Once a haunt for smugglers and buccaneers, Ölüdeniz is now one of Turkey’s hottest holiday destinations. Home of the famous Blue Lagoon and a mile-long sweep of powder-soft sands, the beaches are the main attraction and regularly top the lists of the best in the country. However, if you can bear to tear yourself away from your sun lounger, you’ll find that there are plenty of things to do in Ölüdeniz, wherever your interests lie.
The Ölüdeniz International Air Games
Book your break in October and you could find your eyes on the skies, as the Ölüdeniz International Air Games come to town. Pilots and aerobatic fanatics come from all over the world to take part in this airborne extravaganza, using the rocky outcrops of Mount Babadag as their launch-pads. Expect to see the blue skies buzzing with paragliders, hang-gliders, skydivers, base-jumpers, and death-defying daredevils shooting through the air wearing nothing but wingsuits! The whole event is capped off with a fabulous firework display, live music and dancing.
Explore the Blue Lagoon
Visiting the Blue Lagoon is one of the most popular things to do in Ölüdeniz, with visitors coming to bask on the sands or swim in the warm, tranquil waters. However, below the surface there’s another world just waiting to be discovered. The clear waters provide the perfect conditions for snorkellers and scuba-divers who want to get close to shimmering shoals of brightly-coloured fish or spot the occasional loggerhead turtle out for a swim. There are plenty of diving schools in the area, so even beginners can receive professional instruction from PADI-qualified instructors.
If you’ve any shoppers in your group, turn them loose at the Fethiye market. Roughly half an hour’s drive from Ölüdeniz, Fethiye hosts a bustling bazaar every Tuesday, where you’ll find everything from traditional Turkish kilim and local honey, to jewellery and handmade arts and crafts. The bazaar is a spectacle filled with the sounds of haggling and the smells of strong coffee and sizzling food. Be prepared to barter for any bargains you spot: it’s practically a part of shopping in Fethiye market!
With so many things to do in Ölüdeniz, you can make your well-earned break exactly what you want it to be.