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It’s strange how we get attached to things in our lives. We also get attached to places we visit. This happened to me with the Blue Lagoon Turkey, Mount Olympus, and Milan, among other unforgettable destinations. Turkey is one of those countries you’ll fall in love with at first sight. I know I did.
Choosing where to go and what to see in Turkey is a tough thing to do. Visiting a country that spreads across two continents isn’t a two-week endeavor. You’ll surely want to visit Istanbul, Cappadocia, Pamukkale and Antalya, but that would be only a small fraction of what Turkey has to offer to tourists. Let me introduce to you Oludeniz and the beautiful Southern Turkey coast. Although a bit more difficult to reach, it is definitely worth the pain.
- How To Get to Oludeniz & The Blue Lagoon Turkey
- What Is Oludeniz and How Does It Connect to the Blue Lagoon Turkey?
- Cool Things To Do in Oludeniz – the Blue Lagoon Turkey Is Only One of Them
How To Get to Oludeniz & The Blue Lagoon Turkey
Oludeniz is a relatively new Turkish resort on the Aegean Sea, nearby Fethiye Saklikent, Dalaman, Kas and Kalkan. I’m still not sure whether the correct spelling is Oludeniz or Olu Deniz. This resort is a 90-minute drive from Dalaman airport. If you are already in Turkey, you should know that you can reach Oludeniz with ease from Fethyie, as there are lots of dolmus mini-buses going back and forth.
If you come from the UK, you can fly directly to Dalaman. If you come from the US, the easiest way to get to Oludeniz is to book a local flight from Istanbul to Dalaman, and then take a bus or a taxi, or rent a car to use it for the entire duration of your stay in Turkey.
What Is Oludeniz and How Does It Connect to the Blue Lagoon Turkey?
There’s nothing special about Oludeniz, yet I fell in love with it in a way. If you expect to find a lively Turkish resort full of local restaurants and traditional music, you’ll be as surprised as I was.
Oludeniz is anything but a typical Turkish resort. In fact, it is a resort built entirely to cater to British tourists. The overall atmosphere is pleasant (although I would have happily switched for more of the local taste), in restaurants they play Dire Straits and The Beatles music, all coffee shops advertise for English Breakfasts (which I didn’t quite understand at that time) and the percentage of British versus Turkish people on the streets is perhaps 9:1.
There was nothing to remind of Turkish values and traditions. There were no fish restaurants on the beach, no Turkish women diving into the sea wearing their long and colorful skirts, nothing of all those little things that make Turkey such an awesome destination. The village was full of hotels and villas for rent. Although not very spectacular, they were surrounded by beautiful gardens. This is where I stayed:
I usually like booking the hotels without any meals (maybe breakfast is OK) because I like to taste local foods, so I’d rather not eat in a tourist facility. In Oludeniz, though, we had accommodation with two meals per day included. It proved to be wise, because restaurants were not only overpriced, but they had mainly British specific. Nothing wrong with it, but it was not what I expected from a Turkish vacation experience, so I might as well have eaten at the hotel’s restaurant.
Cool Things To Do in Oludeniz – the Blue Lagoon Turkey Is Only One of Them
Take a Full Day Boat Trip
Oludeniz was an unbelievable experience in many ways: the resort is in a very picturesque part of Turkey, so if you have a car, there are heaps of places to explore in the region. The Blue Lagoon Turkey comes to mind, but it is far from being the only thing worth visiting in this region. In fact, a boat trip like this one is the best way to explore this wonderful area. You’ll swim in the Blue Cave, you’ll visit the Butterfly Valley, and you’ll have lunch on the boat. This is your only chance to get to Butterfly Valley, as it is a secluded beach, accessible only by water. There are water taxis you can take from Oludeniz. However, a full-day boat trip is more enjoyable, so I’d recommend that if you are for the first time in Olu Deniz..
Adventure lovers have their share of fun, too, as the place is well-known for paragliding. The Babadag mountain is almost 2000 m high and it is only 5km from the beach. Paragliders are all over the sky, most part of the day. Sometimes they descend in groups of three-four, just like those birds flying together in close formation without bumping into each other. Watching them is addictive. I almost booked a paragliding tour myself, but gave up the last moment in favor of a boat ride.
If you want to try it, here’s where you can read some reviews and buy your ticket. You won’t have to worry about anything. These guys will pick you up in a 4×4 and take you to the top of Babadag mountain. You’ll land on the beach, so you’ll be close to your hotel.
Relax on the Blue Lagoon Beach
I read that the Oludeniz beach is frequently rated among the top 5 beaches in the world by touristic guides and travelers. I can understand why: the Blue Lagoon, where the beach is, is truly spectacular. The water is very calm and it has awesome shades of blue and green. You can’t have enough of watching it.
However, the “organized beach” concept which has become so popular these days, spoils the charm, at least for me. I don’t like it when a beach is full of rows of sunbeds and umbrellas, at barely one meter distance to each other. It looks like a concert hall rather than a beach, however, if you are the kind of tourist who appreciates this setup, you’ll love it. Nonetheless, you may want to consider visiting Oludeniz outside the full season months (July and August). June and October are probably the best. I’ve been there in the beginning of June and, as you can see from the photo below, there weren’t too many sunbeds taken.
The beach is pebbly, so you might want to use your rubber shoes. The people who maintain the beach do a great job: everything is squeaky clean, despite the big number of tourists they have each day. Some entertaining is also provided: there’s a guy who feeds some ducks right there, on the beach. It’s hilarious to see 15-20 ducks walking in a row, making loud noises, following a muscly guy wearing only shorts and a bucket full of orange slices. When he stops, the ducks surround him waiting for the feast. Then they hurry to grab as much food as they can. There’s plenty, so I guess they all end up satisfied. If you rent a kayak, you may be able to see some starfish. I saw some, but I didn’t have my camera with me, so I can’t show you any proof. Anyway, starfish are among the cutest sea creatures I’ve ever seen.
There is an entrance fee for the Blue Lagoon Turkey beach. As far as I remember, it was about 7-8 Turkish Lira per person, which is about 4 USD. There are other beaches in the area, all of them free, so there isn’t much point in going to the Blue Lagoon more than once. Once is good, because the landscape is very beautiful. If the beach gets too busy, you can hire a kayak or a pedaloo and have some good exercise. Make sure you wear plenty of sunscreen, as it can get very harsh on your skin.
Visit Fethyie and Hike the Saklikent Gorge
Fethyie is a stylish resort with a lovely beachfront promenade. Surrounded by marvelous landscapes, it is the perfect place to enjoy a beach vacation. If you’ve already chosen Oludeniz as your base camp, try to find time to take a one-day trip to Fethyie. You can also visit Saklikent Gorge, a beautiful canyon where you can walk through water for miles. Make sure you wear some water shoes, as the water runs fast.Here are a few ideas of shoes you may like.
The water cold even in the summer, but you’ll get used to it after a few minutes. If you don’t, you can grab a seat at one of the restaurants by the Saklikent Gorge entry and wait for your friends there.