The Aegean Region of Türkiye has beautiful landscapes, dazzling coastlines, immaculate beaches, pine woods and olive groves.
The Aegean Coast boasts some of Türkiye’s best beaches and chicest resorts. The Bodrum and Marmaris peninsulas are where the trendy and well-heeled go to summer and to be seen. They are also home to some of the best summer months nightlife. Around İzmir are some great resorts. Çeşme is one of the most touristic regions and boasts turquoise sea and golden sand on Blue Flag beaches. The town of Alaçatı is a delightful and typical Aegean town. A lovely beach lies a couple of kilometres to the south.
Çeşme is one of the most popular destinations of Türkiye’s Aegean coast and there are lots of good reasons for visitors to choose it! The younger set can enjoy recent music trends and entertainment supplied by trendy beach clubs like Babylon at Ilıca that operate on sandy beaches during the afternoon, through the evening and into the night. Also, there are numerous little bays and coves in the region.
Alaçatı. The turquoise coast of Alaçatı is a paradise for beaches and especially for surfers with its clear blue waters. The town of Alaçatı lies to the south of and inland from Ilıca and the coast. Windmills dot the hills above Alaçatı, a delightful and typical Aegean town, with some of the old houses converted into cafes. There is a good beach a couple of kilometres to the south. Many lovely bays along the coast southeast of town are accessible only by boat, they offer a safe and relaxing anchorage in this popular sailing region.
Other notable places around İzmir for beaches include: Ayayorgi, Ildırı, Boyalık, Altınkum, Urla, Seferihisar, Özdere, Foça, Karaburun, Dikili and Selçuk.
The province of Muğla brings together the perfect combination of culture, history and sun-soaked relaxation in crystal-clear waters. Muğla includes the popular holiday destinations of Bodrum, Marmaris, Datça, Köyceğiz and Fethiye. Beautiful beaches and resorts, comfortable hotels and motels, cosy guest houses, impressive ruins of past civilizations and magnificent landscapes offer holidaymakers plenty of choice.
Not far from the towns, you can swim in crystal-clear, tideless, warm seas. Underwater divers will especially want to explore the numerous reefs, caves and majestic rock formations there. The waters offer up multicoloured sponges of all shapes and sizes and an immense variety of other aquatic life, including octopus.
Bodrum is ancient Halicarnassus, the birthplace of the famous historian Herodotus, and a place known in antiquity for being the site of one of the Seven Wonders of the World – the Mausoleum, a gigantic tomb erected for King Mausolus in the fourth century BCE. Destroyed by successive earthquakes, the stones of the Mausoleum were then used by the Knights of St John to build their castle nearby.
Gümbet offers a long, sandy beach lined with hotels and pensions.
Gümüşlük is a very pleasant place to stay, with unspoilt scenery, a long sand and gravel beach, where you can swim close to ruins of ancient Myndos.
Turgutreis boasts a sophisticated marina complete with exclusive cafes, restaurants and boutiques, as well as a host of new bars and discos. Yalıkavak has an enjoyable and relaxing atmosphere for visitors.
Göltürkbükü is famous for its array of exclusive hotels, excellent seafront restaurants and trendy bars.
Bitez, a popular place for windsurfing and sailing, attracts an upmarket crowd.
Other popular Bodrum beach spots include: Yalıkavak, Akyarlar, Çökertme, Ortakent, Bardakçı, Torba, Camel Beach, Mazıköyü, Gündoğan and Akyaka.
Marmaris is a popular summer resort for both domestic tourists and foreign visitors, and the region has developed enormously over the years. Boats are available at the old harbour for visits to the islands and bays around its coast. Amongst the best spots for beaches and swimming are:
Içmeler is one of the most popular touristic sites with good facilities and entertainment areas.
Turunç has high quality motels and restaurants.
Kumlubük is a very popular beach with abundant sand.
Sedir Island is famous for its excellent beaches. Legend has it that the sands were brought especially for Cleopatra, the famous Egyptian queen, and she swam here with her lover Mark Anthony.
