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The Turquoise Coast Travel Guide

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  • Photo: Bahadir Yeniceri / Shutterstock

Plan Your Turquoise Coast Vacation

The Turquoise Coast is just as stunning as its name suggests. Luminous blue waves in that signature shade (the word "turquoise" actually comes from the French for "Turkish") lap at isolated coves and some of the country’s most iconic beaches—including Ölüdeniz, Patara, and İztuzu. Inhabited for millennia, spectacular archaeological ruins of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine origin are never

far away. Termessos is said to have defied Alexander the Great because he was daunted by its height, and the antique theater in Apsendos rivals the Colosseum in Rome.

In the west is the Datça Peninsula, a Mediterranean landscape of rolling hills and olive trees looking out on a sea dotted with Greek islands. East of Marmaris, a more-touristy town, you’ll find the Lycian coast with its rich mix of ruins and camera-ready beaches. Each Lycian coast destination has a distinct feel: Ölüdeniz, crowded but with a lovely lagoon; laid-back, alternative Kabak; low-key Patara; upscale Kalkan; lively Kaş; and the green and relaxed Olympos area. Antalya, the biggest city on this stretch, has long beaches lined with resorts. The package tourists, though, often skip Old Antalya, which is filled with historic mansions (many now converted into boutique hotels). Antalya also has the coast’s best museum and archaeological sites, Aspendos among them. East of the resort towns of Side and Alanya, the region becomes rugged and tourists rare. Ruins, castles, and beaches remain plentiful; however, the taste of "real Turkey" is more pronounced.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Appreciate the landscape Pine-covered mountains plunge into a turquoise sea that's broken by romantic coves and remote peninsulas.
  2. Relax on beaches Some of the Mediterranean's most blissful beaches are here; lie on your sun bed or dive in from a floating platform.
  3. Sleep in one-of-a-kind lodgings Bed down in an Ottoman mansion-turned-hotel on the Datça Peninsula or an old stone house in the winding streets of Antalya’s Kaleici.
  4. See spectacular ruins Explore remains of ancient cities—from mountaintop Termessos and overgrown Olympos to the extraordinarily intact Roman theater at Aspendos.
  5. Take a Blue Cruise Sail away on your own chartered yacht, perhaps dropping anchor en route to take a swim or catch a fish for dinner.
  6. Trek the Lycian Way Choose a one-day or multiday hike along the legendary trail that runs parallel to much of the Turquoise Coast.

When To Go

When to Go

The ideal months on the Turquoise Coast are May and June and September and October. Summers can be hot and humid, especially in July and August...

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Check historic weather for your trip dates:

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