Possessing some of the finest beaches in the eastern Med, Turkey has long been considered a sun-seekers paradise. Many spots like Bodrum, Alanya and Marmaris are often full to the brim with tourists looking to take advantage of the bars, clubs and party atmosphere, but those looking for a bit of peace and quiet can also be rewarded; if they’re willing to get off the beaten track a bit.
Below is our list of some of the most beautiful beaches in Turkey. From turtle-watching and romantic ruins to hidden treasures nestled behind pine-wooded hills, they do require a bit of exploring, but all are reachable via hire cars and public transport. Enjoy!
Kabak Bay, Ölüdeniz
If sunbeds, paragliding and jet-skiing are your thing, then Kabak Bay is probably not the beach for you. A tranquil little spot on Turkey’s Aegean coast, this shabby, almost hippy-feeling inlet is beloved by locals for its chilled vibes. A sand and pebble beach set in a pine-covered valley about 150 miles from Bodrum, Kabak boasts many fine bungalows and chalets that are perfect for anyone looking for a more relaxing alternative to a regular beach holidays.
At Iztuzu a long spit of land which forms a natural barrier between the fresh water delta of the Dalyan River and the Mediterranean. Along with being beautiful, this is one of the world’s most important breeding grounds for Loggerhead Turtles. The area’s protected status does mean that there is a lack of amenities and shade, but it does make for a supremely natural-feeling setting, with the calm waters of the bay making for some of the best swimming in the Eastern Med.
Phaselis, the Turquoise Coast
Certainly one of the most evocative beaches we’ve come across, Phaselis beach sits just off the road between Olympos and Antalya. Flanked by the ruins of the ancient Greek city of Phaselis, the calm waters are ideal for swimmers. While cafes, bars and restaurants are pretty thin on the ground, the quiet, isolated spot makes it brilliant for some afternoon picnicking.
Belediye Plaji, Kiyiköy
Just two hours’ drive from Istanbul, Belediye Plaji is definitely one of Turkey’s busier beaches. A series of inlets and bays on the Black Sea Coast, this beautifully sandy beach is surrounded by low-lying cliffs that are packed with fossils. Sadly, the crowds mean that rubbish and camper’s tents often end up taking the shine off what should be the perfect setting, but those with their own transport can find quieter, unspoilt spots just up the coast.
Bodrum is definitely a party town. Boasting beautiful buildings and palm-lined street, it is like a cross between Miami and Ibiza, with tourists and revellers packing into the clubs and bars that line the seafront. Also known as Camel Beach, Kargi seems like a small oasis of peace when compared to the hustle and bustle of the nearby beaches. Offering soft, golden sand and only a couple of seafood restaurants for entertainment, the beach is free of the mainly British partiers that crowd the nearby coves.
Want to check out any of these beaches? Find deals on holidays to Turkey.