Driving or walking along the Fethiye peninsular provides you with plenty of opportunities for panoramic views of the area. Some look out points even have the metal binoculars which you can put a lira in and get a better view of everything. I took this photo while we were parked up somewhere along the peninsular, just past Aksazlar bay. I love how the trees frame the photo, with the masts from the boats in the background and beautiful mountains (with snow on the top – it was February and cold!) I love it when we first approach Fethiye in the transfer or car and you can see these mountains in the distance, always makes me feel like home! ❤
Mountains Babadağ and Mendos form a major part of the scenery around Fethiye, and has featured a few times in this photo series, but today’s photos show them as you’ve probably never seen them before! When I was living in Turkey the first time, I had a beautiful view of the mountains from my kitchen window, most of the time it was a blue sky and mountains covered in greenery I could see, but on this particular winter day around 5 years ago it looked a bit different! A combination of rain, low cloud and fog made the mountains look very strange, like I was seeing double! There is lots of interesting aspects of Mother Nature to be seen in Turkey whether it’s Summer or Winter!
Right at the far end of Calis Beach, behind Şat restaurant, sits a bit of a hidden gem! I took the photo in 2014, but I assume you can still access the area now, I know there have been a few changes to that end of the beach. We walked around to the furthest point of the beach, where it was impossible to go any further without getting wet! It’s where the canal meets the sea, where the water taxis travel on the route to/from Fethiye/Calis. I believe the area is a kind of nature reserve, with wildlife such as crabs, fish, birds and ducks swimming around, as well as lots of reeds, plants and pretty flowers growing. The views from here are spectacular, offering a slightly different view point of mountains Babadağ and Mendos.
I couldn’t chose between these two photos – so today I’m using both. This is the stunning view from the start of the Lycian Way, a 540km walking trail between Ölüdeniz and Antalya. Quite controversially, I’ve never been a real fan of Ölüdeniz, I have always thought it looks absolutely beautiful from above in people’s paragliding photos, but when you’re standing down on ground level, it’s less impressive, too crowded and I always felt a bit disappointed. These photos though show just how wonderful it really looks from high up in the mountain side. The gorgeous turquoise colour of the sea really stands out, but the boats sailing outside the bay, and the pedalos in the lagoon are also visible, along with a few paragliders if you look carefully! We haven’t been right up to the top of Babadağ mountain yet, but I’m sure that it looks even more stunning from up there on a clear day. Sometimes the hustle and bustle of the resorts make us forget the real beauty we take for granted – but taking a step back (or a few thousand feet up…) makes you appreciate it all a bit more. Nature at it’s finest!
I wrote a blog about the start of the Lycian Way a few years ago, if you want to read more: https://livingtheturkishdream.com/2014/09/23/oludeniz-from-above/
Berkay works nights in summer so he sleeps most of the day and often wakes up mid-afternoon and goes for a stroll around Calis – he likes to send me lots of photos to make me jealous, which they certainly do!
The clear sky, the blue sea and the beautiful long promenade full of shops, bars and restaurants – they all look just as wonderful as ever, but definitely a lot quieter than usual.
There seems to be a lot less tourists visiting this year, which is sad to see. When I was there in April it appeared to be fairly ‘busy’ for the time of year, but numbers should be increasing the further into the season we get, and that doesn’t appear to be happening. Since it opened a month ago, the hotel Berkay works in hasn’t had more than 30 customers in per night, and it’s been more like 15 on average! For whatever reasons, fear of terrorism, negative media representation or perhaps just the price of flights, a lot of resorts seem to be quieter than normal and we can only hope that things improve once the school holidays start in the UK as July and August are always the months with highest tourist numbers.
On his walk, Berkay walked all the way from the start of the promenade, outside the lovely sea front apartments we stayed in in April, to the main part where all the restaurants are. He then walked down the road where the canal runs, to where the water taxis go back and forth to Fethiye – these 30minute mini-boat trips always go down a treat, it makes a nice change from the dolmus and is much more relaxing.
I love how the multi-coloured umbrellas look on the beach, they really stand out against the blue of the sky, I wonder if they were inspired by the famous floating multicoloured umbrellas in Fethiye? It is sad to see it so empty though, the beach should be full of sunbathers, not only a handful.
