Last Updated August, 2020
Bodrum in Turkey is famous for many things. Some people know it for numerous bays, surrounded by gardens and pine groves, fancy high-end hotels, or abundance of historic sights. But not many people know that Bodrum is worth traveling for the beaches alone since they are among the best beaches in Turkey.
When we got a chance to leave hot Istanbul (yes, this city can be pretty hot) and come here for the summer, we set a goal to explore the entire peninsula and beyond. But we didn’t expect we’d be spending so much time on the beaches. After driving around and checking out every village and bay, I decided to put this guide together and write about the best Bodrum beaches for a traveler.
I hope it will help you get a better idea of where to book accommodation and what to plan.
NOTE: All the photos you see in this post were taken during the summer after corona. Beaches were empty, that’s why there are no people in them. I guess we should expect more crowds again sometime in the future.
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Best Beaches Near Bodrum City
1. CENTRAL BODRUM CITY BEACH
Before you start checking beaches around Bodrum, why not to go for a quick swim in the Bodrum city. Especially if you are staying somewhere in the area nearby. As for the city beach, Bodrum beach (or Bodrum plaji) is very nice.
The coast here is covered with small pebbles, in some places with coarse sand, and entry into the water is quite smooth. You’ll notice right away that the sea is clean here, despite the fact that there is a port nearby with large cruise liners.
The city beach of Bodrum is public, so you won’t have to pay to get in. But it is small and gets really full with a crowd. There are many hotels and apartments nearby, so many people who come to vacation here, often choose this exact spot. To find a free sun lounger (also free of charge), you must come in the early morning before 9 am or in the middle of the day when everyone leaves for lunch and hides from the sultry heat.
If you walk a bit farther towards the Bodrum castle, you’ll find many cafes and restaurants on the water. Some of them have sunbeds where you can relax by the sea with a drink or food. We went there a few times mainly to eat and put our toes in the sea but there were people who were also swimming and hanging out for hours there.
2. GUMBET BEACH
Only 4 km west of Bodrum, there is a picturesque place Gumbet, hiding away behind a low hill. All its beaches are with fine gold sand. And the smooth entrance to the sea provides conditions for safe swimming.
The depth anywhere on the Gumbet coast comes only after 6-8 meters of walking in the water. So families with babies and all others who enjoy swimming in shallow waters will definitely appreciate this place. The entire Gumbet area has a highly developed tourist infrastructure offering many cool hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, and bars.
However, what we heard from locals, this is the most touristy area in Bodrum. Locals rarely come here. And most of the tourists are young people from Europe who like to party. For us personally, it was the least favorite area in the Bodrum peninsula since we prefer more quiet and secluded spots. But for you, it may be a total ‘fall-in-love’ place.
Gumbet also offers a wide range of water sports activities such as surfing, parasailing, and windsurfing. Plenty of sun loungers and umbrellas, restrooms, showers, and changing rooms are available as well. The only disadvantage (or maybe an advantage to you) is music. Not sure why but here, in particular, all seaside cafes and restaurants turn on the music so high.
3. BITEZ BEACH
On the southwestern coast 7 km from the center of Bodrum, you’ll find a picturesque bay of Bitez. It attracts travelers with its clean and well-maintained beach (although the majority of Bodrum beaches are clean and taken care of) which stretches for just over a kilometer.
Most of the beaches in this area are characterized by pebble cover but Bitez beach has soft light sand. When entering the water, you come across small stones but they don’t hurt your feet. The bottom has a flat surface, water is waist-deep, and only after a couple of meters, you will find the first deep point. Families with kids like to swim here.
The area is replete with orange trees and pine groves that create shade where it is nice to hide in the midday heat. Also, the entire beach has toilets, changing rooms, and showers.
A lot of people will say that Bitez is one of the best beaches in the Bodrum area. They base this decision on the quality of the beach, the number of activities, and food options. While all of this is true, we thought this beach was too crammed. With numerous hotels along the coast and many people who come from Bodrum city, it gets just too noisy and overwhelming.
