Charter vacations in Turkey usually take place along the country’s southwest shore, dubbed the Turquoise Coast thanks to the spectacular hue of its waters. Here, YachtCharterFleet rounds up five of the best beaches to visit when cruising the region.
Defined by sandy sweeps of shore, azure Mediterranean waters, pine-covered coves and dramatic limestone peaks, the Turquoise Coast is Turkey at its most beautiful. From world-renowned lagoons to low-key hideaways, beaches abound here and so YachtCharterFleets picks out five of the best.
1. Oludeniz Lagoon
Once a hideaway for pirates and smugglers, the world-famous blue lagoon has been Turkey’s most-photographed tourist destination for more than three decades and regularly tops polls of the world’s best beaches.
All this attention is thoroughly well-deserved, however, as despite being extremely popular among beach-goers, the beautiful, pine-fringed and mountain-backed lagoon remains in pristine condition, with a mile-long curl of sand and shingle leading up to its azure waters.
Beyond the beach is a village with restaurants and bars in plentiful supply and those more adventurous types will love the waters sports available, as well as the adrenaline-fuelled paragliding flights that launch from the jagged mountain tops.
A stunning 11-mile strip of unbroken sand dunes, Patara is Turkey’s longest beach, named after the mighty ancient city that once stood there. Ruins still scatter the coast and, a breeding ground for loggerhead turtles, the protected expanse of shore is resplendent in unspoilt natural beauty.
Bordered on either end by the towering peaks of mountain ranges and along its length by a patchwork of wildlife-rich marshland, the beach is extremely peaceful year-round thanks to the absence of development and watersports.
An important nesting site for Loggerhead turtles, the beach is off-limits during the evenings between May and October as this marks the creatures’ breeding season, and an amphitheatre is among the ancient ruins that are just a short walk away.
3. Cirali and Olimpos
Neighbouring hamlets on the Turquoise Coast, southwest of Antalya, Cirali and Olimpos are backed by pine-clad mountains, fronted by a sparkling blue sea and wreathed in a green haze of citrus groves. Low-key and unspoilt, these two gems offer the upmost serenity.
A world away from the tourist trap of nearby Antalya, the one-and-a-half-mile-long beach of Cirali is another important nesting site for the endangered loggerhead turtle and the romantic ruins of ancient Olympos can be found on its southern extremity.
Cirali is most famous, however, for the Chimaera, a natural eternal flame located on a mountainside at the north end of the village and, after a visit here, unwind on sunloungers under the shade of rustic wicker umbrellas, explore the coastline by kayak or enjoy refreshments in one of the simple beachside cafes.
4. Butterfly Valley
Laid-back, bohemian and beautiful, Butterfly Valley is located at the base of the Babadag mountain not far from Oludeniz lagoon. The canyon takes its name from the large number of butterfly species that live there and, a designated nature reserve, remains free of any developments.
Accessed via tender, the beach is formed by a wide stretch of sand where yacht-goers can relax in the sunshine and swim, kayak or snorkel in the crystal clear waters that lap at the shore, while a trail into the lush valley leads to two small waterfalls
For the most colourful butterfly displays, visit between June and September when the captivating Jersey tiger butterfly is out in full force. The facilities here are basic, but the beach offers a chance to escape the crowds and be at one with nature.
Fantastically located on a low, rocky peninsula, Side was once a traditional Turkish village. Now visitors come to recline on the long, dazzling white sand beaches and explore the ancient Pamphylian city it sits within. To do this in the most authentic style, consider heading out on a luxury gulet charter.
Pronounced ‘sea day’, Side is surrounded by relics such as a well-preserved amphitheatre, a temple of Apollo, the façade of a classical library building and a Roman bath. Ancient fortification walls still stand and archaeological finds are housed in the Side museum.
There are also many places to eat, drink and shop, presenting no-end of activities to partake in away from the idyllic beaches on your private yacht charter.
Defined by sandy sweeps of shore, sparkling azure waters, pine-covered coves and dramatic limestone peaks, the Turquoise Coast is Turkey at its most beautiful