Turkey shares a coast with the Aegean Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Black Sea, the shores of which are blessed with some of the finest beaches and beach hotels one can think up. Beyond the beach, Turkey offers beautiful seaside cityscapes, azure seas, and a rich culture and history. The advantages to staying at a beach hotel are endless — among them is the in-house Turkish restaurants, the light and spacious rooms, the fascinating sightseeing opportunity nearby, the sprawling wellness areas, and the endless chances for sunset beach walks and romantic moments.
Where to stay at a beach hotel in Turkey? Top locations at a glance:
Blue Lagoon and the Turquoise Coast: Mediterranean magic
© Lycia Hotel The Turkish Riviera, or Turquoise Coast, spans the states of Antalya and Muğla and is particularly stunning for its uninterrupted coastal beauty and the proximity of ancient sites to lavish beaches and modern seaside establishments. If you’re heading to the Turkish Riviera for magical natural views, the Ölideniz Bay, or Blue Lagoon, is the perfect destination. Check into a beach hotel for uninterrupted seaside bliss surrounded by the unfathomable blue of this bay tucked into the southwest coast. On the lagoon, the wide and white-sand Belcekiz Beach in Oludeniz is one of Turkey’s finest. The city of Oludeniz is best experienced leisurely and decadently — with long days spent in the sun and long nights whiled away on the Oludeniz strip popping into local shops, bars, and restaurants. On the southern coast, the Mediterranean resort city Antalya is worth a stop for anyone traveling to Turkey — this happening place includes the 130 A.D. Hadrian’s Gate, the 2nd-century Hidirlik Tower, a bustling cruise port, and sandy beaches. Wherever you stay, make sure to take the trip to the ancient Lycian cities, Xanthos, Tlos, and Arykanda, for a real taste of the timeworn. The beach hotels on the Turkish Riviera are totally luxurious and afford only top-notch views over the magical coastline. With massive pools, comfy rooms, special sunbathing zones, private paths to the sea, quiet atmospheres, and first-rate dining on meze, piyaz salad, Saksuka, and stuffed grape leaves, you’ll have all you need to wind down after a day of exploring — or all you need to never step foot off the hotel grounds.
Aegean Coast: Beachy beauty and ancient history
© Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay Bodrum Visitors to the Aegean coast — the wellness-inclined and the not – should head right for the thermal springs in Cesme or for the lonely island of Gökceada. In both of these settings, you’ll find tranquility like you’ve never experienced before. The Aegean Coast is totally beautiful and authentically Turkey. Making up the western shore of Turkey from Istanbul to Çanakkale and facing Greece’s islands, the coastline is dotted with magnificent beaches, azure waters, bustling old towns, and myriad beach hotels, especially near Bodrum. Fit even for a honeymoon, these extravagant beach hotels boast sea views, private beaches and/or balconies, and even in-house spa centers. Lovers of the extremely old should check out Ephesus ancient city and ruins, which harkens back to a time 12 centuries ago and is located near the resort town Kuşadasi. Kuşadasi is the best home base for those seeking a beach holiday with some sightseeing speckled in; in addition to the ancient ruins, there’s a lovely old town suited for wandering under the hot Turkish sun, opportunity for boat trips out to nearby coves and hidden beaches, as well as to other locations down the coast or to the Greek island Samos, and nonstop amazing food and drink. Elsewhere on the coast, night owls will love Çeşme and Alaçati, and those more urban-inclined should look no further than Turkey’s third-largest city Izmir.
Black Sea: A world apart
At the Black Sea, discover sleepy fishing villages, the seaside resort Sinop, beautiful bays, and untouched beaches. The Black Sea region is littered with memory of an old, old past in the form of castles, mosques, churches, monasteries, and ruins from the age of the Ottomans. Unlike Turkey’s other coastlines, which are relatively flat and sprawling, the Black Sea shore is unique in that it is surrounded on by dramatic mountain landscapes on one side and the shiny clear water of the sea on the other. Head here to a beach hotel for a unique experience in a chunk of Turkey not as oft frequented by visitors and settle into total bliss — perfect for a road trip, the winding roads leading you to your beach hotel are a destination on their own, especially if you make a stop to view the breathtaking Sumela Monastery, which is built into the side of a mountain. Rize appears as if from a dream, surrounded on all sides by verdant beauty seldom experienced; it is also worth a visit for fans of tea, as it is the tea-producing capital of Turkey, and to see the fairytale-esque offshore castle. Ordu is home to classically beautiful, gold-sanded beaches and is thus a choice location for a holiday spent in a beach hotel. Check out Çaka Beach for a picnic with the family on the picture-perfect sandy shore, hemmed in by craggy cliffs and the unending blue of the sky and sea.
There are four airports along Turkey’s coastline in Izmir, Bodrum, Dalaman, and Antalya. From any of these, which are all served by both international and domestic flights, you can take local buses around the coast or opt to rent a car. Note that bus travel in Turkey is very common, reliable, and quite comfortable – with most long-distance busses having reclining seats and other small luxuries to ensure a pleasant ride.
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