If hearing Turkish Riviera isn’t enough to make you want to jump on a plane, how about the words “Turquoise Coast??” It’s easy to imagine what a place called the Turquoise Coast in Turkey would look like… And we’re here to confirm! Crystal clear water makes up this unique stretch of coastline, full of history, beautiful villages, and fun cities to explore. Join us as we share the best tips for visiting the Turquoise Coast to help plan your trip to Turkey.
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Our Visit to the Famous Turkish Riviera
We recently had the chance to experience the beautiful Turkish Riviera and it did not disappoint! Over 2 weeks, we traveled from Bodrum to Kas and everywhere in between.
Although we did not have time to see the entire Turquoise Coast in Turkey, we had an absolute blast! Hopefully, these tips can help you on your own adventures to the Southwest corner of this incredible country.
12 Tips For the Turquoise Coast in Turkey
1. How to Get to the Turquoise Coast
If you’re already traveling through Turkey then you might consider hopping on a bus from somewhere else within the borders. However, if you are planning to arrive by plane there are several airports to fly into.
The three most popular airports are Bodrum, Dalaman, and Antalya. Which one you choose depends on what part of the Turquoise Coast in Turkey you want to explore!
2. Consider a Ferry from Greece
Something you might not know is that you can travel easily by boat from Greece to the Turkish Rivera! The ferries are relatively inexpensive and can be a great way to see more than one country.
They run back and forth from Greece’s Dodecanese islands to the Turquoise Coast in Turkey. Many travelers even take day trips between the countries as they are so close.
We were actually in Greece prior to our trip to Turkey, and utilized the Kas to Bodrum Ferry. After two weeks traveling down the coast, we returned on another boat from Fethiye.
This took us back to the Greek island of Rhodes. From Rhodes, we were able to fly out to our next destination in Italy.
Ferry Routes Running Both Ways
- Kos Greece → Bodrum Turkey (20 minutes)
- Rhodes Greece → Marmaris Turkey (1 hour)
- Rhodes Greece → Fethiye Turkey (2 hours)
3. Renting a Car on the Turkish Riviera
Renting a vehicle is the best way to see the famous Turquoise Coast in Turkey! We highly recommend renting a car if you are comfortable driving in a foreign country.
The coastline is full of so many beautiful beaches, small towns, and amazing views. It will also allow you to be flexible with where you go and what you do along your journey.
Now there is a dedicated bus system that will take you to all the major towns. Just know if you’re using the buses you will have to completely plan around them when making your itinerary.
Take it from us! We used both the large buses and minivans (Dolmus) to get everywhere. While we did get the hang of it eventually, the local buses can be confusing for first-time travelers in Turkey. They’re also packed to the brim which can leave you standing in the aisle from time to time.
Still, if you’re not up for a rental car don’t let that deter you from visiting the Turkish Riviera. You can even book private transfers in between the towns if necessary.
4. When to Visit the Turquoise Coast in Turkey
The best time to visit the Turkish Riviera is right before or after the peak summer months of July and August. The weather is great, it’s less crowded, and accommodations are often reduced during this swing season.
If the only time you have to visit is during the summer then just make sure to plan ahead. That means pre-booking your hotels and rental car as soon as you know the dates you’ll be traveling.
Even visiting in late June, we were surprised when attempting to extend our hotel that it wasn’t available. Our local bed & breakfast was already sold out for the rest of the summer. Next time we will try to plan our trip for earlier in June, May, and even consider September or October.
5. Booking.com Doesn’t Work in Turkey
That’s right. The popular booking platform won’t work once you are in the country. Booking.com is our go-to website in Europe because of its amazing loyalty program. By using it frequently we get things like hotel discounts, room upgrades, and other perks.
Unfortunately, the Dutch-based travel site has been outlawed in Turkey since 2017. Note that you can still use Booking.com to plan your trip from other companies with no problem.
After you arrive on the Turquoise Coast your finalized bookings will also still work. Yet, once you are physically in the country you’ll have to use a different site like Agoda for places to stay.
6. Amazing History of the Turquoise Coast
From ancient Anatolia to the Byzantine Period and Ottoman Empire, Turkey has so much incredible history to discover!
However, when planning our trip to the Turquoise Coast of Turkey it was honestly the last thing on our minds. We were looking forward to the beaches, food, and scenery of this special part of the country.
Once we arrived in Turkey we were completely blown away. Immediately, we were greeted by the 15th century Bodrum Castle sitting over the harbor in all its glory. We would go on to see 2,400-year-old amphitheater, the ruins of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, and much more in just this city.
