Mountains push close to the shore along much of Southern Turkey’s coast, and long stretches are rocky, even sheer, to the sea; in many places along this Amalfi-style shoreline there just aren’t the beaches many first-time visitors expect. Where the beaches are at their poorest – in places like Kalkan and Bodrum – beach clubs generally operate from timber platforms rather than from shelving strands.
But where rivers meet the sea – at Iztuzu, Patara and Çıralı – Turkey has some of the most exquisite white-sand beaches in all the Mediterranean. And areas barely associated with beach tourism, like the northern Aegean’s Gallipoli Peninsula, and new discoveries like the island of Bozcaada, also have outstanding sand strands.
Beachgoers should beware that they share these summer sands with buried egg clutches of endangered loggerhead turtles; highly visible signs act as reminders that visitors may not plant parasols in certain places and that the beaches are generally closed at night.
Women are likely to cause offence by bathing topless.