If I’d told you about a magical place called Antalya, chances are you’d have never known it existed. But have you ever heard of Cleopatra? That’s right, the seaside city of Antalya in Turkey was favoured by the Egyptian queen. Cleopatra fell in love with its turquoise, crystalline waters, and you will too. Antalya is the jewel of the Mediterranean. It’s situated on the Turkish Riviera, with over 600 kilometres of picturesque coastline to discover. Exploring the coast is easy when you sail through Antalya across to Fethiye and Marmaris.
After experiencing the hustle and bustle of Istanbul, why not bask in the tranquillity of a beach holiday? Antalya is home to some of the best beaches in the country, and the perfect place for a seaside escape. Hoist the sails and head to an Antalya beach…or two…or five. Beach hopping has never been easier. Read our guide to the best beaches in Antalya, with boatloads to explore.
What is the best month to visit Antalya?
Antalya has a Mediterranean climate which is characterised by mild winters and hot summers. If you like hot weather, the hottest month of the year is July, with an average maximum of 35°C. This is perfect weather for swimming in the sea, and you’ll get water temperatures up to 28°C!
How many days are enough for Antalya?
Antalya is the largest city on the Mediterranean coast which means that there’s so much to see and do. If you just want to sunbathe and go for a wee swim, two days should be enough. However, if you have more time, take advantage of everything that Antalya has to offer. With 4-5 days you can get the full Antalya experience. Sail around and spend time hiking, diving, paragliding, and exploring the city centre. You’ll even have some time to relax on the beach!
What are the best beaches in Antalya?
Antalya is one of the most iconic summer resort destinations in Turkey, so it’s no surprise that it has some of the best beaches in the country. With so many beaches, there’s something for everyone. Whether you want a more relaxed atmosphere or a rugged beach with historic ruins, you’ll be able to find it in Antalya. Here’s a list of some of our favourite Antalya beaches.
Cleopatra Beach: The Mythical Beach
We weren’t kidding when we said that Cleopatra was a die-hard Antalya fan, and here’s a beach dedicated to the queen herself. Not far from Alanya Castle sits what many people consider the most beautiful Antalya beach. Legend has it that Cleopatra went down to bathe in its turquoise water every day, and that her soul still resides on the pebble sands and swims in the sea.
Cleopatra Beach features a dramatic landscape with high waves and a steep slope, adding to the mythical ambience. Unlike other beaches in the area, this Antalya beach is easier to walk on than the larger rocks on other beaches. What’s more, you can set up a beach blanket free of charge, though there are some sunbeds and umbrellas for hire.
On the western part of the beach, you can watch the tandem paragliding flights as they land. You can even take part yourself—if you dare! On the eastern part, you’ll find the mysterious Damlataş cave, a 15,000-year-old natural formation. The air in the cave is said to have healing properties that can cure asthma and rheumatism. Even if you don’t need to be healed, you can still enter the cave and see the stunning stalactites and the impressive mounds of mineral deposits. If you have time, take the cable car up to the top of Castle Hill! As soon as the sun sets, walk from Cleopatra Beach to the marina to experience the buzzing nightlife.
Suluada: The “Watery Island”
Sail to the westernmost part of the Gulf of Antalya to discover this striking and unique Antalya beach: Suluada. Suluada, also known as “The Maldives of Antalya”, is a natural wonder. It’s characterised by blinding white sand, an aquamarine sea, and volcanic rock formations. This pristine paradise feels very exclusive; because it sits in the middle of the water in front of Adrasan, it can only be accessed by boat.
When you arrive at the uninhabited island you can visit its two sandy beaches. Like the air in the Damlataş cave, the water in Suluada is rumoured to have healing properties. Take a dip in the water to rid yourself of ailments and explore the hidden caves! If you’re seeking more adventure, you can go scuba diving or snorkelling. Discover a rich underwater universe with a natural reef and many sea creatures, some of which include dolphins and Mediterranean Monk Seals!
Patara Beach: The Desert of Antalya
On the list of best beaches in Antalya, we have the reputed birthplace of Santa Claus. You heard that right–in the third century Saint Nicholas was born in the ancient Lycian seaport of Patara. But Santa isn’t Patara’s only claim to fame. Patara Beach has a one-of-a-kind landscape that’s sure to impress you. With desertlike, honey-coloured sand dunes, limestone peaks, and wetlands, Patara is a nature lover’s paradise. It’s not only the longest Antalya beach but actually the longest beach in Turkey! The beach spans more than 12 miles without so much as a development complex in sight. This is partly to protect the Loggerhead turtles that have been living on the beach and laying eggs there for the past 40 million years.
Although this Antalya beach is fairly isolated, there’s still plenty to do. Scuba dive in the sea or go rafting and canoeing on the Dalaman river, just beyond the beach. If you want a break from the water, you can also go horseriding. If you fancy a bit of history, uncover the ancient ruins and the triumphal arch, which dates back to the Roman Empire.
Kral Koyu: The Hole in the Sea
Go outside of Antalya’s Gazipaşa district to the ancient city of Parva Antiochetta. Here you’ll find a hidden gem by the name of Kral Koyu or “King’s Bay”. This quiet bay got its name due to the legend that the Greek Hellenistic King Antiochus used to bathe there frequently.
Dipping in the bay is like stepping back in time to 312 BC. It’s surrounded by age-old ruins of the city that once stood on Mount Cragus. Swim in the mysterious hole in the sea and marvel at rock formations. Upon further exploration, you can see the walls of a fortress that was erected when the city was under the control of the Armenian Kingdom of Cicilia. Because it’s secluded, Kral Koyu is the perfect place to get in touch with nature and snorkel in the sparkling cove. Boat off the beaten path and hike to this obscure treasure and local favourite. This is one of the best beaches in Antalya and although the road to getting there won’t be easy, the payoff will be well worth the trouble.
Other Antalya beaches
Antalya is a treasure trove of stunning places to visit and one Antalya beach just isn’t enough! If you have some extra time on your Antalya beach hopping holiday, sail to some of these other beaches:
- Get in touch with nature: Adrasan Beach, Akçagerme, Kral Koyu, Dolphin Island, and Kaputaş Beach.
- Have a family holiday: İncekum, Avsallar, Tekirova, Kumköy, Çolaklı, and Evrenseki.
- Experience roaring nightlife: Konyaaltı, Side, Sorgun, and Titreyengöl.
- Engage in five-star fun: Belek Beach Resorts, Kemer Hotels, Göynük, Beldibi, Kızılağaç, Kiriş, and Çamyuva.
- Learn a bit of history: Phaselis, Olympos, Konaklı.