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Things to Do in Turkish Riviera - page 5

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Dalyan

Whether you’re cruising along Turkey’s Turquoise Coast or sailing along on a day tour from Marmaris, you’ll likely find reason to detour to the scenic Dalyan River and its namesake port town. The area’s top attraction is Turtle Bay, (İztuzu Beach) a strip of sand between the river and the Mediterranean Sea. With its prime location at the mouth of the freshwater delta, Turtle Beach has become an important spot for endangered loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) that come ashore to lay eggs during breeding season. Watching the turtles in their natural habitat is a popular pastime among visitors.

Additional highlights along the Dalyan River include the Köyceğiz-Dalyan Special Environmental Protection Area around Lake Köyceğiz, the impressive ruins of ancient Kaunos and a series of Lycian rock tombs carved into coastal cliffs. Be sure to take advantage of one of the delta’s most noted natural assets – its mineral-dense mud baths and sulfur hot springs, renowned for their healing properties.

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Kusadasi Caravanserai (Öküz Mehmed Pasha Caravanserai)

The centuries roll back when you step inside Kuşadası Caravanserai (Öküz Mehmed Pasha Caravanserai), rich with Ottoman and Seljuk architectural details.

With its Venetian-style swallow-tail battlements and red stone walls, the Ottoman castle dates back to 1618 and the days of Vizier Öküz Mehmed Pasha (also written Okus Mehmet Pasa or Okuz Mehmed Pasha). In the Ottoman era, the castle acted as a trading house and meeting place for merchants, and was fortified to protect the valuable goods stored there.

Entering the Caravanserai, you walk through a marble arched gateway into a double-story courtyard filled with lush palm trees, Turkish rugs (for sale), marble pools and fountains.

These days the former stronghold is a welcoming boutique hotel with a well-known restaurant. The hotel combines Ottoman history and modern-day conveniences, with bathrooms and fireplaces providing plenty of 21st-century comforts.

The Kusadasi Caravanserai is a popular entertainment venue. Traditional Turkish cuisine and entertainment fill the courtyard on ‘Turkish Nights’, when folk music and belly dancing are performed under the stars.

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Bozburun Peninsula

Jutting out of the southern coast of the Datça Peninsula and into the Mediterranean Sea, the mountainous Bozburun Peninsula is renowned for its tranquil sandy beaches, ancient cities, and lively nightlife, making it a popular stop for yacht cruises and jeep safaris from Bodrum or Fethiye.

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Didyma

Located 48 miles (78 kilometers) south of Kusadasi in Turkey, Didyma is a sanctuary centered on the 2nd-century-BC Temple of Apollo, once among the largest in the ancient Greek world. Now reduced to giant broken columns and chambers, the temple once drew thousands of pilgrims who came to worship Apollo and consult its prophesy-giving oracle.

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Limnionas Beach

Limnionas Beach is on a cove along Limnionas Bay about 3 miles north of the village of Kefalos on the island of Kos. It's about 27 miles from the main town of Kos. The island of Kos, in the Dodecanese island group, is only 4 miles from Turkey's coast, so it makes an easy day trip from Turkey. The cove where the beach is located naturally protects the area from strong winds. As a result, it is a haven for fishing boats during bad weather.

It is a quiet beach with fine, white sand where you'll find clear water, rocky scenery, umbrellas, and chairs for sunbathing. You can also go swimming and snorkeling at Limnionas Beach. From the beach, you can enjoy the panoramic views of Kos, the Aegean Sea and the nearby island of Kalymnos. In the harbor, there are fishing boats that offer day trips and fishing excursions. A few cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy seafood and other local dishes are located near the beach. This is a great beach to relax and get away from the crowds since there isn't a lot of commercialization.

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Mazi

Mazı is a small village located about 25 miles east of Bodrum, Turkey. It is the farthest village in the area from the popular resort city of Bodrum. It is located above a secluded cove along the Aegean Sea on the Bodrum Peninsula in southwestern Turkey, and it has a Mediterranean climate. Construction is not permitted in this part of the Bodrum region, so the village still feels very authentic and tranquil and there are only a few guesthouses. The residents of Mazı mostly make a living by weaving carpets, agriculture, producing honey and fishing.

