The Turquoise Coast of Turkey for a Holiday Home Paradise

9 mins read

When buying holiday homes in the sun, one destination that clients offer favour is the turquoise coast of Turkey. Also called the Turkish Riviera, southwest Turkey boasts ancient ruins and historical sites, sleepy villages, beautiful bays, and many beaches, making the region an ideal destination for anyone investing in homes abroad. The trend started roughly twenty years ago, and since then, many foreigners have also moved to enjoy the delights of regions on the turquoise coasts like Fethiye, Kalkan and Antalya.

Backed by the Taurus Mountains range and fronted by the Mediterranean Sea, Turquoise Turkey, is aptly nicknamed because of the colours of the waters and related sailing industries, called blue voyage cruises. To fully grasp and understand the beauty of this region, people must visit and experience the turquoise coast for themselves. But this article briefly overviews why the turquoise cast easily matches other sunshine destinations and delivers more.

About the Turquoise Coast of Turkey

aerial sunset view of antalya, turkey

Where is the Turquoise Coast in Turkey?

Some people assume the Turquoise coast of Turkey refers to the whole Turkish Riviera. But it doesn’t. The turquoise coast describes the southern coast from the Marmaris region to the Antalya region. This part is also called Mediterranean Turkey. The western coast is Aegean Turkey, and while this area features the Turkish Riviera, it is not part of the Turquoise coast.

In Brief: Why Does the Turquoise Coast Stand Out?

Natural Beauty: The Turquoise Coast features turquoise waters, dramatic cliffs, and picturesque beaches. The scenery also boasts of pristine bays, hidden coves, and lush green mountains, providing unparalleled natural beauty.

Historical Sites: The region’s rich history includes ancient ruins and archaeological sites. Places like Xanthos, and Patara reveal remnants of past civilizations, including the Greeks, Romans, and Lycians. These sites offer fascinating glimpses into Turkey’s rich cultural heritage.

Coastal Towns: Along the Turquoise Coast are charming coastal towns and villages with laid-back atmospheres. Scenic places like Antalya, Fethiye, and Kas offer history, culture, and modern amenities.

Water Activities: With clear waters and abundant marine life, the Turquoise Coast attracts many water enthusiasts. Indulge in various water activities like swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving, sailing, and boat tours. There are also opportunities for sea kayaking and paddleboarding.

Blue Voyage (Gulet Cruises): One popular way to see the Turquoise Coast is through Blue Voyage or Gulet cruises. These traditional wooden boats offer relaxing cruises, stopping at various secluded places.

Turkish Hospitality: Turkish people are known for their warm hospitality and friendly nature. Visitors are often greeted with open arms. The genuine friendliness of welcoming locals adds to the overall appeal of owning a home in Turkey.

Delicious Cuisine: Turkish cuisine is famous worldwide, and the Turquoise Coast is no exception. The region offers culinary delights, from fresh seafood and grilled meats to traditional Turkish meze appetizers and baklava sweet pastry.

Antalya: Gateway to the Turkish Riviera

One prominent destination of the Turkish riviera, Antalya was an important trade hub for centuries that contributed to the city’s rich history. Antalya boasts an impressive array of historic sites, from ruins to Ottoman-era architecture, to delight any history lover. But beyond its cultural significance, Antalya is also the gateway to the Lycian Way, a historic 500 kilometres path through some of Turkey’s most stunning landscapes.


Antalya is also home to the famous Konyaalti Beach and Lara Beach, two of Turkey’s best sandy beaches. To be clear, there is Antalya city centre and then there is the larger region of the same name. The larger region includes many smaller towns like Alanya, and Belek, that is Turkey’s golfing capital. Read more about the Antalya region of Turkey.

Kas on the Turquoise Coast

As you go along the Lycian Way from Antalya, you’ll come across a small, charming town often overlooked by tourists; Kas. The Turkish Riviera town juts out into the Mediterranean, providing the perfect location to spend summer days. Take boat tours, go snorkelling, or stroll through charming streets. Although Kas has pebble beaches rather than sand, the views make up for it.  Despite being on the small side compared to other towns, there is a lot to do in Kas.

Although not as well-preserved as other regional ruins, the theatre’s location overlooking the Mediterranean Sea is stunning. Another must-see site in Kas is the Lycian sarcophagi scattered throughout the town. These ancient tombs were carved into the rock and decorated with intricate reliefs depicting scenes from daily life and mythology.

The waters around Kas teem with marine life, making the area ideal for scuba diving. Kas has unique underwater topography, which includes caves and canyons. The Blue Cave, for example, offers scuba diving with shimmering blue lights filtering through an underwater tunnel. Also, catch the ferry across to Meis Greek Island. But beyond its historic sites, Kas is great to relax and take in the turquoise coast.

