Blue_CaveChoosing a family summer vacation destination that suits everyone’s fancy can be tricky. When your group includes one toddler, two pre-schoolers and four adults from four different countries, it gets even trickier.

Luckily for us, we found the perfect spot at the award-winning Belcekiz Beach Club in Oludeniz (OH-loo-DEH-neez), the fabled Turkish “Blue Lagoon” on the Mediterranean coast near the city of Fethiye.

We visited Oludeniz for six days in October and found the all-inclusive resort had everything we wanted, and then some. Here are some reasons why:

  • on-site childcare — Feel like sleeping in? The staff of the Kids’ Club will keep your kids happy and safe.
  • all-you-can-eat breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets featuring Turkish standards and international cuisine — For families used to living in colder climes, eating in an open-air restaurant is a real treat.

free ice-cream every afternoon at the pool-side snack bar — Need I say more?

daily kids-only entertainment
— Each night the resort staff host an after-dinner disco and sing-along for kids at the pool-side amphitheater.  While our wee ones kicked up their heels, we got to savor a glass of wine and watch the fun from the adjacent restaurant.

family-friendly entertainment
— The resort offers nightly free live shows, like Turkish folk dancing, African acrobats or comedy sketches, at the pool-side amphitheater. It’s a great way to wind down after a day at the beach.

Ah, yes, the beach.

Walk less than 500 feet from the Belcekiz resort and you’re at the water’s edge.

When you’ve had your fill of body-surfing or watching the famous paragliders, you can stroll along the boardwalk or take a dolmus (shared taxi) to the Oludeniz Natural Park, a designated conservation area, and an ideal spot for sun-worshippers, beachcombers, snorkelers, paddleboat enthusiasts and novice swimmers.

A family vacation on the Turkish Mediterranean — it doesn’t get much better than this.

Justine Ickes, a contributing writer for Washington Parent, writes about travel, culture, education and people making a difference.