Turkey’s 9 best beaches: a beach-bum’s guide to Turkey
Turkey has a 7,200 kilometres of coastline, this is a staggering 4,500 miles of sea shore. Turkey's Mediterranean coast, to the south of the country, usually known as the Turquoise coast, is almost 2,000 kilometres long. To the west of Turkey is the Aegean coast, opposite Greece and the Greek Islands, which is almost 1,300 kilometres long. Then there is the internal Sea of Marmara, where Istanbul is located, connecting the Aegean and the Black Sea via the Bosphorus to the Black Sea and the Dardanelles to the Aegean. The sea shore of Marmara is about 1,700 kilometres long. Finally Turkey has a huge Black Sea coast to the north of the country, which is about 2,200 kilometres long.
All of Turkey's four seas have different landscape, different climates and plenty of sandy beaches, including 383 blue flag beaches making Turkey the third most blue flag accredited country in the world. The warmest of the 4 seas is the Mediterranean, followed by the slightly cooler Aegean, then the Marmara Sea and finally the Black Sea to the north, which can become rather cold in winter and autumn. Let us now examine what you have voted as the best beaches in Turkey along Turkey's most popular Mediterranean and Aegean coasts.
1. Oludeniz Beach, Fethiye (The Blue Lagoon)
Turkey’s most famous beach is located on a stretch of shoreline known as the Turquoise Coast. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why: the water here is a dazzling shade of blue against the powdery white sand against a backdrop of mountainous scenery. Oludeniz’s large curved beach can easily accommodate the summer crowds, and the lagoon is sheltered and calm - perfect for kids. Oludeniz Beachfront property is among the most sought-after in the Mediterranean. One glance at this stunning beach tells you why. The Blue Lagoon, the lagoon part of Oludeniz, is known as the best Para-gliding place in the world. If you fancy being close to Oludeniz, then look for property for sale in Hisaronu or Ovacik in Fethiye, these are the closest settlements to the Blue Lagoon, around 3 kms.
2. Konyaalti Beach, Antalya
The city of Antalya is like the hub of Turkish Mediterranean coast. However, this wealthy city has much more than what meets the eye. Antalya has two lovely beaches, Lara beach and Konyaalti Beach. Konyaalti Beach, on the way to Kemer, has everything: prestigious seafront real estate, proximity to top hotels, restaurants and an international airport within 25 minutes. And although it’s a city beach, it’s been awarded a prestigious Blue Flag Award as it’s so clean. How many of the world’s city beaches can stake that claim? If you like urban living with a real laid back edge and with endless sandy beaches of Konyaalti at your doorstep then look no further than a home in Antalya.
3. Patara Beach near Kalkan and Kas
This 12 kilometre stretch of sandy white beach isn’t just one of our favourites - it’s been voted as one of the world’s best beaches by the Times Online. Backed by mountains and bordered by sand dunes, Patara Beach is a key biodiversity area, full of rare birdlife and a chief breeding ground of the endangered loggerhead turtle. You can also stroll amongst the remains of the ancient city of Patara, once part of the Lycian Empire. To be close to Patara beach, look at property in Kalkan.
4. Calis Beach, Fethiye
Cheerful, lively Calis Beach is a meeting place for sunseekers, shoppers and holidaymakers during the summer months. Backed by a long promenade, Fethiye tourists and locals alike flock here to swim, sunbathe, lounge in beachside cafes and restaurants, and people watch. Personally, we can think of nothing better to do on a Sunday afternoon than plonking ourselves on the beach (stuffed with mezes after a leisurely lunch) and gazing out over Sovalye Island and the Bay of Fethiye. Calis is particularly good for children as the waters are calm and shallow. Beachfront homes in Calis are also some of the most affordable on the coast.
5. Cleopatra Beach, Alanya
No one’s quite sure how this beach ended up with its moniker. Some believe the Egyptian queen visited the beach, and others believe it was part of her wedding gift from Mark Antony. If Cleopatra had visited, however, she would’ve found a small, secluded beach with clear waters ideal for snorkelling, and, further out, windsurfing.
6. Butterfly Valley Beach, Fethiye
You’ll need to be reasonably intrepid to reach the shores of this secluded valley. Access is either by boat from Oludeniz or Fethiye Town - or if you’re really keen, a 40 minute walk along a rocky path (bear in mind you’ll need to walk back up again). If you haven’t already guessed by its name, Butterfly Valley is home to hundreds of species of butterflies, including a number of endangered species. The beach here is spectacularly located between two towering cliffs, backed by lush valley. It’s a bit of a trek to get here, but so worth it.
7. East and West Beaches, Side
In Side you get two for the price of one. Two long, sandy beaches stretching out along the coastline away from one of the Mediterranean’s most popular family holiday spots. West Beach is a little more popular with families due to its shallow waters. But both are gorgeous, sandy beaches offering all kinds of activities from parasailing to fishing. There are also a number of waterfront homes in Side that allow unparalleled beach access.
8. Gemile Bay Beach, Fethiye
Few people know about this secluded bay as it’s overshadowed by its more famous neighbour, Oludeniz Beach. Seven kilometres beyond Kayakoy’s haunting ghost town you reach this private bay, surrounded by pine and olive trees. It’s likely there’ll be very few bathers here on your average sunny day, leaving you free to enjoy the view across the water to St Nicholas Island, with its striking ruins. There are no amenities at this beach - just endless peace and quiet.
9. Kemer Beach, Antalya
This resort town, known as the ‘jewel in the Mediterranean crown’, has two beaches: a sandy beach and a pebbly beach. Each beach has a prestigious Blue Flag award thanks to their clean waters and shore. Despite its rising popularity, Kemer is still one of the loveliest destinations on the coastline.