Every year, Trip Advisor selects the best beaches in Turkey according to user reviews. Calling it the Travellers Choice Awards, they also rank these beaches among other regions including Europe and the world.
Beaches are a strong lure to holidaymakers in Turkey, and beaches along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, make the resorts come alive in the summer tourism season running from May to October. Turkey has just over 7,000 kilometres of sandy coastline of which some beaches gain more celebrity status than others.
According to Trip Advisor, only one of the beaches in Turkey can match other sandy havens in the world, and that is Cleopatra’s beach in Alanya ranking in at number 19, with the most popular time to visit between April and November.
Narrowing the locations down to the top 25 beaches in Europe, Turkey bagged three positions with Cleopatra’s beach of Alanya at number 6, Iztuzu beach in Dalyan at number 15 and lastly, Icmeler beach near Marmaris ranked in at position 20.
Going on to be country-specific, they also picked ten beaches in Turkey as must-visit destinations. Sadly, there are some notable absences from the list.
All beaches named by Trip Advisor sit on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts which are the most popular beach holiday locations. They don’t list any beaches near and around Istanbul or on the northern Black Sea coastline, which are not traditionally known for beach holidays, yet do have some gorgeous hidden coves and bays.
The other noticeable absence on the list is the Bodrum peninsula with its many small, but highly attractive coves and bays. Beaches like Gumbet are notorious for their water sports, and the whole peninsula comes alive in summer as families, couples and solo people gear up for seaside living, so we are surprised it isn’t on the list.
Maybe Trip Advisor should rename their list “most popular Turkish beaches” instead.
Overlooked by the castle of Alanya, Cleopatra’s beach has everything you need including copious amounts of sand, rental sun loungers and umbrellas, water sports, perfect swimming conditions and a promenade running close by with bars and restaurants for a midday summer snack.
Made famous by David Bellamy and Captain June, Iztuzu beach is the nesting ground of the endangered Caretta turtle. Specific areas are fenced off during breeding seasons to protect their nests.
This water sports haven fronts Icmeler holiday resort, a family favourite especially with the Brits. Sitting next to Marmaris, Icmeler is an ideal family friendly destination that is more low key than neighbouring and bustling Marmaris.
The Blue Lagoon is the most photographed beach in Turkey having appeared on many marketing posters and travel magazines. Adjoining with Oludeniz beach, hire a pedalo, or rent a sunbed in the Lagoon area, or lay on the sand further near the main drag to watch paragliders coming in to land from the Babadag mountain range.
Kaputas is unique because people travel from all along the Mediterranean coast to swim in the crystal blue waters. Reached by a flight of stairs, Kaputas is also one of the most photographed and famous beaches in Turkey.
Adjoining the stony shore of Olympus, the idyllic landscape of Cirali beach encompasses crystal blue seas, a sandy stretch of sand and a dramatic view of Mount Tahtali in the far distance. Particularly suited to couples or families with young children, Cirali is another nesting ground for the Caretta turtle.
Stretching for 18 kilometres and known for its dramatic waves, Patara beach is also the setting for many horseback rides at sunset. Day visitors can also explore the nearby ancient ruins of the city and small traditional village.
Jet2, Thomas Cook and TUI call Lara Beach, the Las Vegas of Turkey because of the large, all-inclusive five-star hotels backing it. Otherwise, the eight-kilometre blue flag sandy beach offers the best of what a pure beach holiday should look like and it is just a short bus ride to the main attractions of the city centre.
The name Altinkum translates into golden sands, and although the resort has three ample sized beaches, it is first beach in the centre attracting all the attention. Backed by bars, restaurants and shops, Altinkum has cleaned up its shores in recent years resulting in a loyal army of dedicated fans.
Last on the list of Trip Advisor’s best beaches in Turkey is Konyaalti, which is the other main beach of Antalya. Sitting on the western side of the main city centre, the seven-kilometre beach has a marvellous view of the Bagdarli mountains. The planned Bogacay marina, part of the Konyaalti beach project, is expected to lengthen the coastline as well as make Konyaalti, a top destination of the Turkish Riviera. (More about Antalya)