I really hope that the season picks up and everyone visiting the area makes the trip to Calis and sees how peaceful and beautiful it is. It’s always a lot quieter than the other main resorts in the area, not as loud as Oludeniz and Hisaronu, but just a short dolmus ride away. It’s really beautiful with a lot of picture perfect scenery, a huge array of delicious restaurants and who could forget those amazing sunsets.
You just can’t beat it, even if I am biased!
While I was over there in April and we had a rental car, we took full advantage and drove around after a BBQ at Aksazlar koyu. It was a beautiful sunny day, and we had Boncuk with us so off we went, windows open, ears flapping and tongues out, cruising along the single, circular road.
We passed Aksazlar koyu and the huge private hillside resort of Letoonia and pulled over the car at one of the many popular look out points. There were a few cars there, people on scooters, mopeds, quadbikes, some had wandered down the cliff slightly and were sat among the trees eating sunflower seeds, while others, like us, just stopped to take in the views and enjoy the tranquility.
You can never quite capture the moment through a camera lens, you have to be there to appreciate just how beautiful the views are – to the right, Babadağ mountain makes a wonderful backdrop to the green trees, red roofed houses and sails of boats in Fethiye harbour, and to the left, views across the water to Calis and it’s beach.
We got back in the car and carried on driving, but not for long before we had another ‘photo’ stop, if you do drive along here you’ll know exactly what I mean when I say you’ll want to stop every 5 minutes because at every turn you’re greeted with a different, stunning view. Along the way around you come across and go past several little bays, Küçük Samanlık Koyu, Büyük Samanlık Koyu, Boncuklu koyu and Kuleli to name a few – plenty of places to drive to and stop for a drink and a dip in the sea, we often go to these bays with our friends for picnics and the calm, sheltered water makes them ideal for children swimming and paddling.
We bypassed them all and just drove. As you get further around the hillside, the drive does became a bit..hairy. Narrow road, pot holes, bumps and falling rocks. It’s quite nervy when you’re in the passenger seat and all you can see to the right out of your window is a steep drop down to rocks and the deep, blue sea, I definitely wouldn’t recommend doing the drive at night, we did once, at twilight, and the road isn’t lit at all…eek!
I could just pack up the car with a picnic blanket, food, book, music and sit and look at the views for hours. Calm blue sea, sailing boats, crickets chirping – pure serenity.
You can’t beat the feeling you get when you pull up in the car, get out and stand at the edge overlooking the place we all love, standing next to strangers admiring the same view, and give each other that knowing look – ‘we are so lucky.’
Two weeks ago we decided to go for a long walk up part of the mountain overlooking Ölüdeniz . The path we took forms part of the ‘Lycian Way’ – a 540km long walking trail between Ölüdeniz and Antalya.
We got on the dolmus near the otogar in Fethiye, and what an experience that was. I’d never seen a dolmus so full! 3 drove past us completely full to the brim before we managed to squeeze (literally) onto the next one. It was a horrible journey – far too many people which made me feel quite claustrophobic, I’m so glad the Calis-Fethiye dolmus’ are rarely like that! We got off the bus on the road down to Ölüdeniz near Montana Pine resort and crossed the road.
This was the part of the walk that I struggled with most and this wasn’t even part of the trail! It was fairly steep uphill and not shady at all which made it quite difficult. I’d hate to be staying there, although Berkay used to work there (I swear there’s not many places he hasn’t worked…) and says they have a free shuttle bus, presumably for that reason! We reached Montana Pine resort hotel around 5-10 minutes later and saw the archway signifying the start of the ‘Lycian Way’.
We followed the road and had our first glimpse of the sea through the beautiful pine trees that cover the area. After a while the road split into two, one which headed down to another hotel, and one which was a more narrow road leading through the trees along the mountain side. It became more shady here which was a real bonus, and being quite high up from ground level meant temperatures were very slightly cooler too.
Every so often we’d get another glimpse of the sea and beach through the trees and realise how high up we were going, the further we walked, the further around the mountain we got and we were able to see more of the lagoon which looked beautiful. I kept stopping to take photos because everytime there was a break in the trees, we got an even better view! We stopped after around 15 minutes of walking and sat down to eat some of the watermelon we’d carried along with us (don’t ask!) It was actually really refreshing and juicy, just what we needed. Apparently we weren’t the only watermelon fans as lots of bees/wasps decided to come and join us for some as well. Ugh. I have a somewhat irrational fear of wasps/bees, I’ve never once been bitten but cannot cope with having one within a meter of me without wanting to cry! Needless to say, I didn’t sit down enjoying the watermelon for long and ended up standing flapping around instead, much to Berkay’s annoyance!
