Looking out over Ölüdeniz…

 
Back in June we made the most of having the rental car by driving around and visiting various places. One of them being the look out point at the start of the Lycian Way, over looking Ölüdeniz.

We drove a little way up the mountain road, parked up and walked for about 5 minutes to the look out point, passing an old abandoned tent on the way! It involves climbing up a few rocks and it’s steep and bumpy under your feet so you need to wear decent shoes, not flip flops! We went on a particularly hot day and thanks to my Fit-bit, I could see my heart rate rising a lot, it was quite hard work in the heat!

When you climb down the other side of the rocks, you’re greeted with this beautiful view…
 
I’ve never really been a fan of Ölüdeniz, controversial I know! At ground level, I don’t think its that impressive, but from above it’s really stunning. Because it was so hot the day we went, it was very hazy so my photos aren’t the clearest, and they were only taken on my phone, but I have taken higher quality, better ones on my camera before and posted them HERE a few years ago if you want to take a look. Photos don’t really do it justice though!

The view of the lagoon is lovely, and the sea to the left hand side is an impressive shade of blue. You can hear people playing in the swimming pools at the various hotels at the foot of the mountain, watch the boats sailing, or people walking along the beach. I love the mountains in the distance too, just a shame it was hazy.
 
Of course, as with most patches of natural beauty, human interference has had an impact. While trying to enjoy the view, we couldn’t not notice the amount of rubbish in the area – carrier bags, beer bottles, cigarette packets, food packets, water bottles, and the charred remains of various fires people had lit for BBQ’s! It really spoiled it, and Berkay decided to do his bit and went around with a couple of empty bags collecting a lot of the rubbish up… It’s sad everyone doesn’t take their own rubbish with them!
 
You can access the road leading up to the look out point by foot or by car, but you have to walk the last little bit. It’s worth the effort for the view, and nice to see Ölüdeniz from a different angle.

Köyceğiz – Peaceful, Beautiful, lakeside views.

  
Back in June we were due to land at Dalaman late at night and needed to find a nearby cheap hotel for the night where we could just sleep before driving onto Denizli the next morning. Berkay was quite happy to drive around at midnight trying to find a hotel, atypical Turkish laid back attitude, however I kept bugging him to find one, so when we were sat at Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen airport awaiting our connecting flight, he contacted his friend who suggested we stay at a hotel they’d been to in Köyceğiz, so after a very last minute booking, that’s what we did!

Köyceğiz is about 25 minutes from Dalaman airport, and it was around 1 am when we arrived and checked in at the Kaunos Hotel. After a day of travelling and having the stop over at Istanbul, we just fell asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillows!

I woke up really early just after the sun had risen, and when I looked out of the balcony window I was greeted by this stunning view, the sky had a slight pink tinge and that early morning glow still lingered.

After getting ready and sorting out our bags we headed downstairs for breakfast which was a simple Turkish breakfast buffet. I had a brief look at the pool area which was really nice and peaceful but we didn’t have time to swim as we were driving to Denizli later that morning.
 
I insisted we have a little walk along the promenade after breakfast so I could take some photos of the beautiful Köyceğiz lake. Since it’s a lake and not the sea, its very calm and the surrounding mountains and clouds reflect perfectly on the still water, it’s quite clear so you can see to the bottom in the shallow places. The lake is the source of the Dalyan river, which meets the sea at Iztuzu Beach. Apparently, the lake was formed 7500 years ago, as a result of several earthquakes. A major fault line runs through it, and this is were the sulphuric hot springs that you visit at the nearby mud baths come from too.
 
 
There is no beach here, but a nice long promenade to walk along and take in the views. It was so peaceful we didn’t see any other people walking around, only a few street animals, some people having a rest on a bench, and a lonely boat moored up.

Köyceğiz is very quiet, there are a few basic hotels and cafes, a market on a Monday, and boat trips across the river, some of those going to the mud baths. Because the hotels are basic, they are very cheap, we paid less than 100tl for the night for both of us and there wasn’t any complaints from us! It’s got a real authentic Turkish feel and hasn’t been at all ruined by tourism, it’s a bit of a hidden gem for a relaxing few hours away from the hustle and bustle of nearby resorts like Dalyan, Sarigerme, etc.
 

