Disclaimer: Please make sure you are up to date with the government’s latest foreign travel advice during the coronavirus before booking a holiday. Even though all locations listed in this blog post are taking strong precautions regarding COVID-19, please visit their website to make sure if they are currently operating.
We are beginning to adjust to the new normal and claim our routines back. With the irresistible urge to sail away from all the worrying and refresh our bodies and souls, we decided to gather the most magical locations you can luxuriously enjoy your summer holiday. After all, what is more, familiar and purifying than the magnificent Turquoise Coast of Turkey?
Dedicated to introducing the boutique places we enjoy the most, our Turkish Riviera holiday destinations guide will cover some of the most sensational hotels on our radar. Let’s get started if you’re ready to discover our favorite luxurious gems in our Southwest Turkey tour.
Why Turkish Riviera as Your Next Turkey Holiday Destination?
We want to say why not and let the featured images take it away but let’s resist the urge and get you familiarized with what Turkish Riviera holds.
Turkish Riviera, also known as the Turquoise Coast, encompasses southwest Turkey, including most of the places that you might have heard of Antalya, Dalyan, Mugla, Fethiye (Olu Deniz), Bodrum, Datca, Marmaris…
What makes these Mediterranean coast gems special is not only the favorable climate or breath-taking beaches but also the cultural and historic sites in these areas. Let’s admit it, we also want to spend the whole day at a beautiful beach, enjoying the mighty mountain view, pleasant sunlight, and gentle breeze with an ice-cold cocktail at hand but having the opportunity to visit some archaeological ruins, old towns, and historical sites that made it to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list and Seven Wonders of the Ancient World definitely make these holiday destinations one of a kind.
Did someone say boat trip? One of the most enjoyable activities, when you’re touring the Aegean coast, is sailing with your besties in the Aegean Sea and letting the journey amaze you. Your curiosity will be further provoked with each blink.
Each and every one of these locations we’ll cover has unique characteristics you can enjoy. In addition to highlighting the significance of these unforgettable holiday destinations, as promised, we’ll provide our treasured hotels for you to include in your bucket list and pamper yourself with this summer.
We’ll start at the edge of Antalya, in Kas then Kalkan, and make our way through lovely towns of Mugla, from Fethiye, Marmaris and all the way up to Yalikavak to conclude our journey in Bodrum peninsula (from right to left in the map below). Buckle up everyone, we’re taking you to some of the best and most luxurious holiday destinations in the Turkish Riviera.
JB Holiday and Hotel Picks in Antalya, Kas
Antalya is Turkey’s biggest international coastal resort, that hosts from lovely boutique hotels to luxurious holiday resorts at the edge of the Mediterranean coast. With some of the longest beaches in the country, like Konyaalti Beach or Lara Beach, you say to yourself “this beach vibe cannot get better than this.” Hear it from the adventurous souls though!
There is a natural muse for the adventurous: Patara. This place is an all-inclusive ticket to paradise! You get to enjoy the ancient city of Patara and after a 1.5 km walk, you reach the golden beaches of Patara. Here comes more: Sand dunes! At sunset, you can enjoy the wonderful views of the golden sands meeting the beach and the old town from Patara Sand Dunes.
Once you conclude the day with such unforgettable scenery, you’d want to head back to your hotel. Did we mention that Patara is in Kas? Okay, let us get to where you can spend the night and make the day even more remarkable.
Boutique Stays in Kas
There are 2 places that stood out the most for us. One of them with their iconic sunbeds on their organic pool, Alley Prime. It feels like their minimalist design is what you need for the day ahead.
If you like to combine your luxury stay with a touch of exotic notes and fruit-infused tunes, then Hotel Marsala is your go-to address. Their garden provides it all to have the Mediterranean vibe going with the Bougainvillea, wonderful view of the Taurus Mountains by the sea.
One of the options you have is to take a step towards the Aegean side and stay at Kalkan. About 30 kilometers away from Kas, Kalkan is one of the steps in the Lycian Way. If you are into the historical sites and ancient ruins, traveling to Kalkan to stay the night at one of our favourites, Villa Mahal sounds plain best option.
Mahal is another place where you’ll be surrounded with the Mediterranean vibe, this time by oleander and olive trees, as your steps lead down towards the sea, which is freshened by underground springs. Even imagining to be there lifts one’s spirits.
If you rather have your sun as bright but the sea saltier, then stick around, let us take you to Fethiye.
JB Holiday and Hotel Picks in Mugla
If you think we only recommend Fethiye for a saltier sea, we want you to consider it once again. Fethiye will welcome you with:
- the ancient historical attractions,
- Tomb of Amyntas built right into the mountain,
- the mystical abandoned village of Kayakoy,
- Butterfly Valley, home of the diverse butterfly species,
- Boutique cars and cafes that offer special appetizers made with local ingredients and more.
Look at me with my bestie, enjoying the city view from the Tomb of Amyntas after a pleasant morning at the sandy beach.
Once you have that tempo, visiting one place after another, all you’ll want to do is to have some local dishes made with fresh ingredients. Along with tonic water, of course!