We walked a little further and stepped off the main path towards an area on the right-hand side which had a few little sheep shacks made out of sticks.
We couldn’t see the beach at this point, so we climbed a few rocks and down the other side where this view greeted us. Wow
I think this may be the look-out point that is quite well known, but I could be wrong. We were standing on the mountain edge, surrounded by trees and rocks, one that seemed to have formed a bench – a perfect place to sit and admire the view. It was obviously a popular place to stop as there was litter around, cigarette packets, bottles, crisp packets – quite sad really. We had the entire place to ourselves and didn’t see anyone for miles, just us, bees, birds and butterflies. Lovely.
We had a breathtaking view of the lagoon from this angle too. The boats looked so beautiful on the other side and the mountains behind the lagoon made for an even more beautiful backdrop. I just couldn’t stop taking photos! It’s amazing how blue the sea really looks here, the colour of these photos isn’t altered in any way, the sea really is that colour.
To be honest, I’m not a big fan of Ölüdeniz , I have always thought it looks absolutely beautiful from above when I see people’s paragliding photos, but when you’re standing down on the ground, it’s not that special and I always felt a bit disappointed, so it was great to see it from above for myself for the first time. Very impressive.
I would have loved to have carried on walking a bit further up the mountain to get even better views, but we had limited time and Berkay had come off a night shift and was very tired, so after admiring the view from this point for a while, we headed back on the path down towards Montana Pine again. It was a much easier walk downhill, although it wasn’t particularly hard going up either, and it only took around 25 minutes to get back to the main road where we hopped on the dolmus (an empty one this time, thank goodness) and headed back to Fethiye.
It was a lovely walk and I really recommend it for the photo opportunities. You can go as high as you wish, but be mindful that the walk does get a lot harder the further up you go, and I definitely wouldn’t recommend it in the height of summer. Now would be a perfect time to go as the days are getting a little cooler. I wouldn’t advise going after 4pm at the moment as once the sun goes down around 6.45pm it gets dark very quickly and there are no lights whatsoever along the path we took. If you’re in the area and feel like doing something different, definitely check it out. You most definitely will not be disappointed by the views!
I’m so glad we went. We’re always looking for things to do that are free, or cheap, and this only cost us the bus fare so it was perfect. Sometimes you just can’t beat a nice walk with amazing views like this, it’s so easy to take our surroundings for granted but when you see them from a whole new angle it’s a real eye-opener and a great reminder of how beautiful Turkey really is.
This evening we went for another walk – this time along the whole of Calis promenade to the furthest point of the beach.
In all the years I’ve lived here I’ve never been so far along the beach – we had been to Şat restaurant at the end once way back in October 2010, but it’s expensive so we never bothered going so far again – what a mistake that was!
I thought there must be something past Şat as I’d seen photos previously, so I convinced Berkay to carry on walking. “There’s nothing there, you can’t walk there it’s just the restaurant” he said… he was wrong!
Calis beach is quite long, it starts off wide in Koca Calis and the further along the beach you get, the more narrow it becomes. Eventually, near Şat restaurant, the beach becomes a narrow strip, with the sea one side and the canal the other. When we reached the end, just before the restaurant, we found a cute wooden bench on a platform over the water – it was so peaceful. We sat down and admired the views. The water was murky, it’s where the canal meets the sea so it’s not the cleanest.. it wasn’t very deep and I could see to the bottom – I even saw a few crabs waddling sideways under the water checking us out – I tried to take a photo but the water was so murky it was too difficult. It was such a lovely place to sit and chill out.
It was around 18.45 at this point and we had to walk home in time for Berkay to go to work, but I was determined to walk to the very furthest point of the ‘beach’, so we got up and walked further around. There were signs everywhere saying that fishing was forbidden, yet we saw several people fishing for both fish, and crabs – they had bags full so were obviously quite successful!
