In this week’s guest post, Hostel Bookers track down six of the very best stretches of sand in Turkey.
With so many great beaches in Turkey it is hard to single out the best of them, but if exploring the country’s sea and sandy shores is a priority then the six below are a great starting point.
Butterfly Beach is fantastic in the spring when the butterflies appear. At any time of year, this beach is a challenge to reach because you either have to get there by boat or climb down a rocky path for approximately 40 minutes and then take about an hour to climb back up. Located between two towering cliffs, this pristine beach also offers quite a view from the top of a waterfall, if you are brave enough to make that climb it is a moment worth savoring. To further your adventure, you can pay to stay on the island in a wooden hut or camp or bring or rent a tent. You could also stay at the Hamlet of Faralya and gaze down upon the beach.
The rural village of Ortakent is unique with its ‘tower houses’ which were built in the 17th century for defense. The oldest is the Mustafa Pasa Tower House. Built in 1601, it is approached by a draw bridge, has three floors, and no doors and windows on the lower floors. You can see some glimpse of the living quarters being richly decorated. You will find Ortakent Beach in the center of the Bodrum Peninsula, tranquil but is one with deeps dips so make sure you are a confident swimmer before heading for the waters! Take advantage of the area’s water sports such as sailing, kayaking and wake-boarding which are popular here and pass your camera on to a friend to take snaps among the picturesque coves.
Kabak Beach is located at the bottom of the magnificent Kabak Valley. It is surrounded by lush pines and is unspoiled with only a few campsites located behind it where you can find water, food and accommodation. You can climb down a rough footpath from the village of Kabak Koy or pay to have a 4×4 take you down. There are no facilities on the beach itself other than a few men who usually sit under an umbrella to sell chilled water so pack some extra food and drink. The beach is untouched due to a moratorium on development.
Situated between two huge mountains, Cirali Beach runs for three kilometers. It is a protected area because of the endangered loggerhead turtles that come out of the sea to lay eggs in nests on the sand. Along the area you will see The hamlet of Cirali, well-known for its natural phenomenon eternal fire named after a fire-breathing mythical monster, which is known as the Burning Rock and is located at the top of a 300m high hill. Cirali is a great site for exploration as you will also find the archeological ruins of the old city of Olympos.
Gunluklu Beach is just a short drive from Fethiye but can get crowded on the weekends by locals, so if you can, try to go during the week when you can enjoy the peacefulness and the scenery of the sweet gum, chestnut and pine trees. Gunluklu Bay is named after the sweetly-perfumed Gunluk trees that surround it. The clean sand here is darker than other Turkish beaches, but the water is sparkling clear and a lovely place to go for a swim.
Kaputas Beach just off a main road was formed by a gorge that opened out into sand and the calm turquoise water of the bay, however still the water looks the beach shelves off quickly into deep water so take caution when going out to swim. If you are up for a challenge, there is a long flight of steps to tackle with few facilities on the beach so be sure to take drinking water and perhaps an umbrella for shade. On windy days there are spectacular waves to look out for.
You can find nearby accommodation at Hostelbookers.com who offer chic and cheap hotels around the beach areas mentioned.