Where to See Turtles in Turkey

iztuzu turtle beach

A Guide to See Turtle

Turkey’s stunning Mediterranean coastline is not only a paradise for sun-seekers and culture enthusiasts but also a crucial habitat for some of the world’s most enchanting marine creatures—sea turtles. Among these, the Caretta caretta, commonly known as the loggerhead sea turtle, finds several Turkish beaches perfectly suited for laying its eggs. Here’s your guide to the best spots in Turkey for turtle watching, an activity that combines wildlife observation with environmental awareness.

1. Belek, Antalya

Belek is not just renowned for its golf resorts and luxury hotels, but it’s also one of the most significant nesting sites for loggerhead turtles in the Mediterranean. Following Greece’s Zakynthos Island, Belek’s sandy beaches provide the second largest breeding ground in the region. During the nesting season, which peaks from May to August, you can witness these magnificent creatures come ashore at night to lay their eggs. The area is well-monitored to ensure the protection of the nests, with conservation groups offering guided night tours to watch the turtles without disturbing them. The google maps link of the beach.

2. Yumurtalık, Adana to See Turtles

to See turtles

The district of Yumurtalık in Adana, whose name literally translates to ‘nesting place,’ lives up to its moniker as a key turtle nesting site. The beaches here are quieter and less commercialized, offering a more intimate experience for those interested in seeing turtles in their natural habitat. Conservation efforts are particularly strong here, with marked nesting areas to prevent accidental disturbance by visitors. The google maps link of the beach.

3. Anamur, Mersin

to See turtles

Anamur provides a picturesque backdrop for turtle watching with its rugged landscape and relatively undeveloped coastline. In 2007, over 1000 nests were recorded on the beaches of Anamur, a testament to its importance as a turtle nesting site. The area is known for its biodiversity, and the local community is actively involved in preserving this natural heritage. Night walks and educational talks are often organized by local conservation groups. The google maps link of the beach.

4. Dalyan, Muğla – Iztuzu Beach to See Turtles

Dalyan is famous for its ancient ruins, riverboat cruises, and mud baths, but Iztuzu Beach stands out as a significant conservation area for sea turtles. This beach is a protected site where you can observe both nesting and hatching events. The beach is closed to the public during the night to protect the turtles, but during the day, it’s open for visitors to enjoy the sun while being respectful of the marked nesting sites. The google maps link of the beach.

5. Köyceğiz, Muğla to See Turtles

Köyceğiz is another gem on the Turkish coast, offering a quieter alternative for turtle watching. The nesting sites here are carefully monitored, and the beaches are less crowded, making it ideal for those seeking a tranquil encounter with nature. The area is also part of a broader ecological effort to preserve the natural beauty and wildlife of the region. The google maps link of the beach.

where to see turtles in Turkey?

Tips for Responsible Turtle Watching

  • Visit with a Guide: Always choose guided tours led by professionals or local conservationists to ensure that your visit does not disturb the turtles.
  • Keep a Respectful Distance: Avoid getting too close to the turtles or their nests. Use binoculars for a better view without interference.
  • No Flash Photography: Do not use flash photography as it can disorient and disturb the turtles, especially the hatchlings.
  • Follow Local Rules: Adhere to all local guidelines and restrictions, especially those regarding beach access during nesting season.

By visiting these sites and following responsible wildlife watching guidelines, you can enjoy the unique experience of observing sea turtles in their natural environment while contributing to the conservation efforts that help protect these magnificent creatures for future generations.

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