The Turkish Riviera (or the Turquoise Coast) is well known for mountainous scenery and fine beaches. The Bey, Akdağ and Babadağ mountains dominate the shore, offering beautiful views wherever you are. There are tons of islets and coves but you can only access them via gulet boats and yachts. Most of the wildlife habitats and archaeological sites are protected with the vast majority being barely touched. If you are thinking about vacationing in the Turkish Riviera, check out our list of undiscovered spots. They may be low-key but these picturesque destinations are definitely worth a visit for any sunseeker.
The immense beauty of the Turquoise Coast is hardly a secret. One of our favourite quieter spots is Çıralı Beach, a three kilometre stretch of a backshore that has been protected to safeguard loggerhead turtles. You'll find another great shoreline in Kabak, a peaceful spot that is popular among hikers, campers and yogis. The Datca Peninsula, a far-flung Aegean shore offering all the luxury of an upmarket tourist spot, is also worth a visit. See windmills, ancient ruins, and century-old houses as you gobble up some authentic regional cuisines.
If all you want is the great outdoors, head to Çamlıhemşin, tucked in the Firtina Valley. From here, you can access the Ayder plateau renowned for wooden houses and the Kackar Mountains. Nature fans should also head to the Karagöl-Sahara National Park which resembles the Alps. When you’re done with valleys and greens, move over to Burdur province at Lake Salda, you won't believe its vast size and beauty. It is among the deepest lakes in Turkey with high alkalinity and mineral content that means it doesn't freeze in the winter.
Looking for some underwater activities in a remote area? Kaş has everything you need. It is perfect for snorkelling and diving in the submerged ruins and shipwrecks. At the far west of the Turkish Riviera is a laid-back town resort known as Dalyan with a sandy beach where sea turtles nest. To the east of Dalyan is Fethiye, the oldest and the biggest town on the Turkish Coast. Along with Ölüdeniz lagoon, Fethiye is lined up with mountains and Lycian ruins including Tlos, Kadyanda and Oenoanda.
Want to get a feel for Roman life? Take a trip to Perge, a vast plain inland and archaeological site about 16km from Antalya. While there, shop in the old market square and take pictures at of the streets, city gates and necropolis. Back in Antalya, feast your eyes on the water cascading into the sea at the Duden Waterfalls. To see rainbows in their full glory, visit the waterfalls at sunset. In the ancient city of Myra, gaze at the Lycian rock tombs that gradually tacked on the mountain like small houses. They were built so angels could reach the dead, and are empty on the inside after years of looting.
Spice up your romantic holiday on the Turkish coastline with a boat trip along Kemer's shores. Dine out with your partner on a double-deck cruise vessel as you admire the coastal ruins from 2,000 years ago. Relax, sunbathe or snorkel before feasting on a buffet lunch served on the Mediterranean cruise. The cruise takes you past Beydağları Coastal National Park, one of Turkey's most beautiful natural sights. Step out of the boat and start a journey to the harbour city to see the Phaselis ruins that have been around since 700BC.
When visiting the Turquoise Coast with kids, you can keep your entire family entertained on full-day tours. Looking for a little bit of an adrenaline rush? There are tons of fun rides and waterslides at Adaland Aquapark. Don’t worry about transportation as most tour companies offer private vehicles or cruise ships. Let the kids learn about the ancient ruins at the Library of Celsus among other landmarks. Later, you can take them to Ölüdeniz for paragliding and other exciting activities.
Wandering through the old cities will lead you to restaurants serving authentic Turkish cuisine. Make sure to try kumpir (baked potatoes), a street food staple, and baklava to satiate your sweet palate. Plan a trip to Kaleiçi for these and more authentic dishes. Kaleiçi is a historical centre that has remained the same since World War II. A thriving food culture also awaits you at Cappadocia. Taste kebabs, Turkish coffee, and popular traditional dishes.