Since the road leading to Mazi was only paved a few decades ago, the village hasn't seen as much tourism as the rest of the area. The town center is located up on a hill which, in the past, was a way to help prevent the village from being attacked by pirates. It overlooks the Gokova Bay. Nearby you can visit the bays of Yasli Yali and Ince Yali. Visitors can also visit Kargili, Feslikan, Kissebuku and Adayali beaches by fishing boat. Due to its location on the sea, Mazi is an ideal location to go swimming.

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Gulf of Gökova

Set between two peninsulas in the Aegean Sea—Bodrum to the north and Datça in the south—and hemmed in by the dramatic sea cliffs, sandy coves and rocky islands of the Gulf of Gökova (also known as the Ceramic Gulf) make up some of the most picturesque landscapes of Turkey’s famous Turquoise Coast.

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Mumcular

Mumcular is a small town located about 18 miles northeast of Bodrum, Turkey. The old name of the town was Karaova. It is in a forested region on the Bodrum Peninsula in southwestern Turkey not far from the Aegean Sea and it has a Mediterranean climate. The area is quite dry, so in 1989 the town built the Mumcular Dam in order to have a reservoir. The reservoir is important for irrigation and drinking water. The population of Mumcular, including the nearby communities, is approximately 15,000 people.

The region where Mumcular is located is well known for the production of olives, tobacco, and honey, as well as carpet making. There is a weekly market in Mumcular where local vendors sell fruits, vegetables, handmade goods, textiles, and a variety of other products. For visitors looking for someplace less touristy than the popular city of Bodrum, visiting Mumcular could be a good option. Visitors can take tours from Bodrum to Mumcular to see what traditional Turkish village life is like and to learn more about the art of carpet weaving.

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Bayir Village

Bayir Village is a small town on the Bozburun Peninsula in southwestern Turkey. It is built on top of the ancient city of Syrna, and it is believed that the town's mosque sits on top of the temple of Asklepios, the god of health, although there are no traces of the temple today. Just outside the village you will find ruins from the ancient city. There is an acropolis, pieces of the old city walls, some gravestones, and the remains of a few other structures. Another big attraction in Bayir is a 2,300 year old tree called Old Plane Tree. It is said to bring good luck and extend your life if you circle it three times. There are several cafes near the tree where you can sample the local food and drink some tea. There are also a few shops where you can buy local honey

Bayir Village is often included on jeep safari tours to various villages in the area. Bayir is located on top of a hill which provides spectacular views of the village and the surrounding peninsula. This small town will show visitors a glimpse into traditional Turkish village life.

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Lambi Beach

Lambi Beach is located at the northeast corner of the island of Kos in the Dodecanese island group of Greece. Since the island of Kos is located so close to Turkey, it makes an easy day trip, and Lambi Beach is not far from the port. The island is often included in island hopping boat tours from Turkey as well. It is one of the closest beaches to the town of Kos, the island's main town. Due to its proximity to the town, Lambi Beach is easy to access for visitors staying in Kos for the nightlife.

It is a long beach with both pebbles and fine sand, and plenty of beach chairs and umbrellas. Visitors come here to swim, sunbath, and enjoy a variety of other water activities. It's a popular beach with several tourist facilities and shops. There are several restaurants and cafes serving seafood and other local meals near and even on the beach. Along the shore is a flat path ideal for cyclists. The path leads to the nearby village of Tigaki.

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More Things to Do in Turkish Riviera

Adaköy

Adaköy

A forested headland facing Marmaris Bay, the secluded beaches and glittering waters of Adaköy remain some of the region’s best-kept secrets. While a handful of resort hotels line the shore, most visitors arrive at Adaköy by boat, and the tranquil peninsula is a popular stop for those cruising down the coast to Dalyan or Fethiye.

With its beaches well sheltered by steep coastal cliffs, the waters of Adaköy are ideal for swimming, snorkeling and kayaking, and the surrounding hills offer a scenic backdrop for hiking and biking tours. Additional highlights include the peninsula’s north coast, affectionately nicknamed “Aquarium Bay” for its clear waters and huge schools of tropical fish, and a series of natural phosphorus caves carved into the sea cliffs.

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Kusadasi Cruise Port

Kusadasi Cruise Port

One of the most popular resort towns along Turkey’s Aegean Coast and the gateway to the UNESCO-listed wonders of Ephesus, the Kusadasi Cruise Port welcomes some 200,000 cruise passengers each year. It’s also a jumping-off point for regular ferry service to the surrounding Greek Islands.

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