Turtle (Iztuzu) Beach, Dalyan
Reached by boat, Turtle Beach (also known as Iztuzu Beach), a sandbar of the Dalyan Delta, is a national conservation area and one of the last breeding places in Europe for the protected loggerhead ‘Cretta’ sea turtle. It’s several kilometres long, with very scenic surroundings, hot brown sand, and shallow water. A small café, sun loungers and umbrellas available but you can’t put umbrellas into the sand during June – July as the loggerhead turtle eggs are hatching just below the surface.
Dalyan has a gorgeous river frontage looking across to Lycian tombs carved into the rock face. Twitcher alert! Swamp bugs can be irritating to humans but delicious to avians, so lots of bird life here, especially swallows. Other excursions from Dalyan are mud bathing in the local hot mineral springs or swimming in nearby Lake Koycegiz.
Accessible mainly by an enjoyable 20 minute public boat ride from pleasant, relaxed Dalyan town but also by local bus from Gulpinar Road in Dalyan for a beautiful ride and then walk from the last stop through the nature reserve to the far cove. Iztuzu is about 30 minutes from Dalaman Airport. Photo.
Çalis Beach, near Fethiye
Çalis Beach is informal, relaxing, and excellent for watersports or a family holiday. The coarse sand stretches for 2. 5 miles, bordered by a pedestrianized road with fairly characterless hotels, cafes and restaurants along the water front. 4 miles from Fethiye. 1 hrs 10 mins from Dalaman Airport.
Kaputas Beach, near Kalkan & Kas
Kaputas is a mountain gorge with a small shingle cove beach under a bridge crossing the gorge, with a steep set of steps up/down to the beach, and a steep drop off into the clear blue sea. Both locals and tourists use it but even during the high season it’s rarely crowded. The surface is more pebble than sand so take beach shoes, but the swimming is superb.
A Turkish family run a pancake ‘café’ under an awning, sweet and savoury snacks.
Kaputas is a 10 minute dolmus (bus) ride from the hill village of Kalkan, a harbour town with colourful restaurants and terraced bars overlooking the not particularly attractive marina. Kalkan has it’s own small shingle beach too. More sophisticated than most Turkish resorts it’s 2. 5 hrs from Dalaman Airport. Photo.
There are no beaches in Kas, but it’s a really lovely, relaxed hill/harbour town with no package tourists in evidence and easy access to little beaches a few minutes away by public bus on the gorgeous winding coast road. Plenty of little hotels and interesting Turkish restaurants. An hour from Kalkan.
Ladies Beach and Kustur Beach, Kusadasi
Kusadasi’s most famous beach is Ladies Beach, just south of the town centre, backed by a promenade with plenty of eating and drinking establishments. It’s a narrow, brown sand beach with loungers and umbrellas available for rent.
Kustur Beach, 4 miles north of the town, is less crowded and more tranquil. 1hr 15 mins from Adnan Menderes Airport, 1. 5 hrs from Izmir.
Içmeler Beach, Marmaris Bay
Içmeler is in the bay of Marmaris, surrounded by green hills and next to the Marmaris resort, home-away-from-home of beer belly and bad tatoo man. Içmeler is newer , smaller and marginally quieter than hideous Maramaris. Its beach is half a mile long, with a traffic free promenade stretching from Marmaris all way round the bay to Içmeler to help the beer bellies stagger home. Excellent facilities and amenities. 10 mins dolmus ride to Maramaris, 2 hrs 15 mins from Dalaman Airport. Maramaris has an award-winning PADI & BSAC dive centre. Photo.
Alanya Castle with Cleopatra Beach in the background. Photo by Ladislav Luppa.
Cleopatra Beach, Alanya
Alanya is one of the Turkey’s largest resorts, with two good beaches, an historical site (old fortress), and great facilities. Cleopatra’s Beach, on the western side of the peninsula, is one of the best known beaches. It’s sandy, pleasant and more secluded than the other town beach on the eastern side. It is likely to be crowded with German and Scandinavian beer bellies in high summer. 2 hrs from Antalya Airport. Photo.
Side Beaches, Side
Another classic Turkish seaside village/beach scenario, but popular with package holiday groups. Fine sandy beaches each side of the town and some ancient ruins. 1 hr from Antalya Airport.
Kyrenia, Northern Cyprus island
Kyrenia (also known as Girne) is a harbour town, and one of the liveliest resorts of North Cyprus. It’s located in a stunning coastline backed by mountains, with clear Mediterranean waters in front of it. Small villages sprawl along the coast on both sides of the town, but the coastline continues with golden sandy beaches and rocky coves, and the clean water is ideal for swimming and snorkeling.
email from Craig:
Whilst reading through information on beaches in Turkey I saw a comment saying “pah. . . this may be the best beach in the med but it cannot compare to tropical beaches”
Having travelled to various tropical places including the Seychelles which is said to have 6 of the world’s best beaches, I know many beaches in the Mediterranean which can not only compare to tropical beaches but indeed beat them in terms of beauty! the mediterranean has my corners of stunning beaches. . . many undiscovered so I was disappointed to see that the med’s beaches on this web page have been put down.