GUIDE TO TURKEY'S COASTAL TOWNS

The Turkish Riviera is home to some of the best Turkey coastal towns and cities, with amazing views and mouth watering gastronomic delights that the Mediterranean has to offer. The following information will give you an insight into some of the best places to go and see.

Antalya


Antalya is a city in the south west of Turkey, based on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It has a population of about 1 million people. It was founded about 2000 years ago and was initially part of the ancient Roman empire. It then changed to Byzantine and finally Turkish reign, under the Seljuk Turks in the first half of the 13th century AD. At present it is not of major administrative importance nationally but it is Turkey’s largest seaside resort and draws many visitors every year. In 2013, it had the third most visitors of any city in the world. Turkey annually draws about 30 million visitors, and Antalya was host to one third of them. Antalya has a warm, dry summer climate, making it suitable for summer beach holidays. Attractions in the city include its historic centre, known as Kaleici (Old Antalya), which is as old as the city itself, the network of caves outside the city, which contain artefacts and rock paintings left there by Stone Age inhabitants, and the extensive Antalya Archaeological Museum. Given that the region has been inhabited since Palaeolithic times, the museum has access to material that is rare and extremely old. The main attraction of the city, however, is its international status as a holiday town. The beaches, natural beauty and historical heritage make it a popular destination for tourists, as well as for those interested in its state-administered thermal baths and health spas. Health tourists are not uncommon in Antalya and they arrive there to undergo a full range of medical procedures. 10 million people visited the city last year, so if you decide to do the same you probably won’t be alone.

Antalya
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Alanya


Alanya is a resort town of approximately 100 000 people on the south coast of Turkey. It's the easternmost location that is popular holiday property destination among foreign owners. The town boasts with great historical sites and beaches, as well as Taurus mountains giving town a dramatic backdrop. It's well known among holidaymakers since it's been a high volume package travel location for decades. At the moment future looks bright for Alanya as Turkish government has engaged several infrastructure developments in the area and overall commerce has been growing for several years in row. Also the new Alanya-Gazipasa international airport just 30 minutes drive from Alanya has boosted Alanya's economy and desirability both as holiday destination and second home town.

Alanya
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Belek


Belek - the golfing centre of Turkey, lies nearby Antalya city and it's international airport. Located east from Antalya's main holiday developed area, Lara, Belek enjoys a great shoreline with fine sand beach, a strip of forest that the golf courses are built onto, and a small town with local amenities. The beach area has been developed with large 4-5 star luxury hotels that accommodate majority of the thousands annual golf tourists that choose to visit Belek their golfing destination. Behind the hotels is a strip of forest that was planted decades before tourism hit Belek's shores, to protect the cultivation lands of Belek from erosion and wind from the sea. Later the forests found their eventual role, housing all the Belek's fourteen high-quality golf courses. The area is appreciated and recognized by both professional and amateur golfers in whole Europe. Belek hosts a major golf tournament annually, the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final bringing large number of spectators and holiday home owners to visit Belek.

Belek
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Bodrum


Well, what can we say about this port town, for one thing you will never get bored as this destination is filled with jetsetters who like to make a statement, namely very large yachts. This port town is in the region of Mugla and not far from Kos which you may not already know is a Greek island. Bodrum is in Halicarnassus a former ancient city with so much more to offer visitors than just jetsetters and a harbor filled with large yachts. Have you ever wanted to see one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World? Well, you will be amazed to find out that in fact the Turkish Riviera has two of them. The first one is Mausolus’s Mausoleum with the ruins right here in Bodrum. Another piece of architecture that also happens to be priceless and can be seen clearly as it dominates the heavily populated yachting marina is Bodrum Castle, although this construction is recent by comparison, it is still a marvel to behold, built in the 15th century it is a creation of the Crusades which now hosts more agreeable attractions and events, and include an archaeology museum and music festivals amongst other things. Bodrum’s local population of 39,317 does not include the real estate investors who are European expats and wealthy retirees, you might think that the expensive retailers and yachts would pose a threat, but when it comes to the cuisine and culture that this port town has to offer its visitors they are no competition.

