Top 10 Best Beaches in Turkey

Most people visiting Turkey travel to Istanbul, Cappadocia, Ephesus or Pamukkale. This is because not everybody knows that Turkey is also home to the Turquoise coast. Most people ignore Turkey as an incredible beach destination.  Sharing the same pristine waters with Greece, it is hard to believe that Turkish beaches have been underestimated for so long. Today we will travel to the best beaches in Turkey; ten fantastic beaches that should definitely be on your summer bucket list. 

 

Top 10 best beaches in Turkey

 

Did you know the word ‘turquoise’ comes from the French for ‘Turkish’? My favorite color name is based on the gem of the same color that was originally imported from Turkey. Turquoise is also the name of one of the best coastlines in the world that stretches all the way from the Aegean Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. The Turquoise coast, also known as the Turkish Riviera, has over a thousand kilometers of shoreline and is home to the best beaches in Turkey, and possibly in Europe. Come and discover these amazing beaches and enjoy the turquoise waters, untapped nature, sunken cities, historical ruins, mythology, and caves.

 

 

01 | Kaputaş Beach

 

Kaputaş Beach is the most iconic image of the Turquoise Coast and a must-visit in Kaş. Located on an extremely narrow road towered by steep cliffs, this small beach is considered by many as one of the best beaches in Turkey, if not the best. Since the beach is public and protected, there are no resorts or restaurants on the Kaputaş Beach. There is only one government bar that offers drinks and fast food at popular prices. You can also rent hammocks and parasols (10TRY per person).

In order to access the beach, you will have to walk down over 150 steep steps. While this sounds like no fun, it also means that the views that you will get from the top are something out of this world; mountains, islands, crystal clear water…

 

Kaputaş beach, Kas Turkey

No wonder why Kaputaş Beach is considered the best beach in Turkey!

 

Getting there: To go to Kaş you can fly to Dalaman or Antalya, but both airports are far away. Dalaman is a little bit closer (two hours by car) so I recommend flying to its new and modern airport.

To get to Kaputaş from Kaş, you can get a dolmuş (minibus) in the otogar. The trip should take around 20 minutes. Note that to return from Kaputaş to Kaş, the last minibuses pass at 18:35, 19:40 and 22:10.

 

Where to stay in Kaş:

Hideaway Hotel

Santosa Pension

Nur Hotel

 

 

02 | Kabak Koyu

 

I already talked about Kabak, so I will simply show you some pictures that truly showcase the utter beauty of Kabak. Kabak is one of the best beaches in Turkey, perfect for nature lovers and those seeking to seclude themselves in a secret paradise.

 

Kabak Koyu is one of the best beaches in Turkey.

Kabak Koyu is my favorite beach in Turkey. I love its turquoise blue waters!

 

Getting there: The easiest way to reach Kabak is flying to Dalaman airport from Istanbul. In Dalaman, you can take the shuttle bus that connects its small airport to Fethiye. Once there, you can take the dolmuş (minibus) from Fethiye to Kabak. The bus will pass through Ölüdeniz and Faralya (Butterfly Valley).

 

Where to stay in Kabak: 

Chakra Beach Kabak

Sea Valley Bungalows

Olive Garden Kabak

 

 

 

03 | Datça

 

Datça has pristine waters and the most beautiful shades of blue I have ever seen in Turkey. The small town and its waters are so gorgeous that Ancient Greeks believed it was created personally by Zeus. In the meeting point of the Aegean and the Mediterranean, Datça is for sure one of the best beaches in Turkey. If you visit Datça, don’t miss the ancient ruins of Knidos for an incredible mixture of history, sea, and nature. 

 

Datca sea has many shades of blue

Blue waters of Knidos, Datca (Turkey)

 

Getting thereDatça is located between Bodrum to the north, and Marmaris to the south. The bad road access and its distance from airports have left Datça relatively unspoiled. The easiest ways to reach Datça are by bus from Marmaris Otogar (approx. 1 hour 15 mins) or by ferry from Bodrum (2,5 hours). 