Fethiye and Calis beach on the Turquoise coast

Fethiye coastal town seamlessly blends history and modern amenities. When looking at activities, for nature lovers and adventure seekers, a visit to Saklıkent Gorge is a must. Explore Fethiye’s charming Old Town, also called Paspatur, to see glimpses of bygone eras. Situated just outside Fethiye, Calis Beach is ideal for relaxation and water sports.


The long sandy beach promotes peaceful sunbathing, and calm waters suit swimming and kiteboarding. Fethiye is also a gateway to nearby attractions and activities. Take a boat tour to the 12 Islands, visit Kayaköy ghost town, or visit Dalyan Delta. However, Fethiye, sits near a much more interesting town and that is Oludeniz. (More about the Fethiye region of Turkey.)

Oludeniz Beach and the Blue Lagoon

Ölüdeniz is a smaller beach town famous for the Blue Lagoon. Ölüdeniz, meaning “Dead Sea” in Turkish, perfectly fits the ideal destination for beach holidays. However, it is the adjacent Blue Lagoon that steals the spotlight. Surrounded by lush greenery and dramatic mountains, the beautiful sandy beach at the Blue Lagoon is amazing.

Paragliding is incredibly popular here for those seeking adventure, thanks to the region’s topography and beautiful beaches. Paraglide over the Blue Lagoon and surrounding landscapes, offering breathtaking views and unforgettable memories.

In addition to natural wonders, Ölüdeniz features beachfront restaurants, cafes, and shops to indulge in delicious Turkish cuisine, refreshing drinks, and local crafts. Whether you want to relax on beachfront day trips, adrenaline-fueled adventures, or romantic getaways, Ölüdeniz and the Blue Lagoon cater to all tastes and preferences.


Butterfly Valley on the Turkish Riviera

Butterfly Valley, nestled along the Turkish Riviera near Ölüdeniz, beckons nature lovers and adventurers alike.  Accessible only by boat trips or challenging hikes, Butterfly Valley features towering cliffs that embrace a narrow gorge, creating awe-inspiring beauty. The valley’s name derives from the diverse array of butterfly species, adding exquisite touches to already captivating landscapes. The valley attracts many hikers and nature enthusiasts.

Numerous trails wind through the verdant hills, offering breathtaking viewpoints along the way, and abundant flora and fauna, from wildflowers to aromatic herbs. Keep an eye out for the vibrant butterflies. There are no paved roads, no buildings, and no commercialization. Just simple wooden cabins and tents nestled among the trees, providing back-to-nature camping for those who wish to extend their stay.

Ancient Ruins in Turkey’s Mediterranean Coastal Regions

The Mediterranean region of Turkey is home to archaeological ruins showcasing ancient civilizations.

Aspendos: Located near Serik, Aspendos is renowned for its remarkably preserved Roman theatre. Built-in the 2nd century AD, the theatre’s capacity holds 15,000 spectators. The site also includes a Roman aqueduct and basilica.

Termessos Ancient City: Perched on the Taurus Mountains slopes near Antalya, this ancient Pisidian city boasts a well-preserved theatre, agora, and necropolis. The remote location of Termessos contributed to its preservation, as the city was never fully occupied by subsequent civilizations.

Olympus: This ancient Lycian city with ruins from Hellenistic and Roman periods features well-preserved theatre, Roman baths, and remains of an old harbour.

Myra: Located near Demre, Myra was an important city in ancient Lycia. The site features rock-cut Lycian tombs adorned with intricate carvings. The remains of a Roman theatre and a grand Roman-era cemetery can also be explored here.

Phaselis: Positioned on a peninsula near Kemer, Phaselis was an ancient Greek and Roman city with a strategic location for trade. Phaselis is known for its tranquil settings, surrounded by pine forests.

Xanthos: The ancient city of Xanthos, near Kınık, served as the capital of ancient Lycia. The UNESCO World Heritage site showcases various ruins, including the Harpy Tomb, a Roman theatre, Roman baths, and a Byzantine church. The Nereid Monument, an ancient tomb adorned with sculpted figures, stands out.

Kekova Sunken Ruins and Simena

The Sunken City of Kekova is an ancient Lycian city partially submerged due to earthquakes in the 2nd century AD. Today, see the remnants of houses, staircases, and even an old theatre beneath the clear turquoise waters. Hop on traditional Turkish gulets or private boats and sail along the coast, enjoying panoramic views. Many boat tours include stops at secluded coves and bays to swim, snorkel, and sunbathe in tranquil surroundings.

Sitting near the Sunken City, charming Simena, also called Kaleköy, boasts of narrow streets adorned with bougainvillaea-clad houses. Make your way up to Simena hilltop fortress, offering panoramic views. From the castle, the well-preserved ancient Lycian sarcophagi are scattered throughout the village. In Simena, indulge in local cuisine and Turkish flavours. Savour fresh vegetables, fish dishes, traditional mezes (appetizers), and hearty Mediterranean dishes while enjoying waterfront restaurants.

