What makes the Turkish Riviera so special?

Sun, sea and sand are usually the requirements for a holiday abroad – especially for those who love to escape the dull and dreary weather head to sunnier climes. The Turkish Riviera has coastal Mediterranean charm in spades, boasting some of the best beaches in Europe.

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However, there’s far more than meets the eye on a holiday to this part of the world, and alongside the glitzy resorts and pristine Blue Flag beaches, there’s a host of other attractions. For any history-lover, the cities and traditional towns along the coast are packed with ancient sites, including the city ruins of Phaselis, Myra, Simena, Aspendos and Perge and The Temple of Apollo .

The beaches
The Turkish Riviera is known for its beaches;  it’s not called the Turquoise Coast for nothing! Oludeniz Beach – or The Blue Lagoon – is one of the country’s most picturesque. You may know it without realising, as it adorns many a promotional poster for Turkey Tourism, a picture-perfect bay with golden sand and calm waters, backed by flora and fauna as well as a lovely promenade with bars and restaurants.

Historic towns
Forget ugly all-purpose resorts, the Turkish Riviera boasts many historic coastal towns and cities. Even newer resorts like Kemer have been carefully planned to blend in with the surrounding scenery, to be in keeping with the landscape and traditional feel.  Antalya is the main resort on the Turkish Riviera, famed for its charming harbour, turquoise-blue seas and the having the longest stretch of coastline in all of Turkey. The historic city – which dates back to 133 BC – has undergone a fair amount of regeneration in recent years, with many of the old Ottoman mansions being transformed into stunning boutique hotels. Alanya is a real mix of old and new, making it ideal for all kinds of traveller. Apart from its array of sandy beaches, including the 2km-long Cleopatra beach, Alanya is also famed for its architecture. Its Red Tower, which protected the dockyards in Seljuk times, is still visible in the harbour and there’s also a picturesque  fortress and Byzantine church to explore. It may take a bit of huffing and puffing to get up there, but the views from the top of the tower walls are definitely worth it.

Activities
The boom in cheap holidays to Turkey has made travel to the varied and beautiful country easy, and this applies to sport-loving travellers too. Golf is one of the most popular sports found on the Turkish Riviera, where you can tee off to stunning views of turquoise seas and golden bays. Belek is one of the region’s premier golf resorts. Not only boasting a backdrop of golden beaches, it has also won awards for its environmentally-friendly development.