Turkey’s Best (Top 10) Beaches

Here are Turkey’s top 10 beaches, with nearest big town (in parentheses). Some even rate the coveted Blue Flag for cleanliness.

Important note: most Turkish beaches do not have lifeguards, but some do occasionally have dangerous riptide and undertow conditions. Swim at your own riskdon’t swim alone, and make some plan for what to do if disaster strikes.

Turkey’s 10 Best Beaches

1. Patara (Fethiye)

50 meters/yards wide and 20 km (12.5 miles) long, this beach 75 km (47 miles) south of Fethiye is Turkey’s finest. Accommodations—and shade—are limited, though. (Big photo). More…

2. Ölüdeniz (Fethiye)

Very fine, with good hotels, restaurants and bars, but because it’s Turkey’s most famous, it can get crowded. (Big photos). More…

3. Olimpos (Antalya)

The opposite of the others: small, secluded, atmospheric, backed by a forest filled with Roman ruins. 79 km (49 miles) southwest of Antalya (map). More…

4. Side (Antalya)

The once-idyllic village 65 km (40 miles) east of Antalya is now crowded and noisy, but the beaches are still fine and unspoiled. Roman ruins abound (map). More…

5. Alanya

The town (115 km/72 miles east of Antalya) is busy and crowded, but the beaches are so long (22 km/14 miles to the east) that there’s plenty of sand for everyone. Great Seljuk castle, too (map). More…

6. İztuzu (Dalyan)

Good beach, with or w/o logger-head turtles. The town, 8 km (5 miles) NW of Dalaman Airport, the river, cliff tombs and Caunos ruins are a nice bonus. More…

7. Bodrum Peninsula

Beaches in the towns are not great, but good smaller ones abound: Ortakent Yalısı (coarse sand & pebble), Turgutreis (surfy), and gem-like Gümüşlük (map). More…

8. Kemer (Antalya)

Very mod-resorty, but near a lot of interesting day-trip possibilities (map). More…

9. Pamucak (Ephesus)

Big, broad, dark sand, only 7 km (4 miles) west of Ephesus, relatively clean with a few cig butts and bottlecaps (map). (Big photo). More…

10. Sarıgerme (Dalaman)

Very near busy Dalaman Airport, this well-kept beach is somewhat undiscovered, quieter, great for families and those interested mostly in beach time. More…

HONORABLE MENTION

Kızkalesi (Silifke)

Known only to Turks and savvy foreigners, this beach 25 km (16 miles) east of Silifke is sort of small but the castle out at sea makes up for it. More…

Sinop

Nice beaches, never crowded, because the Black Sea water is usually pretty chilly. More…

Kuşadası (Ephesus)

Nice enough Aegean beaches, but small and very crowded (map). More…

Konyaaltı & Lara (Antalya)

Big, l-o-n-g pebble/coarse sand beach using the Blue Flag System to certify cleanliness (map). More…

Samandağ (Antakya)

W-a-y down near Syria (26 km/16 miles) southwest of Antakya, but has a trash problem. More…

Anamur (Alanya)

Good beach that only Turks seem to know about, 127 km (79 miles) southeast of Alanya. Interesting Byzantine ghost town nearby. More…

Çalış (Fethiye)

Long beach near the city cradling yacht-happy Fethiye Bay, good but somehow un-charming, and famous Ölüdeniz is just 10 km (6 miles) away over the hills. More…

Blue Flag Beaches

The Blue Flag beach hygeine system has been adopted by some Turkish beaches. You should know about it to protect your health. More…

—by Tom Brosnahan


Blue Flag = Clean Beach

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