10 of the Most Beautiful Beaches in Turkey

10 of the Most Beautiful Beaches in Turkey

Did you know that Turkey is an incredible beach destination? The best beaches in Turkey are too many, particularly in Oludeniz such as Butterfly Valley and Kabak Bay.

Turkey has been considered as one of the destinations in the world that offer a wide variety of sights that can satiate any traveller’s desire for exploration. Its geographical location has allowed it to have a unique combination of European, Middle Eastern, and Asian influences. There are a lot of things to do in Turkey, from shopping and visiting museums to indulging in great food and much more. Because it is surrounded by three major seas – the Mediterranean, Aegean, and the Black Sea – it is no surprise that the country is also bestowed with awe-inspiring beach destinations.

We were able to compile a list of the best beaches in Turkey. These destinations offer exclusivity, beauty, and tranquility for travellers from all over the world. Although Turkey is not particularly known for its beaches, these hidden and lesser known jewels can surely put the country on the map for avid beach lovers and sun worshipper. A word of caution though; most beach destinations in Turkey are considered free for all and as such, they do not have any lifeguards on duty. So be mindful of your safety at all times to avoid accidents that can spoil the fun.

Also read: A General Guide to Turkey: SGD 1000 in 7 days

1. The Butterfly Valley

beaches in turkey

Image credits: Neil Carey

The Butterfly Valley is located at the foothills of Babadağ and it offers great views of the Mediterranean Sea. This destination derived its name from the large number of butterflies of varying species found in the area. It has become one of the major ecotourism destinations in Turkey because of its rich flora and fauna. Travellers can reach Butterfly Valley via Belceğiz Beach of Ölüdeniz, where a shuttle boat service leaves every hour during the day. This serene beach is open for the public to experience throughout the year, and tourism peaks from the end of June to late August. There are numerous outdoor activities on offer in Butterfly Valley, the most popular of which include hiking, canyoning, canoeing, scuba diving, and of course, overnight camping.

Because this location has been a designated nature reserve since the mid-1990s, it promotes a “close to nature” feel that tourists appreciate. This site has only temporary structures because the construction of permanent structures is strictly prohibited. Tents, as well as wooden bungalows, are available for rest and relaxation. There are also restaurants and bars to provide refreshments.

2. Kabak Bay

Image credits: Christine McIntosh

Kabak Bay is another natural wonder that is located just south of the Butterfly Valley. Travellers will be greeted by pristine, crystal-clear turquoise waters of a beach that is appreciated for its raw, natural beauty without the artificial touches of crowded resorts and hotels. Immerse yourself in a castaway-like experience. While the scenery is quite similar to that offered by the more popular Butterfly Valley, Kabak’s distinct remoteness provides a unique experience.

Visitors can reach Kabak Bay from Ölüdeniz by taking a bus that leaves every hour or two. The distance is just over twenty-five kilometers, but the roads are quite challenging as they are rough and winding. The road trip might actually be too rough for novice travellers, but arriving at the destination is beyond worth it.

3. Iztuzu Beach

Image credits: Peter Smithson

Iztuzu Beach is a long beach located near Dalyan in Southwestern Turkey. It appears like a narrow spit of sand that separates the freshwater from Dalyan River from the saltwater of the Mediterranean Sea. One of the highly recommended eco-beaches in Turkey, Iztuzu Beach is a primary breeding ground for Loggerhead Turtles, thus its popular nickname “Turtle Beach.” This destination has several rules that visitors should be aware of. Because Iztuzu Beach is a protected tourist spot, there are schedule restrictions to allow the turtles to thrive and co-exist with humans. Travellers can observe the turtles’ lives and how they grow. During the months of May to October, the beach is closed to the public from 8:00 in the evening to 8:00 in the morning to inhibit turtle disturbances. Also, if you would like to pay a visit to this destination in July, note that you won’t be allowed to put up a sun umbrella because this is the time during which turtles begin to hatch, and they need all the sun they could get!

