When you think of a country with beautiful beaches and stunning countryside, it has to be Turkey. You need look no further than your tourist’s nose. As well as the Turkish Riviera and the North Aegean coast, the less well known Lycian coast is absolutely breathtaking.
The Lycian coast – also known as the South-Aegean coast or the turquoise coast – lies in the province of Mugla. I personally find it the most beautiful area of Turkey. I have been there many times, always in different areas. In August I booked a last-minute trip and returned once again, together with the kids.
Those who have never been to Turkey have no idea how beautiful it is. Quite the opposite, in fact. They think of Turkey as a tourist trap, totally spoiled with large all-inclusive resorts packed to the brim, and the occasional waterpark. This is so far from the truth. Yes, these places do exist, but not everywhere. When you look a little harder, you will see a totally different side of Turkey.
The country side is amazing. There are so many beautiful places to see! The still relatively authentic Akyaka for example, or the idyllic Dalyan, set beside a riverside nature reserve. The lake at Köycegiz is definitely worth a visit, as is Fethiye and the Blue Lagoon at Olüdeniz! All stunning places which I visited when the children were still babies and toddlers, and took many photos which I would love to share with you.
In August I stayed between the holiday resorts of Marmaris and Içmeler. Marmaris is definitely for the tourists, but it is well positioned and you don’t have to stay in the center; I stayed a few kilometres from the town. This means you can escape the crowds whenever the mood takes you.
Leaving from Marmaris, I took the kids on a boat trip along the coast, past Turunç. The coastline forms a peninsula, and you totally lose your sense of direction. It is quite difficult to explain where exactly we sailed, but in simple terms we traveled through a wide stretch of sea south-east of Bodrum and north-west of Fethiye and Olüdeniz.
Thanks to a broken camera, I only had my iPhone with me. But I hope these pictures still give you a sense of how incredibly beautiful this part of the South Aegean coast really is. I took most of them on the boat trip, which I’ll tell you more about later.
To be honest, the entire coast in the province of Muglia is delightful. I would also like to see Kas (pronounced Kas) again, where I spent time as a holiday rep, as well as a place further off the beaten track with small holiday chalets made from wood, which I found on Google. There’s another place I want to go to, but I won’t tell you about it yet. I want to see it myself first.
As well as the Lycian coast I’ve also been to Bodrum, Bitez, Gümüslük, Kusadasi, Side and Ephesus. The last three with the children (and their dad), and the first three during my studies. I’ve never been to the tourist resorts of Antalya and Alanya on the Turkish Riviera; I prefer to go to the smaller, less known and more authentic areas of natural beauty.
Whatever you do, and wherever you go, you can always explore the area yourself. An all inclusive hotel doesn’t mean that you can’t be adventurous, or take a bus somewhere, or hire a car for a couple of days. It’s so easy to do.
If I had to choose one or two places to visit in Turkey, I would pick Pamukkale and Cappadocia, two places that are on my bucket list. Especially Cappadocia. It looks stunning!
Do you want to visit the Lycian coast or another magnificent coastal area in Turkey? You can book with a variety of tourist offices, and there will always be a hotel that fits your requirements, and budget. Some offer hotels such as the Ideal Panorama in Marmaris, ideal for families with children. It won the Hotel of the Year award last year, and the people we met on the boat trip loved it.
Something quieter? Look for something charming and small via sites like ‘Eliza was here’. I saw them offer a number of really nice places to stay, some of them including car hire so that you can explore the beautiful Mugla province, or check out places even further afield.