Now, I normally have a rule that I’ll never return to a particular destination; as part of my plan to visit as many countries as possible. But I break all the rules when it comes to Turkey, and in particular, Ölü Deniz. To me, I think it’s got everything you could possibly need for an unforgettable holiday in the sun. So if you’re in the early stages of planning your family holiday for next year, let me tell you why Ölü Deniz resort is the best in Turkey.
The Blue Lagoon
Without a doubt, the iconic image of Ölü Deniz has always been the stunning Blue Lagoon beach at the heart of the resort. It’s easily the most photographed beach in the whole of Turkey, if not the Mediterranean, and it’s obvious why. With its turquoise blue waters surrounding its fine, white pebbles, this teardrop-shaped beach is an idyllic spot to while away your time under the warm, Turkish sun.
From the Blue Lagoon, you’ve got incredible views of the impressive Babadag Mountain, where you can watch people paragliding from its summit. Experience some thrills of your own by trying out any one of the many water sports available to you at the beach, such as paddle boarding, kayaking or kite surfing.
No matter who you’re travelling with or what your budget is, you’re bound to find the ideal hotel to suit your needs in Ölü Deniz. Holidays to Turkey are always great value for money, but you’ll find a great range of hotels, providing everything you’ll need for your perfect holiday. All Inclusive is a popular choice in Turkey, but the resort of Ölü Deniz is full of great restaurants, bars and cafés too, should you want to venture out for something different.
A couple of personal favourites of mine are the adult-only SENTIDO Lykia Resort & Spa and Liberty Hotels Lykia, with its amazing on-site waterpark. Neighbours on the Ölü Deniz hillside; both hotels boast incredible views of the resort’s stunning landscape across the bay.
You don’t have to go far to delve into Turkey’s rich and cultural past. One of my favourite places to visit in this area is the fascinating ghost town of Kayaköy. Once home to as many as 20,000 Greek Orthodox residents, they were forced to up and leave following the Greco-Turkish War between 1919 and 1922, leaving everything exactly how it was.
These days, you can explore all the former homes, wandering in and out of the buildings and working out what rooms were what. It’s eerie and incredible in equal measures and a great way to spend a day on your Ölü Deniz holiday. It’s easy to get there yourself, just hop on a local dolmuş from the resort centre. Don’t forget to take plenty of sun cream and water with you, then refuel with a delicious lunch at one of the local barbecue restaurants nearby.
As I mentioned just above, a dolmuş is a cheap and easy way to get around coastal Turkey, from resort to resort. If you’re not sure what one is, it’s basically a minibus that you can flag down anywhere you see one. Just hand the driver some money and tell him where you want to go. And while you’re on holiday in Ölü Deniz, you should definitely make the most of a dolmuş experience by heading to Fethiye for the day.
This bustling port city is a great place to indulge in a spot of retail therapy around the narrow lanes downtown, or head to the harbour and take in the excellent views from the comfort of a rooftop bar. It’s also home to the popular Calis Beach, if you ever want a change from the amazing Blue Lagoon.
One of the best things about Ölü Deniz holidays is you’ll never be short of things to do while you’re there. Aside from the incredible beach and all the fun activities you can enjoy at your hotel, there’s a broad range of exciting excursions to choose from too.
Take to the seas on an action-packed boat trip; visit places such as the enchanting Butterfly Valley, splash into the sea from the boat’s very own slide and enjoy a mouth-watering barbecue lunch on board. My personal favourite excursion, which I think is one not to be missed, is an awesome jeep safari. On this, you’ll be taken inland to traditional villages, meeting the locals, bathing in natural mud baths and exploring the breathtaking Saklikent Gorge.
If you prefer something a little bit more low-key, you could always do the organised ‘Fethiye by night’ trip, allowing you time for shopping at the local bazaars or enjoying a drink in the old town. And, of course, no trip to Turkey would be complete without indulging in a luxurious Turkish bath.
Have you ever been to Ölü Deniz before? Or maybe you’re considering a holiday to Turkey for the first time? Let me know in the comments below.