 

Where to stay in Datça:

Datça Beyaz Ev Hotel 

Eski Datça Hotel

Bora Hotel

 

 

04 | Cleopatra island – Marmaris

 

There has to be something with the sea in Turkey when Cleopatra herself chose one of the Turkish islands (Sedir Adasi) as her private and secluded paradise to meet with her lover, Marc Anthony. According to the legend, Cleopatra did not like the sand that was on the beach and special sands were brought for her from Egypt. Whether this is true or fiction, the fine white sand on the beach today is truly unique and one of the reasons to visit Turkey.

 

Sedir Adasi aka Cleopatra island

Sedir Adasi aka Cleopatra island is believed to be Cleopatra’s private paradise.

 

Getting there: Sedir island is located 18 km North of Marmaris. There are boat services from Marmaris, Akyaka and Camli Port.

 

Where to stay in Marmaris:

Club Aida

Casa de Maris Spa & Resort Hotel

Dost Hotel

 

 

 

05 | Olympos – Cirali

 

Olympos was an important Lycian city in the 2nd century BC. Today it is famed for its accommodation in treehouses and for being the destination of choice for backpackers. Flanked by two huge mountains, the whole area around is dramatically beautiful, while the village behind offers plenty of pensions and restaurants with a hippyish atmosphere.

Olympos preserves the remains of ancient Greek ruins, combining history and nature perfectly.

 

Çirali, Olympos is one of the best beaches in Turkey.

Çirali, Olympos beach is at walking distance from the Ancient Ruins of Olympos.

 

If you go to Olympos, you should not miss the Eternal Flames of the Chimera (Yanartaş). This is a magical place where it is believed that Olympic athletes came to light their torches. Myth or not, the flames are quite interesting when you consider that they have been burning for thousands of years.

The eternal flames of the Chimera.

The eternal flames of the Chimera.

Some guesthouses in Olympos provide transportation to Mount Olympos at night. Once there, you still need to face a 45-minute hike up to the Eternal Flames of the Chimera. Beware; it is dark and slippery, do not forget a flashlight and be careful!

 

Getting there: Olympos is about 50-60 km from Antalya. There are direct minibusses from Antalya’s otogar. From Olympos bus stop, you will need to catch a dolmuş to Olympos village (around 10 km down a dirt road).

 

Where to stay in Olympos:

Olympos Orange Bungalows

Olympos Deep Green Bungalows

Bayram Tree Houses

 

 

 

 

06 | Bodrum

 

Bodrum means “basement” in Turkish. Honestly, not the name you would expect for this fancy coastal town that is the top summer destination for the Turkish upper class.

The elegant town of Bodrum is completely white. But there are two more colors that make this city exceptionally beautiful – pink and turquoise. The soft pink color comes from its bougainvillea flowers that decorate every street and its turquoise color comes from the fantastic sea. With packed boutique hotels, trendy restaurants, and nightclubs, Bodrum has something for everybody!

 

Bodrum beach

Bodrum waters are this kind of clear!

 

Getting there: There are daily flights from Istanbul to Bodrum. Once in Bodrum airport, take the Havaş bus to reach the city center.

 

Where to stay in Bodrum:

El Vino Hotel & Suites

Bodrium Hotel and YOU Spa

7. Art Feslegen Hotel

 

 

07 | Kaş – Liman Ağzı

 

Pronounced like “cash“, the town of Kaş is an ideal base to explore some of the best beaches in Turkey. The town itself does not really have the best beaches but you can easily access Kaputaş Beach or get on a water taxi to go to Liman Ağzı, a string of 4 beaches about 3kms away from Kaş.

 

First of the 3 beaches in Liman Agzi (Kas)

First of the 3 beaches in Liman Agzi (Kas)

 

Getting there: Take one of the taxi boats in the port of Kaş to go to the beaches of Liman Ağzı. Limanağzı has four beaches: Nuri Beach, Bilal Beach, La Moda Beach and Delos Beach. Taxi boats from Kaş operate from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and the round-trip ticket costs 20TRY.