Also read: 10 Unconventional Beach & Island Honeymoon Destinations in Asia

4. Kaputas Beach

Image credits: Stuart Pinfold

This destination is made isolated by a steep descent and a flight of steps from the main road. Kaputas Beach is one of the less populated beaches in Turkey, primarily because most travellers prefer sandy beaches to relax, and Kaputas Beach features a pebbly beachfront. Another distinct feature of this quiet beach destination is a pancake business that has been established by a family that is popular in the area. Gözleme, as these pancakes are fondly called locally, comes in sweet and savory variants. These pancakes make perfect snack for a peaceful afternoon by the beach.

5. Konyaaltı Beach

Image credits: Melissa Maples

Located at the western side of the city of Antalya, Konyaaltı Beach is considered as one of the best beaches in this area. The beach stretches for over seven kilometers and is adorned with several points of interest. The gray sand of the beach stands in stark contrast to the crystal-blue waters. There are several bars, cafes, and hotels in the area, including the Rixos Downtown Hotel. Aqualand Waterpark is located near Dumlupınar Bulvarı, which also serves as the beachline border.

6. Gunluklu

Image credits: Turkish Living

This destination is ideal for tourists who prefer to go to the beach during weekdays. Weekends, especially weekend afternoons, see this beach as extremely crowded because it is one that is highly favored by locals. Gunluklu offers amazing sunset views and great afternoons for barbecuing. During weekdays, the beach can offer a peaceful enclave for guests who would like to enjoy a simple afternoon by the beach.

7. Ortakent

Image credits: Yilmaz Oevuenc

Located along the peninsula of Bodrum, this is one of the more accessible beaches for travellers who would like to experience a sun-kissed day. Ortakent is recommended for families and it offers a wide variety of beach activities such as kayaking, sailing, wake-boarding, and beach volleyball. It is a visually appealing beach that has a nearby market and a rural village. Despite being a busy destination, it is not too congested either. Aside from the easily accessible main beach, families can rent a private boat to gain access to nearby islands.

8. Hisaronu Bay

Image credits: Wikipedia

Windsurfers will appreciate Hisaronu Bay over other more popular beach destinations because of the permanent breeze that blows around the area. This allows for hours of windsurfing enjoyment. Visitors can also enjoy several restaurant options and quaint accommodations in the area. Hisaronu Bay is a destination that offers the basic amenities needed by the travellers without spoiling the natural beauty of the location. Travellers can even consider nearby beaches of Selimiye and Orhaniye, which are accessible via a mini-bus ride.

9. Cirali Beach

Image credits: Alexandra Bellink

Cirali Beach is located right beside the more popular Olympos Beach, but what makes it more appealing is that its natural charm has been preserved against the congestion and overdevelopment that are typical of other resort areas. Like the Iztuzu Beach, this three-kilometer beach stretch is also a protected area for Loggerhead Turtles. Because Cirali Beach is embraced by two mountains, it presents a dramatic and picturesque sight that is sought after by the hopeless romantics.

10. Gemiler

Image credits: Tania Ho

Travellers who are turned off by the overcrowded Ölüdeniz Beach can appreciate the more peaceful and less populated Gemiler area. It can be reached through a boat or bus ride from Hisaronu. The beach area is fringed by pine trees and even olive trees, and it is isolated from nearby St. Nicholas Island, where more restaurants are available.

If it will be your first time visiting this magnificent country, you should make it a point to plan ahead to make the most out of your time. You can prepare a do-it-yourself itinerary if you want a fully customised trip, or you can also consider tour companies that could prepare everything for you. At the end of the day, the experience will be worth your time and might make you crave for a longer stay or another trip.

Also read: 10 Reasons to Visit Turkey This Year

About Author

James Aquino
James Aquino

After visiting more than fifty international cities in three continents (and still counting), James is on a quest to visit at least two new countries each year. A registered nurse, a stage father, and a grumpy husband, he has always believed that travelling offers something that you will never learn from school. His best advice is to always take pictures along the way, but never forget the stories behind them. Read more of his travel stories and his passion project at The Panoramic Soul.


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