Turkey’s top beach breaks for summer (hopefully!) and beyond
Although overseas summer holidays still hang in the balance, news several countries are eager to welcome British visitors has been met with a positive response.
While the debate over Covid passports rumbles on, Turkey has announced it will welcome holidaymakers without the need for a vaccine certificate – making short-haul sunshine a real possibility this year.
“Turkey has always been popular with our touring clients, and we expect this news to generate further interest,” says Kerry Golds, managing director of Abercrombie & Kent and Cox & Kings. “The Aegean region is a rich, cultural hotspot with a treasure trove of sites unmatched almost anywhere in the world.”
A colourful blend of ancient history and natural beauty, the country offers an opportunity to stimulate both body and mind, with a range of historic sites and beautiful beaches. But it’s the coastal attractions that really sparkle.
From adult-only escapes to mountain-backed lagoons, here are a few beach holidays to consider.
Lined with resorts ranging from affordable stays to more luxurious hideaways, Bodrum has a reputation for being the St Tropez of Turkey, attracting hedonists and fashionistas. But there are still quiet corners reflecting the region’s more authentic way of life.
New 36-villa property Bodrum Loft has been designed like an Aegean village and is situated on a peninsula with easy access to a peaceful beach. Facilities include a spa, gym and gourmet restaurants, with an option for in-villa dining.
Sensitively carved into the rocks, the resort has been constructed with sustainability in mind. Endemic trees such as sandalwood, olive and laurel have been preserved in the landscaped gardens, and green roofs collect rainwater to be recycled through a water filtration system and used in irrigation. A one-week stay in a two-bedroom villa starts from £2,351. Visit bodrumloft.com.tr.
Seaside jewels on the Turquoise Coast
Lapped by waters with more twinkle than a pirate’s chest of treasures, the Turquoise Coast is one of Turkey’s top beach destinations. Fringing the south-western shore of the country, it’s an area that’s also famous for its historical sites, making it possible to combine sun-worshipping and sea-splashing with cultural immersion.
Head to Dalyan to see ruins of an acropolis and 6th century church at Kaunos, then search for nesting turtles along Iztuzu Beach. See the Xanthian Obelisk (regarded as important as the Rosetta Stone) at Xanthos, and go for lengthy strolls along Turkey’s longest beach, Patara. Finish with a boat ride exploring hidden coves and secluded stretches of sand. Abercrombie & Kent (abercrombiekent.co.uk) offers a three-night Highlights Of The Turquoise Coast holiday from £1,315pp. Various dates until September.
Mighty Marmaris escape
Backed by mountains and washed by the Aegean Sea, Marmaris is home to a collection of resorts. Once a sleepy fishing village, it’s now dominated by marinas, which swell with activity during the summer.
A 20-minute drive away, the Adakoy peninsula is a peaceful escape, where the 151-room Cook’s Club Adakoy occupies a remote, untouched bay. Guests can admire the views from their own balcony or terrace, or gather around the pool to listen to DJs.
There’s a selection of restaurants serving fresh fish, Turkish cuisine or vegan menus, while an outdoor yoga studio provides an opportunity to rebalance body and mind. Cook’s Club (cooksclub.com) offers all-inclusive rooms from £165 per night (two sharing).
Set between Fethiye and Dalyan, coastal village Göcek is a hidden paradise. Six marinas are dotted along a large bay filled with islands and secret coves, making it a magnet for yachting enthusiasts.
Located in the centre of the village, D-Resort Göcek has private access to the only beach in the area – a 250-metre stretch of fine white sand imported from the Sahara Desert. Sunbeds and parasols are spread along the shore, easily reached by golf cart from the hotel.
Along with 103 rooms and 15 suites, the property has a spa, gym, pools and gourmet restaurants. A custom-made Sundowner boat carries guests to some of the area’s most beautiful islands. Doubles from £200 per night, room only. Visit dresortgocek.com.
A natural paradise
Famous for its blue lagoon, set behind a white beach with a backdrop of the Toros mountains, Oludeniz is part of Turkey’s Turquoise Coast in the south west.
Almost totally cut off from the sea, a sheltered cove extends into a long sandy stretch, where popular pastimes include diving, para-gliding or sunset strolls.
Shaded by olive trees, 26-room Oyster Residences Olu Deniz is an ideal base a 75-minute drive from Dalaman Airport. Although close to the sea, the family-run, adult-only property (no children under 14 are allowed) also has a freshwater pool dotted with sun loungers and hammocks. Olympic Holidays (olympicholidays.com) offers seven nights from £489 per person (two sharing), including breakfast and flights from London Gatwick.