The Mediterranean coast of Turkey is known as the Turquoise Coast, and is a 1600km stretch of sun-kissed beaches, steep cliffs, historic cities, bustling market towns and ancient ruins. The region has a rich history and rugged beauty that has made it the top holiday destination in Turkey.
From the Lycia region in the west to Hatay province in the east, the coastline has so much to offer. The rugged unspoilt beauty, virgin forests, caves, waterfalls and turquoise sea, set against the dramatic backdrop of the Toros Mountains, creates some of the most beautiful scenery in Turkey. With clear waters and great weather this region is ideal for those who enjoy diving, swimming and yachting.
The coastline of southern Turkey is home to vibrant beach resorts where you’ll find luxury Turkish villas, lively bars and plenty of entertainment; but if you’re looking for a peaceful getaway, the area is also home to delightful fishing villages and old market towns. Inland you’ll find the Lake District (Göller Yöresi), with its beautiful lakes and the Yazılı Kanyon National Park. It’s the perfect place to go if you enjoy hiking. The Turkish Mediterranean is divided into five coastal regions: Lycia, Pamphylia, Cilician Mountains, Cilician Plains and Hatay. Each region is unique and worth exploring.
Enjoy the View in Beautiful Lycia
The Lycia region of Mediterranean Turkey is what is known as the Turquoise Coast and the area is just as beautiful as the name suggests. Here pine forests cling to rugged mountains that drop into turquoise water below. The rugged coastline is littered with gulfs and coves and is a popular yachting area.
Here you’ll find busy Marmaris, with its lovely promenade and gorgeous rugged coastline, the resort town of Kemer, and the charming tourist town of Kaş, which is a great base from which to explore the Blue Caves, the Lycian cliff tombs, the neighbouring town of Kalkan, as well as archeological sites such as Demre (Kale), Patara, Xanthos (Kınık), Letoön, Saklıkent and Tlos.
Explore Lively Pamphylia
Some of the most beautiful sandy beaches and clear water along the Mediterranean coast can be found in Pamphylia. The vibrant cities, luxury resorts and wide variety of water sports has made it a hot spot of the Turkish Mediterranean. With plenty of historic sites in the area, it’s also a great destination if you’re a history lover.
It’s here that you’ll find the gem of the Turkish Riviera, Antalya. It’s the largest city on the Turkish Mediterranean coast and makes an excellent base from which to explore Roman ruins, caves and waterfalls. Belek is another vibrant city in Pamphylia that is popular with visitors to the Turkish Mediterranean. The city is surrounded by beautiful pine forests and has five golf courses and an abundance of luxury accommodation. The nearby town of Manavgat offers a quieter alternative to the bustling resort towns. It lies on the banks of the Manavgat River where you’ll find the picturesque Manavgat Waterfalls.
If you’re a history buff the ancient town of Side, famous for its classical ruins and ancient harbour, is definitely the place to be. You won’t want to miss seeing the Great Gate, the Aspendos Theatre, and the Temple of Apollo. Side also has some excellent restaurants, shops and market stalls where you can buy local handicrafts and souvenirs. The historic town of Alanya is also nearby and worth visiting for its great swimming beach, a lively outdoor market and a go-kart track which will be popular with kids.
Relax in the Cilician Mountains and Cilician Plains
For a taste of more rural Turkish life, Cilician Mountains and Cilician Plains are the best place to head. From the towns of Mersin or Anamur you can explore the Biblical city of Tarsus with its cobbled streets, Maiden’s Castle, Heaven and Hell Caves, and the deep canyons of Göksu Valley. Other popular sites include Mamure Castle, the medieval castle in Anamur, and the remains of the ancient city of Anemurium.
Whether you want to spend your holiday exploring archaeological sites, sailing in turquoise water, sunbathing in quiet coves, diving in crystal clear water, or exploring narrow streets and bazaars, the Turkish Mediterranean has something for everybody!