Turkey has favorable geography for both summer and winter tourism. The summer months in particular offer foreign tourists the chance to relax on “blue flagged beaches”. Certain provisions have been made, as a result of tests that determine the quality standard for sea and lake waters, to make them suitable for swimming. The Blue Flag Campaign was initiated in 1987 for European countries as a contingent of the European Environmental Education Foundation (FEEE). In 1993, the Blue Flag Campaign was implemented in Turkey, by the FEEE and the Environmental Education Foundation of Turkey. At that time, blue flag criteria were set.
Turkey has many beaches and marinas. If a beach wants to sport a blue flag, administrators of it must be vigilant about issues related to swimming waters, safety, cleanliness, and other aspects of environmental education. This project is vital in terms of protection of the coasts and for people’s environmental awareness. Turkey’s Blue Flagged Beaches include:
1. Bodrum / Yalıçiftlik
Yalıçiftlik town is about 20 kilometers away from Bodrum. It has exactly eight blue flag beaches and many of those beaches are privately owned by the hotels. The town is a top choice for a holiday with its refreshing breeze and shining, golden sand– and that goes on even in the hottest months of summer. After traveling a road through the pine forests, you will come to the bays where the blue flags wave. Sea Garden Hotel in particular has an enormous beach; find it at bay number two. The beach length is counted at about 540 meters.
Kempinski Barbaros Bay Hotel Beach is above Gökova Bay, which is 200 meters wide. This area is about 15 kilometers away from Bodrum center.
2. Marmaris / Hisarönu Bay
Hisarönü Bay is located in Tavşanbükü, about 35 kilometers away from the center of Marmaris. This summer place has a blue flag marking in its wonderful 450-meter long beach. This beach is charged for out-of-hotel customers. Municipality Public Beach, Club Mistral Martı Marina Public Beach, Akyaka Public Beach, Kumbahçe Public Beach, Gündoğan Public Beach, and Göltürk Magic are more like public beaches and are the other beach options in Muğla.
3. Fethiye / Kalemya Bay
Kalemya Bay is located between the pine forests and Hillside Beach is here, complete with its blue flag. This beach is 650 meters long. The only thing missing on this beach is the chance to ride a jet ski.
4. İzmir / Özdere / Orta Mahalle Beach
Orta Mahalle Beach has a crystal-like sand which and is 1800 meters between the greens. There are both camping areas and hotels here, making it a suitable holiday destination for campers or day trippers.
5. Fethiye / Kumburnu
This natural area is in Kumburnu, which is a perfect place for paragliding. This blue flagged beach is in Ölüdeniz Natural Park and it is 2 kilometers long.
6. Göcek / D-Resort
D-Resort is located at the end of Göcek Port and is surrounded by mountains. This is also a blue flagged beach destination. The water here features a turquoise blue color and it gets really deep, right from the shoreline.
7. Karaburun / Aquarium Bay
The aquarium bay is a public beach and it is only 30 meters long. However, this bay, which has a nice green space and aquarium features flanking it, is preferred for its colorful fish and its cleanliness.
8. Mersin / Kız Kalesi & Susanoğlu Beach
Korikos Castle is located beside a 600-meter blue flagged beach. There is a breakwater made of natural rocks, and thanks to the breakwater, the sea is glassy smooth here. This blue-flagged beach is beloved for its fine sand. In 2018, Susanoglu Public Beach also awarded blue-flag.
9. Çanakkale / Ayvacık
Ayvacık is located between olives trees and this blue-flagged beach is quiet and boasts a wonderful view. Its soft sand and sapphire-colored sea draw attention.
10. Antalya Blue Flagged Beaches
Antalya is one of Turkey’s most important resort cities. Many preferred public beaches and hotel beaches are here, complete with the blue flag feature, which include: Antalya Gazipaşa Iskele Beach, Antalya Keykubat East Public Beach, Antalya Youth Center Front Public Beach, Damlataş Public Beach, Çolaklı Public Beach, Boğazkent Public Beach, Universite Great Public Beach, Kadriye Public Beach, Belek Public Beach, BB Lara Public Beach, Mobil Halk Beach, BB Konyaaltı Public Beach and hotel beaches, Beldibi Atatürk Park Public Beach, and Kalkan Public Beach.
11. Van Lake
Yes, first time in Turkey a lake has been awarded blue-flag. Due to cleanliness, access standards and safety, this lake has been awarded in 2018.