We made it to the very furthest point where it was impossible to go any further without getting wet. It’s where the water taxi’s from Calis – Fethiye travel and where the canal meets the sea. It’s sheltered so the water was very calm, so still it was almost like a mirror, I bet it’d be beautiful to walk along there just after sunrise in the early morning.
The most impressive thing for me was the view across to the mountains. I’ve mentioned before that when you’re on your way back to Fethyie and see those mountains you just know you’re ‘home’ – they’re part of the backdrop we see everyday, but seeing them from here made them look even more beautiful. In fact, I thought one of these photos was so beautiful I made it my new blog header, as you may have noticed!
Unfortunately we couldn’t stay and admire the view for too long, I’m not even 100% sure we should have been walking there in the first place, but we had to head back home for Berkay to go to work. As we were walking back some boats were boarding passengers at the jetty, and the sun was just beginning to go down.
I’ve really noticed how much earlier the sun is beginning to set now – at the start of Ramadan it was around 20.45, now it’s more like 20.20 – I wonder why the sun sets so early here, even in summer? It will soon be winter!
One of my favourite things to do here in Calis is go for a walk. I love walking. Often after dinner we have some spare time before Berkay goes to work and we always end up just going for a stroll, although it’s a lot more enjoyable in the winter when you can step outside the front door without sweat dripping off your face! The views are amazing, there’s just something so special about all the mountains in the background – it makes a perfect backdrop for our day-to-day life and sometimes it’s just nice to appreciate it all a bit more. Apart from that, it’s free entertainment, I like wandering along people-watching, seeing couples walking hand in hand or children playing on the beach.
Calis beach is never really busy, there’s always sunbeds avaiblable and plenty of space to lay out – it’s not like the cramped and compact beaches I’ve seen in other resorts. These photos were taken around 6pm so anyone at the beach had probably already gone home – you can see how empty it is! It was a particulary clear and slightly cooler day and without the normal haze from the heat, the mountains and view over to Fethiye were so clear – beautiful.
We normally stop at the junction and turn back but sometimes we go the longer route and walk down across the bridge where the Calis water-taxi’s are. The canal looks totally different than it did a year ago – click HERE for comparison photos – the reeds, plants and wildlife that were once lining the canal have been removed and replaced with bricks, weeds and a bright blue fence – it still looks pretty but it’s definitely not the same.
Calis is at it’s most beautiful just before sundown. In summer the sun goes down behind the mountains on the right, but in winter the sunsets are more spectacular with the sun going down almost exactly centre on the horizon. I love sitting alone on the beach and watching the sunset – it’s just so beautiful. On this particular day a big wave caught me unexpectedly and soaked the whole bottom half of my body – I had stones in places there shouldn’t be stones – it was quite amusing though, luckily there was nobody around to witness my little mishap!
Isn’t it just a beautiful place?
If you haven’t already, please like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/livingtheturkishdream – I’m nearly at 1000 likes – I post updates on there daily and lots more photos. I’ve just posted a short video made from clips walking through Calis, and I really enjoyed making it so I think I might make some more – I’ve always got my camera with me so I’m going to take the opportunity to film more of the area and see how it turns out.
On Tuesday, to celebrate our 4 year anniversary, Berkay hired a car for the day again and we went off on a day trip to Marmaris & İçmeler.
It’s great now that Berkay has his driving license – we’ve hired a car 3 times in the past 6 weeks. His friend lets us have the car cheap and it runs on gas so it’s not expensive to travel far with it either. I’m loving going out and exploring other places.
We were either going to go to Patara & Kas, or Marmaris & İçmeler and decided on the latter as neither of us had been before. I was really curious to see if Marmaris was as bad as I’d imagined, I see lots of people saying it’s like Blackpool, which doesn’t appeal to me at all. It’s certainly a million miles away from what I’m used to here in Fethiye & Calis.
Berkay came home at 9am after a long night at work, had a quick shower then off we headed. It took us around 2 hours in total, with a quick stop off for brunch. We got to Marmaris around 11.45am and spent AGES driving around trying to find a parking space. It was clear that Marmaris was huge and we had no idea which end or where was best to start from.
We ended up parking at the end by the Marina & castle. I really loved this end of Marmaris, it reminded me of Fethiye a lot. We wandered around the corner and along the fish water fountains that I had spotted while driving past and wanted to check out.
