Seven Favourite Swimming Spots of Turkey’s Turquoise Coast
When visiting the Turkish Turquoise Coast you are sure to spend at least a few days of your vacation swimming in the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean. The region is home to countless smooth pebble and golden sand beaches and most are equipped with sunbeds and umbrellas. While Turkey tour packages can take you to many of the top historical and cultural sites and multi-day gulet cruises will take you to the most famous bays, coves and caves you might still want to know about other idyllic swimming spots on the Turquoise Coast.
While This tiny bay isn’t the best for laying down and sunbathing, it does boast fantastically clear water and excellent entrance and exit spots from scuba divers. Even just snorkelling about the bay you can discover a wide variety of sea life, vibrant corals and colourful sponges. But the main appeal of Tarzan Bay is the rope that hangs over the water from the branch of a lone tree rooted between the rocks. In the summer months this usually quiet bay fills up with locals from Fethiye and private 12 Island Blue Cruises and the sound of Tarzan’s call echoes across the surface of the water as people swing themselves from the rocks into the sea.
Cold Spring Bay
As the name suggests Cold Spring bay is the perfect place to swim in the midst of the hot Turkish summer. On the edge of the bay two underground mountain streams join the sea and form a small pool of ice cold water. Stories say that long distance sailors used to search for this small bay and dive below the water with pots and bottles to refresh their drinking water supplies before continuing their voyages. Today you can reach the bay on a marked hiking trail from Kayakoy, Fethiye or on a Butterfly Valley & St. Nicolas Island boat cruise from Oludeniz.
The Blue Lagoon
This naturally formed salt water lagoon is one of the best known spots on the Turquoise coast. Lined by beach resorts on one side and backed by thick green forest on the other. The lagoon is an environmentally protected area with a gorgeous royal blue hue, but the water is still transparent and you can spot many fish and snorkel over underwater plants before relaxing on the pebble beach or grabbing a bite to eat in one of the cafe restaurants.
Kabak is a tiny village spread out across the steep hill between a winding coastal road and the beach. Barely inhabited in the winter, from April to October Kabak becomes a charming weekend getaway and popular camping place. Still considered a ‘Hippy town’ Kabak has a handful of campsites, quirky bungalows and morning yoga classes on wooden terraces overlooking the sea. The beach itself is rarely overcrowded like resort beaches and while you will need to bring your own umbrella, lush forests on either side of the beach provide shade during the hottest part of the day and the hidden blue cave is an unique place to shelter from the sun.
The lesser known cousin of the Sunken City in Gokkaya Bay, Aperlai sits in a long and narrow bay of the Sicak Peninsula. One of the earliest Lycian cities to be constructed, a selection of silver coins were found spread between the ruined building which are spread across the hillside and some of the stone walls have sunk beneath the surface of the water. Unlike the protected Sunken City, at Aperlai you are free to swim, snorkel and dive over the ancient remains and search for artifacts among the rocks. Getting to the Sicak Peninsula overland isn’t so easy, with no road and 23 km walk on the Lycian Way hiking trail from Kas, fortunately you will be able to catch a taxi boat or day tour to the peninsula from either Kas or Ucagiz.
Green Lake – Gombe
While technically not on the Turquoise Coast, Green Lake, sits above the rural village of Gombes, nestled in the mountains an hours drive from the coastal fishing town of Kas. At over 1,000 meters above sea level this is the only alpine lake close to the Mediterranean coastline. Frozen solid in the winter and surrounded by snow from late December until mid April the icy waters take the colour of the mountains that encircle it. You can hike to the lake from Gombes and swim in the fresh water lake which is guaranteed to cool you down.
The Flat Islands are a small cluster of Islands with pebble beaches separated by narrow channels of shallow water. The largest of the islands hosts a natural salt water lake, perfect for children to swim, the water is always warm and perfectly clear. With the islands so close to one another you will be able to swim between and hike up to the top of the island for a panoramic view. A one day 12 island boat cruise is one of the best Turkey tours starting from Fethiye, the excursion will take you to the Flat Islands as well as Rabbit Island, Red Island and others around the Gulf of Fethiye, for swimming on the Turquoise Coast.
Written by: Beth Carter. Beth is a freelance writer, travel blogger, adventurous hiker and full-time nomad. Originally from the UK, she’s spent her late teen and early twenties discovering the highest peaks and deepest forests of South America, living in Venice, hitchhiking in the Balkans and currently finds herself based in South West Turkey. She does her best to combine personal and professional experience in fun and frank blog posts. She has contributed to multiple travel and adventure websites including Trip Indicator, Alaturka Yachting Agency, Route Report and Land of the Traveler and aims to launch her own travel blog in the near future.