Top 8 Gems on the Turkish coast
The terms “hidden gems” or “off the beaten track” can be misleading, as there is no real way to determine how hidden or “under the radar” a site or location actually is. This list of gems in Turkey (hidden and not-so-hidden) is based on coastal attractions between Fethiye and Bodrum and many of them can only be easily reached by boat, which makes them pretty hard to get to at times!
Ancient Greek city of Knidos
Knidos, the ancient Greek city located near the Turkish city of Datca, dates back to the 4th century BC. Knidos boasted a vibrant cultural scene, nurturing the talents of celebrated philosophers like Eudoxus and artists like Praxiteles, whose legacy remains today. Perched right on the tip of Datca’s considerably long peninsula, it is not a convenient trip to get here, but is well worth the effort. It is included on a Go Sail Turkey cruise itinerary and is always a big hit.
İztuzu Beach (known more popularly as Turtle Beach), is a 4.5 kilometres long beach located between Fethiye and Marmaris. Turtle Beach is a natural boundary between the Mediterranean Sea and the Dalyan River delta, and it serves as the nesting site of the loggerhead sea turtles. As the loggerhead sea turtles are on the IUCN (The International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List, the beach attained protected status in 1988. You can visit Turtle Beach as part of the Dalyan Mud Bath excursion on Go Sail Turkey.
Dalyan Mud Baths
The mud baths of Dalyan boast a wealth of sulphur and mineral content known for their skin-soothing and rejuvenating properties. Consistent treatments are believed to firm the skin, diminish wrinkles, and even potentially make you appear younger. After the mud has dried on the skin, it needs to be washed off under a shower, followed by a dip in the cool waters by the baths. In addition to addressing skin issues, the hot springs are suggested for alleviating conditions such as sciatica, arthritis, muscle fatigue, and stomach problems.
Convenient amenities, including showers, toilets, and a cafeteria, enhance the overall experience at the mud baths and make it the highlight of a great day out!
Cleopatra’s Baths or Hammam Bay is one of the jewels of the Turquoise coast, nestled between the captivating landscapes around Marmaris and Fethiye. It is believed that Cleopatra’s Baths were built by Marc Anthony as a wedding gift for the legendary Egyptian Queen Cleopatra, adding a touch of romance to its compelling story.
The baths are strategically positioned to harness the rejuvenating thermal waters emanating from a volcanic crater to the north. According to legend, it was believed that the thermal water from the baths contributed to Cleopatra’s beauty. This location stands out as one of the most magnificent spots for both swimming and diving and can only be easily reached by boat, making it a true “off-the-beaten track” attraction.
Bozukkale, or Broken Castle in Turkish, refers to the remains of the ancient citadel situated on the Bozburun Peninsula. The castle was assumed to be built in 700 BC as a navy base because of its strategic location. The remains seamlessly merge with the rocky cliffs, making them challenging to notice from a distance. The original fortress was 334 meters long, 36 meters wide and 6 meters tall. The Greek Island of Rhodes is only around 13 miles away, and it can be seen from the top of the castle. Today, Bozukkale is a peaceful and sheltered harbour with crystal-clear water, making it an excellent anchoring location. Apart from by boat, the only way to access the bay is on foot or on a mountain bike contributing to the bay’s serenity. Bozukkale is definitely a hidden gem and is the perfect retreat, especially when relaxing on a gulet boat, to detach from the demands of daily life.