I loved this little area with the water features, gardens, statues and clock tower. It was really pretty.
After taking lots of photos there and a quick look in LC Wakiki we walked towards the Marina & castle. We walked through an area of undercover shops which I now know is the Grand Bazaar. It felt like one big giant maze, it was crazy, literally hundreds of shops pretty much all almost identical, selling the same things etc, it felt like we were going around in circles! I have no idea how any of them make any money, it was empty when we were walking around and there are so many shops the same how do you chose which one to give your custom to? It was all a bit weird, I just can’t understand the point of having so many similar shops next to each other – but it must work I guess! We didn’t go in any, we were just concentrating on trying to find a way out, but I did see some cute t-shirts with Frozen and Despicable Me characters on, they’d be perfect for my little sister, she was the first person I thought of when I saw them!
When we eventually found our way out we walked towards Marmaris Castle, which I really wanted to look at, but didn’t have time. We walked through all the little back streets past small, quiet cafes, I loved it. We saw signs for ‘Bar street’ so I’m assuming it was around there somewhere – but it looks like loud, obnoxious bars wouldn’t fit in there at all, perhaps it’s one of those places that is quiet and lovely during the day and a whole different place during the night? I don’t know. We reached the main marina and had a wander around there, the restaurants looked fancy and there were some very nice looking yachts and boats in the harbour. We reached a certain point then turned around and came back, walking along the promenade and past the normal day-trip type boats, we were CONSTANTLY pulled over and hassled to look and chat to them, Berkay is far too polite and instead of just ignoring them like I would, he let them all speak for a minute about how wonderful and amazing their boat trip was and then hit them with the fact that we were only there for a day – I bet they were cursing us for wasting their time! I found it quite funny how they automatically spoke to us in English, normally when we’re home they can tell Berkay is Turkish, and even when I’m out alone they assume I am – I guess we must’ve really looked like tourists in Marmaris that day!
We walked all the way back to the car and drove further along the beach towards the old Point Centre/Blue port. We parked literally right outside and went inside to get into the aircon as quickly as possible. One thing we really noticed about Marmaris was how ridiculously hot it was, there was no air! It was just hot. I was sweating in places I didn’t even know possible, it was awful! People have since told me that it’s because Marmaris is sheltered by the mountains so there is no wind. That’s something I’m so grateful that Calis has – wind! It’s always windy here and I’m always moaning that the sea is too wavy as a result.. I won’t complain anymore that’s for sure!
We had a look around Blue Port, it’s like a smaller version of Erasta in Fethiye. I did laugh to myself, we drove 2 hours to go to Marmaris where most people go to have fun, swim, sunbathe and drink lots of alcohol, and what were we doing? Walking around the Turkish version of B&Q looking at plant pots and paint for no reason! We’re such old souls, it really did make me chuckle. The best part about this little shopping centre was the fact it had a real KFC! We didn’t actually eat in there because it’s expensive, but it looked like a really fancy KFC, not like the minging ones in the UK – I’m guessing it was new. There was a Burger King too, but that wasn’t quite as exciting as there’s one of those in Fethiye too. You know what Turkey really, really needs? A NANDOS!
When we’d recovered from the heat and made the most of the aircon, we headed back outside and just walked along the promenade. This was the first we saw of the beach, which I didn’t really think much of. It was really narrow, with sunbeds crammed in here, there and everywhere. It was the same when we went to Gumbet. Here in Calis there’s one single row of sunbeds which are mostly unused. It’s a totally different place and atmosphere. I thought it was weird how they had buckets of dirty water for people to use and rinse their sandy/dusty feet in – gross. I did love the paved floor and huge, tall palm trees, they looked really lovely.
Another thing I noticed was just how many big 5* hotels there are in Marmaris, it seems the place is definitely more focused on big, all inclusive hotels rather than the smaller 3* bed and breakfast types here in Calis. There’s not a single 5* hotel here.