İncekum Beach. A shallow, sandy beach known for its clear water, with a restaurant plus sun lounger & umbrella rentals is just opposite Sedir Island.
Datça is situated at the far end of the Aegean coast on the end of a peninsula that stretches out to the west. The Aegean meets the Mediterranean at this point, and it is a popular stopping-point for gulets taking a "Blue Cruise" Datça is also an ideal place for fishing and diving, and its winds make it popular with surfers.
Bozburun is located 45 km southwest of Marmaris. It’s a popular town especially for yacht tourism. Life here is very calm and the environment is quiet with a relatively small population (just 2,000 people). There are a few hotels, hostels and restaurants in this small town.
Hisarönü, which was known as Erene in history, is located to the southwest of Marmaris.
You’ll come across the ruins of a hospital around Hisarönü. This is because in both the Byzantine and Ottoman Periods, it was believed that the clear sea and fresh air of the area were efficacious in the treatment of many diseases.
It is best seen in the afternoon when the colours and light are superb. In Hisarönü. the intense heat of summer in Marmaris is much tempered. The varied colours of the flora and fauna are complemented by the expanse of red sands along the Hisarönü coast. The panoramas are beautiful!
The popular resort of Fethiye, 135km southeast of Marmaris, has an important marina at the head of a beautiful bay strewn with islands. Amongst the best spots for beaches and swimming are:
Ölüdeniz (lit. Dead Sea). Located in Fethiye, southeast of Muğla, Ölüdeniz offers sand, beautiful scenery and crystal-clear water in abundance. The most important feature of Ölüdeniz is its famous lagoon. The white sand beaches and turquoise waters of Ölüdeniz make for one of the most breath-taking natural spots to see – or swim in! – anywhere in the world. Paragliding over this stunning sight allows you to see it in all its glory.
Butterfly Valley (Kelebekler Vadisi). The Butterfly Valley sits at the foothill of Babadağ, a 1975 m high mountain nominated for preservation as a World Heritage site. A wide-strip sand beach at a bay on the Turkish Riviera protrudes from the valley. In the form of a narrow canyon stretching over around 3–4 km, the valley's steep walls are 350–400 m high. A trail in the valley leads to two small waterfalls dropping from 60 m all the year around. In the middle of the valley, a creek runs, carrying water from a spring in nearby Faralya village to the sea.
Dalyan İztuzu Beach. Awarded international prizes in different categories including Europe’s Best Beach Destination and Europe’s Best Open Space, İztuzu is an extremely popular beach in Dalyan. Besides its natural beauty, İztuzu offers visitors a unique experience. This is where the river delta meets the sea so one side of the beach you can swim in freshwater from the river and, on the other side you can swim in the salt water of the sea. The area is also famous as a nesting ground for caretta caretta sea turtles. The turtles lay their eggs in the sand during the night. For this reason, access to the beach at night-time is prohibited as it is a protected area.
Other places with good beaches include: Sarıgerme, Göcek and Köyceğiz.
Dominating the gulf bearing the same name in the Aegean Coast, Kuşadası is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Türkiye. Thanks to its clear sea, beautiful nature, wide harbour and proximity to the ancient cities, Kuşadası was one of the earliest tourism destinations and it still continues to be popular with its lovely beaches, sun, cool breezes. It’s also just a stone’s throw from the famous ancient city of Ephesus!
The sea at Kuşadası merits Blue Flag status for its cleanliness. There are many beaches, each one as beautiful as the next. Kuştur Beach, which is next to the ancient city of Pygela is a good example of one of these lovely beaches open to the public. Yeşil Beach is a favourite for regular visitors. Kadınlar (Women’s) Beach is close to the town centre. During the Ottoman Period, only women were allowed to swim here. The 12 km long Sevgi Beach has running and cycling tracks.
Also worth a visit are the nearby beach resorts of Didim and Altınkum.