Top 10 Beaches In Turkey
Winning tip: Kabak Bay, Ölüdeniz
It's mostly locals that you'll find here – a complete lack of watersports, plastic sun beds and boat trips gives Kabak its tranquil, hippy-esque vibe. There is a good choice of accommodation, some of which is shabby-chic. I would recommend staying in a wooden bungalow at the Olive Garden: a lovely pool, fresh food, and chickens wandering around add to the ambience.
Olympos to Çıralı
The beach that runs from the ruins at Olympos to Çıralı has everything. There are quiet fish restaurants and yoga at Çıralı, and at Olympos, backpackers and rock climbers sip beers and share communal meals at the tree houses. Above, on Mount Olympos, are the flames of the jimmigrimble
Iztuzu Beach, Dalyan
This is an incredible eco-beach. Catch the local bus from Gülpinar Road in Dalyan for a breathtaking ride and then walk from the last stop through the nature reserve to the far cove. Yogis, snorkellers, dippers, a class from the local school and a vast space. You can't put sun umbrellas into the sand in June and July as the loggerhead turtle eggs are hatching just below the surface.
Mermerli beach, Antalya
This tiny beach is just a stone's throw from the bustle of Antalya's shopping, eating and drinking centre. Pay about £3.40 at the entrance to the Mermerli restaurant and descend the wooden staircase to the sandy beach. Here you will be offered sun loungers and shades and served drinks, ice-creams or freshly cooked food from the restaurant above.
Butterfly valley, Ölüdeniz
Laid-back, bohemian, Butterfly valley is at the base of the Babadag mountain. We spent a day swimming, gently hiking to a waterfall and swinging in a hammock in the cool, stone tea house. We stayed put in a pre-erected tent, enjoying communal meals and drinks in the aptly named Rock Bar – and there were campfires with music, too.
Patara beach, Antalya
The stunning 11 miles of unbroken sand dunes is undeveloped save for one community-run cafe. The beach is off-limits after sunset to allow for the nocturnal life of the loggerhead sea turtles. If you are lucky, you can witness a simultaneous sunset and moonrise from the top of a dune. Absolutely magical.
Kaputas beach, Kas
This beach is well worth what is a steep descent, by a flight of steps, from the coast road. Locals and tourists use it but even during the high season you'll find that it's not crowded. It is more pebble than sand, but the swimming is great. However, what really sets it apart is the family run gözleme (pancake) establishment that is set up under an awning, where the grandmother turns out sweet and savoury snacks with alarming rapidity.
The resort has sand that is like cane sugar and the water is very warm. Flamingoes and other birds can often be seen bathing in the salt water inland, and the area nearby is a nature reserve, so pack the binoculars and cameras. The black mud from a spot just along the shoreline is also used by tourists for healing skin.
At this gold-coloured sandy beach the water is incredibly clean. You can walk for a long time, and the water will still be around your hips. I would recommend Okan's Place, where you pay to enter, you get your parasol, sun-lounger, and cushion. Pleasant, not too crowded, and very peaceful. It also serves food from its own garden at the back - try the yoghurt drink with herbs.
Hotel Kum, Saros Bay
The word kum means sand in Turkish, and that is what Hotel Kum delivers. The hotel, with campsite, sits on the western shores of the Gallipoli peninsula. The beach is a stretch of perfect fine sand, gently sloping into the clear waters of Saros Bay. There is plenty of shade provided to escape the heat of an Aegean summer day, and hotel staff come round regularly to take food and drink orders.
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