The Turquoise Coast : Places to Explore


  • Adana

    Adana is Turkey's fourth-largest city after Istanbul, Ankara, and İzmir, but it's the least known to tourists because it's a commercial and industrial center, though there are a few first-rate attractions... Read more

  • Alanya

    Alanya is Turkey's hottest resort town—literally. Temperatures here are higher than almost anywhere else in Turkey, averaging 106°F (27°C) in July and August, and the waves lapping the long Mediterranean... Read more

  • Anamur

    Anamur is an uninspiring agricultural town, known throughout Turkey for its bananas. A few resorts are appearing on the coast here, but the main reason to stop are the ruins of ancient Anemurium and the... Read more

  • Antakya (Antioch)

    Antakya is perhaps better known by its old name, Antioch. Founded in about 300 BC by Seleucus Nikator, one of Alexander's generals, the city grew quickly, thanks to its strategic location on the trade... Read more

  • Antalya

    Antalya is a definite tourist hub, and it's one of Turkey's fastest growing cities; these days the international terminals of Antalya airport are busier even than in Istanbul. Most visitors are on package... Read more

  • Dalyan

    Dalyan is about 10 mi SW of the highway, and there are regular minibuses to the nearby town of Ortaca.... Read more

  • Datça Peninsula

    If you make it all the way to the Datça Peninsula, you may never want to leave. Winds keep pine forests to sheltered hollows, and habitations are few and far between. Driving along the thin neck of land... Read more

  • Demre (Kale)

    Demre is where Saint Nicholas, who later became known as Father Christmas, made his reputation as bishop of the Graeco-Roman diocese of Myra in the first half of the 4th century. Among his good deeds... Read more

  • Eski Datça and Reshadiye

    Turkish satirical poet and polemical left-wing social critic Can Yücel retired to a modest old stone house in Eski Datça, setting an artistic tone for this pretty backwater spot, and for nearby Reshadiye... Read more

  • Fethiye

    This busy port town is a good base for exploring the ruins of ancient Lycia in the mountains that rise to the east. Fethiye was known in antiquity as Telmessus (not to be confused with Termessos, near... Read more

  • Finike and Arycanda

    Finike is a good spot to stop for lunch, or is a jumping-off point for Arycanda and a series of less glamorous Lycian sites that dot the citrus- and vegetable-growing coastal plain. The small port town... Read more

  • Göcek

    For the visitor who wants a taste of the grandeur of the Turquoise Riviera, but has little time to spare, Göcek is perfect. The tranquil yachting resort town is just a 20-minute drive over the mountains... Read more

  • Kalkan

    Kalkan has two distinct sides: on one hand it has fine restaurants and excellent hotels to match its superb, steep views of the Mediterranean Sea. But it's also a bit overpriced, and regulars complain... Read more

  • Kaş

    In the 1980s, Kaş, with its beautiful wide, island-filled bay, was the main tourist destination on the Lycian coast, but it has since fallen somewhat by the wayside, lacking a real beach and A-list attractions... Read more

  • Kaya

  • Kız Kalesı

    This small town is easily the best place to stop on the long drive east of Alanya; there's a nice stretch of beach but it's most famous for its picture-perfect castle sitting just off the shore.... Read more

  • Knidos

    Knidos. Knidos was founded in the 7th century BC by Dorian Greeks and prospered because of its excellent location on shipping routes between Egypt, Rhodes, Ephesus, the Greek mainland, and other major... Read more

  • Marmaris

    The big, brash resort city Marmaris has two faces, and they're hard to reconcile. From the sea, a thick line of resort hotels stretches around the northern edge of a great bay, the whole encircled by a... Read more

  • Ölüdeniz

  • Olympos and Çiralı

    Olympos and its "sister" towns, Çiralı and Adrasan are places unique on the Turquoise Riviera for their natural beauty, ancient ruins, low-rise development, and easygoing culture that mixes international... Read more

  • Patara

    Patara was once Lycia's principal port. Cosmopolitan in its heyday—Hannibal, St. Paul, and the emperor Hadrian all visited, and St. Nicholas, the man who would be Santa Claus, is said to have been born... Read more

  • Phaselis

  • Side

    Charter-tour hotels crowding along this stretch of coast threaten to overshadow Side, but at its heart this city's delightful mix of ancient ruins and modern amenities is an underestimated jewel. Sandy... Read more

  • Silifke

    The small town of Silifke is dominated by its Byzantine castle.... Read more

  • Simena and Kekova Sound

    Simena (now known in Turkish as Kaleköy), Kekova Island, and its surrounding coastline are some of the most enchanted spots in Turkey, especially as the reflection of the full moon slowly traces its way... Read more

  • Tarsus

    St. Paul was born some 2,000 years ago in Tarsus, though little sign of the saint remains nowadays in what has become a dusty, sleepy provincial town of no great interest. The only surviving piece of antiquity... Read more

  • Termessos

  • Tlos