I have just returned from a week on the Costa del Sol and enjoyed the relaxing break sitting in the sunshine, which got me thinking about both resorts. I have been going to Turkey since 1997 and Icmeler since 2001 and do enjoy Icmeler a great deal. But comparing the 2 resorts, I think the Costas are starting to fight back. Years ago the Spanish I think became complacent and places like Turkey and Bulgaria offered lots of sunshine, great service and very low prices both for flights and food/drink.
Now the fight back, lets compare. Prices I quote are typical prices for both resorts, I know you can get cheaper/more expensive
return flights to Dalaman, £450 and a 4 h 30 m flight
To Fuengirola, £2 on train from airport to centre of resort, 35 minutes, £8 total
To Icmeler typical shuttle transfer 2 hours and £40
Apartments, plenty of things to do in apartments in Fuengirola, entertainment each night, kids club each day, huge kids play area outside large games room inside table tennis, air hockey pool tables video games, 6 internet stations. Typical Turkey apartments, will have some of the above but not all or as many.
Beaches in Fuengirola is good sand and runs for about 7 miles, Icmeler generally is poor sand. However sunbeds are much cheaper in Icmeler, £1 per day compared to £6 per day
Food and drink. This is where Spain has improved dramatically over the years. This year I went to the chinese restaurant as normal 3 courses, plus complmentary prawn crackers and free shot was only £4. Food quality was good portions were decent. Many other places were offering set meals for about £7. These are the same prices I was paying 4 years ago and the exchange rate was only £1 was worth 1.06 euro. The exchange rate is now £1 is 1.32 euro, so much better value than before.
Drink prices are even better, typically £1.40 per pint of beer, My apartments even had a happy 2 hour 2 for the price of 1. Some palces were offering a free tapas with a £1.40 pint
The exchange rate in Turkey has also increased over the past 4 years from about £1 was 2.50 lira to now about 3.50 lira. However food and drink prices seem to have gone up. This is mainly due to the Turkish Government increasing the tax particularly on drink. A typical price of beer is now about £2.40 and a set meal around £7.
These are just a few examples. With the cheaper flight prices and shorter transfers times, could this be enough to tempt people back, especially as the food and drink prices are pretty much on par, and the exchange rate is now so much better
Me, I think I will still continue to go to Icmeler, however I only hope the Turkish government do not become complacent like the Spanish did and take tourists for granted.