Turkey is one of the top beach holiday destinations in the world, and rightly so. Just over 7,000 kilometres of pristine coastline that during summer become “must-visit” places for couples, friends, solo travellers and families have earned it this sought-after reputation.
Some are intensely scenic as well as of historical value, while others attract adrenaline junkies, eager to take advantage of the vast range of water sports on offer. Some are crowded, while others are deserted. Some are hard to get to, while others are on your doorstep, depending on which coastal resort you choose to holiday in.
The important thing to note is the diversity of them. Many are famous for specific reasons and hence also attract a typical stereotype of people. We are going to try and guess which beach in Turkey suits you best, depending on your personal preferences for a day out beachside.
1: You Like Windsurfing
If you are a novice windsurfer, you might not have heard about Alacati, but most experienced international windsurfers know and adore it. The beach and town have gained fame in the last ten years as one of the top windsurfing destinations in the world. Annually, thousands also descend for the Alacati windsurfing festival attracting participants of many different nationalities.
Alacati also happens to be a picture postcard town. White-washed houses with blue shutters reflecting its old Greek heritage line the sides of cobbled streets. So, a summer spent in Alacati windsurfing becomes a memorable experience for more than one reason.
2: You like Kiteboarding
Staying on the water sports theme, further down the coastline, Gokova is the king of kiteboarding in Turkey. Also known as kite surfing, borders harnessing the power of the wind to skim through the water, while also performing in-air stunts wow the crowds and satisfy their adrenaline fix at the same time.
Schools on the beaches sell lessons to novice kiteboarding or rent equipment to the more experienced daredevils. Most of the kiteboarding happens at Akcapinar beach, which is quite close to Akyaka, a small resort relatively unheard of by foreigners but popular with Turks for summer holidays.
3: You Want Peace and Quiet
It is not hard to find quiet secluded beaches, during the low months of the tourism season in Turkey, i.e. May, June, October. However outside of these months, Turks from the inner cities and towns flock to the seaside to enjoy the sand and calm blue waters, and in some places, the old English proverb of packed like sardines in a tin is an understatement.
One beach with oodles of space though is Patara on the southern Mediterranean coast. Well, at 17 kilometres, the serenity is enticing, but Patara also happens to be incredibly scenic as well. To break up the day, the nearby village and historical ruins are also worth exploring. Otherwise, if you are on the Aegean coast of Turkey, Pamucak beach near Kusadasi and Seljuk allows ample space to lie back and sunbathe in quiet.
4: You are a Family
Parents will be delighted to learn that many beaches in Turkey are renowned for their child-friendly atmosphere. Examples with esteemed reputations, include Ladies beach in Kusadasi, and Gumbet, that also has a range of water sports for teenagers. Icmeler is another smaller alternative to its neighbour of Marmaris, while Yalikavak on the Bodrum peninsula attracts many British families who are repeat visitors.
All these beaches have gentle wind conditions making them ideal for youngsters, and nearby bars and restaurants offer parents everything you need for a day that runs smoothly. We love and adore Oludeniz beach. The gorgeous scenery magnifies the single sand and crystal waters, while restaurants nearby offer delicious lunchtime meals. To break up the day for the kids, hop on the water taxi across to Butterfly Valley or rent a pedalo from the Blue Lagoon section.
5: You are a Couple
If you are looking for a romantic holiday, with peace as well as spectacular scenery, Cirali beach suits couples perfectly. Sharing itself with the hippie resort of Olympus, although there are few bars and restaurants nearby, couples will certainly feel the freedom to relax and indulge in the moment. Backed by the domineering Taurus mountain range, and fronted by the Mediterranean, also explore the fairytale ruins of Olympus, or take a bike ride around Cirali. Otherwise, Patara once again ticks all the boxes for an adult, friendly atmosphere that couples will enjoy.
Other Beaches in Turkey Worth Mentioning
Many other places have proven reputations as ideal beach destinations. These include…
Altinkum: Translating into “golden sands,” the name refers to the three most famous beaches of the town, ensuring everyone can take his or her pick. The third beach hosts a scuba diving centre as well as a two beach clubs if you want to upgrade and lounge about in luxury.
The second beach hosts a variety of water sports, while the first beach in the main town centre is a long stretch of soft sand with umbrellas and sunbeds to rent. Be aware though because in the height of summer in July and August, this beach is busy until the early hours of the evening.
Antalya: The Lara Beach district of Antalya city centre is home to many all-inclusive hotels, offering everything you need for a beach holiday in a small, selective area. Otherwise, it also achieves fame for the 7-kilometre Konyaalti beach. The vast stretch of sand and nearby amenities makes it an all-rounder suiting families, couples and solo travellers.
Cleopatra’s Beach: In low season, the ample amount of space on Cleopatra’s beach makes it one of the most popular sandy havens in Turkey. Urban legends say the famous Egyptian queen Cleopatra frolicked in the sand here with her lover Marc Anthony. Whether or not they are true, the beach with an impressive view of the red fortress has an esteemed reputation that keeps thousands of holidaymakers coming back every year.
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