Best 19 Turkey Beaches

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Turkey sits straddling Europe and Asia forming a rich melting pot of history and culture. As a holiday destination it has a lot to offer, from and array of archaeological sites and historic gems to the bustling bazaars of Istanbul. The landscape is equally diverse ranging from snow capped mountains to the archetypal olive groves and fishing villages of the Mediterranean coast. Oh, and some of Europe's best beaches!

Turkey's 7,000 km coastline can be roughly divided into three distinct regions; to the north is the Black Sea coast, in the west the Aegean and the south is the Mediterranean or Turquoise Coast. For now the Black sea remains something of an unexplored region for foreign travellers, although the more adventurous will find some beautiful little beaches here.

The Aegean Coast on the other hand is characterised by wide sandy expanses that have to some extent been developed as resorts. But it is the Turkish Riviera or Turquoise Coast where virtually all the best known beaches in Turkey are located. Resorts such as Bodrum, Marmaris and Izmir have grown up around many of the finest beaches.

With no less than 450 Blue Flag beaches in Turkey it is no simple task to choose a beach. Hopefully our selection of some of our favourite beaches below will offer some ideas.

The Best Turkish Beaches...

  • 1. Kaputas Beach // Turquoise Coast

    Kaputas Beach
    © Umit Ozkan
    Great for:
    • Swimming

    This tiny, but perfect stretch of sand sparkles against the beautiful,clear turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea. It is surrounded by steep golden cliffs, and the views out over the beach are something to behold. You do need to climb down a long set of steps to reach the beach, but it is worth the effort.

    Once you reach the beach itself you'll want to cool off in the sea.… read more »

  • 2. Oludeniz Beach // Turquoise Coast

    Oludeniz Beach
    © Anastasia Tsarskaya / 123RF

    Ölüdeniz or Olu deniz is the Turkish for "Dead Sea" and this refers to the still waters of the lagoon that lies behind the beach. A more fitting and commonly used translation is the Blue Lagoon.

    The lagoon has crystal clear waters and provides an ideal safe place for children to play. It is separated from the sea by a curving spit of sand which is backed by pine… read more »

  • 3. Kleopatra Beach // Turquoise Coast

    Kleopatra Beach
    © slonmoska
    Great for:
    • Snorkeling
    • Swimming

    Alanya has evolved through the centuries, from a defensive bastion on Turkey's southern Mediterranean flank to a thriving holiday resort. This legacy can be clearly seen at the town's best sandy stretch, Kleopatra beach, which sits at the foot of an imposing headland topped with a medieval castle.

    The beach is best viewed from the viewpoint of the castle as it stretches off into the distance backed by the steeply rising… read more »

  • 4. Butterfly Valley // Turquoise Coast

    Butterfly Valley
    © Anastasia Tsarskaya

    Butterfly Valley (Kelebekler Vadisi) is within a stone's throw of the Blue Lagoon at Ölüdeniz and every bit as remarkable. In fact, the only practical way to reach the beach here is by taking a boat from Ölüdeniz. You may have guessed from the name that Butterfly Valley is set at the end of an impressive canyon and is home to a variety of species of butterflies which, at times,… read more »

  • 5. Patara Beach // Turquoise Coast

    Patara Beach
    Harry Luff
    Great for:
    • Swimming

    Located just 17 kilometers west of Kalkan on the Mediterranean coast, Patara Beach is reputed to be the birthplace of Santa Claus. St. Nicholas is said to have been born here in the third century, after which he moved to Demre, where he became a bishop and started doing his good deeds. Father Christmas aside, the sandy beach here is a magnificent 12 miles long and 50 meters wide, so… read more »

  • 6. Cirali Beach // Turquoise Coast

    Cirali Beach
    Alex Bellink

    Çıralı Beach is something of a hidden gem. Tucked away to the south of Antalya this near pristine beach has something to offer everyone from nature lovers to history buffs.

    The long pebble and sand beach at Cirali is backed by lush green mountains that rise up from a level plain that is studded with palm trees, olive groves and a few red-roofed villas. There are also a number of quality… read more »

  • 7. Konyaalti Beach // Turquoise Coast

    Konyaalti Beach
    © Ig0rZh
    Great for:
    • Snorkeling
    • Swimming

    Set in the city of Antalya, Konyaalti Beach is on the Mediterranean Coast on the west side of the town centre. It is a Blue Flag beach, so you know that the water is clean and safe for swimming, and there are no shortage of amenities close to hand.

