Turkey continues to remain a firm favourite for UK holidaymakers looking for guaranteed summer sunshine and value-for-money. With four airports (Izmir, Dalman, Bodrum and Antalya) serving the coastal areas to the south of the country, there are plenty of resorts to choose from – but which really offer the best beaches? The travel experts at Hays Travel have compiled a list of their top five Turkish beaches.
1)The Blue Lagoon, OluDeniz, near Fethiye
This is the most photographed beach in Turkey and one of the most photographed in the world! A protected national park, this clear, peaceful lagoon is cut off from the sea by a long sandbank. Home to the endangered Loggerhead Turtle, the lagoon is surrounded by fine white shingle and shady pine forests. Hire a pedalo and see if you can get up close to a turtle, or make a real entrance by paragliding in from the top of one of the nearby rugged mountains. Stunning scenery, unique wildlife, a real must-see spot.
2)Olympos, near Alanya
Oludeniz is stunning, but its popularity means it can get very crowded. For something a little less busy, head to Olympos. Secluded and small, it’s more popular with backpackers than the masses. Nearby Roman ruins give it its name. Go back to basics and stay at the local treehouse camp.
3)Patara, near Fethiye
This huge beach is the birthplace of Nicholas, who went on to be immortalised in legend as Father Christmas. Soft and spotless, it’s a great place for building sandcastles and playing but does lack shade in the scorching high season.
4)Turgutreis, near Bodrum
Ever-popular Bodrum can get crowded and isn’t very special, luckily you don’t have to head too far out of town to reach Turgutreis. Gnetly shelving and chilled-out, this is a great spot for families. The breze also makes this beach popular with windsurfers.
5)Konyaalti Beach, near Antalya
Clear sea and pristine shingle have won this stretch an award for cleanliness. Arrive by dolmus or stay in the hip minimalist Hillside Su hotel, which overlooks this beautiful beach.
“These are only a selection of the brilliant beaches on offer in Turkey,” says Emily at Hays Travel. “Go and visit, explore, hire a car and find your own. There are lots of little islands and hidden coves around the coast – for a real holiday with a difference, why not cruise on board a gulet (traditional Turkish yacht.) If you prefer luxury, choose a first-class beach front hotel and take just a few steps from your room to the shore. There’s a beach to suit everyone in Turkey!”