Turkey is perfect for a low-cost beach holiday: a beer in the clubland resort of Marmaris will set you back just £2.27*, and a bottle of water is just 45p. There’s plenty of cheap accommodation, too: a three-star hotel in the same resort can cost as little as £45 per night. We’ve put together a guide to ten of the best beach resorts in Turkey, from hidden coves to party havens, along with the best places to stay.
1. Patara, nearest airport Dalaman
Patara is Turkey’s longest and possibly most unspoiled beach. As a nesting ground for the endangered loggerhead turtle, the 18-kilometre beach has protected status, and the only man-made structure to be found is a small beach café run by the local authority – profits from which are ploughed back into the community. To get to the beach, you have to pass through ancient Lycian ruins, which include temples, bathhouses and a theatre that are more than 2,000 years old.
Where to stay
The nearest town to the beach is Gelemiş, which has a few, mostly family-run, pensions and hotels. Rose Pension is a charming, family-friendly, 12-room Art Deco building with an outdoor pool and complimentary breakfast.
2. Bodrum Peninsula, nearest airport Bodrum
Bodrum is almost the polar opposite of Patara: millions of tourists flock to this upmarket and trendy resort every year. Thankfully, the town still retains its charm despite heavy tourism development, as strict planning laws on building heights mean there are no looming apartment blocks. Among the whitewashed buildings and winding alleyways you can find Orfoz, one of the country’s best seafood restaurants, and the fifteenth-century castle provides excellent views of the bay. Some of the many beautiful beaches along the peninsula include the 500-metre-long Karaincir Beach, one of the best in the area, and Turkbuku Beach, a wonderfully quiet getaway.
Where to stay
The five-star Doria Hotel has an indoor pool with a poolside bar, in addition to a spa that offers body scrubs, aromatherapy and massages. It even has a pillow menu!
3. Dalyan, nearest airport Dalaman
The beautiful Iztuzu Beach is located around 10 kilometres from Dalyan and, like Patara, it enjoys protected status as a nesting ground for loggerhead turtles. Wooden posts mark parts of the beach that are off limits, and there’s a strict 8pm curfew, but the protection measures mean that there’s very little tourist development to interrupt the stunning views along this 4.5 kilometre swathe of sand. Dalyan itself is packed with excellent restaurants and bars, including the riverside Casa Nova restaurant serving Modern Turkish cuisine, and the well-preserved ruins of the ninth-century BC city of Kaunos are just a short boat ride across the river.
Where to stay
Club Alla Turca is in a great location in the centre of Dalyan, and has an outdoor pool and spa tub, as well as complimentary breakfast.