Top 10 Beaches in Turkey
According to the European Travel Commission, Turkey beat 33 countries in becoming Europe's top performing tourist destination during 2018 and even more visitors are expected this year. Turkey is one of Europe's most affordable destinations and guests can expect not only great value for money, but also a wide variety of locations and fabulous beaches ideal to soak up the sun.
Best Beaches in Turkey
1. Kleopatra Beach, Alanya.
Kleopatra Beach was voted the best beach in Turkey by Trip Advisor reviewers. This outstanding sandy stretch offers great views of Alanya Fortress and attracts more than 2 million tourists a year. It has blue flag status. One aspect that makes the area so unique is the legend that surrounds it. It is said that Queen Cleopatra liked swimming in the bay so much that Roman Emperor Mark Anthony gifted the area to her sometime between 69 B.C to 30 B.C. Kleopatra Beach is undoubtedly beautiful and a 'must-see' on any trip to Alanya.
2. Iztuzu Beach, Dalyan
"A beautiful long stretch of unspoiled sand used by turtles in the summer to nest on." This is how one Trip Advisor review describes Iztuzu Beach - and many others agree. This magnificent 5 km stretch is a Mediterranean nesting site for endangered loggerhead turtles so falls under strict protection laws. Located within easy reach of Dalyan resort centre, it boasts a couple of cafes, a few sunbeds for hire and is accessed via road or a lazy trip down the Dalyan River.
3. Icmeler Beach, Marmaris
Icmeler is a laid-back seaside resort 8 km from the lively heart of Marmaris. For decades the area has attracted tourists seeking a mix of sun-drenched beach life and entertainment. Icmeler Beach is long, sandy and ideal for families. At its rear you find numerous hotels, cafes and bars perfect for escaping the midday sun. There are ample sun loungers and the sea is clear and perfect for a dip or to enjoy a fun-filled banana boat ride.
4. Blue Lagoon, Oludeniz
Almost all coastal advertising for Turkey features an image of the Blue Lagoon. This captivating sandbank with its white shores and turquoise waters have lured tourists to the area since the sixties. The main arm of the lagoon is a national park, so a small entrance fee applies. The inner shores are shallow and calm, ideal for the kids. Oludeniz Blue Lagoon is a great beach and one of Turkey's most popular during the summer.
5. Kaputaş Beach, Antalya
Kaputaş is a picture perfect beach located off the main coastal road between Kalkan and Kaş. This small stretch of sand and shingle is nestled into a gorge and accessed via a set of steep cliff side steps. The waters off Kaputaş are clear and blue, the waves great for jumping. There are a few sun beds and umbrellas available for hire, and snacks and beverages can be bought from a kiosk.
6. Cirali Beach, Antalya
Terry Richardson of Telegraph Travel once described Cirali as, "the best unsung beach holiday resort in Europe". He said, "the graceful arc of beach fronting the laid-back resort of Cirali is one of the most unspoilt in the Mediterranean". Cirali Beach, like Iztuzu, is another nesting site for sea turtles therefore protected. The 2 km long sand and pebble shore is clean with sun loungers available and a number of restaurants and bars within easy reach.
7. Patara Beach, Fethiye
One of Turkey's largest and most impressive beaches is Patara, just a 40 minutes drive from Fethiye. This 18 km sandy stretch is backed by sand dunes and framed by mountains - and it's remarkably deserted. Due to its size, even during peak season the beach never appears crowded. There's a cafe selling snacks and renting umbrellas, and sun beds available. Patara is another breeding ground for turtles so it is often closed at night during the summer months from May to September.
8. Lara Beach, Antalya
Lara is a glitzy and glamorous resort just south of Antalya city centre. Here a wide and seemingly endless stretch of sand is backed by all-inclusive resorts and luxury Turkish homes. Looking back from the sea you could imagine being on the set of a movie or somewhere in Las Vegas, with many hotels themed or built in the shape of ships or planes and called 'Titanic' or 'Concorde'. Considering the popularity of the beach, it is remarkably clean and offers visitors a wide variety of water sports, facilities and attractions. Lara Beach is busy during high season yet still a great place to spend time and ideal for those on vacation in the area.
9. Altinkum Beach, Altinkum
Altinkum when translated means 'golden sands' - and that's fairly apt considering the resort has three beaches. The main Altinkum beach is a sandy stretch backed by shops, hotels and bars. The second is smaller and a little quieter, and the third found by the marina and great for those that enjoy water sports. All the beaches have facilities making them popular with holidaymakers, especially during July and August.
10. Konyaalti Beach, Antalya
Konyaalti is the more central of two main beaches in Antalya, Lara beach already taking the number 8 spot. Konyaalti beach is an impressive 7 km stretch of fine sand and shingle with hotels, shopping centres, restaurants and luxury apartments in Antalya all spread out at its rear. The mountains in the distance make for an impressive backdrop, and the cafes, facilities and water sports ensure it is one of Turkey's most popular beaches year round.
The Turkish coast boasts many great beaches to explore, some of the quieter and more exclusive ones escaping a mention. Be it a fun-packed stretch with cafes, jet skis and ringos, or a deserted cove, you are sure to find a beach in Turkey to suit your taste.