Turquoise Coast

The ancient Lycians were on to something when they based their empire on the stunning Teke Peninsula, the chunk of Mediterranean paradise between Antalya and Fethiye. This is Turkey at its most staggeringly beautiful: sandy sweeps of shore hug a coastline lapped by jade waters and backed by forest-blanketed slopes. The Turquoise Coast is prime sun-and-sea territory, but step off the beach and you'll find ancient cities such as Xanthos, Tlos and Arykanda perched precariously atop hills, and ornate tombs carved into cliffs at Pınara and Myra. Hike between ruins on a section of the 500km-long Lycian Way and you'll be richly rewarded with scenery worth the sweat.

If you just want the beach, though, you're in the right place. For starters there's Patara's knock-'em-dead stretch of sand, the beach linking Olympos and Çıralı, and photogenic Kaputaş. And, of course, there are ancient sites just around the corner from all three.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Turquoise Coast.