4. YAHSI BEACH (+ORTAKENT BEACH)
Here is another memorable beach on the Bodrum Peninsula in Turkey – Yahsi beach, which by the way becomes Ortakent beach. It has a Blue Flag award and returning here is always a pleasure. This beach is located farther from Bodrum than previous beaches but in my opinion, it is worth coming here for a day at least once.
It is somewhat similar to Bitez beach in that sense that Yahsi beach is also full of numerous cafes and restaurants by the water that offer free sunbeds by the sea with the requirement to buy food from them. If you go with this option, additionally to sun loungers, you can use showers, bathrooms, changing rooms, and umbrellas for free.
The length of the coast here is 12 km long which gives more room to everyone.
Yahsi beach is covered with a mixture of sand, pebbles and small stones. The entrance to the sea is comfortable with shallow water, which is especially convenient for relaxing with kids. The water here is clear and clean, and a special wide area is allocated for swimming.
If you are looking into hotels where to stay in Yahsi, take a look at the Lugga Boutique Hotel & Beach (located in a very quiet part) and Zest Exclusive Hotel. They are among a few hotels only with high ratings and good reviews.
NOTE: July and August are especially busy here since residents of Turkey love this place.
5. CAMEL BEACH
This beach in Turkey got such an interesting name thanks to camels that walk around and that you can ride on for an additional fee. You can easily walk here from the Yahsi beach.
It stretches only for a distance of no more than 500 meters but the coast is very pretty. It is covered with coarse sand and the entry into the sea is very comfortable, meeting with shallow water. Which, by the way, is transparent and clean. Thus, we can make a conclusion that this is another great Bodrum beach for families with kids.
It is worth noting that you have to pay to enter here unless staying in the hotel. The entrance is around 35 TL (about $5.5). For this price, you receive sun loungers with umbrellas, showers, changing rooms, and toilets. There is also a small restaurant where you can dine and order drinks. Tourists here also have the opportunity to rent a motorboat.
If you are looking for the best hotels in Bodrum on the sandy beach, then you should definitely check out the options near Camel Beach. Club Sardinia hotel with bungalows, for example, is only a few steps away from the sea. But there are a few other options.
In general, Camel Beach in Turkey is a picturesque area excellent for recreation with beautiful views of the Aegean Sea.
The only disadvantage is that it can get crowded because of the yachts and tour boats that come here for a swim.
Best Bodrum Sandy Beaches With Azure Water
6. AKYARLAR BEACH
I boldly declare that Akyarlar Beach is one of the top beaches in Bodrum and Turkey in general for families and anyone else who is looking to swim in the bluest water of the Aegean Sea. The coast stretches for 1.5 km and is covered with fine light sand.
Entering the sea is easy since there are no stones and the depth increases gradually. The Eastern part of the Akyarlar village experiences strong winds. That is why this part of the coastline has become an attractive destination for windsurfers. And if you are one of them, you should look into staying near the LIV hotel.
Another feature of this beach is picturesque nature. With verdant tangerine groves and olive orchards surrounding the area on all sides, it looks very pretty everywhere. On your way from the beach, be sure to stop by a local restaurant (like Mehtap Restaurant & Cafe or nearby Memos bar) for some delicious seafood dishes.
During the high season, the beach always sees a lot of people, but there is enough space for everyone. We loved stopping by Camelot Boutique Beach hotel to get a drink and relax on the loungers of their wooden pier.
Part of Akyarlar beach also has sun loungers, showers, toilets and changing rooms, so it is comfortable to relax there. In a few parts of the beach, you can find cozy cafes to order lunch and drinks.
7. METEOR BEACH
Meteor beach is like one big pool. Being shallow and having a smooth entry into the water, it is very child-friendly. Even on a very windy day, the water stays calm with almost no waves. Plus, with the palms and other trees growing on the grounds, there is a lot of shade.
