Fethiye to Olymos
The ever-growing city of Fethiye lies only about half an hour by road from Dalaman Airport in South West Turkey. It is a naturally beautiful spot, a city beside the sea with many offshore islands adding to the quality of the environment. The region can boast lovely beaches and coves, many historical highlights with Fethiye’s bars and restaurants ensuring a great nightlife. Fethiye itself has ruins within its boundaries, temples and some interesting sarcophagi. A blue cruise out of Fethiye has much to recommend it, whether sailing east or west, and with 3 modern marinas ensuring the best of facilities for yacht charters.
Samanlik Bay is just a short distance from the city in Fethiye, a growing city and itself a popular tourist destination. It has a wonderful natural location with the slopes covered in pine trees. The cove has clear blue waters that are inviting both to yachts and swimmers. Yachts regularly anchor there even though Fethiye has many berths and is just a short journey away.
Gemiler Island off the Turkish Coast near the City of Fethiye was once an inhabited place with the ruins of homes and churches dating back to around the 4th Century. It was thought to have been the original home of St. Nicholas (Father Christmas) the Patron Saint of Sailors, and the location of his tomb. In the Middle Ages, it was a very busy place with traders heading in all directions. It continued to be important with the rich taking holidays there long before the years when ordinary people had the time or money for a holiday. The Byzantine ruins are visible from the sea incidentally. There is a crescent shaped bay on the Island which is a great place to put down an anchor. Day trippers need to leave before the sun sets but blue cruises are able to stay overnight. During the season, there is a local restaurant offering typical Turkish cuisine made from locally produced items. If you need to restock however, you should look elsewhere.
Oludeniz is one of the most photographed places on the Turquoise Coast. It has become popular with tourists because of its beach and one of the pleasures is walking on the beach after the sun sets. The lights of the harbour help to illuminate the setting by night and by day there is the contrast of colours; the blue sea, white sand and the greens of the trees. Above the lagoon is Babadagi Mountain that stands almost 2,000 metres above the level of the sea. There are great views from up there over the whole of the Fethiye Region and gliding off the top is a popular pastime with brave tourists. It takes plenty of time to get down to earth, time to absorb the wonder of the whole environment. Once down, there is little better than taking a swim in the sea which is warm for many months of the year. The tourist infrastructure has grown as the popularity of Oludeniz attracts more numbers; bars, cafes, restaurants and shopping.
Kaputas Beach is a lovely cove, with nice sand and great for swimming. It is located below an impressive mountain gorge. It is a beach often used in travel brochures and promotions for Turkey but that has not led to big crowds going there. It is between Kas and Kalkan where steep hills meet with the sea and form a cove. The sea can be quite rough at times and is fairly deep near the beach so it is not a place for children.
Kas, a small fishing village over the years, has developed into a small town, important for tourism, the yachts regularly visiting and using its new extended marina, and for scuba diving. It is one of the main dive centres on the Turkey south and west coast. The rocky coastline and clear turquoise sea make a great colour contrast. The ancient ruins of Antiphellos remind visitors of its history; there is a small amphitheatre not too far from the harbour itself looking down from the town to the sea. It was an old Greek village first inhabited by the Lycians and the Greek Island of Meis is just offshore, the most easterly of the Dodecanese. It was important both to the Romans and Byzantines in olden days and remains a good base for exploring the history of the region. It has plenty of shops, bars and restaurants and is a good place for restocking during a blue cruise. A modern road now links it west to Kalkan and beyond and east towards Antalya.
Gokkaya is beautiful with its indented coast and many offshore islands. Asirli island, Kiseli island and Kasirli island are located in front of Gokkaya and in the inlet itself smaller islands are dotted all around. Part of an old church can be seen behind the inlet of Gokkaya while close by there is the ancient city of Istlada to the east of the hill. This place is called Hoyran or Hayitli and sits within the Village of Kapakli. There is a small city wall with an entrance gate. To the east and north of the Acropolis you will see ancient rock tombs, sarcophaguses and steel shaped tombs. They belong to the Roman period and ancient ruins are even older, the 4th Century BC. The Lycian rock tombs are between Hayitli and the site of ruins. The tomb in Kapakli is known as the Monumental Tomb of Hoyran.
