When you think of tanning in the Mediterranean, you are more likely to think of Greece than Turkey. Turkey has around 8000km of coastline and is surrounded by the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea.
Deciding which area to visit is tough! We knew we wanted to be on the Turquoise coast as they are renowned for having the best beaches in Turkey. Bodrum was too far and we weren’t interested in the party scene. We wanted great beaches to relax on and we also wanted to be near to some archaeological sites. Our options were between Antalya and Fethiye. Antalya looked amazing, but Fethiye was easier to travel to from Selcuk. We settled on Oludeniz, a few minutes drive from Fethiye.
Getting to Oludeniz
We had 2 options for traveling from Selcuk to Fethiye. Either we could take an overnight bus which transits in Aydin for a few hours or a direct bus which takes about 5hrs. We decided to take the direct shuttle which costed 35TL. We were hoping for one of the lovely and comfortable Kamil Kok coaches, instead, we had a stuffy and uncomfortable Fethiye Coach. The trip felt very long and the bus didn’t even have air-conditioning. From Fethiye, we took a shuttle to Oludeniz for 4TL.
For our return flight to Istanbul, we flew with Pegasus airlines from Dalaman Airport. Dalaman is a small airport where food is expensive. Avoid spending more time than necessary there. Flights costed around R600. We used Shuttle direct for a private transfer to the airport which costed around R200 per person and took just more than an hour. I recommend using this service. It is not the cheapest but it is reliable.
Oludeniz is a quaint resort town where you find more British people than locals. It is pretty expensive and many of the shops and restaurants charge GB Pounds. As we all know GBP makes the ZAR look like less than nothing. We did some research and decided to stay in Tonoz Beach Hotel which I highly recommend. It was less than R500 a night and was more comfortable and modern than most the hotels we stayed in in Turkey. By far the best value for money you can find in Olu (Check out their Tripadvisor reviews).
The main attraction in Olu is ofcourse the beach! The next is paragliding. Paragliders are constantly flying overhead and the backdrop of the mountains is just spectacular. Paragliding costs around R1000.
We had 4 days to spend in Fethiye and our main aim was to relax as much as possible (and attempt to get a tan).
The first day we were there, was a total chill day. We woke up late, and hubby went to Jumuah (there is a mosque). We spent the rest of the day soaking up the sun and witnessed the spectacular sunset.
Unfortunately, the water is cold and the stony beaches really hurt your feet so do take swim shoes.
On day 2 we went on the island cruise. It costed only 10 USD. It includes a meal and a full day cruise. Best 10USD we spent in Turkey! We went to butterfly island, the island of St. Nicholas, camel island and the cold water springs. They gave us a freshly made piece of fish and salad. Fries were optional but ridiculously over-priced. Going with one of the smaller boats was the best decision we made. The large party boats were loud and packed and when they docked it took ages for everyone to get on and off. We used Guide Tours which comes highly recommended on TripAdvisor.
Butterfly island had beautiful scenery but be warned, it smells of urine. There are tent like structures for the hippy-ish visitors who tend to stay there. Also, the bay gets pretty full, especially when the big boats dock, which leaves very little room for swimming. There is a fee if you choose to hike up the hills/ mountains.
My only complaint would be that Guide Tours dropped us off on a part of St. Nicholas’ Island which was steep and treacherous and had huge spiders! Other than that it was great value and an awesome way to spend the day.
Other things to do in and around Oludeniz
- Visit Fethiye town
- Chill in the famous Blue Lagoon. A small entrance fee is required of 6TL (R30). The blue lagoon has lovely calm water but is equally pebbly. We were there on a Saturday, during the school holidays, so it was very full. Sun loungers cost around R30 for the day. Definitely a good way to spend a few hours.
- Dalyan Mud Baths and a visit to Turtle Beach. We did did not do the trip but it costs about R500pp for a day trip.
- If you are feeling particularly energetic and prepared, Oludeniz is part of the Lycian Way which requires a multiday trek but is said to be beautiful.
Eating in Oludeniz
Finding a place to eat in Olu is easy. There are restaurants everywhere. Remember that prices are often in Euro or British pounds which makes it expensive. We ate at a few of the expensive restaurants but we found a great, cheap place for tostis and doner kebabs (I probably looked like a doner kebab by the time I left Turkey). It is about double the price of a kebab is Istanbul though . The place is called B & G Kebab house and is a few steps away from Guide tours.