If there is one thing that Turkey does well, it is beaches. More than 420 Blue Flag Beaches, scattered across three broad stretches of coastline from the North to the South, make a perfect day out or beach holiday. Antalya, a district of Southern Mediterranean Turkey, is one such area boasting of many beautiful and long, sandy beaches stretching for more than 600 kilometres.
As the top coastal holiday district in Turkey, it receives many international visitors but mainly Europeans, easily lured by easy promises of copious sun, sea, and sand. Some beaches, notorious for their gentle, brochure-blue waves and golden grains of sand attract more attention and admiration, though, so we have listed our favourite here.
6 Beaches of the Antalya RegionAlanya is popular with locals and foreign tourists who want to dive into the warm Mediterranean waters and enjoy the fine grains of sand. Situated near the famous tourist attraction of the cave with the same name, it proudly boasts of being one of the first to implement wheel friendly facilities. A variety of other sports and leisure amenities exist and several nearby bars and restaurants ensure no one goes thirsty. This beach also continues into Cleopatra’s beach that is two miles long and said to be where she swam with Mark Anthony.
Without a doubt, Konyaalti beach in the main centre of Antalya receives a lot of interest, especially from Turks who own holiday homes in Antalya, or are taking advantage of long summer breaks. The long beach, flanked by domineering but non-obtrusive mountains seems to stretch for as far as the eye can see. Plenty of sand means space is not an issue and restaurants and bars nearby provide food and drinks to break up a long day of sunbathing and watersports.
A long stretch maintained by the council seems to satisfy most, but private sections have also sprung up offering the best in beachside amenities. Another reason to mark Lara beach as a must-see is the famous yearly Lara Beach Sand Festival.
Featuring themes every year such as the Seven Ancient Wonders or mythology, artists create giant sand sculptures using tons of sand. Particularly liked by kids, definitely visit the sand festival if you are in Antalya from July onwards.
The UK Sunday Times rated Cirali as one of the best beaches in Turkey, and we agree. Sharing a long stretch of sandy and pebbly coastline with its neighbouring resort of Olympos, this is another beach where overcrowding is just impossible. During the latter half of summer, individual sections are fenced off because of Caretta Caretta turtles that lay their eggs in the sand. This beach is the finishing stop for 4-day cabin charter cruise of the Turkish Riviera from Fethiye, and often Turkish gulet boats drop anchor for their sailing clientele to enjoy the beach and scenery. Backed at one end by a small mountain range, and the Olympos ruins and forest, you cannot get more laidback than Cirali beach.
Phaselis, within a national park, has two beaches, yet one is small and pebbly, while the other reaching around the bay in a half moon stretch of sand is idyllic heaven. Sitting at the end of a forested area and ruins, boats from Antalya daily dock in here, and passengers have a selective choice of walking through remains of the ancient city or choosing from ample amounts of space to lay down their towels.
Sitting on the outskirts of the Antalya region, between the two small resorts of Kas and Kalkan, Kaputus is one of the most photographed beaches in Turkey. Reached by stairs from the main D400 coastal road, untouched and natural beauty are the main attributes garnering its esteemed reputation. One-man vendor stalls sell umbrellas and refreshments, but that is as far as it goes for amenities. It does not matter for thousands who flock there every year either by road or on a Blue Voyage cruise.
Also on the outskirts of the Antalya region, Patara at 11 miles long is Turkey’s longest beach and likewise unspoilt. As another destination for the Caretta Caretta turtle, it is long enough to accommodate sunbathers, windsurfers and the endangered species. Individual travel agents in the nearby village sell horse tours of the beach, but this place is really about relaxation and enjoying Turkey’s sun. Families or groups of friends with varied interests, can split their time between the beach and exploring the ancient ruins, situated close by.
Did you know? Beach lovers will find it incredibly easy to make a road trip to all beaches in the Antalya area because the coastal D400 road runs directly or near all of them. Fly into Dalaman airport and after hiring a car, join the D400 from the Fethiye region. Accommodation can be booked overnight in places like Patara, Cirali, Antalya city centre, and Alanya. This is a brilliant way to see the best beaches of Turkey’s second most popular holiday destination.
Oludeniz: Another sandy haven that has captured admiration from the rest of the world, especially with its Blue Lagoon section, is Oludeniz in the Fethiye region of the Mediterranean coast. Overlooked by the Babadag mountain range and retaining its natural charm, it is a popular destination for beach holidays. Find out more about Olu Deniz here.
Yalova: This seaside resort in North-western Turkey has many unspoilt beaches hardly featured in travel brochures or guides. As secluded and quiet beaches, the best way to reach them all is by car or public transport. Read more here.
Second to none location on the blue flag Konyaalti beach in Antalya are these luxury apartments offering a beach lifestyle with 5 star hotel like facilities and features, as well as high rental income potential and superb sea views throughout. Close to Antalya City centre also.