What we think makes this beach different from any other is the seafloor. After walking for a few meters on the sandy floor, the water level gradually goes down to the ankle and you can just lay down there in the sea to sunbathe.
The beach is actually part of the Meteor hotel where you need to pay to get in but then you’ll have access to showers and bathrooms. There is also a restaurant where you can order food and drinks.
The disadvantages are too many people during the high season and expensive food at the restaurant. Before the corona thing, in July and August, it was difficult to find any space to walk because there were more people at the beach than what the hotel could handle.
But other than that, it’s a lovely place for anyone who wants to relax in a shade by turquoise water and have a good service nearby.
The price is around 35 TL (€4.25) per sun lounger.
8. ORAK ISLAND BAY BEACH
Among all the Bodrum beaches we have been to, the best and the most azure water was around the Orak island in the east of the Bodrum city. With unusual underwater caves, multi-colored aquatic plants, and a hundred-meter natural wall this island is also a perfect diving spot in Bodrum.
But the water there is absolutely unreal. It reminded us about some of the best beaches in Cyprus and about beaches in the Caribbean. At the same time, it looked just like in the pool.
Look at the photos below to understand what you get when visiting this island. Or even better, read my post about this beautiful island near Bodrum. It was so special that it got its own article.
To reach the island, you need to take a boat from Bodrum. For now, there is absolutely no way to visit it on your own which, to be honest, is not that fun anyway. With a tour, you spend one long day in a company with other people, make a few stops on the way to the Orak lagoon and overall, have fun while on the boat adventure. All tours to this island are reasonably priced and of good quality.
We personally decided to go with this full-day boat trip from Halikarnas harbor and couldn’t be happier.
9. GÖLTURKBUKU BEACH
This beach within 15 kilometers from Bodrum in the village of the same name is considered one of the best beaches not only in Turkey but in Europe.
It is sandy, with clear water but rather short. Turkish people know it as the most elite beach where you can meet celebrities and actors. Everything is more expensive here than on any other beach from this list.
The town of Göltürkbükü is surrounded by olive and tangerine groves and has a good selection of upscale fine dining restaurants. However, the bay is facing the north, so the sea may be slightly cooler here than on the southern part.
The best way to get here as to any other part of the peninsula is by Dolmus taxis. They depart from the center of Bodrum all day at short intervals and the fare is between 10 to 16 TL.
More to the north from the town of Göltürkbükü, there is another very similar beach called Belediye Halk beach. It is a free, very clean public beach that doesn’t see a lot of people even during the high season.
Other Fantastic Beaches In Bodrum Peninsula
10. TORBA BEACH
If you are looking for best sandy beach hotels in Bodrum on the first line, I recommend you looking at the options in the resort village of Torba. Although this little-known destination cannot boast of a wide selection of hotels, it attracts mainly locals with its peaceful atmosphere surrounded by pristine nature.
Torba is located 7.5 km northeast of Bodrum. It offers one long beach that stretches along the entire village. There are also several secluded but picturesque coves to the east and west. Beaches in Torba are for the most part made of sand or pebbles, and some of them are completely covered with wooden platforms and areas with bulk sand.
The entry into the sea is fairly smooth, so families traveling to Bodrum with older children will appreciate that. Another advantage of the area is its low population. Noisy crowds of tourists are considered a rarity here. With all of this, be ready that you won’t find chic restaurants on the coast as in other more fancy parts of the Bodrum peninsula. Yet, there are definitely a couple of cozy establishments with good cuisine.
Overall, Torba Beach is ideal for those looking to escape the bustle of the city and immerse themselves in serenity. If you are staying in another part of Bodrum and just want to come here for a day, you are very welcome. Although it may be more convenient to book a room for a night in one of the hotels since they offer direct access to the beach.
How to Get Here: The best way to get to this village from Bodrum is by dolmus or private taxi. There are a few dolmus share taxis that go here. Depending on where you stay, you may need to take one or another. Ask your host or front desk agent in your hotel about the dolmus bus and stop.
