By Lucie Town, Meon Valley Travel Consultant
After a 4am check in time, a brief selfie with Rio Ferdinand at bag drop and a 4-hour flight to Izmir, I was on my way to see Mark Warner’s latest resort – Phokaia Beach Resort in Foca, Turkey.
The transfer from the airport took just over an hour and after getting out of the busy city of Izmir, we were greeted with miles and miles of green mountains and countryside.
Once at the resort, we were met by our Mark Warner host, Julie, and the Hotel Manager, Sue. Check in was quick and we were offered a cold drink on arrival.
I headed up to my room to freshen up from the journey. The room was bright and decorated in an Ottoman style with beautifully patterned tiles in the bathroom. I had been allocated a Superior Room which had views over the pool and across to the sea. A hairdryer, beach towels and complimentary bottled water was provided.
After a quick bag drop and wash, I headed down to reception where I met the rest of our group. Sue gave us a hosted lunch down at the beachfront restaurant. Sitting in the sunshine with the lovely breeze was bliss.
Phokaia Beach Resort has a lot to offer – tennis, fitness classes, childcare, table tennis, football, sailing, SUP, windsurfing, kayaking, beach volleyball, beach tennis, water skiing and wake boarding!
That evening, we headed into the local town, Foca. The taxi cost only £4 each way! Foca, is a small traditional fishing town with a chilled-out atmosphere. We had dinner at a seafront Seafood restaurant and watched local life go by and the fishing boats bobbing up and down.
I was up early, ready for breakfast and a day full of activities as promised by Julie. There was so much choice for breakfast – cereal, cold meats, cheese, pastries as well as a selection of hot food. And how can I not mention the freshly squeezed orange juice which is included in the price! This morning, we had a sea kayaking session. We headed down to the beach and met the beach club staff. Mark Warner run a flag and tag system for all equipment. You are welcome to take out any piece of equipment once you have given your name and room number and the staff at the beach hut have given you a tag for your wrist.
Once we all had a tag and had got our life vests on, we jumped in the kayaks and went on a kayak safari with our instructor. It was a lot of fun and we spent the next two hours paddling around the bay.
After lunch we headed to the bike centre to see our instructor, Alex before heading off to Foca! The ride was leisurely and easy and only took 15 minutes or so. We enjoyed a cold drink before taking a look around the local shops and then made our way back for dinner at the hotel. It’s worth noting that all activities on and off the water are included in the base price of Mark Warner holidays.
Today was windsurfing day! I had been looking forward to this activity as I had never done it before. Reece, our instructor, let us have a practise on land before we all tried it out in the shallows.
After an hour of trying to catch the wind, it was time for some lunch. Again, I was very impressed with the buffet and there was so much on offer. At 4pm, we met Rafa, the tennis coach. I hadn’t played tennis in quite a while however he made our tennis lesson so much fun through games and learning serving techniques. By the end of the session, I could actually hit the ball over the net and serve correctly.
In the evening we enjoyed a delicious beach BBQ down at the beachfront restaurant and watched the sunset with a lovely cocktail.
After a big breakfast, it was time of a sailing lesson with Apro and Reece on the beach. Once we had been ‘tagged’ and had our life vests, we were on the water. Apro showed us all the equipment and went through how to catch the wind and how to steer the boat. We all took it in turns to have a go – some better than others!
That afternoon, we were meant to be taking a boat trip around the local bays and islands out of Foca, but the weather had turned cloudy, so we decided to make the most of the resort instead. I spent my time playing a game of tennis and joined another water aerobics class! I even fitted in another game of table tennis.
We enjoyed another delicious dinner at the hotel that night and then spent the evening drinking cocktails at the bar above the pool overlooking the gardens.
It was our last morning at the resort. After checking out we had time to spare so we decided to have a group beach volleyball game in the sunshine before heading to the beach. I spent my last few hours relaxing on a beach day bed with a cold beer, happy days…
Before getting to the resort, I was under the impression that Mark Warner was an action-packed type of holiday, where you constantly had to be doing something. In fact, it is the opposite and that is what I loved most about the resort. It is completely up to the individual guest if they want to try any activities on offer. If you don’t want to do anything then you don’t have to and there is no pressure whatsoever. If this is you, then I highly recommend grabbing a spot on the bean bags on the netting over the water with a cocktail!
Contact us on 01730 711010 to make your Mark Warner enquiry today.
- For June, July and August departures
Valid for; children sharing a room with 2 adults up to and including 11 years old
Phokaia Resort, Turkey only.
Book by 18th June