Spanning the Mediterranean, Aegean, and Black Seas, Turkey is gifted with an ample selection of beaches. A handful of spots have succumbed to overtourism, but much of Turkey’s 4,400-plus miles of coastline is still manageable. Choices vary considerably between lively urban locales, all-inclusive resorts, and remote nature reserves. To help narrow your search, we’ve compiled a breakdown of the 10 best beaches in Turkey.
1. Iztuzu Beach
Located along Turkey’s southwestern coast, Iztuzu’s natural beauty and unique topography are truly wonderful to behold. Lush mountains and the marshy Dalyan River delta provide a scenic backdrop to the four-and-a-half-kilometer sandbar. Iztuzu’s shoreline has calm swimming conditions with minimal waves and plenty of shallow water due to a gently sloping seabed.
Though Iztuzu can receive daily visitors in the thousands during the sunny months of May through September, the crowds are concentrated on the northern and southern tips of the beach, where lounge chairs, umbrellas, and cafés can be found. Development has been restricted on the central portion of the beach to protect loggerhead turtle nesting grounds. Venturing out to this section promises more solitude — just be mindful of the nesting sites, which are rather conspicuous due to protective cages positioned by a dedicated team of university students. Visiting hours are also constrained from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., as the turtles arrive on the sandy shores during nighttime to lay their eggs. To reach the beach from downtown Dalyan, opt for a stunning boat trip along the river or public minibus.
Our Pick for a Hotel Near Iztuzu Beach: The Dalyan Resort Spa offers a palm-fringed pool and scenic location on the banks of the Dalyan River. The property is also within short walking distance of the town center.
2. Patara Beach
Despite boasting Turkey’s longest stretch of uninterrupted beach, Patara remains in pristine condition. Patara’s southeastern end is accessible via a road from the neighboring village of Gelemis. Most visitors choose to park themselves here for the day to enjoy the reliably sunny weather and swim in the azure sea. The facilities are limited, but adequate, including a small café run by the local government to raise funds for beach maintenance. It’s worth trekking northwest from here to admire the rising dunes and gain some privacy. Tread carefully, though, as loggerhead turtles arrive in droves in the summer months to nest. Visitation is limited to the daylight hours to allow the turtles to nest without disturbance. The beach has additional protective status for its adjacent ruins — the former city of Patara. The partially restored Roman-style theater, council chamber, temples, and other sites are conveniently located just off the access road between Gelemis and the beach. Furthermore, the Lycian Way — a 316-mile hiking trail that meanders through Patara to connect Fethiye and Antalya — affords ample hiking opportunities to explore the idyllic Mediterranean coastline.
3. Ölüdeniz Beach
This magnificent beach spans both the shimmering Mediterranean Sea and a tranquil blue lagoon. The sheltered lagoon is perfect for leisurely swimming, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding, while the Mediterranean side is a popular anchoring point for sailboats and yachts. During fair weather conditions, keep an eye out for paragliders cruising overhead. Aside from the small village of Ölüdeniz, the lagoon and a sizable section of the adjacent Taurus Mountains are protected as part of Ölüdeniz Tabiat reserve. Within the reserve, a well-marked hiking trail leads to the abandoned town of Kayaköy. Approximately 20,000 Greek Orthodox residents left the town in 1923 as part of a population exchange agreement between Greece and Turkey following the land grabs of the Greco-Turkish war. It takes about two-and-a-half hours to reach the town, where numerous homes, fountains, and two Greek Orthodox churches remain largely untouched since their abandonment.
Our Pick for a Hotel Near Ölüdeniz Beach: Flora Palm Resort is a budget-friendly all-inclusive option that offers mountain views and easy access to bustling Hisarönü. Also, free shuttles whisk guests to and from the beach throughout the day.
4. Çirali Beach
This charming village in southern Turkey draws visitors with its laid-back family-run resorts, expansive beach, natural wonders, and historic attractions. Çirali grants superb hiking and walking opportunities through its lush citrus orchards, valleys, and steep mountains. For starters, the ancient ruins at Olympos can be reached in 15 minutes on foot. Dating back to around the fourth-century B.C., the former city is picturesque despite its dilapidated state. The ruin site includes a Roman theater, temple, tombs, and crumbling ramparts. A more strenuous hike leads up the mountains to Yanartas, where flames rise from natural gas pockets in the rock face. Longer hikes are possible on the Lycian Way, which passes through Çirali on its lengthy coastal journey. Like Iztuzu and Patara, Çirali is an important nesting site for loggerhead turtles between May and August. Nighttime visitation and campfires are restricted during hatching season, so as not to disturb or disorient the nesting turtles. To appreciate this natural phenomenon responsibly, arrive at the beach in the early morning during July and August, then sit back and watch hatchlings make the epic journey to the sea.
