities as well as an impressive transport network to other places as well as countries around the globe. Of course, as a city, residents face higher costs of living, but current trends see people settling in cheaper outskirt neighbourhoods, and they are just a short drive away, should they want to be in the heart of it. Although the Asian side offers much, desired areas are mainly on the European side. They offer quicker and easier access to everything, including the new ultramodern airport. Up and coming neighbourhoods’ worth looking at, especially if you want to raise a family, are around the Basin Express Road and include Bagiclar, Kucukcekmece and Avcilar.


4: Live in Antalya City Centre

At the other end of the western, Mediterranean coast and sitting within the region of the same name, is Antalya city centre, known as a tourism, shopping and nightlife hub. If you like living in big cities, the distinctively subtle ambience entices many nationalities as the best place to retire. Lara and Konyaalti beaches are the focus during summer, but unlike places on the Aegean coast, Antalya city centre opens for tourism all year round thanks to the sunshine and mild winters. The transport network is also top-notch, and the D400 highway running along the coastline, enables expats to easily reach other destinations, like golfing Belek, and historical Side. In our opinion, Antalya is one of Turkey’s best cities to live.


5: Kalkan for Luxury Living

Out of all the places to retire, small town living comes to the forefront in this southern destination. If you want to live along the coast, and an upmarket lifestyle is your cup of tea, look at Kalkan on the Mediterranean. This small, seaside town commands a reputation for elegance in abundance because of large, luxury villas offering breath-taking sea views, pristine beach clubs, and top-notch rooftop restaurants promoting the summer alfresco dining scene. It does not receive as much attention as mainstream travel destinations, and this makes it exclusive. A small foreign community contribute with time towards local charities, and clubs arrange meet-ups for those who want to mingle with other foreigners. Kalkan’s prominence on the Turkish riviera, also makes it an attractive sailing hub; otherwise, it is worth considering, if you are looking for a place in small towns.


6: Didim: Cheap Home Comforts

For budget buyers who want low costs but are unsure of where to retire, the small town of Didim is a cheap place to live. Also called Altinkum, this popular holiday resort attracts expats because housing prices start at £40,000 for an apartment. Eating and drinking out is also incredibly affordable. Despite its reputation as a “Little Britain,” specific suburbs keep their traditional Turkish ambience, and a vast choice of beaches are within walkable distance. Thanks to its ideal combination of Turkish and British vibes, Didim is a perfect choice for first-time buyers.

Further Information: Turkey Homes are experts in all destinations of the country, and with offices in Fethiye, Bodrum, Antalya and Istanbul, our representatives are full of local knowledge. To receive more information about great places to live in Turkey or a portfolio of property for sale in various districts, contact us today.

Also Read

Expat Living in Turkey: As well as looking for a place to live, buyers need to settle down into a new way of life. No matter where you choose to move to, newcomers will face an adjustment period. Making the transition to international living is easy if you know what to expect first. In this article, we look at what you need to know, as well as tips and advice, on making a smooth transition.

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