    The beach itself doesn't have the softest sand in the world, in fact it is a little pebbly, however this helps… read more »

  • 8. Iztuzu Beach // Turquoise Coast

    Iztuzu Beach
    Maria Jonker

    The unique setting of İztuzu Beach is truly breathtaking; set at the foot of pine-forested mountains this four kilometer long spit of sand stretches out into a river delta. You can see the natural beauty of this spot thanks to the efforts of conservationists back in the late 1980s. Whilst it would seem a challenge to develop the surrounds of this stunning beach it was very much on the cards.… read more »

  • 9. Ilica Plaji // Agean Coast

    Ilica Plaji
    Great for:
    • Swimming
    • Kitesurfing

    Ilica Plaji is another beautiful beach on the Turkey's Cesme peninsula. With crystalline turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea and powder white sand you can truly relax and enjoy the beauty all around. As an added bonus the beach here isn't as crowded as most areas in the Southern Aegean and Mediterranean.

    The Cesme Peninsula has been a popular destination for wealthy people from Izmir for many years. In addition to… read more »

  • 10. Icmeler // Turquoise Coast

    Great for:
    • Snorkeling
    • Swimming

    One of Turkey's most popular beaches, Icmeler Beach, is located about eight kilometers from the holiday hub of Marmaris. It is a thriving holiday resort that was once upon a time a fishing village. Today this herritage is very much overshadowed by an array of restaurants, pubs, hotels, shops, and more.

    The arc of coarse golden sand faces into the bright blue waters of the Mediterranean. Beyond the beach verdant… read more »

  • 11. Altinkum Plaji // Agean Coast

    Altinkum Plaji
    Great for:
    • Swimming

    Altinkum Plaji means "Golden Sand Beach", and that is exactly what you will find here. This beautiful beach stretches for some distance and faces into the crystal clear water of the Agean Sea. Despite the hot summer temperatures the water here is always a little bit cool, which can be welcomely refreshing.

    Located in Izmir's popular resort town of Cesme, Altinkum beach is one of the most popular summer spots… read more »

  • 12. Phaselis Beach // Turquoise Coast

    Phaselis Beach
    © Tatiana Popova

    Set on the aptly named Turquoise Coast and backed by pine covered mountain slopes are the three little sheltered bays which make up Phaselis beach. This area between Kemer and Olimpos is part of a protected national park and the scenery is everything you would expect. The beaches at Phaselis are a welcome relief from the somewhat overdeveloped package resorts along this stretch of coast. There is a distinctly peaceful… read more »

  • 13. Alanya Beach // Turquoise Coast

    Alanya Beach
    Great for:
    • Swimming

    With wide expanses of golden sands reaching into the inviting blue Mediterranean, Alanya's East beach is also the longest in town running from old Alanya harbour to neighbouring Oba Beach. Located just over the headland from Kleopatra beach the beach here receives less attention and acclaim, but is equally good.

    Being more sheltered it is often calmer than next door, and the sea floor drops away less steeply, meaning… read more »

  • 14. Side Beach // Turquoise Coast

    Side Beach
    © 123RF
    Great for:
    • Swimming

    Side was once a little fishing village with a rich and ancient heritage. Pronounced "sea-day", which incidentally translates as pomegranate, Side exists on the site of what was an ancient Pamphylian city. The old town is set on a headland with ancient walls; beaches stretch out in both directions and the area is home to a wealth of archealogical treasures.

    Things have moved on a little since the halcyon days of… read more »

  • 15. Inkumu Beach // Black Sea

    Inkumu Beach

    Inkumu Beach is located near Amasra on Turkey's Black Sea coast. With around 3 kilometres of fine sand beach backed by wooded hillsides, this is possibly the finest on the coast.

    During the summer Inkumu can be pretty busy, so it is possibly best to visit outside of peak season if you want to enjoy the natural beauty of this spot.

    Being on the Black Sea the water here is somewhat less… read more »