Our Pick for a Hotel Near Çirali Beach: For easy beach access, the Odile Hotel should be your top choice. Their bungalow-style accommodations are perfect for families and groups.
5. Ovabükü Beach
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Ovabükü’s location on the jutting Datça Peninsula requires a bit more effort to reach than other beaches on this list. However, this keeps the summer crowds at bay, so you won’t have to compete for a lounge chair on the beach or space to swim in the sheltered waters. The beach is nestled between a forested hillside and rocky outcrops, which further adds to the secluded atmosphere. There are plenty of umbrellas and a handful of local eateries offering fresh seafood and traditional Turkish fare, so it’s easy to spend the entire day beachside. Be sure to allocate some time to explore the surrounding landscape of olive groves and pine trees, as well as the neighboring bays — Hayitbükü to the east, and Kurubük to the west. Further west, at the tip of the peninsula, the ancient ruins of Knidos grant dramatic views of the Aegean Sea.
Our Pick for a Hotel Near Ovabükü Beach: Located just west of Ovabüku, the Mavi Beyaz Hotel is well-situated for beach hopping along the Datça Peninsula.
6. Kaputaş Beach
While Kaputaş is by far the smallest beach on this list, its 500 feet of sand and surf make quite the lasting impression. Located right off the main coastal road between Antayla and Fethiye, Kaputas is hidden from view by steep, rocky cliffs, which shield the sandy enclave from the world above. Visitors must descend 186 steps to reach the picturesque beach, where the inlet’s calm, turquoise waters provide excellent swimming conditions. Be sure to arrive early to claim a lounge chair and umbrella, as the tiny beach fills up quickly in the summer months.
Our Pick for a Hotel Near Kaputaş Beach: Located in the nearby town of Kalkan, the Likya Residence Hotel & Spa grants stellar views of the bay and is in close proximity to local cafés and restaurants.
7. Kleopatra Beach
This bustling stretch of sand can be found in Alanya, a resort town in southwestern Turkey. Kleopatra Beach extends a considerable length on the town’s west end, featuring lounge rentals and a promenade. The Mediterranean Sea here is well-suited for swimming and water sports alike. Numerous beachside cafes and bars line the coastal road, though Alanya’s historic section promises far more authentic charm. Beachgoers can enjoy views of the looming Alanya Castle, though trekking up to the well-preserved fortification is worth the effort for expansive vistas over the surrounding sea and town below.
Our Pick for a Hotel Near Kleopatra Beach: For prime beach access, pool lounging, and proximity to nightlife, you can’t go wrong with the modern Savk Hotel.
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This half-mile of rocky coast can be found on the northern edges of the Dilek Peninsula within Dilek National Park. Though Karasu’s large stones aren’t ideal for lounging, this corner of the Aegean Sea is incredibly clear and alluring after hiking the forest trails. Furthermore, it grants views of the Greek island of Samos, located just a few miles away across the Mycale Strait. The peninsula is teeming with biodiversity, including wild boar, monk seals, jackals, sea turtles, and a variety of bird species. Other attractions in and around the park include the extensive ruins at Didyma, Priene, and Miletus.
Our Hotel Pick Near Karasu: The Hotel Akbulut & Spa is conveniently located just outside Dilek National Park in Güzelçamli, plus it has its own beach access.
Charming, cobblestone-laden Alaçati is situated west of Izmir on the Çesme peninsula. There are several beaches surrounding Alaçati in all directions, but the most notable one is located about four kilometers south of town. Though the beach is modest in size, the sand is powdery and the water is clear and offers ideal swimming conditions. Further offshore, strong winds have made the region popular with water-sports enthusiasts. Given the lack of waves and reliable winds, the bay is advantageous for beginner kiteboarding and windsurfing. Several schools offer rentals and lessons for all skill levels. Aside from the surf and adrenaline, Alaçati’s downtown is bustling with boutiques and restaurants serving cutting-edge Aegean cuisine.
Our Pick for a Hotel Near Alaçati: Set back from Alaçati’s surfing beach, the Kairaba Alacati Beach Resort & Spa is ideal for a romantic beach getaway.
Turkey’s Black Sea coast is largely overlooked by international visitors for its Aegean and Mediterranean beaches. However, those who explore this region will find more secluded beaches and budget-friendly accommodations. The seaside town of Şile is just a one-hour drive east from Istanbul, making it a popular weekend retreat in the summer. Visiting during the week guarantees fewer crowds, especially compared to Turkey’s more trafficked beaches to the south. Other highlights include the view from the historic lighthouse and visiting the 14th-century Şile Castle. Much of the Black Sea coast experiences strong undertow and currents, so be sure to adhere to any posted warnings before diving in.
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