11. ILGINLAR BEACH
One of our favorite beaches in Bodrum that not many international tourists know about. If you check the map or reviews of this beach online, you won’t find much. It’s more like a hidden gem place which I probably shouldn’t be talking about not to make it too popular. But at the same time, I’d really love to show you photos and share it with you guys.
So Inginlar beach technically consists of two smaller beaches. One of them is private, owned by a condo complex and another one is public in front of the Mahallesi Bagla apartment building. The public beach is sandy but it’s really small.
The beach I am talking about is near the Nazik Ana restaurant. It is well equipped, with concrete platform and ladder, clean azure water, umbrellas, and lots of shade. The sea here is really beautiful, although deep and you can’t touch the bottom, so it’s not a place for little children and anyone who doesn’t know how to swim.
If you have a car, there is a parking lot somewhere here which is only a minute away from the beach.
12. TURGUTREIS BEACH
Turgutreis is the second-largest city after Bodrum on the Bodrum peninsula. Over the past few years, it has developed into a popular resort-city where travelers can combine comfortable beach holidays with active nightlife and entertainment.
The beaches of Turgutreis are the longest, so everyone can choose a recreation area to their liking. It can be a public beach close to restaurants and nightclubs in the very center, or more secluded beach a bit outside the city.
Turgutreis is one of the best places to watch the sunset, so many people choose to come here in the evening with their drinks and snacks.
Which Bodrum Beach is Best For You?
Best Bodrum Beaches For Families With Kids
If you are a parent traveling to Bodrum with kids, I suppose the decisive factors for you, when choosing a beach, are a sandy bottom, a smooth entrance to the water, and a well-developed infrastructure.
Based on these factors, the best beaches for you will be Bitez, Gumbet, Central beach in Bodrum city, Meteor beach, Yahsi, Camel, and Akyarlar beaches. Also, the northern part of the peninsula has nice beaches for families. Gundogan and Göltürkbükü beaches are smaller and have a slightly colder sea but they don’t receive as many people like the south of the peninsula.
Meteor and Akyarlar are in particular good choices since they are located in a picturesque green bay and have fine sand. The water there warms up well and thanks to the smooth entrance, even small children can play safely in the water. Local restaurants offer a good selection of fish dishes.
Quiet Beaches in Bodrum
Those who are not fans of the round-the-clock parties do not need to give up their trip to Bodrum. In the vicinity of the city, there are several beautiful beaches for romantics and introverts, and everyone who is looking for seclusion.
Gundogan or Yalikavak beaches are just perfect for that. They attract older people and families with younger children. You won’t find here parties or crazy nightlife. In general, these two towns (with the same name) offer a slower pace of life.
The village of Torba is another place that has quiet beaches. It is not yet too popular among tourists, prices for accommodation here are lower, and the beach is secluded. It stretches along the entire village and lovers of a calmer lifestyle will easily find a deserted picturesque bay.
There is another beach, Aspat beach, which suits everyone who is looking for peace and quiet. I haven’t really covered it in detail in this guide because it is part of the Aspat Termera Resort and one apartment complex. Outside guests are not allowed to enter. Still, I wanted to mention this place for people who might be interested to book this hotel for a vacation. It’s a very secluded area.
Beaches With Excellent Infrastructure & Activities
If you love being active on your vacation, then you should visit one of the following beaches:
Akyarlar – almost always windy and has waves, and the Greek island of Kos is visible from the coast.
Fenerburnu Sahili – a public beach under pine trees. The sea is beautiful but the winds here are always strong, so this beach is a perfect spot for water sports. A few fantastic cafes and a surf school are nearby.
Karaincir Belediye – a small kilometer-long beach in the eastern part of Akyarlar village. It offers diving, windsurfing, and water skiing activities.
Gumbet – loud music, water sports during the day and parties at night, all of it is here.
Alright, so this is it. Have you been to Bodrum yet? Did you visit any of the beaches on this list? Share in comments!