Up until this point I was really surprised at how much I liked Marmaris. The marina end looked lovely and the right hand side of the beach going towards İçmeler was nice with all the big hotels. When we started walking back and went past Point Centre, we came to the smaller hotels, bars and restaurants in the middle section of the beach that we’d missed out – and this was where things began to get a bit.. tacky. The cheap hotels and football bars. This was the part I’d previously seen photos of and based my opinion of the whole area on. Honestly, I didn’t like it – and I can only imagine it gets worse at night, I’m so glad I wasn’t there to see it, not my cup of tea at all. All in all, Marmaris was a lot better than I imagined, but I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I only visited during the day, I’m not sure my opinion would be the same if I saw it at night… I did like how there seemed to be something for everyone, all inclusive 5* hotels and cheaper, smaller apart-hotels for those who prefer that. Loud, busy bars for some, and quiet little cafe’s for others. I was amazed at how big it was, it’s 100x bigger than the main area’s of Fethiye, Calis and Ölüdeniz – It’s huge. I was only there for a couple of hours, so there’s a whole lot more to see, I’d like to go back again and experience it all a bit more. I should add here, that these are just my opinions based on observations I made in the very few hours I was there.
After all the walking around, we were hot, tired and grumpy, and got back in the car to drive to İçmeler where we were going for a swim. Honestly I can’t really comment on İçmeler as we didn’t explore, we literally only drove through a road, parked up and walked a few meters to the beach, but it did look more ‘personal’ and slightly more quiet there.
We paid 10tl for 2 sunbeds and an umbrella which I thought was really reasonable, stripped off to our swimsuits and took a dip in the sea, which was freezing. I love how calm the sea is there, it reminds me of the lagoon at Ölüdeniz, I guess İçmeler is sheltered like Marmaris, although it seemed a lot cooler there. There were no waves, it was just nice and calm which made swimming much more relaxing as whenever we’re swimming in the sea at Calis i’m constantly worrying about the waves and trying to stop myself getting a mouthful of salty water- gag! The beach was much like the one at Marmaris, hundreds of sunbeds and umbrellas all crammed together with barely an inch to move – weird. It’s also not really stoney like the ones here, it was more just dusty, muddy, sand, which I’m not sure if I preferred or not really – why are there no pure golden sandy beaches around here? Patara is the best one I’ve come across so far.
I did really like the views from the beach – it was beautiful.
At around 4.30pm we drove back to Marmaris and stopped for dinner – I’d asked for recommendations on Facebook and was trying to find a couple of the restaurants suggested but we couldn’t, we were really hungry, hot and had to leave as quickly as possible so that Berkay could get back in time for work, so we just settled on a random one that we came across – Natalies Steak House.
I’d heard about it from Facebook groups in the past, so thought it would be good to try, but I wish we hadn’t – everything was SO expensive. We did look at the menu outside first, but we were in a rush, so didn’t really look hard enough. I know it’s recommended for its steaks, hence it’s name I guess, but we couldn’t afford those so settled on chicken dishes – I had chili chicken, and Berkay had plank chicken, I found that the waiter kept pushing us to have something more expensive, which was annoying. There was no free ‘puffy’ bread that we normally get for starters either – perhaps that’s not the norm in Marmaris? I’m not sure. When the food arrived, it was nice, no complaints about that at all. When we got the bill though, we were amazed to see that the two large cokes (watered down with a lot of ice!) had been charged at 9tl each – 18tl for two cokes?! That’s just totally crazy to me – I don’t know if we just picked a silly restaurant or if Marmaris is expensive compared to Calis?
After all that, we left Marmaris at 5.30pm, were back in Fethiye at 7.45pm and Berkay was back at work at 8pm! Good timing or what? Even though he was grumpy and tired by the end of the day after having no sleep, I love it that he works nights as it means we can do things during the day together sometimes.
All in all, It was a good day and my opinion of Marmaris did change, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. İçmeler looked lovely but I need to explore them more, maybe we’ll get a chance another day. Both places were in beautiful locations with amazing views of the mountains, sea and islands – Turkey is a truely beautiful country.
I have to say though, after going away somewhere else, whether it be for a day, a week or a year, I just absolutely love driving back through the mountains on the Dalaman road, turning the corner and seeing Babadağ mountain, that’s when I know I’m home. Fethiye is my most favourite place.
Just a little note to apologise for neglecting my blog, I’ve not been in the mood for writing lately, and I have just been so busy. I do have a couple of posts planned for next week so hopefully I’ll get my motivation back and start posting more regularly again soon. Thank you for reading as always ❤