For potential expats, deciding where to retire in Turkey is a decision dedicated by lifestyle preferences and mostly budget. Each place offers something unique, and across the country, living costs vary from Istanbul, the most expensive place to live to cheap and cheerful Aegean resorts. However, knowing current trends will also help you make a decision. When we look at most expat destinations and popular areas for buying property, there are clear winners.
Istanbul comes out as the number one place for both but many expats work in qualified professions. It is also a real estate hub, with many overseas investors looking to capitalise on the potential of developments on the European side. Instead, most expats to retire flock to coastal resorts on the Mediterranean and Aegean coastlines. In this article, we look at popular places within them and what makes them stand out over others.
The Antalya region, covering a large section of the south coast, has many attributes benefiting it. It is Turkey’s second most popular tourist destination and the second most popular place for foreign house sales. Comprising a large city centre and smaller coastal resorts, the cosmopolitan atmosphere draws in foreigners from all around the world and established expat communities have easily settled into Mediterranean life.
Popular places for people looking to retire are Alanya at the far eastern tip and the principal city centre. Both offer exceptional shopping and eating out scenes but also have excellent transport links year-round to the rest of Turkey and the world. Expats in Antalya and Alanya choose the areas because both destinations operate all year round, unlike some smaller resorts that only run on full steam during the tourism season running from May to October. This is something to consider when looking at potential places.
Kalkan, an upmarket destination at the Antalya region’s western tip, commands respect as a luxury Turkish riviera hub. Property prices start from £100,000 for an apartment and go right up to 6 digits for huge seaside mansions. Some retired expats only stay in the resort for summer, but there is an active community for 12 months if you want to make friends and join new social circles.
Given its upmarket vibe, the cost of living is higher, especially if eating and drinking out. Two reasons people buy property and retire to Kalkan are the ultra-modern architecture of homes and a stunning Mediterranean Sea view given off by the elevated landscape.
There is nothing not to like about Fethiye. Its stunning beauty, laid-back lifestyle and affordable costs of living have drawn in a large group of retirees, especially Brits. Some live in smaller resorts like Hisaronu, Ovacik and Calis while a large community have set up home in the town centre that offers year-round shopping, eating out, and entertainment scenes along with an exceptional transport system. Much lure is that Fethiye is close to Dalaman airport making it easy to get there. Another bonus is low property prices with apartments selling from £60,000.
Heading around to the Aegean coast, Altinkum is another budget destination drawing in British retirees. The resort has a bad rap in some circles who call it “Little Britain.” Such is the retired community’s influence, many British bars and restaurants are scattered across the town but this is why foreigners are drawn there. Beside the town centre and other districts like Mavisehir offer a traditionally Turkish vibe. As a touristic resort, Altinkum is at full flow from May to October, and while life scales down outside these months, the resort still carries on as usual.
Just a short drive away, this place commands the Aegean touristic trade but also has a large expat community of many nationalities. Bodrum has embraced foreigners since the late 1950s when it became the go-to place for wealthy international celebrities hence every retiree feels at home.
Sailing retires prefer Bodrum because of its excellent reputation in the international sailing community, and a unique transport network including an airport and primary coach station connects it with the rest of Turkey and other countries. Although living costs are higher, than in other places like Altinkum, its unique ambience attracts many retiring expats every year.
Also belonging to the Bodrum peninsula, Yalikavak took over the town centre as a sailing hub when the glitzy Palmarina opened its doors for business. Such was its instant popularity, the town’s reputation boosted to unknown proportions, and real estate prices rose overnight. Often marketed as a luxury destination, this attracts many international retirees, but Yalikavak still offers a slice of old Turkey through the early town part. Here tradition shines through in tea shops, Turkish restaurants, barbershops and more. Yalikavak offers everything for year-round living but to step it up a notch, Bodrum town centre is a short bus ride away.
Also of Interest
Our area guides to Turkey give further information about each region to help you decide where to retire in Turkey. Our experienced staff are also available to talk via email or telephone about each area and how the real estate market defines itself to foreign buyers.
Also see our portfolio of Turkish homes on the market. Each listing contains key features, property photos and area information to help buyers decide if that place will suit them. To find out more about any home or to arrange a time and date for viewing, contact us via the chat messaging feature, telephone, or enquiry form.