If you’re travelling in Turkey and would like some recommendations from a local, then this post is for you.
Last week we were visited by Sedef and Valentin who contacted us through the travel networking site, Hospitality club – read about our Bollywood nights at the One Stop Thali cafe in Bristol. Among the conversation on places we’d travelled and enjoyed, I asked Sedef (whose name means Mother of Pearl) for some recommendations of places she’d recommend visiting in Turkey, and these were her suggestions.
Sedef visited Ölüdeniz, which is 12km from Fethiye is in the South-west of Turkey , in 2005. Ölüdeniz (which means Dead sea) is a sheltered lagoon which is well known for the clarity and calmness of the water. The waters of the bay which are part of the national park, are very salty and as calm as a mirror. The bay is surrounded by high mountains, making it an ideal place for Paragliding and the annual Ölüdeniz air games are held every October. Take a look at this video about Paragliding at Ölüdeniz by Railabay.
Near the lagoon is the beach resort where you can find hotels, cafes and watersports like banana boats and scuba diving. To get there you need to drive from Fethiye on a very windy road through the mountains, or come by boat. The nearest airport is Dalaman airport which is 45 min drive from Ölüdeniz. I gather that the resort that adjoins the lagoon has become very busy with many new hotels springing up, so if you want to get further away from the bustle try Sedef’s next recommendation;
Butterfly valley (kelebekler vadisi) is a small beach and valley that can only be reached by boat from Oludeniz, or by a scramble down the mountain path that’s not for the fainthearted. Boats run from Ölüdeniz three times a day so you can take a day trip or bring your tent and camp behind the beach by the small cafe. This is laid-back haven for the independent traveller or backpacker, where you can swim and relax. The narrow gorge stretches behind the beach with beautiful scenery for treking and you can walk to view a 350m high waterfall. The valley is named after the many different varieties of butterflies that appear between June and September.
Sadef’s final recommendation is a little off the normal tourist trail in Eastern Turkey that she is hoping to visit when she next goes home for a holiday.
Mardin is an old fortified city in Eastern Turkey, close to the borders with Syria and Iraq. It’s crowned by the citidel and the flat-roofed sandstone houses are closely built down the hill overlooking the plains of Mesopotamia. The ancient city is known for it’s honey coloured stone carved houses, mosques and monasteries and the narrow alley ways and bazaars. Sedef also told me that the kebab originated from here. The best way to get to this part of Turkey is to take an internal flight from Istanbul to Mardin or use the Turkish bus system.
Have you been to any of these places? If so, do tell me what you thought and add your own recommendations.
Bollywood Nights at the one-stop Thali cafe in Bristol