Turkey is a fascinating country, home to vibrant bazaars, ancient ruins and rejuvenating hammams. But today, we’re here for the beaches. We’ve got the insider info on Turkey’s 5 best beaches, whether you’re a family with kids, or a couple after a bit of peace and quiet.
Find out where to go for adrenaline-filled water sports, and what to expect from Europe’s most photographed beach. While you’re at it, check out our choice of hotels in each area, including adult only havens, beachside boutiques, and family-friendly resorts with water slides.
1. Kleopatra Beach, Alanya
Framed by towering mountains and tree-covered hills, Kleopatra Beach is a gem on the Turkish Riviera. The soft, golden sand and shallow waters make the beach ideal for families with little ones, while thrill-seekers get to enjoy a range of exciting water sports, including jet skiing and parasailing.
Kleopatra has a coveted Blue Flag to her name, so you can expect clear waters, clean sand, and patrolling lifeguards. Facilities include toilets, changing rooms, and showers, with sun beds and parasols available for a small fee.
Behind the beach, you’ll find an attractive promenade with plenty of kiosks and cafes for an icy drink. Younger kids will love the playground and mini golf, while adults wishing to escape the sand can take a stroll around Kleopatra Beach Park, home to fountains and palm trees.
Top family resort:
Eftalia Splash Resort features a family-friendly buffet restaurant, large outdoor swimming pool, and – best of all – its very own aqua park.
Adult only haven:
For a bit of uninterrupted holiday peace, we recommend Cook’s Club Alanya, a stylish beachfront boutique hotel with outdoor pool.
2. Cirali Beach, Kemer
Surrounded by dramatic mountains, this idyllic pebble and sand beach offers peace away from the crowds. You won’t find any major resorts – this is a place for laid back vibes with family-run pensions and camp sites by the beach.
The water here is clean and perfectly clear, so don’t forget the mask and snorkel. There’s a shallow area at the north end of the beach for your mini-swimmers, while the other areas of the beach have steep drop-offs.
A couple of unique features make Cirali Beach unforgettable. At the end of the beach, you’ll stumble upon the remains of Olympos, an ancient city dating back to the 4th century B.C. Climb the hills behind Cirali beach, and you’ll discover the Chimaera – a dozen or so natural flames rising from cracks in the mountainside.
Best for families:
The Kimera Hotel features individual lodges with balconies and separate bedrooms. The lush grounds are home to orange trees, an outdoor pool, table tennis table, and hammocks – just 50 yards from the beach.
Olympos Lodge Antalya is all about getting back to nature, with 3.4 acres of verdant grounds, and a stretch of private beach. The artist-designed interiors are elegant and comfortable, with wonderful views of the sea and mountains.
3. Blue Lagoon, Oludeniz
Considered Europe’s most photographed beach, the Blue Lagoon in Oludeniz is simply breath-taking. The colour of the water has to be seen to be believed, with hues of emerald, deep blue and turquoise.
Two V-shaped strips of sand form the beach, divided by a pine tree forest. Due to its popularity, the beach gets busy, so we recommend an early start to grab that perfect spot by the water. No motorised water sports are allowed, but you can easily hire a kayak to explore the coastline.
The water is shallow enough for little ones, while the clarity of the ocean makes it excellent for spotting colourful fish with a snorkel. You’ll find decent facilities, including showers and changing cabins, and a short walk will take you to a host of cafes and bars for refreshments.
Right on the beach:
Perfectly located by the beach, the highly rated Tonoz Beach Hotel comes with an outdoor pool, separate children’s pool, and garden terrace for al-fresco dining.
Just 300 yards from the Blue Lagoon, Symbola Beach Oludeniz features an outdoor pool, free Wi-Fi, and its own stretch of private beach. Exciting activities include windsurfing, archery, and diving, with magic and live music in the evenings.
4. Kaputas Beach, Kas
Nearly 200 steps lead down to Kaputas Beach, but don’t let that put you off – the effort is more than worth it. You’ll be rewarded with one of Turkey’s most beautiful beaches, a small, beautiful cove of golden sand and bright blue water.
Kaputas Beach is protected, meaning there are no permanent structures here, or jet skis buzzing over the water. However, you’ll find a number of handy facilities just behind the beach, including toilets, changing huts, a café, and well-stocked beach shop.
The water is an astounding bright blue – perfect for photos, and even better for snorkelling. While most marine life can be spotted further from shore, sea turtles sometimes come to check out the shallows here, so have that underwater camera ready!
The family-run Happy Kalkan Hotel is only 10 minutes from Kaputus Beach, offering comfortable rooms, a semi-Olympic pool, and exceptional views of Kalkan Bay and the mountains beyond.
A place to relax:
Kelebek Hotel and Studios offers fuss-free accommodation, just 7 minutes from the beach. This chilled-out hotel comes with a small outdoor swimming pool, sun terrace, and excellent food.
5. Bitez Beach, Bodrum
A long, crescent shaped cove of golden sand forms Bitez Beach, a popular holiday destination 6km from Bodrum city. The water is clean and shallow and you’ll find all the facilities you could need, including changing rooms, toilets, and showers.
Daredevils will love the speedy water sports on offer, with jet skiing, parasailing and banana boating all part of the fun. The beach is also a great place to try your hand at windsurfing, with lessons available for all ages and abilities.
Backing the beach, a 2km-long promenade separates the sand from the shops. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes, so you won’t have to go far for a kebab or colourful cocktail. Don’t forget to try the ice-cream from one of the kiosks along the walkway – a Turkish speciality.
At Bitez Paloma Family Club you’ll find a main pool and whirlpool for adults, while kids get their own pool and slide. There’s even a shallow pool for tots, so no-one gets left out.
Well-being & relaxation:
Only 50 yards from the beach, Natur Garden Hotel Bodrum features a peaceful outdoor pool set in verdant grounds. There’s a tennis court to practice your serve, and a fitness centre for weights and cardio.