During Spring break March 2016, we (myself, wife and two kids) decided to go to Fethiye, Turkey. We started our journey from Istanbul, took a plane from Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (Asian Side) to Dalaman Airport (closest airport to Fethiye). We booked our flights via Pegasus Airline; it was a nice and comfortable journey that took an hour to reach Dalaman Airport. At the airport, we took the public bus which transfer passengers from airport to Fethiye City, took an hour to reach Fethiye Bus Station. The bus was air-conditioned with nice and comfortable seats (Fare 10 TL per person). The city center is pretty close to the bus-stop, then we took a taxi (30 TL) to our hotel and within 10 minutes we reached our hotel.
As it was an off-season (season starts after 01 April), the hotel arranged a private boat tour for us. The boat captain picked us up from our Hotel in Fethiye, then we drove to Oludeniz, which took us 15-20 (if you go by mini-bus, it might take 10 minutes extra as mini-bus stops in few location for few seconds and they have their own route). At Oludeniz, captain parked his car and then we sat on a small boat (capacity of 6 people).
Early morning, blue sky, cool breeze, still blue water and green mountains it was an amazing view. After siting on the boat, the captain took us to a nearby beach where he pick 3 more passengers.
After picking three more passengers then we went to Pirates’s cave – its a small cave with beautiful view inside the cave. The captain took the boat inside and then we took some pictures of clean water, cave and enjoyed the view.
After the cave, we went to butterfly island, its one of the best places to visit. Its a valley in-between two mountains but beach was really good. The water colour was amazing – we haven’t seen such a beautiful sea water ever. As the name suggest, butterfly island, we haven’t seen any butterflies but we read a sign board that to see butterfly you need to pay 5 TL. But definitely, worth the visit to enjoy the scenery and swim if you are an expert in deep water. There are also some cafes but those were close as the season has not started by the end of March 2016. We spent an hour on that beach.
Blue Lagoon Beach:
After the butterfly island, the captain dropped us to the Oludeniz Belcekiz beach (centre of Oludeniz is where you can board boat trips). This also where the paraglider land. There are plenty of bars and restaurants here. Then we walked all the way to the peninsula, of that beach also know as Blue Lagoon (entry fee is 7 TL). One of the best beach resorts in Turkey. Its a beautiful calm beach located at the Turquoise Coast of Southwestern Turkey, at the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas. Its a nice clam beach for kids and family too – not too deep, kids can also swim or play with water.
In the evening, we returned back to Fethiye city centre via Oludeniz-Fethiye public min-van, which frequently travel from Oludeniz to “Fethiye Mini-bus-stop “after every 30 minutes (5 TL/person). These mini-vans are very comfortable and air conditioned (picture attached below).
At Oludeniz, you can also do Paragliding; its one of the best things there. It took 40-50 minutes to by road to go to high altitude and then it took 15 minutes during the gliding. This is a must-do experience if you are not scared of heights.
Kayak & Other Sports Activities:
At blue lagoon, there are many sports options like foot pedal boat, kayak, Canoe, and boat tours. We used the foot pedal boat as we had infant and children with us (so this was the most safest option), we paddled the boat for 30 minutes for 15 TL as it was an off season. However, during the season, they would probably charge 40 TL per 30 minutes. It was a great experience, enjoying the scene of blue lagoon by paddling across the peninsula. It was a bit tiring but worth the try.
Visit to Saklikent Gorge:
The next day, we left for Saklikent Gorge, its a valley in between the mountains in a nearby town called “Saklikent”. We took a public van which took us 1.5 hours from Fethiye minivan-stop to Saklikent (as the public bus had to stop at many locations – 11 TL / person). The journey was ok as that public van was not of high standard as compared to previous public vehicles (if someone has a car, thats recommended in extreme summer). Once we reach at the Saklikent, there were many sports activities (we didn’t try it because of my kids – Infant and child (4yr) can not do those activities). We passed through that area and went towards the Saklikent Groove, paid for the pass and went through the valley, there is a proper concrete pavement for tourists, we walked for few minutes and then the paved walking area finished. We could not go any further as the rest of the path is for adults who are looking for some adventure, it was not dangerous but you need to know how to cross water stream, take steps on slippery rocks etc.
At the Saklikent, you can find food restaurants, sports activities and enjoy the view of water stream, you can also live there in a wooden cabin. Its a must place to visit if you are looking for some adventure and fun!
Fish Market at Fethiye:
If you are sea food lover then you should not miss it!
How to locate Fish market:
Fish market is close to the mini-van stops that takes passengers to Oludeniz frequently. If you are having difficulty in finding fish market, ask any shop owner at mini-bus stop, they will guide you. The fish market is 5 minutes walking distance from the mini-van stop.
Fish and Vegetables markets are adjacent to each other. By going through the aisle across the vegetable and fruit market, we saw few restaurants and right in front of it we saw fish market. Then we asked one of the restaurant owner, how it works etc – she explained the process i.e. you need to buy a fresh fish from the fish market and then we would cook it and serve it to you. Then we asked her to accompany us and recommend the best fish and then she recommended the best fish and we paid 36 TL for 2 person serving. After we placed an order, the manager asked us to stay in her restaurant – there are many restaurants adjacent to each other. While waiting for the order, the restaurant served us salad and drinks.
Ambience of the restaurants were amazing: We were tired after spending 3 days non-stop walking, traveling, and swimming in blue lagoon but after hearing live turkish music, ate delicious fresh sea food – it made our day.
Video: You can view the video by clicking on Fish Market Video.
During the entire trip, make sure you do your research before taking any tours because the prices fluctuates (if you interact with dealer on site) and ensure you only buy the tours from trusted firms because during this trip, we experienced lack of commitment once from the local tour company but we got the refund back. However, we highly recommend you to visit Fethiye, you would love it!