Turkey is home to some really amazing beaches, some very popular whilst others are off the beaten track or take a bit more effort to reach. Here are my top 10 favourite beaches that i’ve discovered…
1) Kaputas Beach
Kaputas beach in Antalya is definately one of my favourite beaches. Located on the side of a cliff between the beautiful towns of Kalkan and Kas, Kaputas is formed by a gorge that opens out into stretch of sand displaying the most beautiful turquoise water. It’s quite a trek down the steps but it’s totally worth it for a swim.
2) Butterfly Valley, Fethiye
Only accessible by boat (or a very difficult trek down from Faralya) Butterfly Valley is a real hidden gem. Ok, so not so much of the hidden as the beach is usual packed with daily boat trips…. but it IS a gem. The water is crystal clear, and it’s so beautiful being nestled inbetween the high cliffs. We went in late September when the hordes of boat trips had slowed down and it was nice and quiet. The valley gets it’s name from it’s the 80 odd species of butterflies that supposedly call it home although I only saw 1 when I was there!
3) Blue Lagoon, Oludeniz
One of the most beautiful beaches i’ve been to and probably one of the best beaches in the world. The area is a well known paragliding spot and you’ll see them floating all over the sky most days. Something I wouldn’t usually do as i’m terrified of heights, but I just had to see it from this angle myself and it was well worth it. (I managed to take the above photo inbetween hyperventilating) The turquoise blue and emerald green shades make it the perfect place to take a dip! The Blue Lagoon is a national nature reserve and there’s a small fee to enter.
4) Sulu Ada, Adrasan
Sulu Ada, meaning Water island, called that because the island has a fresh water spring. If you go on a boat trip, which is pretty much the only way to get there, you will stop at a handful of points around the island and one of them will be the natural spring where you can fill up a bottle or just stick your head underneath and drink from it. The island doesn’t look like much when you’re sailing towards it but as you get closer the crustal clear water becomes apparent and I can only compare it to the water in the Maldives. So clear, so warm and so beautiful…it’s definitely the best sea i’ve swam in in Turkey.
5) Ilica beach, Cesme
Any beach in Cesme is wonderful (Altinkum, Pirlanta, Alacati, Boyalik…) but Ilica was the first one I visited and if caught on a good day the water is so calm and crystal clear. It’s long, golden sand beach which is over a kilometre long makes it very popular in the area and as Ilica is one of the largest resorts in Cesme the beach does get very busy in the Summer.
6) Olympos Beach, Çıralı
I only discovered this beach last year when we were staying in the area. An hour away from the bustling Antalya and right next door to ancient Olympos, you’ll find the relaxed resort of Cirali, one of the most unspoilt and peaceful in Turkey. Nestled between pine-clad mountains and the deepest blue sea this beach is not only loved by those seeking peace and nature but it’s also a major nesting site for the endangered loggerhead turtle.
7) Garip Adasi, Dikilli
The only way we could get to Garip Adasi (Weird Island) which is on a secluded and deserted island off the coast of village of Bademli near Dikilli in Izmir is to pay for a lift from a fisherman in an old wooden boat. Which totally adds to the adventure of it all! The water is some of the clearest i’ve swam in, but in the midst of Summer it gets very hot and there are no umbrellas so bring your own! (and everything else, as there aren’t any shops)
8) Cleopatra Beach, Marmaris
We discovered Cleopatra Island by mistake one day when driving to Marmaris and what a nice mistake it was! Gorgeous turquoise, calm water and free sunbeds. It was supposedly was once the meeting place of Queen Cleopatra and her lover Mark Anthony (hence why it’s called Cleopatra Island). Cleopatra is said to have ordered pure white sand to be brought to the island from Egypt to create her own secret paradise. Because of this, the sandy area of the beach is sectioned off with rope because the sand there is protected and you’re not allowed to walk or sit on it.
9) Konyaaltı Beach, Antalya
Konyaalti Beach is right in the heart of Antalya. Considering it’s only a short walk from the center of the city, it’s a pretty impressive beach that seems to go on forever and ever with the the Beydaglari Mountains looming over it in the distance. I’ve only visited in Winter so I never got the chance to swim in it as, even for this British lass, it was a bit nippy.
10) Dilek Peninsula National Park, Guzelcamli
I’m a bit biased as this is my nearest beach area and my first choice in the Summer when we’ve packed a picnic and want somewhere to relax for the day. This National Park is made up of stunning unspoilt terrain along the coast with a handful of coves and beaches all offering something different. Don’t be surprised if you run into a family of wild boar roaming around. Tip: 200m from the entrance there’s a cave called Zeus Mağarası (Zeus Cave) which is well worth a visit too!