With over 8000 kilometres of coastline, choosing the best family beaches in Turkey is no easy task. As the world’s eighth most popular holiday destination with hundreds of resorts to choose from, mum and dad have their work cut out into making a choice that pleases them and the kids. As parents ourselves, we know that deciding on the best sandy environment for your kid-friendly holiday amounts to more than calm waters. So, the family beaches we have listed below consider several factors.
They are calm waters, opportunities for shade, rental facilities including beds, sand cleanliness, toilet facilities including nappy changing areas, activities for teenagers such as water sports and food and refreshment venues. Parents will also be glad to know Turkey has over 450 blue flag certified beaches.
In their efforts to become a top tourism destination, the country upped its game and gone are the days, when beach holidays in Turkey meant roughing it. To qualify for Blue Flag status, beaches must meet a set range of criteria based on safety, education information to beachgoers, environmental factors, and accessibility. So, to say Turkey is one of the world’s top blue flag destinations is an achievement.
It is also worth mentioning that even though Turkey has three stretches of coastline, the Black Sea, Aegean Sea and Mediterranean, all our suggestions below focus on the latter two. The reason being is calmer water and better facilities. The Aegean and Mediterranean are Turkey’s leaders in beachside tourism, and while the Black Sea is growing in popularity, they are yet to catch up.
7 of the Best Family Beaches in Turkey
1: Cleopatra Beach in Alanya
To understand just how spectacular Cleopatra in Alanya is, you only need look at its Trip Advisor rankings. In 2018, it was the world’s 19th best beach, Europe’s sixth and Turkey’s number one. Proof of its popularity is in visitor stats. In 2018, a staggering 2 million people visited the 2 kilometres, Cleopatra beach.
A big lure is crystal blue waters and stunning landscapes making up the perfect picture-postcard destination. However, it also delivers with rental services for beds and umbrellas, and a huge range of restaurants backing up for lunch and refreshments. Often called the finest combination of sun, sea, and sand, water sports are another strength, whether you want a slow and steady pedalo, snorkelling or to step it up a notch by hopping on a jet ski.
2: Icmeler: Turkey’s Darling
Not only is the long stretch of sand kid-friendly, but the whole resort of Icmeler excels in a family-friendly atmosphere. Sitting next to the large, nightlife central of Marmaris, it is lower-key but still has an ample range of bars, and restaurants offering sit down entertainment and games for kids. Stay in an all-inclusive hotel, go self-catering or book up for bed-and-breakfast and spend your days kicking back the sand while admiring stunning sea views of the Aegean and Mediterranean cusp. Icmeler beach has a lot going for its including cleanliness, and facilities and is also one of Turkey’s top beaches as ranked by Trip Advisor users.
3: Beautiful Oludeniz
This is our favourite, and judging from Trip Advisor reviews, many other beach lovers admire it. The protected area shines through with beauty. Perfect golden sand, gorgeous crystal waters and an encompassing Mediterranean Sea view always make us feel like we have already landed in utopia. Do not be surprised to see paragliders soaring through the air before landing on the beach, because they have a designated area set apart from sunbathers and swimmers.
The great aspect about Oludeniz beach in Turkey is that should you want to mix it up, the Blue Lagoon, one of Turkey’s most photographed sites is just a short walk along the coastline. Also hop on the water taxi and head across to Butterfly valley, another protected area of conservation. Aside from that, families will enjoy the resort, and a range of hotels, restaurants and shops geared up for a family-friendly environment.
4: Lara Themed Family Holidays
If you want the all-inclusive aspect of food, drink, children’s activity, entertainment, and long stretches of sand altogether, look at the themed hotels of Lara. Everyone in Turkey knows this district of Antalya for its excellence in family-friendly hotels combined with top-notch hospitality. Lara beach itself also is one of Turkey’s best beaches. Think eight long kilometres of Blue Flag sand, and should the kids tire of sunbathing and swimming, there is a host of water sports to keep them entertained. Additionally, kids’ clubs in many hotels offer extra activities including water parks.
5: Konyaalti Beach
The Antalya region has two main beaches of which Lara is one and Konyaalti the other. It is more shingle and pebble than sand but still offers the perfect base for swimming in the Mediterranean. Once again like other beaches along the southwest coastline, the stunning Taurus mountain range backing provides a beautiful setting. Stretching for 7 kilometres, restaurants and a park surround it, and beachgoers have all amenities including water sports, changing rooms and toilets. This is an ideal option if you want to holiday in Antalya but do not want to stay in all-inclusive hotels.
6: Gumbet on the Bodrum Peninsula
So far, all the beaches mentioned rest on the Mediterranean coast but sweep around to the Aegean and your choice widens. A family favourite, with British holidaymakers, is Gumbet on the Bodrum peninsula. The whole peninsula is family friendly, and you cannot go wrong with choosing it for a beachside holiday. However, Gumbet beach offers a little more, for teenagers who want to embrace water sports during summer. The water is also shallow making it easy for the young ones who have just learned to swim. Stretching for a kilometre and curving around the bay, it is shingle and sand, but a good choice of bars and restaurants backing it, serve food and drinks all day and into the night.
7: Yalikavak Main Beach
Over the last five years, Yalikavak’s reputation has grown to become an international sailing hub for wealthy and influential people, yet the resort still accommodates families and budget holidaymakers with a good choice of middle-range hotels and a long, stunning beach in the town centre. It is easy to get there, no matter where you stay and hotels and restaurants backing it, often layout umbrellas, sun beds, and chairs for use. Some charge, while others offer them for free if you buy food and drink from them. The good thing about Yalikavak is that if you tire of the main centre, many small coves and bays along the coastline offer suitable alternatives.
That is our round-up of best family beaches in Turkey, but if it is your first time visiting the country, also read our article with lots of tips and advice on planning a family holiday in the country. Including information on doing Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, with kids, we discuss the best time to visit, the concept of all-inclusive beach resorts, and what activities and excursions are family friendly. Also of interest, our blog archives talk about Turkish culture, cuisine, places, traditions and much more, so you’ll feel you already know the country before stepping off the plane.
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