Panoramic views of Fethiye

If you want beautiful, panoramic views of Fethiye, a good place to head to is ‘Aşıklar Tepesi’ – roughly translated to ‘hill of lovers’. You can reach it by car, up a very steep winding hill road, or via foot, up 163 steps from a backstreet below.

Whenever we rent a car, we usually drive up and pull over for a while so that we can take in the views, and on our last trip we did that twice.
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The view at the top is just stunning. The boat yard, harbour and amphitheatre to the left, the main bay, marina and town in the centre, and Calis in the distance to the right. All the buildings, especially the more traditional houses with white walls and red/orange roofs look good from high above too. You can see various mountain ranges in the far distance and the trees growing on the hillside just frame the view perfectly.

There are wooden seating areas hanging over the edge, some of them are very rustic and wobbly and I’m always a bit afraid of them breaking!  There used to be a little cafe up there but it’s been gone for a few years now and it still looks a bit of a mess really. You’ll also find piles and piles of sunflower seed shells on the floor, since it’s a popular place for locals to come and sit with a packet of them, a beer and their friends. You can sit here for ages, watching the boats sail in and out, but it’s equally as spectacular at night with the whole of Fethiye lit up down below.
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On the last day of our holiday back in June, Berkay’s family came to visit for the day since it was Bayram/Eid, so we took them up to the look out point and sat at a table with a couple of bottles of coke and some ice creams. His step-mum was too scared to stand too close to the edge so she took this photo of the rest of us instead, Berkay’s dad, brother, his brother’s fiancee and us.
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Two weeks in Turkey …

This time 3 weeks ago we had just landed in Dalaman, with our whole 14 days holiday still ahead of us! This time last week, we were waiting back at Dalaman for our flight back home.

I’ve definitely had post-holiday blues this week, because we had the best time! We visited a lot of different places, old and new, and of course I took lots of photos to share in future blog posts.

We spent our first night in Köyceğiz before driving to Denizli, where we spent the day having a BBQ with family, amongst the trees. Then we spent a night in the village of Beyagac, visiting more family and of course we were reunited with our beautiful doggy Boncuk. We drove to Akyaka and spent a night there, as well as taking a boat trip down the river Azmak, then onto Dalyan where we spent a day at the beach, a night in a hotel and then a visit to the Caretta turtle hospital. After what felt like the longest 3 days ever, we drove back towards Fethiye, via Yeşil Vadi in Yaniklar. Nothing quite beats the feeling of driving over the hill and seeing Babadağ mountain in the distance! We drove briefly to Oludeniz, Hisaronu and Kayakoy before spending the night in Calis and then checking into my favourite place, Jiva Beach Resort – we were supposed to stay there for 6 nights but I just couldn’t tear myself away and we managed to take advantage of someone’s last minute cancellation and stay for another 2 days!

We landed back in London last Saturday morning, and by Tuesday night, less than 84 hours after stepping off the plane, we booked our flights to go back in October! That’s the best way to beat the post-holiday blues, right?

Here’s a tiny selection of photos I took – I just love all the colours ❤

 

 

 

The Denizli Teleferik – Cable Car

The Denzli teleferik (cable car) was something I didn’t even know existed until last year. Whilst visiting Berkay’s family in the city last May, we took a slight detour with his younger cousin who came along for the adventure!

Built in 2015, the cable car was made to help more people appreciate and spend time in the beautiful nature surrounding the area. It’s not too far from the city centre, and takes you 1400m above ground.
  
Turkey isn’t really known for it’s health and safety, so I admit that I was a little nervous when we parked the car and I realised just how high up this thing was going to take me, that was, if the steps from the car park up to the lower cable car station didn’t kill me first! I’m So unfit.

It was nice inside, very modern with really nice toilets, something that always excites me. You have no idea how many petrol stations I’ve had to rely on for a semi-decent toilet while visiting places! We queued up and bought our tickets, which were very cheap, 6tl each for a return trip, or free for kids under 6 years old. Imagine how much you’d pay for a similar trip to this in the UK? It certainly wouldn’t be less than £1.20!

It was quite busy but we didn’t have to wait long, less than a minute and we were ushered into one of the little cars, and set off on our journey!

