Best Turkey Beaches
Turkey’s Beaches are best from May-October, though the water is still a little chilly up to June. Beware crowds during July-August.
These beaches are often pebbly or hot sand so swimming shoes are useful.
Note that Turkey beaches (in fact Mediterranean beaches in general) are not truly comparable with those of the Caribbean or Pacific – the water is cooler and the sand generally coarser, or frequently pebbles. Pretty, shady, palm tree fringes are also rare, though hot sunshine, friendly locals and low prices are almost guaranteed. Going topless is generally not a problem.
Rated as the best beach in the world by some, Patara is 14. 2 kms/9miles long (the longest beach in the Mediterranean) of child-friendly shore coated with medium grain brown sand and backed only by ancient ruins and swooping dunes with no buildings visible save a small community-run café at one end.
Loungers and umbrellas are available for rent but there is not camping permitted and no waters ports available. If you have room in your luggage you could bring your own heavy duty beach chairs to save some money on rental fees.
The area is inexpensive and there’s a limited selection of low-key accommodation in nearby Patara town, with beach commuter transport or a longish walk. Alternatively day trip in from Kalkan/Kas. 50 miles from Fethiye.
The beach is off-limits after sunset to allow undisturbed nesting for loggerhead sea turtles. Photos.
Olu Deniz Beach, near Fethiye
Olu Deniz is a picturesque resort area, especially the main hillside town of Belcekiz, which has crystal clear water, and a long shingle beach curving away from the town promenade along to a calm blue lagoon.
In addition to good value hotels – usually with pools – in Olu Deniz town, there are some popular resort villages nearby, such as Ovacik and Hisaronu (10 mins), which means that the beach can get overcrowded.
The promenade by the town has plenty of bars, restaurants and cafés and there are loads of umbrellas and loungers for hire, and a wide range of water sports available.
Paragliding and Hangliding, solo or tandem, off adjacent Babadag mountain and landing on the beach are extremely popular as is scuba diving. Locals claim the season is all year round. Summer temperature averages 32C, winter 20C. 1hr 45 mins from Dalaman Airport. Photos.
Kabak Bay, Oludeniz
Kabak is where locals choose to relax as it’s free of the usual tourist trappings such as watersports and boat trips giving Kabak a less-spoilt more tranquil air than Olu Deniz main beaches. There is a decent choice of pleasant down-market accommodation there too.
Butterfly valley, Oludeniz
Butterfly valley is below Babadag mountain and another calm and less-touristy area where swimming and walks are undisturbed by noisy watersports and facilities have a calm, bohemian feel.
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 one of the biggest Turkey beaches at 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
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 which should be avoided unless Sky TV, large doses of beer and comparing tattoos is your idea of a good time.
Içmeler is newer , smaller and 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.
Cleopatra Beach, Alanya
Alanya Castle with Cleopatra Beach in the background. Photo by Ladislav Luppa.
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.