Turkey, and more specifically its shorelines, is exactly the place you should be considering for your next holiday. Not only is it rich in history and culture, but it offers some of the best food you'll encounter and endless fun with a vibey nightlife, dozens of water sports to choose from, and adventures to remember for a lifetime. Here are some of our favourite spots along Turkey's shoreline.
This beautiful port city is an adventurer’s dream. Not only is it a natural harbour, but it has numerous rock tombs that date as far back as 4th century BC. If you’re not interested in exploring tombs, the nearby islands make for fantastic day-trips and you can be sure that all of them will look good when they appear on your Instagram feed. Top sights include Calis Beach, remains of an ancient fortress at Tlos, Amyntas Rock Tombs, Ölüdeniz Natural Park and some of the best nightlife in all of Turkey. If you decide to stop at the ancient fortress of Tlos, climb the hill to the acropolis, which is the highest point in the city and will give you a panoramic view which even treats you to the sight of a large Roman stadium and rock cut tombs.
Just three kilometres from the centre of Fethiye, Samanlik Bay offers a beautiful, rare sight of the beautiful blue sea just metres from green pine forests. It’s a top-choice for beach barbecues and is conveniently close to all of the attractions in and around Fethiye, including another beautiful bay called “Aksazlar Bay”, a favourite spot for locals looking to lounge away the day on hammocks or eat under the shade of pine trees.
St. Nicholas Island
Also known as Gemiler Island, the island is famous for its ties to St Nicholas, as in “Santa Claus”. Not quite what you were expecting, right? While a trip to this little island won’t result in an avalanche of presents or finding yourself listed as “Naughty or Nice”, you will leave with a great sense of who the real St Nicholas was, and what made him such a legend. The island is famous for more than its history, though, and is a popular destination for yacht cruising and watersports that range from banana rides to waterskiing, wakeboarding, parasailing and more.
This little town has been described as “adorable”, and it’s not hard to see why. Its quaint streets, “cute” cafés and lively bars and restaurants all add to the coziness of the town, which is almost impossible to get lost in. Locals seem to be especially fond of the local square, while the Bougainvillea flowers that line the street will make you feel like you’re at home. Eighteen kilometres away from this vibey little spot is one of Turkey’s most beautiful beaches, Kaputaş Beach, which is tucked away in a mountain cove and boasts beautiful sights of the freshwater and saltwater meeting. Kaş is also a diving hot spot, where you can even explore unique dive sites such as a canyon, several ship and plane wrecks—one of which you can actually go inside. Paragliding, the Friday Night Market and sunset views from the mountain are also highly recommended on this stop.
If you’re a party animal, you have to make your way to Smugglers Cove. A top party takes place on this “pirate's’ island”, where you are transported to via speedboat for what promises to be a raucous evening! There is also a great snorkelling sport at the bay known as “Pirate’s Cave”, it is a deep blue water cave with a small beach inside.
We mentioned St Nicholas Island earlier, and how it’s tied to the real-life St Nicholas, but Demre is the birthplace of the 4th Century Bishop that “Santa Claus” gets his name and roots from. It’s said that Nicholas dropped small bags of gold coins down the chimneys of houses to poor women and children, and was sanctified for his good works. The Santa Claus Museum, an 11th century church, is located in Demre and worth checking out.
Beach restaurants and sundowners are the order of the day at this beautiful bay. There are four beaches to choose from and all top the list of some of the best swimming spots in the area. Restaurants recommended by the locals include Nuri's, Bilal's, Don Quixote and Otağ. Don Quixote in particular is a favourite, thanks to its tables at the water’s edge and their delicious food.
Kalkan is viewed as a little more “sophisticated” than some of the other spots along the shore, but that shouldn’t put you off trying it out. The fine examples of Ottoman Greek architecture, dozens of watersports, diving and boat trips, and the excellent restaurants are just some of the reasons to give it a visit. You can also try canyoning in the Kaputas Gorge just a few kilometres away. It’s also a great spot for picking up some mementos of your trip and has a lovely shopping scene to provide some retail therapy if you need it.
There you have it, Turkey’s shoreline is exactly where it’s happening. Have a look at the amazing Turkey travel opportunities we have on offer.