I have just returned from my vacation in Turkey. I stayed with my friends in Ölüdeniz from where we took quite a few trips/excursions in the region as well as a bit further.
As far as Ölüdeniz itself is concerned, it is a typical package-holiday resort and if someone's budget is tight, it is better to avoid staying there as it is rather pricey. However, it is a beautifully located summer village - you can get the best view of it when you come down the hills - you see everything: the open see (turqouise - what a color!), the splendid pine trees and a peaceful lagoon.
There is a public Belcekiz Plaji, which is free, yet you need to pay for sun-beds and a parasol if you want to sunbathe. Another beach, which is paid (about 1 Euro), is situated on the right, if you pass a jandarma post and walk down the same road. This beach is located in a park, full of pine and olive trees as well as flowers, and is winding around the famous lagoon. Beautiful!
I would suggest visiting this area outside the high season - September is possibly the best option.
Fethiye has a huge harbour, infact its so big that it dominates the town.
Many Gulet Cruises start and/or finish here. There are plenty of places where you can book them - however in summer they can get very booked out, so as soon as you know when you wanna go - BOOK IT!
We joined our Gulet Cruise here in Fethiye, which over the course of 4 days took us around the coast to Olympos. (Details of the the Gulet on my Olympos Page)
Favorite thing: The Oludeniz area is an amazing area. The beach is perfect. The town is very touristy. We did our trip as a day trip from Marmaris. A bit too far to go so I would suggest staying in the immediate area.
Just to say that many many more hotels, restaurants etc are staying open through the year these days. Winter can be a good time to explore this part of Turkey ......uncrowded and very relaxed. But the nights are cold! You will need extra layers for early morning and evenings .....but a good percentage of sunny days with temps at 20 deg or so afternoons.
Fondest memory: The smells ! Streets that smell of jasmine and honeysuckle ..............the smell of really fresh fruit and veg in the open bazaar by the canal!
Maybe not as many as in Antalya, or southernmore, but there are a lot of banana trees in Fethiye and Ölüdeniz as well. The first time I saw a "live" banana tree was in Israel, but this was a first time close up. I was so ashamed of myself how ignorant I was, I had no idea how the fruit appears from a HUGE beautiful flower! The first time I saw the flower I saw it was an ornament! What a shame on me!!! I find them gorgeous!
Well, it seems that I am more ignorant than I thought, I just got this remark from JLBG:
No, the bananas do not really appear from the HUGE beautiful flower! You were
not completely wrong thinking it was an ornament. Or a kind of : it is the
single male flower. This is why it won't give itself bananas. The female flowers
are many, small and unimpressive. There is ONE male flower for
a hundred or so (may be more) female flowers. But as they
do not bloom at the same time, one male flower cannot fecundate the female
flowers of the same stem but from another stem. That allows to maintain genetic
And I was so happy that I discovered how it works! Oh, well, now I'm at least getting the right picture! Thanks, Jean-Louis!
Favorite thing: Despite being a very popular tourist destination Olu Deniz has retained a laid back village atmosphere. There's a good mix of hotel and pool complexes as well as smaller hotets and pensions. Plenty of bars and restaurants can be found at the back of the beach and spread further back into the town - so much choice you'd need a few weeks to try them all out. Above Olu Deniz is another popular resort of Hirasonu - a bit more peaceful if you like things really quiet.
Favorite thing: Wandering around the ruins of the abandoned greek village of Kayakoy was enjoyable albeit eerie....to think so many people had once lived, worked and played here. Some scenic trails start from here down to Fethiye or Olu Deniz with great views of the coastline. More info on my small Kayakoy page
Fondest memory: Olu Deniz means Dead Sea - and the blue lagoon certainly is clear and calm here - yachts are not allowed to sail into the lagoon so its a wonderful place to have a swim. Its fairly shallow and really warm - safe for kids and for those that don't like bathing in deep water. The sand is more like proper sand - rather than shingly - on the lagoon side. We enjoyed some lazy days here just swimming and basking in the sun. Its well worth the the small entrance fee which helps to protect and maintain this national park.
Favorite thing: The pine-fringed beauty of the blue lagoon has also made it popular for film locations and sure enough during our stay this small pirate ship was to be seen in the lagoon - the only boat we ever saw in there as they are not normally allowed. Not sure what the film was called but one us old 'uns might remember being shot here was the Brooke Shields film called "Blue Lagoon".
There is a public beach in Oludeniz - no entry fee for this but its a bit more shingly and pebbly than the famous lagoon side. Boats leave from the public beach area on trips to Butterfly valley and St Nicolas Island - a great day out on the boat. Plenty of tavernas and hotels behind the public beach too.
Fondest memory: With the mountains behind its a popular place for paragliders - watching them land on the beach was fascinating, I wish I was brave enough to have tried it back them. Several VT'ers have howevewr and the pictures of the lagoon form the air on their pages are amazing!
Oludeniz is 12 kms from Fethiye, on the south west coast of Turkey and is a popular tourist destination for its beautiful lagoon with the Babadag (means Father mountain) mountain as a backdrop. We stayed here for a couple of weeks for an idylic holiday - you can be as lazy or as active as you like.
Fondest memory: The view of the lagoon we saw as we desceded from the abandoned greek village of Kayakoy is an abiding memory - such a beautiful landscape. Short of paragliding, which I wasn't brave enough(or mad enough) to try this was the most scenic view of the famous lagoon that I had.
Favorite thing: Some parts of the Blue lagoon look like a lake. If I didn't know it was sea, i would have sworn it was lake! The water is so still, like oil, and the vegetation is more continental alike. But of course, the beach beds and umbrellas are inevitable!!!
Favorite thing: Naturally, nothing unusual for the Mediterranean area, plenty of pomegranate trees. The yields are already ripe and juicy, I was wicked and mean and picked up one (and ate it here at home!) I just couldn't resist...
Favorite thing: This is the famous Babadag mountain, cca. 2000m above sea level, from whose top the paragliders launch themselves into the abyss and fly down to the beautiful Ölüdeniz. But, it's not only perfect for flying, it's great foor hiking, there are fantastic trails, also mountain climbing and jeep safari :)
Favorite thing: All around the area, except cotton fields, you'll find sesame fields. They harvest and gather them in these cone-shaped formations and let them rest until they pick them up. I just love the way it looks.