Why should Göcek, Turkey be on your radar?

Uncovering this luxury resort on the Turquoise Coast

A horizon that spans from pine tree-coated mountains to the Mediterranean Sea. A wild coastline that twists and turns to form sheltered bays dotted with sailing boats. And some of the best luxury hotels in Turkey, where contemporary design meets an authentic sense of local culture. Göcek is far from your ordinary Turquoise Coast resort, and has all the ingredients for a summer escape with a difference. 

ANYTHING-BUT-PLAIN SAILING

Göcek ranks as one of the top sailing destinations in the Mediterranean. With six marinas, boats are constantly on the move – exploring the beautifully calm bays and weaving between tiny islands.

If you haven’t sailed in on your own yacht, there are still plenty of ways to join the fun. Book a short day cruise aboard a Turkish gulet – a traditional, two-mast wooden sailboat. Or stroll along the quay and take your pick of smaller motorboats for hire. 

POLISHED AND PEACEFUL

Göcek feels refreshingly serene compared to some of Turkey’s bigger and brasher resorts. It’s set within a protected area with a ban on high-rise buildings, so the town centre and luxury hotels still have a residential feel to them. Stroll to a waterfront restaurant, and while away the time spotting superyachts over just-caught seafood. Or delve into the backstreets to discover small boutiques selling handmade clothes and crafts. 

LIFE’S A BEACH

Stay at D-Resort Göcek, a contemporary design hotel that’s part of the D-Marin Marina, and you’ll have your own private beach. This is the only beach in Göcek itself, set up with stylish loungers just steps from the clear, turquoise water that gives this coastline its name.

Further along the coast, you’ll find plenty more places to get your sea and sand fix. From busy Ölüdeniz, with its wide choice of beachside bars and restaurants, to more remote Kabak, which is best reached by boat.

A WINDOW IN TIME

Göcek puts you a day-trip away from some of the Turquoise Coast’s most singular sights. If you’ve hired a car, drive up into the mountains just outside Fethiye to visit Kayaköy. Founded by Greek Christians well over a thousand years ago, the village was a thriving community until the residents were turned out in the 1920s. Today, over 500 houses remain untouched, slowly being swallowed up by plants and trees. 

For something a little more energy intensive, lace up your walking boots to tackle a section of the Lycian Way, which starts just outside nearby Ölüdeniz. Although only created around 20 years ago, this marked long-distance trail pieces together ancient roads and monuments. 

FORCES OF NATURE

Time to get back on (and under) the water. Nearby Fethiye has a scuba diving centre that will take you out to dive sites including shallow coral reefs and atmospheric caverns. By day, peek into swaying sea grass to spot flounders and seahorses. Or opt for a night dive to go in search of octopuses and lobsters.

There’s plenty to see on dry land, too. An hour’s drive west takes you to Iztuzu, which is a nesting beach for endangered loggerhead turtles. If you’re here during nesting season, keep your distance so you don’t disturb them. You can see them up close at the turtle sanctuary, while learning about vital conservation work on the coast.