There are 24 of the cars, one comes along every 30 seconds, and up to 800 people an hour can travel on the teleferik.

The journey from bottom to top takes 7 minutes and provides you with lovely views, you can even spot Pamukkale in the very far distance. Unfortunately the day we went it was very misty and cloudy so my photos aren’t great, they really don’t do it justice!
  
When you reach the top there is a cafe/restaurant with a look out point where you can enjoy the view with a tea. Alternatively, a free shuttle bus service to a park area called Bağbaşı Yaylası further back in the mountain runs every few minutes (or you can walk to it instead). We joined the queue for the dolmus-type bus, it was only a 5 minute journey and then we arrived at the park.

The park has bungalow cabins to rent overnight, tents you can stay in, play areas, a cafe, little shop huts, a kebab restaurant and a newer activity park built in the forest trees with climbing and rope obstacles. It was nice to walk around and would be great for kids, but we only stayed about 20 minutes then walked back to the bus to head back to the cable car.
  
We made a brief stop at the look-out point for more photos, then back on the cable car for the journey down which was just as pleasant as the journey up!

It’s a shame it wasn’t a sunnier day as it would make the photos look better, although I’ve recently seen photos of the area in the snow and how amazing the view was then – I guess the cable car runs in all seasons, other than strong winds.

Apparently 1.5 million people had visited the Denizli Teleferik in the 2 years since it opened, quite an impressive number. I hope it continues to be successful as I loved it and really want to go on it again. It’s location is also handy for those visiting Pamukkale to take a slight detour to it.
  
For those of us who are regulars to Fethiye, you have probably heard about the plans to install a similar cable car going up to Babadağ mountain, and after going on this one I am so excited to have a go on that when it opens! I believe work has already started to build it. From what I could see of the one in Denizli, it hadn’t affected the nature around the area too much, something that is always a worry when it comes to major work on the forest areas. I only hope that the price of the Fethiye one will be similar, and not significantly more expensive to take advantage of the high tourism in the area. I can see it being very popular with both tourists and locals in Fethiye and it will definitely be something to add to my bucket list!

AUGUST PHOTO SERIES – DAY 27 – Asiklar Tepesi

Asiklar Tepesi, roughly translated to ‘hill of lovers’ offers beautiful panoramic views of Fethiye.  Accessible by a really, really steep hill by car, or via 163 steps (I counted!) from a backstreet below, the view at the top is definitely worth it. There are little seating areas overlapping the edge of the hillside, built into little wooden decks – I’m always a little afraid of falling through! You can see the boatyard to the left, and the main bay, harbour and town in the centre, with Calis in the distance, and various mountain ranges even further in the distance, creating a sort of gradient in the skyline. You can sit here for ages, watching the boats sail in and out – the views are just stunning. We had some wedding photos taken from this spot too. You’ll find piles and piles of opened sunflower seed shells on the floor, since it’s a popular place for locals to come and sit with a packet of them, a beer and their friends or ‘lover’! It’s particularly popular at night too, with the whole of Fethiye lit up.

AUGUST PHOTO SERIES – DAY 24 – BABADAG MOUNTAIN

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! ❤

AUGUST PHOTO SERIES – DAY 20 – SEEING DOUBLE?


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!

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AUGUST PHOTO SERIES – DAY 19 – A FETHIYE PENINSULAR SUNSET

Another sunset photo for today – but from a different viewpoint to the others! This was taken in February last year along the Fethiye peninsular. We had driven around and parked up on the cliff edge, climbed down a few rocks and sat waiting for the sun to go down. I have to say, I find the drive up there really traumatising, there are no barriers on the side of the cliff so as a passenger in the car, all I can see is the sheer drop and the sea below from the window, so I constantly tell Berkay to drive slowly which really annoys him! This particular day he was feeling over cautious too, as it was REALLY windy and really cold. We sat for about an hour watching the sun slowy disappear beyond the horizon and the colour of the sky change from blue, to orange, then to dark blue/purple before nightfall. You often see cars or motorbikes pulled up along the road, belonging to people who have climbed down the rocks for fishing or are just sitting relaxing with a bag of sunflower seeds and enjoying the view.

AUGUST PHOTO SERIES – DAY 18 – Babadağ and Mendos


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.