Besides its exotic culture, extraordinary cuisine and opulent architecture, Turkey has much more to offer in the form of its jaw-dropping beaches. Here are 10 stunning Turkish beaches that will leave you stumped.
Step away from the conventional touristy beaches and say hello to the tranquil Kabak beach devoid of any sort of sunbeds and water-sports, which adds to its charm and uniqueness. A virgin stretch of beach nestled amid a lush pine forest, Kabak beach is an ideal spot for yoga buffs as well as trekking and camping enthusiasts. Apart from a few serene campsites, the beach is untouched, offering an absolute back-to-nature experience.
On the spectacular coast road between Kalkan and Kas, ascend a flight of steps down the cliff to set foot on the breath-taking Kaputas beach. Formed by a gorge and surrounded by steep cliffs and canyons, the natural beauty of Kaputas is simply remarkable. Once again, there are no typical tourist amenities here, giving the beach a serene, untouched feel.
Tucked away between two hovering cliffs, Butterfly Valley is hands down, one of Turkey’s best kept secrets. Boasting of a rather unique, Bohemian vibe, Butterfly Valley is ensconced at the base of the Badadag Mountain and is home to a tranquil, pristine beach. Be it hiking, trekking, canyoning, camping, canoeing, or even scuba diving, Butterfly Valley is a dream come true for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
Etched away on the Datca peninsula, Ovabuku beach is one of Turkey’s prettiest beaches, surrounded by oak, myrtle and carob trees, along with other natural foliage. This beach is part of a chain of three bays, including Hayitbuku and Kizilbuk. A relatively small stretch of glistening golden sand, Ovabuku allures travellers with its lush natural beauty and a cluster of charming restaurants dotting the beach.
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Iztuzu Beach (Turtle Beach)
Also popularly referred to as ‘Turtle Beach’, the Iztuzu beach in Dalyan is an incredible national conservation area, known to be a prime nesting ground for the protected loggerhead turtles. Stretching over 4 kilometres, you won’t spot even a single hotel or shop on this pristine eco-beach. Go for a swim, take a walk or simply lie in the sun during the day, while from 8:00pm till 8:00am, the beach becomes a no-entry zone for visitors (to prevent disruption to the turtle and their nests).
Skip the usual commercialised beaches and head to the secluded Gemiler beach located in close proximity to the touristy Olu Deniz beach. A picturesque golden shingle beach, Gemilier is flanked by lush pine and olive trees on both sides, and overlooks the astonishing St Nicholas Island with its Lycian ruins.
A sweeping beach located on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, the Olympos beach is part of the Olympos Beydaglari National Park. Lined by a cluster of tree-house styled hostels, the beach is quite a hit with backpackers and adventure lovers alike. Yet another fascinating highlight of the area are the eternal flames of the Chimera – a series of inextinguishable natural gas flames that have been burning since thousands of years!
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While the Olympos beach is coveted for its rustic treehouse accommodation, the neighbouring Cirali beach that stretches over 3 kilometres, is considered to be a protected area home to the endangered loggerhead turtles who nest on the beach’s rock-strewn sands. Engulfed by the towering mountains, the natural beauty of Cirali is truly amazing. Furthermore, the surrounding village, quaint restaurants, charming treehouses and family-run guesthouses, and the ubiquitous hippie vibe add to the charm of this tantalising beach.
Tucked away between Kemer and Cirali, Phaselis is a small and secluded pebbled beach that attracts tourists with its serene beauty and tranquil atmosphere. Phaselis being an old trading port town for the Roman and Lycian Empires, the beach here is surrounded by fascinating ancient ruins including Roman baths, houses, inscriptions engraved into stones, shops, a charming amphitheatre and more!
Stretching over 18 kilometres, the gorgeous Patara beach definitely deserves a spot amongst the best beaches in Turkey! The beach is ideal for spending a day lazing around under the sun and visitors can hire loungers and sun-shades on the beach. Parts of the beach are off limits after sunset, since the beach is an important nesting ground for the loggerhead turtles.