As we continued down the Turkish Riviera this would become the common theme of our trip. We were particularly impressed by the Lycian tombs carved into the mountainside outside Fethiye.
Heading inland, there are more incredible day trips such as the Roman ruins of Hierapolis. As you can tell, history lovers will have no problem finding things to see on the Turquoise Coast in Turkey.
7. Turkish Riviera Beach Clubs
So what about the beaches?? All along the Turquoise Coast, you’ll find a magical mix of small coves and both long sandy and pebbly stretches.
Most of the larger beaches will have your standard sun beds for rent. However, the Turkish Riviera is also filled with endless beach clubs to enjoy!
We’re going to break it down a little further as each one is a little different. You have clubs like The Kas Beach where you simply order some food or drinks and can use the chairs for the day.
This spot was awesome as it’s up on the cliffs nearby to the main square in town. So your “beach” is actually jumping off the wooden platforms right into the water.
At the more exclusive beach clubs like near Fethiye, you will have to pay for a set of chairs in addition to any food and drink you purchase.
Many of the beaches along the Turkish Riviera are quite rocky. This is the main reason why having a chair is essential to enjoying the beach. At popular beaches like Kaputas and Oludeniz, the front row goes fast. So you’ll have to go early if you want the best view!
8. Turquoise Coast Itinerary: Fethiye to Antalya
By now you know that there are many routes to take along the Turquoise Coast of Turkey. One of the most beautiful we saw was the stretch between Fethiye and Antalya.
We recommend booking a one-way car or simply cutting inland on the way back to make the drive faster. En route, you will pass through the beautiful small towns of Kas, Demre, Finike, and Kemer.
The road between Fethiye and Antalya is almost 5 hours if you drive straight through. Taking 7 to 10 days for this itinerary in a more relaxing way would be ideal.
9. Plan for Adventurous Activities
Once you’ve soaked in the clear blue water and beaches of the Turquoise Coast, there are plenty more fun outdoor activities to enjoy. For hiking enthusiasts, you’ll find great trails for all skill levels.
Yet, what this part of Turkey is truly known for is its scuba diving! Kas specifically is considered the diving mecca, and also has one of the top 100 dive sites in the world.
All that is fun, but the real adrenaline junkies will want to head to Oludeniz Beach. Here you can take the Gondola up to the top of the mountain and paraglide down to the beach. We couldn’t believe all the bright-colored parachutes soaring through the sky above us.
10. Taste Seafood on the Turquoise Coast
Turkish cuisine is widely recognized as some of the best food in the world. So we were happy to find out that this also applied to the Turquoise Coast! In addition to the kebabs, roasted lamb, and baklava, be sure to mix in some delicious seafood dishes. I mean, you are on the ocean after all!
One of the most unique experiences we had in the country was at the Fish Market in Fethiye. Here we started with some meze appetizers and then got to pick our own fresh fish out from the market section. We then gave our fish to the restaurant and they prepared it right there in front of us.
Something else not to miss out on is the massive Turkish breakfast. You will be amazed as your table fills with over different plates to taste and enjoy.
11. Take a Turkish Riviera Boat Tour
No trip to the Turkish Riviera is complete without spending a day out on the water. While there are dozens of boat trips to check out along the coast, our favorite was the tour we did from Kas.
Over 8 hours we went to multiple swimming spots, the Sunken City of Koekova Island, and even the ancient Simena Village. This was one of the best days of our time on the Turquoise Coast of Turkey.
12. Explore the Local Markets
Almost every town on the Turquoise Coast in Turkey has a local market. This is a fun way to break away from the touristy beaches and discover something new.
The markets are filled with seasonal fruits, local nuts, clothing, and street food stands. Our favorite thing to do is to get fresh juice to walk around with, then stock up on yummy snacks for later.
Visiting the local markets is certainly worth a visit even if you’re not looking to buy anything. Just ask your hotel when you check-in and they will be able to tell you when the next one is taking place.
Have any questions about visiting the Turquoise Coast in Turkey or want to share your own tips for the Turkish Riviera? Let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Turkey Travel Planning
Rental Car: Discover Cars is our company of choice when abroad. It is especially popular to rent a car and explore the famous Turquoise Coast.
To pre-book long distance buses check Omio for the best routes all over the country.
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for fun activities all over Turkey. You can book everything from a Hot Air Balloon ride in Cappadocia to a Turkish Dance show in Istanbul and even take a Full-Day Jeep Safari in Kusadasi to the National Park!
Travel Insurance: Never travel internationally without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.