With more than 8,000 kilometers of coastline spread over four seas (Black, Marmara, Aegean, Mediterranean), Turkey enjoys a very unique range of beaches, between mountains, cliffs and turquoise lagoons. Some would have welcomed Queen Cleopatra in their time, while others were mentioned by Homer in theIliade.

According to the label Blue Flag, which lists clean beaches with unpolluted waters, Turkey comes in third place internationally, with 463 sites labeled in 2020. Here are some ideas for a next beach break.

İztuzu (Dalyan)

A narrow strip of golden sand that forms a natural barrier between the freshwater delta of the Dalyan river and the Mediterranean, İztuzu beach is one of the main breeding and habitat sites for the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta). This marine reptile, about 90 cm long, is on the red list of theUICN endangered animals. For its protection, as well as that of blue crabs, the 4.5 km of beach has been classified as a natural site and protected since 1988. Access is therefore only possible at certain scheduled times, only during the day.

Housing

The Midas Pension is a family inn in the fishing village of Dalyan. The rooms are air conditioned, and a terrace with deckchairs has been fitted out with a small staircase to make the river a private swimming pool. Take a look at the Lycian tombs dug into the cliff side which contribute to the reputation of the region. The owner offers his customers to drive them to İztuzu Beach by boat. Phone. : + 90 252 284 21 95.

Restore

Dalyan’s must-see, the Begonville House is as much appreciated by Turks as by foreigners for its green setting and its keftas (meatballs with spices) cooked according to the recipe of the grandmother of the master of the place. Phone. : + 90 542 422 61 02.

Kabak Bay (Fethiye)

More intimate than its neighbor Ölüdeniz, the Kabak Koyu cove is an excellent alternative. EnginKorkmaz / Adobe Stock

The city of Fethiye, built on the site of the ancient city of Telmessos, is full of beaches and coves among the most beautiful in Turkey. The most famous, Ölüdeniz, is nestled in a national park on the border between the Aegean and the Mediterranean. Nicknamed the “blue lagoon”, it regularly leads the rankings of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Alas, this popularity sometimes made it inaccessible in high season as the tourists pile up on the small strip of white sand. For a similar setting, less crowds, the Kabak Koyu cove is a great alternative. It is nestled in the heart of the Valley of the Butterflies, named thus for the 105 species which evolve in this paradisiac decoration.

Housing

Built on the bay, the eleven wooden bungalows of the establishment Pumpkin Avalon can be reached in 20 minutes on foot from the beach. The air-conditioned rooms, furnished with a four-poster bed, all have a balcony with sea view (110 € per night). An ideal starting point for hikes or for a paragliding flight.
Phone. : + 90 252 642 10 22.

Restore

On the pier in Fethiye marina, facing the sunset, the restaurant Mori offers gargantuan seafood platters and good cocktails with impeccable service. Phone. : + 90 252 612 50 67.

Lac de Salda (Yesilova)

Scientists say Lake Salda may have similarities to that of the planet Mars. Aivitalejniece / Adobe Stock

The second deepest body of water in the country (184 m), Lake Salda is nestled in a mountainous region in southwestern Turkey, at over 1,000 meters above sea level. Surrounded by a thin layer of snow in winter, it takes on a turquoise color the rest of the year, which has earned it the nickname “Turkish Maldives”. Thanks to an incredible mineral content, Salda water has many therapeutic properties, both for skin problems (acne, eczema) and for joint and bone pain. If thousands of visitors install their towels each year on the white sandy beaches around the lake, it is also of interest to scientists. It could be similar to the surface lakes of the planet Mars …

Housing

The Salda Lake Hotel is the only establishment located near the lake. With its ski resort chalet look, it welcomes passing travelers all year round. The decoration is basic and aging, but the view of the lake is breathtaking. Count 90 € per night for a double room (booking on site or online, no phone).

Restore

Only snacks and sandwiches are located in Yeşilova, the closest town to the lake (10 km). For a lunch in a pleasant and contemporary setting, go to Both Gurme, in Denizli (1 hour drive to Izmir), where modern and light Turkish cuisine is served, with Lebanese influences. Phone. : + 90 258 240 00 40.

Cirali (Kemer)

The ruins of the ancient city Olympos are accessible by hiking from the beach. EdNurg / Adobe Stock

Lovers of digital detox and outdoor yoga sessions, this wild beach is made for you! Located 70 km west of Antalya, between green mountains, pine forests and cracked cliffs, it is preserved from tourist overcrowding in a region that is nevertheless very visited. It alternates over 3.2 km of portions of sand, small pebbles and pebbles.

The transparent water is suitable for snorkeling, exploring the surrounding coves or even a boat trip. Without forgetting the countless hiking trails of the Lycian Way accessible from the beach and the nearby ruins of the ancient city Olympos to walk between two sunbathing.

Housing

Family resort as there are so many in the region, the Maxx Royal Kemer has kept privacy and refinement in its suites of 100 to 300 m² with sea view. For a memorable experience, we reserve one of the villas with hammam and private infinity pool, which can accommodate up to 15 people (4 nights minimum, at from € 4,500 for the all-inclusive stay). Phone. : + 90 242 813 60 60.

Restore

Twin is the best place to taste mezze, skewers, pide (Turkish pizzas) and fresh fish. Do not miss the house’s signature dish: sea bass cooked in a clay pot, served with a salad sprinkled with lemon and pomegranate vinegar.
Phone. : + 90 242 825 71 79.

Great Port (Amasra)

The town of Amasra was a Genoese trading post before becoming an Ottoman in the 15th century. Boris Stroujko / Adobe Stock

Formerly known as Sesamos, then Amastris, this pretty port city faces the Black Sea in the north of the country. Mentioned by Homère in theIliade in Antiquity, it was then a Genoese trading post before becoming an Ottoman in the 15th century. From its white sandy beach of Büyük Liman, bordered by crystal clear water, we discover a certain resemblance to Dubrovnik (Croatia). Those who would not dare to dive in the fresh water will be able to discover the surrounding nature and dig into the fascinating history of the small city.

Housing

The Northdoor Hotel is the most comfortable establishment in the region. The superior category rooms (from 76 € per night in high season, breakfast included) and the swimming pool offer a breathtaking view of the Black Sea. Phone. : + 90 378 201 00 12.

Restore

A little more modern than its neighbors in a row, the Sahil Fish Restaurant offers a menu of Turkish specialties based on fresh, fried or grilled fish, and traditional mezze. Weather permitting, meals are served on a gangway, feet in the water. Phone. : + 90 378 315 34 65.

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