This is a guest post from Ayoub CA of TravelEvil.
Ölüdeniz, on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, is a place to go when you want to relax and enjoy a slow pace of life. You could spend your whole vacation soaking up the sun and having fun on the beach but, for a change of scene, there are lots of day trips from Ölüdeniz to choose from.
Ölüdeniz is about 35 km away from Dalaman Airport, but bear in mind that international arrivals are limited to UK flights coming from Manchester, Liverpool and London. If you’re arriving at Istanbul you’ll need to take another flight to Dalaman. In practice most tourists prefer to land at Antalya airport, and then to take a bus to Ölüdeniz (costs around 100 TL and takes around 3hr).
Day Trips From Ölüdeniz
The main tourist attraction here is the Ölüdeniz Beach which offers a charming landscape. But further afield are some less touristy destinations including Babadag Mountain, Hisaronu, Ovacik, the Butterfly Valley, Blue Lagoon, and the Saklıkent Gorge. All of these are ideal day trips from Ölüdeniz.
Driving To The Babadağ Summit
To get to the top of the mountain you need to hire a minibus or a car (depending on your group). Make sure to hire a driver, as the roads are not ordinary and can be a kind of a rubble track (almost 2000 m high). The best time to take the Babadağ trip is in the spring, as it can be very hot in summer and windy or even snowy in winter. .
Some tourists go to Babadağ to enjoy the outdoor activities like paragliding. However the best thing about the Babadağ Mountain is the amazing scenery. There are outstanding sights, like the views of Fethiye town and Şövalye Island, and looking down over Ovacık and Hisarönü.
Visit The Hisaronu Village
Hisaronu is a popular small community to visit or stay in while visiting Ölüdeniz. It’s a village located 20 minutes to the north and sits up on a plateau, an inland area surrounded by mountains. It offers great views and an authentic Turkish atmosphere.
The resort of Hisaronu provides good accommodation and fascinating entertainment. The easiest way to reach the village is by bus. Or you can hike from Ölüdeniz to enjoy the scenery and the fresh air. It takes around half an hour to reach the Hisaronu Village, and along the way you pass the road to Ovacik.
Enjoy The Silence Of Ovacik
The village of Ovacik is mainly a combination of small hotels and private villas, with a lot of traditional restaurants. It is quieter than Hisaronu and more understated.
Ovacik is another village you can see while on the Babadag Mountain. In this little community you’ll enjoy great resorts and hotels while paying less than anything around Ölüdeniz beach. Ovacik is also well-placed for walks into the countryside and hiking up the mountain, and it lies on the road to Fethiye.
The Butterfly Valley, A Little Corner Of Paradise
If you’re looking for a magical and surprising place, while staying in the charming setting of Ölüdeniz, it is definitely recommended to take the small boat that leaves every hour from the public beach to go to the Butterfly Valley (Kelebek Vadisi). The boat trip itself is a little wonder: you find yourself surrounded by mountains, on crystal clear water, and in half an hour your mind is already elsewhere.
Once you put foot on the creek, the atmosphere that emerges is special. It may be a very touristy place: the tour boats often make only one stopover, while the passengers visit the valley. But if you stay there for the day, you will be carried away by a pleasant hippie atmosphere. You can also sleep near the creek, and some tents are available for rent from the small local community who contribute to the magic of the place.
Going down from the boat and starting to explore the cove, you have to head towards the famous valley of butterflies. The best time for butterflies is early spring or late summer but the walk in the valley is still worthwhile at other times of year.
At the end of the valley is a waterfall If you want to explore all its splendour, you need to be a little bit adventurous: accessing the heights is by a rope suspended from a rock, and the exercise is not as easy as it looks. Otherwise, you can always just take a shower under the clear water that flows from between the rocks, less spectacular but just as refreshing as you want it to be.
Swim In The Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is popular with cruise ships, but they mostly leave around midday. Then you will find yourself in a magnificent environment, which can be a reminiscent of paradise: surrounded by the green valley, you bathe in sublime water, without too many tourists on the beach.
Unfortunately, if you don’t sleep there, the fun is short-lived. You’ll be missing a wonderful and unforgettable sunset, as the last boat to Ölüdeniz leaves at 6 pm. However, if you don’t mind being back among the tourists, you can enjoy the beautiful water once more on the public beach in Ölüdeniz.
Pro tip: make sure to keep your belongings safe. Overcrowded places such as beaches, restaurants and the night market are targeted by thieves and pickpockets. The city is safe, but your security and your stuff is your responsibility.
Saklıkent Gorge Adventure
Another very pleasant natural site to explore is the Saklıkent Gorge. It’s a real pleasure to stroll on a hot summer day. The beginning of the trip sets the scene: in order to access these gorges, you have to cross a fairly deep stream of water using a rope. An amusing activity, and you soon get hooked.
The walk ahead is quieter, although your feet do not stay dry for long. After a good forty minutes’ walk, you’ll get the chance to cover yourself in mud (a lot of tourists enjoy this practice, as locals say it is quite beneficial for the skin).
Now the second part of the journey begins, and becomes more challenging. It’s like being in an Indiana Jones movie. You have to climb a lot, going through sometimes deep water cavities. Arriving at the end of the gorges, it is necessary to return by the same way…
Other Activities In Ölüdeniz
Besides exploring the butterfly valley and climbing the gorges of Saklıkent you can also spend a morning paragliding from the Babadağ Summit. Visiting the waterparks (Grand Ucel Waterpark or Water World Waterpark) is a good afternoon activity.
Ölüdeniz offers a lot of luxury holiday resorts like those in the Hisaronu village or the holiday village of Ovacik. Here you can enjoy a day at the resort beach, or have a go at water sports including flyboarding or kayaking. (Have a look at the Globo Surf website for some water sports inspiration.)