Iztuzu Beach in Mediterranean Turkey

Iztuzu Beach, also nicknamed Turtle Beach, sits near Dalyan. This wonderful beach attracts sun-seekers and holds great ecological significance as a nesting site for endangered loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta Caretta). Stretching for approximately 4.5 kilometres, Iztuzu Beach boasts golden sands. The beach is flanked by the Dalyan River on one side and the Mediterranean Sea on the other, creating a natural setting.

The beach serves as nesting grounds for loggerhead sea turtles, which return year after year to lay their eggs on the soft sands and beautiful beach. The carefully monitored beach ensures the survival of these magnificent creatures. Visitors are encouraged to respect the nesting areas and follow the guidelines to preserve the turtle’s habitat.

Beyond the beach, Iztuzu is encompassed by a protected area known as the Köyceğiz-Dalyan Special Environmental Protection Area. This ecosystem attracts diverse wildlife and vegetation, including various bird species. Boat tours along the Dalyan River offer spectacular views of the famous Lycian Rock Tombs, leading to Dalyan’s therapeutic mud baths.

More Sandy Beaches on the Turquoise Coast of Turkey

Patara Beach, near Kaş: 18-kilometre Patara Beach sits near ancient Patara city and is a nesting site for loggerhead sea turtles.

Kaputas Beach, Kaş: Nestled between steep cliffs, Kaputaş Beach boasts turquoise waters and fine golden sand. The breathtaking beauty, with dramatic cliffs and azure sea, creates memories.

Cleopatra Beach, Alanya: Cleopatra Beach, located in the resort town of Alanya, is famous for its fine golden sand. According to legend, the beach’s sand was explicitly brought for Cleopatra’s pleasure.

Adrasan Beach, Antalya: Adrasan Beach, in the Antalya region, offers tranquil retreats surrounded by unspoiled nature. The beach, nestled within a bay, provides calm, clear waters perfect for swimming and snorkelling.

Cleopatra Island Beach, Gökova Bay: Situated off the coast of Gökova Bay, Cleopatra Island is known for its extraordinary beauty. Legend says Cleopatra herself used to swim here. The beach’s fine white sand is said to have been brought from Egypt as a gift, making the place incredibly unique to Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.

Blue Cruise Routes of the Turkish Riviera

When embarking on Blue Voyage cruises along the southern coast of Turkey, there are several popular routes to cruise the Turkish coast, surrounding islands, and historical sites. Here are common cruise routes of Turkey’s turquoise coast.

Bodrum to Göcek Blue Cruise: This sailing trip covers the western Turkish coast. From Bodrum, sail along the Turkish Riviera, stopping at picturesque places like Orak Island, Çökertme, and Sedir Island with its famous Cleopatra Beach. As you approach Göcek, visit the beautiful Butterfly Valley and nearby Fethiye.

Göcek to Kaş: This Turkish Riviera route sails east along the Turkish Riviera. Departing from Göcek, sail past the Göcek archipelago, including Tersane Island and Yassica Islands. Continuing towards Kaş, visit Kalkan, a charming town with a picturesque harbour and access to fascinating ancient sites like Xanthos and Patara.

Kaş to Antalya: This Turkish Riviera route sails along the central southern coast, offering cultural exploration. Departing from Kaş, sail towards idyllic Kekova, the sunken city and Simena village. Further along, the coast, visit Olympos’ scenic beach before reaching Antalya. Antalya offers a vibrant marina, a historic old town (Kaleiçi), and access to iconic attractions like the ancient city of Perge and the Düden Waterfalls.

Marmaris to Bodrum: This route cruises the southwestern coast of Turkey, starting from the famous resort town of Marmaris. From Marmaris, sail towards enchanting Datça, including the Knidos ancient ruins. Continuing northwards, visit Akyaka and lively Bodrum city, its vibrant nightlife, and Bodrum Castle.

Conclusion and More Reading About Turkey

Is Turkey a Good Place to Live? Many people who come on holiday and contemplate moving across often ask if Turkey is an excellent place to live? It is a good, realistic question because life away from the beach bars and daily lazy boat cruises is always different. We are biased. Some of our team live in Turkey, a secular country and have done so for years because they love it.

Call Us: Looking to buy Turkish property? Our team of agents are here to help foreign buyers navigate the complex world of property in Turkey and other countries. For first-time property buyers and seasoned investors, our expertise and resources will help you find the perfect property on the Turquoise coast of Turkey.

About Natalie

Natalie is a dedicated real estate professional currently working at Spot Blue International Property. With over a decade of experience in the industry, she has acquired a wealth of knowledge and expertise regarding global properties.

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