Bodrum
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Fethiye


This Turkish destination is very popular among tourists and does not include the Riviera region. The city’s native population of 100,000 soars to over 600,000 in the summer months with many Dutch, European, British and Russians having made this city their home. Telmoss was an ancient city and this is where Fethiye now sits, the ruins that it houses should be seen by everyone who visits this city, even if you are someone who is only interested in spending everyday at the beach. The city boasts some of the most turquoise crystal clear waters that are amazing to look at and with such idyllic stops you will find it hard to tear yourself away, but don’t rule out the city itself as it too has plenty to offer. Fethyie is built on Mount Mendos, which is part of the Tourus Mountains and they also frame the bay. The Old Town Paspatur is at the rear of the harbor and has plenty to offer you if your idea of a holiday is shopping, relaxing in the many cafes and a little touch of exploration. There is a modern side to this town which can be seen in the bars, banks, boutiques and stores. The promenade is new to the town and runs along the harbor front it starts at the town centre and goes all the way to Calis a beach resort. Although all you history buffs out there may think that you have been forgotten, think again, as there are places to see which include the Lycian rock tombs, the amphitheatre and Kayakoy ‘Ghost Town’ and with places such as those to visit there is definitely something for everyone in this city. fethiye
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Side


Side is located half way east from Antalya to Alanya. It's one of the most history-rich coastal Turkey towns with a past dating all the way to days of the Roman empire. During this era Side was known for commerce, slave trade and gladiator shows at the still existing amphitheater. The town is to the smaller side, compared to bigger cities neighboring Side, but has all the basic amenities and many shops and restaurants. Side has been popular holiday destination for decades, and offers something for everyone and every budget. The property market is definitely slower compared to Alanya, but it's also more unique as is the city. Side is a good stop for a day or two when exploring this part of Turkish Riviera.

side
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Avsallar


Avsallar is a rapidly growing small town approx 25km west from Alanya. The town is best known for it's beaches, which are considered the best in Antalya province; the water is clear, the sand is fine, and the sea is shallow far out making the beaches superb for both families with children and for elderly holidaymakers. All the residential and hotel developments are located within walking distance from the beaches. The price level of properties is still relatively low, which has made Avsallar popular and high value market for holiday properties. The town itself is small, cozy and charming, with little winding streets, low traffic and good selection of shops and amenities. The intercity road between Antalya and Alanya goes just by the city center providing great connections by car or public transport.

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ÇEŞME


This town is in the region of Izmir and is a stunning and very popular place with tourists from all around the globe. Unlike many of the hidden gems that the Turkish Riviera has to offer it is a place with a party atmosphere, with stunning beaches, unforgettable nightlife and restaurants that serve a cuisine you will never forget. ?esme is a beach holiday resort that will give a taste of the exotic and it is extremely close to Chios which is a Greek island cesme

Kusadasi


A town surrounded by sites that are ancient and landmarks which are natural and beautiful, if you are looking for an experience to surpass all others then Kusadasi is the town to visit. There are plenty of geographic features to be found in this town and include Mount Ida and the Guvercin Ada isthmus. This Turkish coastal town is on the Aegean coast rather than the Mediterranean and it offers a complete experience compared with other towns on the Turkish Riviera. The location is amazing and is second to none, with its waterfront properties and beaches which are breathtaking, Kusadasi is filled with remains that are priceless from the Greek city Ephesus, and in 550 B.C. the famous Temple of Artemis was built. It is also home to Pamukkale which is a UNESCO Heritage site and it also has hot springs there as well. Therefore if you are looking for great value then Kusadasi is one place you will not want to miss seeing. kusadasi

Marmaris


The Mugla province has within it a wonderful gem called Marmaris; adjacent to the island of Rhodes this port city is a favorite among travelers who visit this city on a regular basis. Unfortunately over thirty years ago a decision was made to help boost tourism with a rush of development that can only be described as shabby, luckily enough this did very little to ruin the natural beauty of this stunning port city. In the peak season this city will see well over 300,000 tourists which cause its population to soar, although its local population all year round is in its thousands if that. Marmaris is a favorite with cruise lines and sailing enthusiasts and even more so within the winter months as it is this time of year when the water and weather conditions are at their best. If you are looking for a place to escape to then Marmaris should be at the top of your list. The town is steeped in history with Marmaris being a part of ancient Anatolia with its existence having been around in one form or another as far back as the 6th century B.C. or more. Although, Herodotus who was an ancient Greek historian believed the city had existed 2,000 years before that. marmaris