 

Where to stay in Liman Ağzı:

La Moda Beach Hotel

Nuri’s Beach Bungalow

Delos Beach Hotel

 

 

 

08 | Ölüdeniz – Blue Lagoon beach

 

I already talked about Ölüdeniz and its amazing Blue Lagoon Beach in my post about paragliding in Ölüdeniz but I will say it again: this place is stunning! Without any doubt, one of the best beaches in Turkey. The only problem is that, as with most beautiful places, everybody wants to come here and it gets crowded during peak season. But, even when packed, Ölüdeniz is well worth a visit and, if you dare to try paragliding, there is no better place for that! Ölüdeniz is the Turkish Mecca for this sport.

 

The incredible turquoise blue color of Ölüdeniz Blue Lagoon makes it one of the best beaches in Turkey.

The incredible turquoise blue color of Ölüdeniz Blue Lagoon waters.

 

Getting there: Fly to Dalaman from Istanbul and take the shuttle bus that connects its small airport to Fethiye. Once there, you can take another dolmuş from Fethiye to Ölüdeniz.

 

Where to stay in Ölüdeniz:

Elze Hotel

Mozaik Hotel 

Jade Residence

 

Views of Oludeniz Blue Lagoon (Turkey)

You need to try paragliding to get these amazing views of Oludeniz!

 

 

 

 

09 | Antalya – Konyaalti Plaji and Lara beach

 

Antalya is the largest Turkish city on the western Mediterranean coast and the gateway to the Turkish Riviera. While it may be too touristy for backpackers and independent travelers, it is worth spending a couple of days and visiting its Kaleiçi (the wonderfully preserved old city district). It also has some of the best beaches in Turkey. The beach in the pictures is Konyaalti beach, in the heart of the city but framed by mountains that on clear days seem almost near enough to touch.

 

Konyaalti beach in Antalya.

Konyaalti beach in Antalya.

 

Another popular beach in Antalya is Lara Beach with about 12 km of coastline. In this beach, I enjoyed one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen in Turkey!

 

Incredible sunset in Lara Beach (Antalya).

Incredible sunset in Lara Beach (Antalya).

 

Where to stay in Antalya:

White Garden Hotel

Melda Palace

Hotel Aspen

 

 

 

10 | Kilyos – Istanbul

 

I am aware Kilyos probably does not deserve to be on the list of the top best beaches in Turkey. Kilyos may seem mediocre if compared to the previous ones. But if you are in Istanbul and just want to cool down from the heat with a dip in the Black Sea, Kilyos is your best bet.

 

Kilyos, Istanbul. The golden sands of Kilyos beach and the Black sea waters.

The golden sands of Kilyos beach and the Black sea waters.

 

Getting there: Kilyos is located around 35km from Istanbul center. The easiest way to get to Kilyos from Taksim is to take any bus going to Sariyer. Once in Sariyer, you can ask anyone where can you find the dolmuş for Kilyos. Kilyos is about a 30-minute dolmuş ride from Sariyer.

 

Where to stay in Kilyos:

Kilyos Kale Hotel

Yuva Hotel

Erzurumlu Hotel

 

 

 

Note: Probably some of the best beaches in Turkey are missing from this list, but I only wanted to include beaches I have been to. For this reason, I reserve the right to update this post every summer 🙂  As always all the pictures and opinions are my own.

* Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, if you make a reservation through the links above, I will earn a small percentage. This helps me to keep my website running. I really appreciate your support. Thanks!

 

Ana

Ana comes from Southern Spain, but you will hardly ever find her there. After a few years living in Germany and Ireland, she found out life without sun was not worthy for her! Now she lives in Istanbul where she teaches Spanish and writes about things she loves.

5 Comments:

  1. Oh you have got me so excited fro my upcoming trip to Turkey! Thank you 🙂
    Simone
    http://www.theaussieflashpacker

  2. I have been to butterfly valley and Ölüdeniz before, stunning places. Turkey has a special place in our hearts!

  3. Really good selections. Patara Beach in the Southern Costs of Turkey can be an addition to the list.

  4. All lovely beaches you have chosen, although we’ve never been to Kilyos. Yes, you could go on and on listing all the great beaches in Turkey…but that would be a very long post. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed your stay in our neck of the woods (Fethiye area).
    Julia

    • Hello Julia! Thanks for your comment and yes, really love the whole Fethiye area and already planning to go back this upcoming summer 🙂 I need to update this post, want to include Ayvalık and maybe more beaches that I will visit soon.. hehe. Regards, Ana.

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