Want to visit some of the best beaches in Turkey but don’t know where to begin? You’ve come to the right place. Located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Turkey is known for its stunning landscapes, rich history and superb seaside spots. Its coastline, which stretches along the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, boasts a plethora of breathtaking beaches. From picturesque sandy shores to hidden coves and turtle nesting sites, Turkey's beaches offer an idyllic retreat for sun worshippers and water babies alike. Read on for our guide to the best beaches in Turkey, so you can spend less time searching and more time sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling…
The one-mile-long Cleopatra Beach owes its name to a captivating tale from ancient times. According to legend, the Egyptian queen fell in love with the beach's exquisite beauty during her visit to the region. Whether or not this is true, it certainly adds intrigue and charm to this pristine spot of sand. Rare and special sand it is too; fine-grained, soft and cool to the touch. Plus, it doesn't stick to the skin like regular sand, so you won’t be finding grains in your suitcase for months to come. If you’re interested in water sports, you’re in luck. The crystal-clear waters are perfect for swimming, snorkelling and diving, as well as sailing and windsurfing when the conditions are right.
Situated on Turkey's southwestern coast, Patara Beach is one of the country's longest sandy beaches. It stretches over 11 miles and is enclosed by the lush Patara National Park – a pristine coastal gem renowned for its natural beauty and historic significance. Whether you decide to bask on the golden sands, take a refreshing dip in the brilliantly blue waters, or explore the nearby ruins of the ancient city of Patara, there’s plenty to see and do at this scenic spot. Keep your eyes peeled while you’re here as the beach serves as a nesting site for endangered loggerhead sea turtles. If you’re lucky, you may get to witness their hatching and migration, which is an incredible sight. If not, at least you’ll still get to soak up the sun and enjoy a dip in the sea.
Let’s stick to the southwestern coast for another one of the best beaches in Turkey. Ölüdeniz beach, also known as the ‘Blue Lagoon’, has earned its nickname due to the extraordinary blend of azure waters, powdery white sands and verdant mountains. It's the perfect place to go if you're looking for some peace and quiet for a few hours, with a calm and sheltered lagoon which is perfect for swimming, snorkelling, or just lying back and unwinding on the beach with a holiday read. If you prefer more of an action-packed beach day, give paragliding a go; Ölüdeniz is famous for being one of the world's top destinations for this exciting aerial sport.
Nestled along the picturesque Turquoise Coast is Kaputaş Beach, a relatively under-the-radar spot known for its unspoiled natural beauty and breathtaking surroundings. Expect a delightful combination of pristine sands, turquoise waters and dramatic cliffs at this rugged coastal spot. Nothing worth having comes easy, including the journey down to this beach. Visitors must descend down a series of steep steps, but once you’ve made it to the secluded spot you’ll be met with a visual feast which draws in photographers, sun seekers and nature lovers alike.
Last on our list of the best beaches in Turkey is a place of ecological significance. Located in the Mugla province, Iztuzu (also known as ‘Turtle Beach’) is known for its gorgeous landscapes, aquamarine waters and –most importantly – its commitment to conservation. This special stretch of sand is a critical nesting ground for the endangered Caretta sea turtles (aka loggerhead turtles) and between May and September each year, they gather at the beach to lay their eggs. It’s a cycle that has existed for thousands of years and there are strict conservation measures in place to protect this fragile ecosystem. During nesting season, visitors are guided to designated pathways to see the spectacle without disturbing the nesting process.