The Turkish Riviera (Türk Rivierası), also known popularly as the Turquoise Coast, is an area of southwest Turkey encompassing the provinces of Antalya and Muğla, and to a lesser extent Aydın, southern İzmir and western Mersin.
A favorable climate, warm sea, mountainous scenery, fine beaches along over 1,000 km (620 mi) of shoreline along the Aegean and Mediterranean seas, and numerous natural and archaeological attractions make this part of Turkey’s coast a popular national and international tourist destination.
Among the archaeological points of interest are two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: The ruins of the Mausoleum of Maussollos in Halicarnassus; and the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus.
The Turkish Riviera is also the home of the globally known Blue Voyage (also known as Carian Cruise), which allows participants to take a week-long trip aboard the local gulet ships to ancient cities, harbors, tombs, mausolea, and beaches in the tiny coves, forests, and rivers that are on the Turquoise Coast.
The coastline is considered essentially a cultural trove that provides an exciting mixture of factual and mythological individuals, conflicts, and events. It has often been referred to in the folklore of numerous cultures throughout history.
It is regarded as the home of scholars, saints, warriors, kings, heroes and the site of numerous well-known legends. Mark Antony of the Roman Republic is said to have picked the Turkish Riviera as the most beautiful wedding gift for his beloved Cleopatra of Egypt.
Saint Nicholas, who later became the basis of the Santa Claus legend, was born in Patara, a small town near present-day Demre. Herodotus, regarded as the “Father of History”, was born in Bodrum (ancient Halicarnassus) in c. 484 BC. Near Dalyan, the volcanic hills to the west of Antalya have been the inspiration for the mythical Chimera — the fire-breathing monster that Bellerophon slew.
Many cities, towns and villages in the area are internationally known, such as Alanya, Antalya, Bodrum, Çeşme, Fethiye, Kalkan, Kaş, Kemer, Kuşadası, Marmaris, and Side.