Turkey is home to many stunning beaches, but it is on the south-west coast in particular that you’ll find our favourite, and the most mesmerising. It’s easy to see why the stretch between Dalyan and Antalya is known as the ‘Turkish Riviera’ and you might also see it referred to as the Turquoise Coast.
Take a water taxi through Dalyan‘s pretty reedbeds to Iztuzu beach, a 4km stretch of golden sand renowned for being home to the Caretta Caretta sea turtle. Although it does get busy with visitors in the summer months, the beach is protected and there is a marked zone where the turtles nest and sunbathing is not allowed. There is also the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre which is well worth a visit.
Turkey’s most famous beach is Ölüdeniz in Fethiye, meaning ‘dead sea’ in Turkish as it always remains so calm.. This magnificent beach sweeps around and at its tip is the blue lagoon, an absolutely gorgeous sandy bay surrounded by crystal-clear waters. For obvious reasons, this beach is incredibly popular, and not just with sun worshippers – there are also plenty of water sports and gulet trips on offer. Ölüdeniz is also renowned for paragliding, although not for the faint-hearted, paragliding off the top of Mount Babadag (a whopping 6500 ft high!) offers incredible views over the lagoon, pine-clad mountains and sparkling Mediterranean.
Travelling an hour south takes you to beautiful Kalkan. Despite only having a small pebble beach, it has become a popular seaside town and has many beach clubs. Bathing platforms have been built into the hillside and you can easily access the warm, clear waters by ladder. Most beach clubs also have a restaurant on site so you can make a day of it and combine soaking up some rays with a long lazy lunch. For the more active, an array of water sports are also on offer.
The 20km long beach at Patara is a mere 20 minutes drive from Kalkan. Here you can explore the surrounding sand dunes, enjoy a swim and also visit the ancient amphitheatre and Lycian ruins.
Between Kalkan and the neighbouring town of Kas is the remarkable Kaputas Beach. This is one of Turkey’s most photographed beaches due to its golden sand and crystalline waters. It’s definitely worth stopping by for a photo opportunity!
In Kas, you will find the aptly named Little Pebble Beach and Big Pebble Beach. Both of which are very pretty and our favourite snorkelling opportunity on the coast.