Didim


Didim (or Didim Altinkum) is a seaside town on the west coast of Turkey, alongside the Aegean Sea, of fewer than 100 000 people and it covers about 300 square km. It has a long history of different rulers, and it became part of the Ottoman Empire more than 500 years ago. It has traditionally been a destination for holidaymakers and tourists, both local and foreign. Summer temperatures reach the mid-30s in degrees Celsius (95 in Fahrenheit), while the sea in summer is mostly warmer than 20 C. The hot summer days and easy access to the beaches make this town a popular choice for visitors from Europe, Britain and Turkey itself. The sunshine extends throughout the year, so spending time in the sun is possible even in the winter months. Didim is home to some historical attractions, most notably the temple of Apollo (which is about 4000 years old) and the Sacred Way (King Road) which links Didim to Miletus. There is also the enormous statue of Medusa’s head. Medusa was a figure in ancient Greek mythology who had the ability to turn people into stone just by looking at them. The statue doesn’t have this effect on tourists, but its size and artistry are impressive, in addition to the fact that it is approximately 2000 years old. Recent times have seen a trend of foreigners from Britain buying property in the town. There is an established British presence there now, with municipal correspondence in the two languages of Turkish and English. However, visitors from Turkey and other parts of Europe are common. Didim

Kalkan


Kalkan is a coastal settlement on the Mediterranean shore of Turkey. It is not nearly as old as other towns in Turkey, and was only established about two centuries ago. Initially, it was important because it was the only harbour in the region, but at present its significance is due to its status as a popular holiday resort. This is due to the increasing use of land-based transport, so that people came to rely less on the sea. Kalkan offers beach life, boat excursions and hiking among its attractions. Tourists may enjoy spending time in the Thursday Market. They can also partake of other local industries, such as bespoke tailoring using Turkish cloth or browsing the traditional woven rugs and carpets. Night time in the town is both busy and interesting, with a choice of bars and restaurants (of which there are reportedly more than 100) and other entertainment. There is also the popular Kaputas Beach, which is situated about 7km from the town. Visitors to the beach can arrange refreshments or umbrellas from hawkers who ply their trade there, and yachts sometimes use it as a stopping point. The beach is pristine and offers an opportunity to admire unspoilt natural scenery. People interested in visiting it are advised that the sea is relatively deep close to the shore. Kalkan has a strong British association, and roughly 90% of visitors are from the UK. kalkan

Kas


Kas is a tiny seaside town situated about 150km from Antalya. The town itself is home to fewer than 10 000 people, with most of its residents living in the more than 50 villages that are situated in the surrounding region. Kas has an ancient history, and is thought to have been established by the Lycian empire. It went through subsequent ancient Greek and Ottoman occupations. In the 1920s, for political reasons, the Greek inhabitants (who formed the majority of the town’s population) abandoned the town to return to Greece. The main activity in Kas, besides tourism, is agriculture, and various fruit and vegetables are cultivated. The town and its surrounding area remain undisturbed by modern industry. Hiking, cycling and boat trips are possible, as well as more extreme sports like paragliding or kayaking. Visitors to the town are attracted by its reputation as a diving location. It is rated in the top 100 diving venues internationally. There are more than 10 diving establishments in the town and about 50 dive spots in the adjacent ocean. The most popular dive sites include Assi Island, the Blue Hole and Two Brothers. The water offers visibility up to 40m, and divers can participate in various activities such as wreck-diving and underwater art exhibitions. The town is, in fact, so renowned for its diving industry that summertime visitors should book in advance to avoid disappointment. The pristine sea and natural beauty of Kas make it a sound option for those seeking to relax in a more rural environment or get some exercise, far away from the noise and pollution of the city. Kas

Kemer


Kemer is a town situated on the Mediterranean shore of Turkey, about 40km west of Antalya. The town’s name means “belt” and is derived from appearance of the river that flows through it. In recent times, it has burgeoned into a prominent tourist destination, not least because of assistance by the World Bank, which provided finance for infrastructural development. Kemer has an extremely hot summer climate, with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius (100 Fahrenheit). Winters are not nearly so warm, with sub-zero temperatures a possibility. The typical Mediterranean climate comprises hot, dry summers and rainy, cold winters, so there is plenty of time in the middle of the year to enjoy the beach or take part in the other activities on offer. Sights to see in the town are the ancient city of Phaselis, which is more than 2500 years old and includes historical ruins, the Burning Rocks of Chimera (Yanartas), which exhibit constantly burning flames (the flames are not due to volcanic activity – they are fed by escaping subterranean gases and have been burning for more than 2000 years), and the wreck of the Paris II, which sank in 1923 and presently lies in 30m of water, making for an interesting dive excursion. Diving and jeep safaris are possible activities for tourists, and the Lycian mountains offer hiking, canyoning and mountain biking. If you are interested in a hot summer vacation, Kemer has the temperature and the scenery to make a promising destination.


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