As traditions go, booking summer holidays at the beginning of the year, is one as old as time. It certainly gives us something to look forward to in those long gloomy January days.
Turkey is still a hot spot and according to airline figures the first six months of 2011 has seen more reservations made for Turkey than ever before.
So if you are one of the many who have made plans to spend summer in Turkey then here’s an essential guide to the top ten beaches in Turkey.
They don’t call it the Turquoise Coast for nothing. The water here is an uncommonly crisp blue and because the curved beach is so large, it can accommodate even the biggest of paradise-seeking crowds. There is mountainous scenery and a famously calm lagoon along the beach’s western stretch.
Lara Beach, Antalya
Lara Beach is one of the longest brownish beaches in Turkey; it is a strip of land which pulls out to the Gulf of Antalya. Lara Beach promises golden sands and turquoise waters.
Konyaalti sits in the heart of the big city; the beach seems to stretch on forever, so you won’t have a problem claiming your own patch of sand.
Patara Beach is a 12 km beautiful white sandy stretch voted as one of the top beaches in the world by Times Online. Backed by mountains and bordered by sand dunes, mimosa bushes and the large marshy area which once was the harbour of Patara, this beach is part of a national park and a key biodiversity area, rich in birdlife and the breeding ground of the endangered loggerhead turtle (caretta caretta).
Calis beach is a smaller compared to some of the many beaches along the coast of Turkey. Calis Beach is a small beach resort with stunning views and spectacular sunsets across the Bay to Sovalye Island and Fethiye.
Gemile Bay Beach
Gemile Bay beach is more tranquil, unspoilt and forms into a charming cove. From here you will be able to cherish the views of St. Nicholas Island whilst you bask in the glorious sunshine.
Located to the west of the peninsula, its impressive white shores are peculiar to this beach. The beach itself is relatively small and secluded. It has remarkably clear waters which prove popular with swimmers and snorkerllers. Other activities here include wind-surfing and water skiing.
Spectacularly situated between two towering cliffs, Butterfly valley stretches out in a v-shape, ending in a sweep of pristine beach. Most visitors access the beach by boat from Olu Deniz or Fethiye, but for adventurous trekkers there is a rocky path that leads down from the road (around 40 mins down and an hour back up).
Kemer is a real jewel in the Mediterranean crown and has only recently been discovered by tourists; the beaches here have been awarded the Blue Flag Award for their cleanliness. The two beaches here - a pebbly one and a sandy one - both offer different kinds of watersports.
Side East and West Beach
Side is a multi-faceted town supporting all modern tourist activities yet retaining its ancient history. The town is surrounded by long sandy beaches known as the East and West beaches. These beaches aren't particularly far from each other but the West beach is slightly more popular due to its shallow waters. Both beaches however, offer an array of water-sports such as, parasailing, water skiing, fishing and much more.