(Telegraph) – Our expert pick of the best beach holidays in Turkey for 2019. Follow this link for our guide to the country’s best hotels.
This broad strip of gently shelving white sand is not only Turkey’s longest beach, but also its most beautiful. Kids love its warm shallows, the legions of body-surfable waves and the serried ranks of dunes backing it. Development at its stunning south-eastern end has been confined to one very reasonably priced beach café with umbrellas and sunbeds for hire, reached through the romantic remains of a Roman city preserved in the shifting sands.
Perched on a hillside and surrounded by olive, pomegranate, walnut and fig trees, The Viewpoint has wonderful views towards the sandy curve of Patara and the sea beyond. In keeping with the tranquil rural location, the emphasis is on a simple yet refined rustic charm. Gelemiş village centre, with its smattering of low-key restaurants and bars, is a short walk away.
Read a full review of The Viewpoint and check availability. Dalaman is the closest airport; TUI, easyJet, Jet2 and Thomas Cook all fly direct.
The Bodrum Peninsula
Studded with olive groves and domed white Ottoman-era cisterns, the beautiful rocky finger of the Bodrum Peninsula has long been a favourite with Turkey’s well-heeled elite. The downside of this popularity has been the inevitable tourist development, the upside is that it has been (for the most part) done with taste. The peninsula’s main town, Bodrum, clustered around the splendid castle of St Peter, is extremely attractive. There are plenty of pretty beaches out on the peninsula, including Bitez and Türbükü, and windsurfing opportunities aplenty.
The exclusive Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum, is set on the lusher northern shore of the peninsula. With two beaches of its own, a pool complex, a cutting-edge spa, chic restaurants and sounds provided by Istanbul’s hip Babylon club, this is the perfect sophisticated holiday hideaway.
Read a full review of Mandarin Oriental Bodrum and check availability. EasyJet and Turkish Airlines fly direct to Bodrum.
Given that it has adorned Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism promotional posters and the covers of legions of guidebooks for at least three decades, no one could argue that the beautiful, pine-fringed and mountain-backed lagoon of Ölüdeniz (Dead Sea) is an unspoilt paradise. Yet despite the rampant development, the lagoon and its environs are still spectacular. There’s plenty to do, too, apart from swim in the azure waters of the lagoon or off the more prosaic adjacent beach) or take a boat to the pretty beach at Butterfly Valley.
Tucked away just behind the beach-front in the resort of Ölüdeniz, the Oyster Residences is a delightful, low-rise 26-room hotel set among lush vegetation with a pretty pool. Dalaman is the nearest airport.
Until the 1920s Kalkan was a tiny Greek fishing village; by the 1980s it had morphed into a bohemian resort for arty Turks fleeing big city life. Some of its past has clung on despite its transformation into a sophisticated resort favoured by Brits. They are drawn by its beguiling setting, dropping down a hillside to a small yacht harbour fronting a picturesque bay, pretty fishermen’s cottages, cosy restaurants and chic café-bars. Kalkan is also appreciated for what isn’t here – no rowdy bars, no clubs, no full English breakfasts. The village beach is small, but the sands of Patara are very close, as is stunning Kaputas.
Courtyard at Whitehouse comprises six rooms in three beautifully converted 1920s properties set around an elegant, shady courtyard, on a quiet street in the heart of the old village. Read a full review and check availability. Dalaman is the closest airport.