In 2018 Turkey became the top-performing tourist destination in Europe beating 33 other countries. Its an affordable place for tourists, you can expect good value for money and it has many attractions including some stunning sandy beaches.
KLEOPATRA BEACH, ALANYA.
Kleopatra beach has been voted the best beach in Turkey by several tourist websites. It attracts 2 million visitors per year and has a blue flag status. It was given its name as the story goes Queen Cleopatra loved the beach so much that Emperor Mark Anthony gifted the area to her in 69 B.C.
The two-kilometre beach is famous for its rice-sized grains of sand and its crystal clear blue waters. Apparently the tourists love the sand as its ‘thicker’ than normal sand and doesn’t stick to your skin. The beach is actually situated in the city centre of Alanya.
UZTUZU BEACH, DALYAN.
Also known as Turtle Beach is a very special place. Its situated at the end of a river delta is surrounded by pine-clad mountains and is 4km long. You will never have trouble finding a quiet area to sit. However, the most special thing is that the beach is the nesting site for the endangered Caretta Caretta sea turtle. In the late ’80s, the area was going to be turned into a huge tourist region until conservationists saved it. Ironically enough, it may well have been the efforts made to preserve Iztuzu beach, which made it famous all around the world. That’s how it got known as turtle beach, Turkey and it became a popular tourist hotspot.
Nowadays several thousands of people visit the beach on an average summer day. Still, at night, nature rules, and the Loggerhead turtles do what they have probably done there for thousands of years, they come to the beach between May and August to lay their eggs. One nest contains on average 70 eggs about the size of a ping-pong ball that are put around 50cm below the surface. From July to September the tiny little Loggerhead babies hatch and try to find their way to the sea.
BLUE LAGOON, OLUDENIZ.
This is certainly a tourist hotspot. Known around the world as Turkey’s Blue Lagoon it gets its name fro the stunning turquoise and aquamarine colours of the sea. It’s a beach where you can grab a lounger and just sit and relax. However, for the more adventurous paragliding is very popular and it’s really not surprising when you look at the view you will get. Its also recommended hiring a small motorboat as this will give you access to hidden coves and beaches that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to access.
The beach does get extremely busy as you can imagine but you can get on a boat that will take you to the nearby Butterfly Valley a remote beach and valley thats situated in the mountains. You can also grab a bite to eat and there are several recommended places on the Blue Lagoon.
LARA BEACH, ANTALYA.
Lara is a very fashionable resort just south of Antalya city centre. The beach is very popular with tourists and can get quite busy. Its a long sandy beach that also has the dreaded pebbles ( not so comfortable to lay on ). Along the coastline, there are several hotels. Some are shaped like ships or planes and are named accordingly ( Titanic and Concorde ).
It is even though busy in high season a very clean beach and offers plenty of watersports. During the months between May and October, there is also the Sandland Festival where you can see some amazing sand sculptures.
PATARA BEACH, PATARA.
At 11 miles, unspoilt Patara is Turkey’s longest beach. Even more important, Patara has escaped the development that mars many lesser beaches around the Mediterranean thanks to the ruins of the once-mighty ancient city from which the beach gets its name, and the resident Loggerhead turtles, a protected species which has been laying its eggs here for the past 40 million years.
No tour companies operate in Patara, so everything is independent. The pensions and eating and drinking places are run by local families; most of the delicious food is produced locally. The only beach café is run by the local authority, and profits are ploughed back into the area. This café is also the place to hire beach loungers and umbrellas.
Written by : Rachel Labidi
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