The Turquoise Coast in Turkey stretches almost 1,000 miles along the country’s southwest Mediterranean coast from approximately Antalya in the south to Izmir in the north. Its combination of balmy Mediterranean climate, superb sparkling Turquoise Coast beaches bordering crystal clear azure waters, as many of the most beautiful photos of the country of Turkey show, against the scenic backdrop of the Taurus Mountains, and priceless ancient archeological sites makes it one of the premier resorts in the world. Because of its beauty and strategic location, it has always been important in the history of Turkey, Italy, Greece, and even as far as Egypt. Marc Antony thought it was so beautiful that he gifted it to his beloved Cleopatra as a wedding present, and they made their home here for a year. Empires from the Lycian and Ottoman to Venetians and Crusaders have conquered and occupied it over the course of history.
Some areas of the Turquoise Coast have mountains that drop steeply right down to the sea, as is true of Antalya, which sits on cliffs and where the lower Duden Waterfall plunges dramatically down to Lara Beach. In other places, enough sediment has been deposited by the rivers that the beaches are backed by fertile agricultural plains, as is true of the alluvial plain around Adana.
One of the most popular things to do on vacations to the Turquoise Coast is to go sailing, visiting the beaches and offshore islands, including the nearby islands of Greece. Often the ships available for charter are traditional Turkish gulets, These are beautiful luxury sailing ships that can accommodate as few as two passengers or up to as many as 25. Most charter gulets that cruise along the Turquoise Coast in Turkey will take between ten and twelve passengers. This is perhaps the best way to explore the Turquoise Coast and its ancient cities, picturesque harbors, and secluded inlets, coves, and lagoons. You can book a simple day cruise, or hop onboard for up to a week or two.
The city of Marmaris is the yachting capital of the Turquoise Coast and this is the departure point for the famous Blue Voyage yacht cruises. Here also is Icmeler Beach, with its great diving and snorkeling. Other Turquoise Coast beaches include Patara Beach (birthplace of St. Nicholas) and Oludeniz Beach, both near Fethiye. Oludeniz is one of the country’s most popular and beautiful beaches; Patara is one of the least developed, as it is part of a national park and a nesting site for the endangered loggerhead sea turtle.
Turkish Riviera Villas
Bodrum, located north of Marmaris, is also home to many chic beach resorts and turkish riviera villas. Here you will find a magnificent Crusade castle built in 1402. As the former Greek city of Halicarnassus, this was also the site of the Mausoleum of Mausolus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Some of the Turquoise Coast beaches and resorts are also known for their nightlife, and Bodrum is especially known for this. Another of the Seven Ancient Wonders, the Temple of Artemis, can be found at Ephesus in the province of Izmir. This ancient archeological site is also home to one of the Seven Churches found in the Book of Revelations.
The unofficial “capital” and most chic of the resorts on the Turquoise Coast in Turkey is Antalya, which has a modern international airport and a fascinating old quarter that surrounds its Roman harbor. Here are historic mosques and colorful traditional bazaars.