This is a guest post by Charlotte Kay.
I love Turkey. I love the culture, music, food and vibe. I’ve travelled around the country a little, but one of the most beautiful areas is Olu Deniz. You’ve probably seen the picture of the famous Blue Lagoon – one of the most photographed beaches in the Mediterranean, for good reason – it’s stunning.
Flying to Dalaman during summer is relatively cheap. I recently used Heathrow Parking and found the whole experience fantastic. A friend of mine swears by Stansted Airport parking, and rarely travels without it. I found out that sometimes you can get the parking and the hotel for the same price if you book in advance, something you should definitely check out! One hotel I would recommend is the Radisson Blu at Stansted, the facilities are fantastic and it’s a perfect way to start your trip!
Olu Deniz is varied and offers something for everyone. One of the great things in my opinion, is that it offers the scope to travel even further. I love the nearby town of Fethiye, around a 20 minute bus ride, with its huge bazaar. If you’ve never haggled before, try it! I was a little worried at first, but once I started, I was well away. I left with many bargains. Leather goods and clothes are good value. Don’t forget Turkish Delight – much better from the markets than pre-packaged in shops.
Back in Olu Deniz, the first place I headed was the beach. There’s a small charge to enter the lagoon, an important conservation area, but it’s definitely worth paying. It’s simply idyllic, even more so from the sky. Paragliding is very popular, and although I didn’t try it, because I’m a wimp, I’m reliably informed that it’s breathtaking.
There are other smaller, quieter beaches to explore, with Kidrak Paradise Beach a wonderful place to visit. It’s much more secluded, so it really feels like a castaway moment.
Street vendors will try to sell you day-trips and I’d recommend using your haggling skills to see how much you can knock them down. If you’re booking more than one trip, you’ll usually get some discount. I visited the Dalyan mud baths – a must do, simply for the laughs, and reputed younger-looking skin! After the mud, I sailed down the Dalyan River, passing the ancient King’s Tombs carved into the mountainside, before spending a few hours at Turtle Beach, where the loggerhead turtles lay their eggs.
A boat trip is always on my list. When booking, make sure Cleopatra Bay is on the itinerary. The sea is bright blue and the sand white – really stunning. There’s a charge to enter and the actual beach itself is cordoned off, but it’s worth a visit, if nothing else the water is supposed to make those who swim in it beautiful!
Another popular stop is Gemiler Beach – fantastic for swimming and just opposite famous St Nicholas’ Island with its blue cave and picturesque waterfall. Remember your camera on these trips, there are so many beautiful sights – I have many memories caught on my camera.
Turkish night-life is anything you want it to be, and very varied. There are many bars, restaurants and clubs, depending on choice. Turkish food is wonderful, and I’d recommend you try some, because it’s not only sublime, but cheap too. Kunefe is my favourite, a little like cheesecake, but much better – try it yourself!
Olu Deniz is as expensive or cheap as you make it, with added extras helping out immensely. If flying from Scotland, give Edinburgh Airport parking a try. I find airport parking a god-send for busy travel days.
My love of Turkey in general is famous amongst friends, and in my opinion, Olu Deniz is one of the more beautiful areas in a wonderful country. Don’t just take my word for it.