A trip round the bay..................
We thought the trip to around Oludeniz bay would be a good way of visiting places. It was, but we didn't realise the main purpose of the trip was to swim as often as possible! There are lots of boats (and trips) available, starting from the beach at Oludeniz, so maybe we just chose the most popular swimming-focused one (the boat had a waterslide). Whatever, once I got over the slight
disappointment of realising there wouldn't be time to explore anywhere properly and joined in the general air of (almost entirely Turkish) day-trip jollity it was good fun (and far less hot than a day on land). The crew threw life-jackets and flotation aids into the sea at every stop, people dived from the top deck (and the cliffs at one stop), grannies and dads and kiddies splashed and sploshed and a good time was had by all. Lunch was provided, a pancake-making lady followed the boat (as did a melon-and-ice-cream man) and the sea remained calm enough to ensure that nobody had chance to review their food intake.
Lots of good views of the bay, of course (though it was a bit hazy)............................
Be warned...........you probably won't have time to visit the waterfall in Butterfly Valley. It's a 20 minute walk each way, and the boat only stopped for 30 minutes (for swimming in the surf). You have to pay too. There's a bar/cafe on the beach, and some interesting tree-house constructions where people stay. And we did manage to see a butterfly.
Gemiler (Aya Nikola) Island was a stopover for Medieval pilgrims to the Holy Land and is covered with ruins from a medieval city, mostly from the 5th and 6th centuries. A church dedicated to St Nicholas is at the top, and 3 more churches, granaries, cisterns, tombs and houses. The boat moored on the southern side, which is extremely steep and provided a natural fortification. It also meant exploring the island was not really feasible....a pity, as although we found ruins it would have been good to see the churches and their mosaics. It was interesting to see how the ruins extended under the water, the result of earthquakes over the centuries.
So..........a pleasant way to spend a day, my first chance to 'swim' in a warm sea (long-coveted and not at all disappointing when it became a reality) and worth doing for itself. But, with hindsight, if you want to actually spend time exploring places like Gemiler Island it's probably best to seek out a specific one or two-place tour.