Once replenished, discover the handmade accessories at the local night bazaar and head out to your hotel and plan for the day ahead.
Boutique Stays in Fethiye
If you enjoy a view just like the one from Amyntas’s Tomb, then the most suitable stay for you is Yediburunlar Lighthouse. Yes, it’s a little distant from the city center, but that is the essence of their offering. Close enough to the city, but living in nature, with nature. They really honor their name with spectacular sunrise and sunset scenery.
Perdue, is a bit closer to the city with some of the concept ideas we loved, offering a wider array of holiday offerings. It is quite close to one of our favorite retreat locations, Kabak Koyu, with bright waters you can enjoy snorkeling or just lying on the beach with a lovely breeze. Also, Perdue is home to a few natural coves that enable you to enjoy a fully private holiday, too. Their experienced travel advisors assist guests to plan one of the most remarkable holiday experiences they’ve had.
Going towards Marmaris, D-Resort Gocek blinks an eye and steals the attention. In their words, “one can understand what Gocek offers by experiencing the hidden treasures of the region.” They promise an excellent experience including fine dining, impressive islet views, and the aquamarine waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
We know, leaving Fethiye behind doesn’t seem fair, but wait till you see the natural wonders of Marmaris.
Boutique Stays in Marmaris
Swimming with Cleopatra and Antonius, yes, the legend has it but imagine, wouldn’t it be cool to feel the vibe and enjoy the Paradise Bay with them?
Let’s be real though, Marmaris has some unique tourist attractions like Nimara Cave in Heaven Island that offer both visual and spiritual gems. Some of the butterfly species you can see over the Butterfly Valley of Fethiye also inhabit the Nimara Cave as their home.
Probably you figured this out but it’s very difficult to rate these magnificent towns over one another since they all offer the most breath-taking hue of blue and green, historical and natural wonders. However, it’s always possible to compare your stays and bet on which one will be the star of the trip. Our one and only recommendation in Marmaris is Dionysos Hotel, with upgrades that cherish your body and soul. You can enjoy their wine and olive oil tastings and spare some time to join hatha yoga classes in their sublime garden. Not to mention the gorgeous views from the canyon overlooking the Bay of Kumlubuk, Bozburun Peninsula.
Boutique Stays in Datca
Another mesmerizing peninsula in the tranquil riviera that holds various treasures at each turn is Datca.
We mentioned lovely coves and islets you’ll see in Fethiye. What Datca has in store is the undulations of small bays and coves facing south or north all along Datca’s length, standing as one of the best blue cruise locations. If you prefer mountains and forests over the sea, then treat yourself with daily rock-climbing activity and feel the adrenaline pumping in your veins.
Heading towards the mainland from Datca, you can experience another spectacular accommodation at D Maris Bay to reflect on your day with a soothing drink. The rooms not only treat your eyes with the sea view but also with mountain views and a refreshing atmosphere.
It may sound like a little detour, but Datca is one of the best-kept secrets around the riviera that you cannot miss. Plus, you get to go to Bodrum Peninsula by ferry!
Boutique Stays in Bodrum
We agree with Cevat Sakir Kabaagaacli, a prominent Turkish author, whose words greet those who arrive in Bodrum, saying
“When you reach the top of the hill, you will see Bodrum. Don’t assume that you will leave as you came. Others before you were the same too. As they departed, they all left their souls behind.”
From museums of marine life to the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, Zeki Muren Art Museum to a history-infused hike to Pedasa, a full-day Orak Island boat trip to the iconic Windmills, Bodrum has a pinch of all things historic, artsy, romantic, adventurous and delightful. You can’t help but fall in love with this place.
Our recommended stays will only be the cherry on top to bring this trip to a conclusion.
First, we introduce Amanruya – the name meaning ‘peaceful dream’. The experience this village-like holiday resort in the north coast of Bodrum offers is more than what you can imagine, with different upgrades that truly promise the peaceful dream the name implies.
Next up, we have Mandarin Oriental Bodrum on the list, with special packages including special retreats for you to rebalance & re-energize yourself. They also have additional benefits available when you log into or join Fans of Mandarin Oriental.
Only 3 km away from Yalikavak Marina, The Bodrum Edition rightfully claims to be your home away from home. Who doesn’t want some familiarity as being indulged into the sleekness?
We want to share a personal Bodrum favourite of one of my besties, as we conclude our dazzling Turquoise Coast Tour, which is nowhere else but the sensational Allium. With the experienced staff and their recommendations, you’ll get to know the city just like a local fella does. It was a bit sore not to accompany her there and get to experience it myself, but I am still shaken by how magnificent it was there in Yalikavak just a few years ago, even from the video calls.
Whether you spend the day at the beach or enjoy Bodrum’s lovely handmade stores, the day evokes new feelings. It was a blessing to see such a soothing sunset as I was on Skype with her, and I know that I’ll plan at least a day trip there as soon as I can. Thanks for the photo credit Yuko!
This is one of those times that you don’t want it to end but the sun must set to rise. Share your Turkish Riviera adventures with us, make sure to live it to the fullest, and take everything in.
You’ll live for the next best adventure and we’ll see you there!