Turkey is situated on the magnificent Mediterranean Sea, and is one of the most amazing countries in the world.  There are so many places to see in Turkey, such as Istanbul, Antalya, Bodrum, Cappadocia, and Alanya and many ruins that are associated with places mentioned in the Bible, but the absolute favorite place to be while here is on one of the fantastic beaches in Turkey.

The waters here are crystal clear and amazing to swim in as well as enjoy any one of the many water sports that you may want to indulge in.  With more than 300 days of sunshine, there are hardly any bad days here.  As one of the more affordable countries of the world with world-class seas, any one of the beaches in Turkey are a favorite holiday destination for millions of people.

With almost 400 blue flag beaches and such a wide variety of coastline here, from those favorites that are crowded with row after row of lounge chairs to those that are almost deserted in secluded coves and still others that have protected species such as the loggerhead turtles, you can enjoy any number of them.

You may want to spend your entire vacation enjoying that one perfect place, or you might choose to visit several different ones searching for your little piece of heaven.  Whichever way you go, you will not be disappointed.  Below is a list of some of the best beaches in Turkey that you will be sure to fall in love with.

 

1. Pantara Beach

 

best beaches in Turkey

Flickr Credit: mamet

Pantara Beach is located in the Xanthos Valley and is one of the most popular beaches in Turkey. At over 15 km in total length, it has the longest beach on the Mediterranean coastline. Made up of some of the most magnificent white sand you will find at any of the Turkey beaches, it is also one of the most crowded in certain areas. Take a stroll toward the northwest and you will come across some sand dunes.

A short way past that you will find plenty of more isolated portions of the coastline that will provide more solitude.  The beach is also one of the popular Turkey attractions because it is one of the loggerhead turtle nesting sites.  It has spectacular water for swimming and playing in, and during the summer months it has some terrific waves for those that love to surf.  Once the main port of Lycia and the birthplace of Apollo and St. Nicholas (Santa Claus), this has become one of the best beaches in Turkey for overall fun in the sun!

 

2. Iztuzu Beach

 

best beaches in Turkey

Flickr Credit: olja.singer

Iztuzu Beach is one of the best beaches in Turkey for watching the nesting habits of the loggerhead turtles. During the summer these fascinating creatures lumber and drag themselves onto the shore to find that perfect spot in which to lay their eggs. It is a protected shore, and visitors have to be very mindful of the “bumps” in the sand as these are likely a nest of eggs.Once the eggs hatch, it is one of the most fun Turkey attractions – watching the babies emerge and cheering them on as they make the mad scramble to the relative safety of the water.  Marshes surround this narrow coastline where many other species of wildlife and birds live that you may have a chance to see.

The beach is a natural barrier between the Mediterranean and the fresh water of the Dalyan River, so a wide variety of animals abound.In the sea there are reefs that not only break the waves, making it calm waters for everyone to enjoy swimming in, but also provide great opportunities for snorkeling and diving.  This has become one of the favorite beaches in Turkey for not only tourists but local residents as well. Because of this it can get a bit crowded at times, but walking down the shoreline just a short way will let you find a more secluded spot if you wish.With the combination of providing a fantastic place for tourists to enjoy and protection for the endangered turtles, Iztuzu Beach was named Best Open Space in Europe by The Times in 2008 and Best Beach Destination of Europe by Dutch holiday assessment website Zoover in 2011.  There is no doubt that this is still one of the best beaches in Turkey.

 

3. Cirali

 

best beaches in Turkey

Flickr Credit: Πεζοπορικός Όμιλος

Cirali is one of the Turkey beaches that is a protected UNESCO site because of its unique surroundings and the fantastic wildlife, including the loggerhead and green sea turtles that nest here. Located on the Lycian peninsula, this relatively narrow beach sits between two amazing mountain cliffs that fall into the sea and is surrounded by beautiful citrus groves. It is ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving, as well as taking families to enjoy the magnificent waters.While this is one of the more secluded and lesser developed beaches in Turkey, there are some vendors where you can get food and drinks while enjoying a fantastic day.    A short walk along the shoreline will bring you to the ancient ruins of Olympos, which is one of the top places to see in Turkey.  If you want a longer hike, you can follow the historic Lycian Way through this beautiful area.  You will love the casual and relaxing atmosphere of this little piece of heaven.

 

4. Kabak

 

best beaches in Turkey

Flickr Credit: Ivan Dimitrov

Kabak is another one of the Turkey beaches located on the Lycian Way. It is a small village in the area that sits in a beautiful valley that is covered in pine forests.  Majestic mountains with picturesque waterfalls make a wonderful backdrop for this beach.  Spending the day playing in the magnificent waters of the Mediterranean, sunbathing on a wonderful sandy beach or sitting under one of the many shade structures they have built here watching others is the perfect way to spend a vacation.You will also want to spend time in the village.  You will find many unique shops and restaurants and bars where you can taste some of the best local food you can find.  Soaking up some of the local culture and learning more of their ways is perhaps one of the most satisfying Turkey attractions.   A short hike will give you a breath-taking view of the canyon nearby and the waterfalls that are amazing.If you want a longer walk, follow the Lycian Way to other nearby villages.  While development in the area is starting to take hold, this is still one of the best beaches in Turkey to relax and enjoy the sea in a much more casual atmosphere.

 

5. Phaselis

 

best beaches in Turkey

Flickr Credit: Richard Hasselt

Phaselis is certainly one of the best places to see in Turkey. Three small bays along the Turquoise Coast are surrounded by the ancient ruins of Phaselis, which gives it such a unique atmosphere.  There is even the well-preserved remains of a theater, a large Roman aqueduct, and the remains of the ancient market just a short walk from the beach that you will want to see.

