I seem to be having one of the best summers ever and having a lot of firsts too; like paragliding! This happened when I was whisked off to Turkey by my wonderful mum and dad, where we did something else I never thought I’d partake in – All Inclusive. Now usually I’m pretty dismissive, since I know that I like to explore, I like to holiday/travel on a budget and I don’t like being limited in what I can eat or drink etc. Basically I do like hotels for weekends, but I still like to chose what I eat, and I will always really love hostelling so it never occurs to me to do an all inclusive package tour. But actually in Ölüdeniz you can’t do anything else because nobody lives here, there are all grades of hotels, plenty of tourist shops and more bars and restaurants than you can shake your beach towel at but there are no ‘locals’; without tourism this would never exist. Bizarre eh?
But this was my parents’ holiday and paid for by them, so I decided to ditch all prejudice and roll with it. I had an ACE time!
Turkey was having freakishly hot weather, according to the locals, for the time that we went; in late August it ought to be waning slightly but we sky-rocketed over the temperature in Baghdad and hit 46 degrees Celsius on an alarmingly regular basis. I don’t know about you but that is hot for me! The holiday became an exercise in keeping cool and finding shade so it’s just as well I love sea swimming. Sea swimming was high on my list of things to do while there, the beach at Ölüdeniz is so beautiful. Paragliding was also right up there; it’s a strange main street, littered with more people trying to sell you boat trips and paragliding experiences than food and drink, but it’s definitely worth grabbing one. I’m so glad I did it, scared as I was on the way up.
As you walk round the corner from the main beach – it’s no more than 2km, so even in that heat I found it walkable, but some people may prefer the bus – you find The Blue Lagoon. It’s incredibly famous and in my opinion a tad over rated. It is beautiful, and very blue, but then so is the beach right next door and you don’t have to pay to use that. I also found it quite crowded, literally rammed with people, but it was clean and looked more cosy than stressful so I’m sure that’s not an issue either. I think it’s the perfect beach for children since the water is still as a pool, and delightfully warm, whereas the main beach catches a few waves but is all the more fun for it. There were also some intriguing half-islands that looked within swimming distance, although I didn’t test. It is beautiful it’s just too full for my taste.
From Ölüdeniz you can catch a bus to Fetihye – Do it! I fell in love with the bustling, hot pavements, the glorious white square with its quaint benches overlooking a piercingly blue harbour. The old market was also completely adorable. There are two, apparently, one new and one old; the old one is a little nicer and quainter, although not cheap, and the newer one is cheaper and sells more… tat. Nice, fun, touristy tat though. The old market, however, is packed with colours and glitter. Rugs spilling onto tiny cobbled streets, restaurants monopolizing the square, spices lining whole buildings, tiny lights glowing in every direction. It’s definitely worth a look in the day and at night, or in the evening. It has a grotto vibe and there are plenty of cute trendy-seeming places to grab a drink and/or a kebab. I also stumbled across the most beautiful art project (I assume) I have seen in a while.
Umbrella skies formed over streets in and around the market – I also found something similar outside a coffee shop in Dalaman airport. Beautiful canopies of colour, un-miss-able due to their size, spanning the street-top and casting colourful sprinkles of light over the street below; I can’t seem to find anywhere what they are for or who they were installed by but they are beautiful enough to leave you smiling all day, definitely go looking for them.
I can recommend:
Harry’s Bar (on the beach front) for cocktails and views
Sultan Ahmet for very chilled beer (I mean literally, in the best pre-frozen glasses) and great freshly squeezed juice
Kumsal Pide for the best Pide you will ever eat!
Gravity for paragliding (although they are all great companies charging the exact same price)
Want to see more photos? I’m on Flickr as jessiebenson93