The most important landmark in Demre on the southern Turkish Coast is the Church of St. Nicholas. It is a compelling reason for thousands to visit annually. There is plenty to see in the church from lovely mosaics to the halls and chambers. The acoustics remain impressive even today. Demre is a beautiful natural district as well as having many things that appeal to those interested in history, archaeology and religion. The smell of the spring flowers and the citrus fruits are especially appealing. It was important during the Lycian times and was occupied by many others in the following centuries. Many yachts pass through these waters heading in either direction and many of them stop to visit Demre and see what it has to offer.
Kekova, east of Kas, is a stunning region both because of its natural beauty but its rich history. The ancient city of Aperiai on the Peninsula is en route as are the islets of Kara and Toprak Ara. Yachts regularly visit the Bay at Kekova close to the city of Apollonia which dates back to ancient times. The sunken city which slipped into the sea after an earthquake can be seen through the clear waters. Simena Castle is another nearby attraction, looking out across the sea in a dominant defensive position. Old summer houses still stand here and tourists are attracted in large numbers, whether sailing the seas or now travelling along the modern road from either direction.
Kalkan is located below the Taurus Mountains, the beginning of a stunning stretch of coast heading easy that hugs the shore. Many of its properties are built on the slope with the small town entre located below. The harbour is small with many bars, cafes and restaurants located close by. Small shops sell traditional and souvenir goods. The locals make olive oil soap, a great little present and most are now involved in some form of tourism activity. There is plenty of colour from the flowers on balconies as well of course as the blue of the sea and sky. It is a popular resort with oversea visitors and many local properties are foreign owned. Blue cruise voyagers are regular visitors and the fish in the restaurant are likely to come out of the waters the same day.
Butterfly Valley is a beautiful spot close to Fethiye and only really accessible from the sea unless you are comfortable rock climbing. For a few weeks each year in the height of summer, the valley is full of butterflies and moths, the largest being the Jersey White which is actually a moth. Even when the butterflies are not there it is a peaceful place with a waterfall and a stream running though what is effectively a steep-sided canyon. Because it is relatively inaccessible, there may be no one else around and you can observe nature at first hand. People are allowed to camp there overnight but are expected to follow strict guidelines while there.
Bestas Limani is more commonly known as Cold Water Bay because of the numerous cold-water springs that flow down into the sea from the Taurus Mountains. It is a place to swim but be prepared that the water will be colder than elsewhere on this stretch of coastline. On a hot day, it may be just what you want. If you fancy it, join the people jumping in from the rocks above. It is also a great place for hikers with the most interesting find certainly the abandoned village of Kayakoy which the Greeks left in 1923 on the foundation of the Turkish Republic. The forest has encroached somewhat but it remains an interesting place that was recently used for scenes from Russell Crowe’s film, ‘’The Water Diviner.’’
Turunc Pinari is a popular place for yachtsmen. The name derives from the citrus trees a fresh water fountain. The local seafood is as fresh as it gets and there are many fish and seafood dishes on the menus of the local restaurants which find custom for locals and tourists alike. There is a walk to Turunc Pinari starting from Kaya Village but it is also accessible from the sea.
At sunset on Kizil, the sun hits the stones turning them crimson red in colour, the colour that is much the same as the island’s soil. The island gets its name from this phenomenon because it is the Turkish word for ‘’red.’’. There is little or no infrastructure on this island but at the southern tip there is a lighthouse to guide maritime traffic. The Deliktas Islands are to the north west, a great place for diving and fishing. The waves off the east coast wash on to the wide sandy beach where swimming is ideal.
You will be sorry to leave your yacht at the end of the blue cruise but you won’t be allowed to leave until you have enjoyed one final breakfast. If you did not get the chance to explore Fethiye before you joined the charter, we recommend you do so after leaving us. There is a weekly market and shopping in general is excellent. Add to that the bars and restaurants, interesting evidence of a rich history as well as the beautiful district as a whole and your time will be well-spent.