Turkey is a country blessed with so many beautiful beach destinations that it almost seems a shame to only pick five out of the mix. My recent trip to the Aegean coast of Turkey has left me blown away by the choice of the sunny seaside villages to explore, not to mention the turquoise waters at these destinations. Here are my top five hot spots including beaches, cafes and things to do at each destination. Make sure you put these on your list for your next beach holiday!
Blue lagoon Ölüdeniz
The blue lagoon in Ölüdeniz is a protected national park about 10 mins walk from Ölüdeniz town and one hour from Dalaman international airport. It’s a virtual paradise, with the warm turquoise waters set around towering mountains; it’s a place to go when you want to escape. The lagoon has calm, crystal clear waters which makes it ideal for a variety of water sports and a very safe place for children to swim. Grab a canoe or paddle boat and meander around the lagoon, swim up and bake on the floating wooden platoons or enjoy an ice-cream on a sun bed on the sand. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, you could even choose to jump on the 2000m high cliff and paraglide down to the beach. A little something for everyone.
This secluded beach is a healthy, hippy haven. Access is only via boat so it keeps the crowds at bay. The beach is protected by towering mountains, making it the perfect spot to stay protected from the elements on a windy day. Pack your runners and walking clothes to hike up to the waterfall and wash away the heat of the day
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with a freezing cold natural shower. After an invigorating hike, enjoy a vegetarian buffet at the only cafe at the beach and unwind with a beer as the sun sets in the afternoon. You can also opt to camp here overnight (or as long as you like) in very basic cabins or tents.
Kalkan is a picturesque gem on the Lycian coast of Turkey. With its cobbled stone streets and numerous boutiques, cafes and restaurants it has the perfect combination for a European coastal getaway. With its unspoiled warm hospitality, quaint pebbled beach, I’ve given it the nickname – “The Positano of Turkey.” Enjoy water sports or scuba diving during the day, shopping in the afternoon and bar hop into the evening along the seaside bars. My favourite was the open air garden bar Botanik which serves their cocktails with sides of popcorn and toasted nuts and is situated on the highest point of the mountain.
Kas (pronounced “Kash”) is a tiny cute fishing and diving town but despite its numerous hotels and pensions, it still has kept its untouched charm. The streets are curtained with jasmine and bougainvillaea vines and the locals sell cooked almonds out of carts. If you like handmade silver jewellery, Kas will be your shopping mecca. You are spoilt for choice in this little town, possibly over 35 locally owned jewellery stores. They will even re-size rings for you while you enjoy lunch. My favourite place in this town is a cliff hanging cocktail bar called Amsa 6 Garden. A nice place to have a “sundowner” before the evening starts.
Fethiye is a busy local market town with a substantial sized marina and food options galore. Buckets of spices tower over you as you meander your way through the pedestrian only streets. Go on a Turkish delight tasting trail, enjoying flavours like pistachio and rose water and everything in between. Indulge in a flavoured shisha at one of the many cool restaurants or be adventurous and try a traditional Turkish bath.
Do you have any other favourites we should add to this list?