ISTANBUL: With its mesmerizing historical sites, natural beauties, shining sun, sandy beaches and delicious kebabs, Turkey is a popular location for millions of tourists and even a viral pandemic has not been able to quell its charm.
With its seemingly never-ending coasts, Turkey has dozens of beautiful beaches, offering plenty of different options for local and international tourists looking for a cool dip. Here are Turkey’s 10 most breathtaking beaches that will help you make the most of your holiday this summer.
1. Kaputaş Beach
Kaputaş Beach is one of the most well-known beaches in Turkey and one of my favorite. The two most significant features of this beach are its magnificent white sand and turquoise blue waters. Here you can enjoy the view even while swimming in the sea and it is sure to provide you both physical and spiritual therapy.
Located in southern Turkey, the beach is just 20 kilometers from Antalya’s Kaş district and 7 kilometers from Kalkan, at a point where an extremely narrow valley towered by steep cliffs and forests joins the seashore in the cove that carries the same name as the beach.
2. Ilıca Beach
When you first arrive at Ilıca Beach, in the Turkish resort town of Çeşme west of Izmir, you might think you are in the Maldives. This truly beautiful beach with turquoise waters deservedly takes the second place on our list. Even though the beach gets crowded during peak season, it remains clean and clear, letting you enjoy your summertime there. The long, sandy beach is the main draw for millions of tourists who come to Çeşme for holiday. You can also find a lively commercial area of shops, restaurants and services right next to the beach.
3. Ölüdeniz Beach
Located in Fethiye on Turkey’s southwestern coast, Muğla’s Ölüdeniz Beach is another beautiful hot spot for tourists. Every year, thousands of tourists flock to Ölüdeniz to enjoy its magnificent scenery and glassy aquamarine sea. Also known widely as Turkey’s Blue Lagoon, the beach makes you want to spend hours simply lounging around in the shallows.
4. Iztuzu Beach
Turkey’s world-famous Iztuzu beach in the Aegean province of Muğla is also known as Turtle Beach. It is one of the most important loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) nesting ground in Turkey. The number of loggerhead turtles nesting in Iztuzu Beach this year has officially reached 700 – the highest to date. The 4.5-kilometer-long beach is a narrow spit of land, which forms a natural barrier between the freshwater delta of the Dalyan River and the Mediterranean. Iztuzu Beach is loved for its soft golden sands and pine-covered, hilly surroundings and water that is excellent for swimming and surfing.
5. Olympos Beach
Located in Antalya’s Kumluca district, Olympos beach can be reached on foot through the ancient city of Olympos. Near the beach, there is a fountain that ice-cold spring water comes out and this water flows into the sea following the riverbed. The icy water stream provides a refreshing break from the warm waters heated by the sun’s rays in summer. Generally preferred by younger couples and teenagers, Olympos is situated near Mount Olympos, the abode of ancient Greek gods, dotted with ancient sites along old roads, greenery and natural wonders.
Listed among the best beaches of southern Europe in international tourism publications, Olympos is a holiday center that is an amalgamation of history and nature, with its location leaning against the green Olympos-Bey Mountains and a cultural heritage site bearing the traces of the ancient city of Lycia. Definitely sounds like a place to visit, right?
6. Cleopatra Beach
Located in Antalya’s popular destination of Alanya, Cleopatra Beach is one of the most visited beaches in the province. The blue-flagged beach, prized for its clear, blue Mediterranean waters and golden sands, is one of the most popular beaches in Turkey. The beach is always filled with tourists who enjoy the soft sand, which legend says was imported from the Egyptian desert just for the queen of Egypt.
7. Kabak Beach
Located on the foothills of Babadağ, which is among the 100 protected mountains in the world, Kabak Beach is located 33 kilometers from Fethiye’s center. A destination especially preferred by young travelers, it also attracts nature lovers with its endemic plant diversity, wildlife and 200-meter bay. Kabak Beach is a rarely encountered geologic structure in Turkey – surrounded on three sides by mountains, deep valleys and canyons, it opens up to the sea via a pebbled beach. In addition to its unique appearance, Kabak Beach, where campgrounds and treehouses are set up instead of large hotels to protect natural life, is also considered one of the best trekking trails in the world. The Lycian Way, which is a 513 kilometers long hiking trail, passes through Kabak Beach.
8. Camel Beach
Located in the middle of the southern coast of the peninsula, this beach, famous for its camel rides is situated in Ortakent, approximately 13 kilometers from the center of Bodrum. Ortakent is famous for its clear waters, sandy beaches and tangerine gardens and it is one of the most popular holiday resorts. Camel Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the town. It also has a blue flag status, merit awarded to places that meet water quality, safety and environmental management criteria. On the beaches of Ortakent, there are all kinds of water sports activities, from jet skis and parasailing to inflatable water parkours and more. You can even take diving lessons and windsurf here.
9. Patara Beach
Voted one of the top beaches in the world by Times Online Best of 2005, Patara Beach is known as the “widest beach in the northern Mediterranean.” As a 12 kilometer-stretch of beautiful white sand, it is not difficult to understand why this beach is considered one of the best in the world. Located on the southern tourist spots of Kalkan and Kaş, the beach is believed to have been the birthplace of Apollo, the Olympian god of sun, light, healing and music.
10. Konyaaltı Beach
Konyaaltı Beach is located near the city center of Antalya and is one of the two main beaches in the province, the other being Lara Beach. Free and open to the public, this beach is busy with visitors right until the end of October, with people enjoying the last days of swimming and sunbathing on the southern coast. If you are staying in the city center, Konyaaltı Beach is a good, easily accessible option where you can enjoy the clean waters of the Mediterranean.