Beach holidays in Turkey are often synonymous with (mostly) British tourists occupying row after row of sun loungers, rowdy club nights and all-inclusive resorts. However, using public transport, or your own car, you can get to some of the best beaches in Turkey in no time.
The information in this article is inspired by The Rough Guide to Europe on a Budget, your essential guide for visiting Europe.
Meet the loggerhead turtles who bury their eggs in the protected sands of Ciralı. Or, escape the tourist haven of Bodrum, one of the best beach destinations in Turkey. Find secluded coves just down the coast.
While lack of shade is often a problem on this beach, the gently shelving seabed calms the choppy waters, making Iztuzu excellent for children.
This tailor-made trip to Delightful Turkey is for those who want to discover as much as of Turkey as possible in under one week. Highlights include the Old Town of Istanbul, the valleys of Cappadocia, the birth of Sufism and the historical city of Ephesus.
In peak season the immediate vicinity of the beach entrance gets crowded, but walking northwest past the dunes brings you to plenty of solitary spots. Spring and autumn swimming is delightful, but in summer the exposed shoreline can be battered by body-surfable waves.
Find more inspiration for visiting Turkey with our guide to the best things to do in Turkey.
Çiralı is safeguarded by various Turkish bodies for its unique ecology. This has enabled threatened loggerhead and green sea turtles to continue laying their eggs here. Be careful not to so dig up, litter or nocturnally illuminate the beach during the summer nesting season.
The ruins of Phaselis flank three small bays, providing ample opportunity to contemplate antique monuments while lying on the beach. The natural beauty of the clear sea makes for a rewarding half-day outing. Bring a picnic if you don’t fancy the car-park snack caravans.
The salt lake just inland is a major habitat for migratory birds, especially flamingos. The entire area is supposedly a protected reserve. However this has neither prevented tourist development nor deterred Balkan tourists from wallowing in the shoreline’s black mud, said to have healing properties.
There is a lot more to Turkey than meets the eye. Between the beaches and bustling markets lies a wealth of interesting history filled with religious and literary figures, civil war and a multitude of languages. Learn a little more about Turkey with these facts about Turkey you never knew.
Explore two Turkish highlights on our tailor-made trip to Istanbul and Cappadocia. Visit Istanbul, the former capital of the Ottoman Empire with its many landmarks. After a few days in the city, fly to Cappadocia and explore the surreal surroundings, either on day tours or from above in a hot air balloon.
The next cove on, Bağla, seems initially off-putting. But persevere and you’ll find some of the softest sand on the peninsula.
Spend your day on a boat tour visiting Bodrum's hidden bays. Swim in the turquoise waters surrounding Black Island and relax with lunch at Aquarius Bay.
Turkey is one of the best places to travel with kids. Check out our guide to the best places to go with kids and find some more inspirational ideas for the family holidays.
Visiting Turkey is a trully unforgetable expirience. For more inspirational travel tips check our Rough Guide books. If you travel further in Turkey, read more about the best time to go and the best places to visit in Turkey. For inspiration use the itineraries and our local travel experts. A bit more hands on, learn about getting there, getting around the country and where to stay once you are there.
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Top image: Iztuzu Beach and Dalyan © Nejdet Duzen/Shutterstock