The Best Snorkeling Spots In Turkey
Beach Baby has dusted off their passport once more. This time to take to the skies to visit Turkey, in the hope for some snorkeling activity. But where should you head to, in order to experience the best snorkeling spots in Turkey?
Fethiye may already be well known to you, if you are a fan of scuba diving, but it also holds some aces for snorkelers as well. Besides having a good selection of local beaches nearby to sun yourself, the main lure of Fethiye, a famous tourist destination in its own right, is to swim amongst the sea turtles. September is the month that they come ashore to lay eggs, so it is the best time to visit that particular area.
On top of this, there are shipwrecks waiting to be discovered for those prepared to take deeper dives of exploration.
OLU DENIZ BEACH
This is a lovely beach with clear waters, and a shingle beach leading out to a calm blue lagoon.
The only downside to this picturesque area is, that it may be slightly busy in season, as the beach serves a number of resort villages located nearby.
GEMILE BAY BEACH
A little more off the beaten track, if you liked Olu Deniz, but couldn’t find enough tranquillity there, this is the one for you. This is a beautiful, secluded beach that gives a good view of nearby St Nicholas Island in the distance. It is actually swimmable to visit, if you are sure that you are up to it, or there is a boat available to see the ruins there.
Once again, a little less touristy than some of the places in Turkey, this is a beautiful destination, and perfect for water sports of all types, which includes snorkeling.
This stunning beach is shale, so beach shoes are advised for your trip.
SOUTH SIDE BEACHES OLYMPOS VALLEY
This quiet little village is situated some fifty miles or so from Antalya’s airport.
The 3.5 km. beach is not the only reason for visiting Cirali, although it is probably going to be your primary concern. However, if the rest of your holiday companions are not ardent snorkelers, nor even fully fledged beach babies (how could they not be though, somewhere as beautiful as this?) then don’t worry.
About an hour’s walk away from the village, in a northerly direction, are the natural wonders of the Chimaera. These have been around since at least ancient times, and were named after the Greek fire breathing mythological beast. The Chimaera is a series of flame blowing gas vents, which are apparently still a mystery to this day, as to the exact composition of the gases, and just how the fires stay lit – does someone creep round them every morning with a Zippo perchance?
If mysterious flaming gases don’t do it for you, well frankly there’s something wrong with you, but there is always the ancient Greek site of Olympos. This is situated a mere half hour’s walk south from the main beach.
With a lagoon and fresh water springs to discover, there is also a nearby Byzantine church, and oodles of other historical finds waiting to be made.
But, of course, you are here for the beach, and that will not disappoint. Far less touristy than some of the more obvious destinations in Turkey, Cirali still manages to contain a good number of pensions (cheap hotels) and places to eat. The way to get around here seems to be by bike, and these can most likely be borrowed from the hostelry that you stay in.
This is an ideal and relatively secluded spot to undertake some snorkeling, although be warned that some of the stones on the beach can be a little sharp under foot.
And if you are in the sea, watch out for the steep drop off after you get a couple of meters out. It’s deep!
We couldn’t mention Cirali without talking about the endangered Loggerhead Turtles who come to shore here.
TURTLE (IZTUZU) BEACH
If you prefer your beaches to have golden sands, you could always try Dalyan. Here, six kilometers of warm sands invite you to relax. You can always be assured of a space on this beach, which is not deserted, but certainly not crowded either.
The waters are as clear as you would expect for snorkelling, and you’ll get a pretty view while you’re at it.
Turtle beach is, as the name implies, where the Turtles come to spawn, in June and July. The beach is itself a bit of a trek away from the actual village of Dalyan, though.
NORTHERN CYPRUS ISLAND
Situated in Cyprus, Kyrenia has plenty to offer and is well known for its scuba diving and snorkeling potential. The sea here is crystal clear and so ideal for seeing what floats by.
This has a good mixture of lively atmosphere, being principally a popular tourist resort, with beautiful scenery, and a whole host of things to do.
On days when you are not snorkeling, you could check out the Bellapais monastery, St Hilarion castle, and a whole lot more.
The sands are golden, but might get rather hot underfoot when in full sun, and everyone raves about the clear blue seas. Yes, it should hardly come as a surprise that Turkey can get a little heated at times, but we are told it can be easy to forget, and not realize how much walking there is to be done on the long, beautiful beaches. This is also another popular location to snorkel in, although it is a fairly well trodden tourist route.
An old fishing town,which was long the only safe harbor between the two towns of Kas and Fethiye, Kalkan is now one of the first stops along the tourist route, but this shouldn’t put you off!
If you want to observe first hand some traditional Greek Ottoman architecture, this is a good place to start, as most of the old town is very well preserved, and quite strikingly beautiful!
For snorkeling, Kalamar Bay is the place to head to, as it attracts a whole variety of marine life. Kalkan also has its own five star dive center, offering courses and instruction for the complete beginner.