There is something special about seeing the evidence of ancient history while lying on the beach or swimming in the amazing turquoise waters.  Surrounding the entire area are pine forest cover mountains that complete the breath-taking area, which is part of a protected national park, making it one of the best, but lesser developed Turkey attractions.  There is a small museum that you will definitely want to visit while you are here.  While at the beach, you will want to do some snorkeling and diving, as it has some great areas and marine life to see.  The crystal clear waters provide for some of the best swimming and relaxation of all of the Turkey beaches.

 

6. Aydincik

 

best beaches in Turkey

Flickr Credit: aydincik33

Aydincik is one of the most popular of the Turkey beaches for tourists. Its magnificent white sand beach is simply amazing, and makes a day of fun in the beautiful waters of the sea one of the best things you can do.  The area is a protected reserve, including the salt lake just inland from the beach.  This lake is a main habitat for flamingos and other amazing migratory birds which makes it one of the most fascinating Turkey attractions for any nature lover and bird watcher.Possibly the thing this Turkey beach is most famous for is the black mud found along the shoreline.  It is said that it has amazing healing properties, and people from all over the world come here to take advantage of what it can offer to them.  So whether you need or want some natural healing, or some relaxation and fun from nature and the amazing waters, this is absolutely one of the best beaches in Turkey that you could find.

 

 7. Olu Deniz

 

best beaches in Turkey

Flickr Credit: Zak

Olu Deniz is one of the favorite beaches in Turkey for those loving water sports of any kind. Whether you like parasailing, surfing, snorkeling, diving or anything else you could imagine, this is the place to make it happen. The horseshoe bay is magnificent and allows enough space for everyone to enjoy the day without feeling crowded.  Surrounding the beach are some spectacular mountains, whose scenery adds to the picture perfect stay at the beach.Many people love to hike in the many trails in the mountains, and paragliding is one of the favorite activities that are offered here.  There are many shops along the beach that can provide the gear and equipment you need, as well as a good variety of food vendors and bars.  Eating some of the best seafood after a wonderful day of playing in the amazing turquoise water, then watching a spectacular sunset while sipping your favorite drink in your lounge chair on the beach is definitely the best way to spend on one of the great Turkey beaches.

 

8. The Bodrum Peninsula

 

best beaches in Turkey

Flickr Credit: east med wanderer

The Bodrum Peninsula is one of the beaches in Turkey that has a significant amount of European influence. It has developed many luxurious areas and amenities that the more rich and famous tourists this one more than other Turkey beaches. This does not mean that the average tourist is not welcome to or can enjoy this beautiful area.  It borders the Aegean Sea which is home to one of the seven wonders of the world – the ruins of an original mausoleum.

It is a smaller beach that gives it an intimate feel for everyone that comes here.  It has magnificent mountains surrounding the entire area, with so much beautiful vegetation and wildlife that you will love hiking in the area when you are not enjoying the amazing blue waters of the sea.  This is definitely one of the best beaches in Turkey that you will now want to miss!

 

9. Bozcaada

 

best beaches in Turkey

Flickr Credit: Tünay Kasimoglu

Bozcaada is not just one of the beaches in Turkey, but is a small island, once known as Tenedos, situated in the Aegean Sea where several of the very best beaches in Turkey are located.  There is Ayazma, which is the most popular, and as such has more development and amenities than the others.  You will be able to enjoy any water sport you could imagine, with several shops that will rent or sell all the equipment and gear you will need, as well as give lessons or guide you to the best spot.

Sulubahce is best known for the wide expanse of inviting sand where you can sunbathe or take part in an impromptu volleyball game with other beach-goers.  Beylik Cove or Aqvaryum Bay is a much more secluded area where you can enjoy magnificent sand and crystal clear waters, often by yourselves or with very few other people in a very beautiful area.  Besides being home to some of the best beaches in Turkey, the island is famous for its grapes and wine making.

Virtually all of the full time residents own a vineyard and know how to make wine.  It also boasts of being a fishing mecca, as it sits directly in the migration path of many species of fish.  The waters are so clean here that squid and octopus have thrived here and have become the symbol of the island.   You can do no better than to tour the island and dine on some of the best local seafood dishes.  Then sit on the shore of one of your new favorite Turkey beaches, sipping some of the locally made wines while watching the sun set over the beautiful sea.

 

10. Gizli Liman

 

best beaches in Turkey

Flickr Credit: Efkan Sinan

Gizli Liman is one of the beaches in Turkey that is a hidden gem. Located along the Gokceada coastline near the tiny fishing port of Ugurlu it is a beautiful area. It has amazing fine, soft sand that is so enjoyable to walk in.  Surrounding the area is a thick pine forested area that makes this an extremely scenic and peaceful area.  While there are no facilities directly on the beach, you will want to visit the village and soak up some of the local culture.  You will also want to taste some of the best fresh seafood dishes you could imagine.  Overall, this is one of the Turkey beaches you will want to check out.

 

11. Antalya

 

best beaches in Turkey

Flickr Credit: Levent Deniz

Antalya is an area that has some of the very best beaches in Turkey.  Olympos is one of these beaches.  Here you will not only find a magical beach, but you can see an amazing Turkey attraction, and that is the flames that burst through the called the Eternal Flames of the Chimera.  There are also some very impressive ruins very near the beach.  There is a small museum that is well worth you time to go through.

There are full facilities here, including several food and drink vendors that help make your stay here one of the best.  Other beaches near Antalya include Side and Bayrams, which are both some of the best beaches in Turkey.  No matter which beaches you decide to visit, Turkey has so much to offer with its rich history and ancient ruins and so much more.  You will want to make this trip an annual tradition.

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Justin Carmack
Justin is a dive master and world traveler on a mission to dive and document the top 100 dive sites in the world. In doing this he hopes to bring love for the marine environment to the world!
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