Turkey’s Mediterranean coastline is known for it’s stunning natural beauty, set between the walls of sheer cliffs and pine forests quiet coves and secluded bays appear, while wooden gulets cruise the shores and local buses drive through the mountains. While some of the highlights of the Mediterranean region are quite remote, most destinations are well connected to the main seaside towns and when there is not road, there are boats instead. Arriving to the airport you can ease into your holiday with a Dalaman to to Fethiye transfer and begin exploring by land or by sea.
Oludeniz & The Butterfly Valley
The beach side town of Oludeniz is known not just for its lively nightlife and stunning beach but also as one of the world top locations for paragliding. From sunrise to sunset all year round you can lay back on a sunbed and watch people float by overhead on land on the promenade and in front of cute cafes and elegant restaurants. This resort town is also home to the environmentally protected Blue Lagoon, which, as its name suggests, is a stunning shade of royal blue and filled with gorgeous coral reefs, and colourful sea life.
From the beach water taxi’s wait to carry passengers to the isolated Butterfly Valley. A lush green paradise with a small waterfall hidden in the base of steep rocky cliffs. It is possible to hike out of the Butterfly valley to the clifftop village of Faralya, but the trail is steep, with loose scree and prone to accidents. A far better option is to boards a daily boat cruise from Oludeniz sail to the Butterfly Valley along with other picturesque location around the bay. Oludeniz is connected to the town of Fethiye and to small coastal villages like Kabak by a regular Dolmus service.
For a break from salt water you can make a day trip to the Saklikent Gorge, there are a few options for getting there. Either rent a car and drive the inland road, passing by the ancient city of Tlos, hop on a local bus from Fethiye, Kas or Kalkan or join a Jeep Safari excursion that will take you, not just to the entrance of the gorge, but also to the surrounding area and fantastic viewpoints. Whichever way you choose to visit, the a trip to this hidden wonder is a fantastic day out. Upon arriving you can enter the narrow gap between limestone walls via a boardwalk suspended 50m above fast flowing rapids. Venture further into the gorge, passing through pools of ice cold water and beneath large boulders that have been wedged between the walls. The more adventurous can go with a guide up to 4 km into this natural wonder, while the less adventurous can grab a outside table in the river and enjoy a glass of Turkish tea.
Lycian Cities: Patara, Xanthos & Letoon
The mediterranean coastline was once dominated by Lycian civilisations, there people were fierce warriors that even Alexander the Great couldn’t tame. Their prosperous port and trading cities, burial grounds and guard posts were spread across the region. Many of the ancient sites remain largely intact, while not so fortunate structures have sunk into the sea or become hidden by overgrown plants.
The UNESCO acclaimed sites of Letoon and Xanthos are within walking distance of the Kinik, a relatively small village connected to Fethiye, Kalkan and Kas by buses approximately every two hours. Meanwhile the maritime city of Patara, located on the eastern edge of the Patara beach, just 3.5 km from the Fethiye – Kas highway. The site is one of the best preserved in the region with two large theatres and marble columns marking the old royal entrance. Afterwards you can visit the nearby village or take a stroll to the sandy beach which is a turtle nesting ground.
The extensive Dalyan Delta is home to a few quirky spots among its emerald green canals, such as the Sultaniye Spa, where the Cleopatra herself bathed in the mineral rich mud bath and thermal pool. Legends say that this is where the Egyptian Queen’s beauty came from and that caking yourself in the healing mud can take 10 years off your skin. True or not it’s definitely fun taking pictures of your family and friends completely coated in mud. Jump into the reed lined lake after to rinse off before relaxing in sulfur smelling hot spring. The best way to reach the spa is by river boat from the town of Dalyan. From Marmaris and Fethiye there are all inclusive day tours to take you to and from the site making an additional stop at Turtle Beach.
A visit to Turkey’s mediterranean coast wouldn’t be complete with at least one day sailing on the transparent turquoise sea. Some holidaymakers travel to southwestern Turkey just for this reason. From the seaside towns of Marmaris, Fethiye, Kas, Demre and more, boats depart each day to discover the wonders of the coastline; blue caves, sunken cities, flat islands and secret beach bars. Alaturka Turkey have a variety of day tours available to visit the top sites of the region. With so much to see on Turkey’s Mediterranean coastline, you might even want to spend more than one day on a classic gulet sailing boat and cruise the stunning coastline from Olympos to Fethiye or sail to the Greek Islands from Bodrum.