Some of the most exciting adventures of my life led me to find magic in unexpected places.
My mood shifted already on the short flight from Zurich airport on Turkish Airways to Antalya. The new modern plane was humming, as I was served tea and Turkish sweets. A sweet start indeed.
A brief walk through the Arrival Hall, then I met with my driver and we were off on the road to Bodrum. As we left the Tourist areas of Antalya and Side behind, the car glided along the scenic road along the Turkish Riviera towards the South Western coast. After some stunning views of this rugged stretch of Turkey, we reached our destination, Fethiye.
Tucked against the rocks, Fethiye and Oludeniz are old towns with a rich past, tucked against a mountain range leading to sandy beaches in the sweeping bay. When I glimpsed this quiet place, I knew this was a spectacular discovery. The colors of the bay seemed unreal. The local architecture is low-rise, white buildings with tile roofs, a melting of Greek and Aegean style.
In a nod to my love for sail boats and sailing I had booked a room at the modern Greek island style hotel, the Yacht Boheme Hotel, by the Marina.
The small balcony off my room with a view of the boats in the harbor reminded me of a small harbor on a Greek island. The blond wood, rustic woven chairs seem to float against the white washed walls. The full large cushions of the loungers carried the rustic island vibe of the room to the outside. I was captured by the view of the mountain range in the early morning as the sun emerged was dreamy.
Even though the lagoon invited me to do nothing, just take in the view, I was persuaded to do short day trips to the surrounding sites.
A boat ride to Dalyan was a good start. As we reached the heritage sites, the Kaunos Rock Tombs, a boat ride is the proper aproach, it was time to discover the holy sites carved into the rock of the mountains.
Definitely a Must-See. Perched high above the town they tell their story about the past. Their skilled craftsmanship, their architectural style, is imposing. A walk around the site made me discover a theater, a temple, remnants of buildings among the rocks and ruins. I could just spot a hint of past glory of the ancient merchant town.
In the past, the Lycians developed the area. Trade ships brought goods along the coast of the Aegean Sea and near by Greece. Greek influence of the Turkish architecture is apparent in many details.
The next day I visited Oelüdeniz, to explore the famous Blue Lagoon. As the Peninsula reaches fat out toward the mountains, one side seduced me with the sandy beach and turquoise waves gushing against the sand. On the other side, rugged trees and rocks created a natural barrier to the peninsula.
As I walked along the outcroppings in my water shoes, the terrain changed to narrow rock paths. I felt glad, that I had packed my water shoes for such a rugged beach!
For me the most magical secluded spot in Oelüdeniz is the famous Butterfly Valley beach cove. A tiny strip of beach set between high rock formations. It is breathtaking to approach by small boat along giant rocks, to suddenly arrive at a secluded beach.
The shades of blue the water dazzled before my eyes were quite unique. From sky blue to aqua to deep Sapphire blue. The small bays are famously called “Ultra Blue Bays”, so true. I surely had reached a magical spot.
When I close my eyes, I can still see the reflections of the sun sparkle in the water. Butterflies are nesting high above the cliffs, and in the foliage in the valley.
My days in Fethiye passed filled with discoveries of natural beauty and reminders of a rich history. I watched the sun set views at Mount Badadag. As the colors of the sky shifted from orange to deep amber, the outlines of small islands appeared as tranquil outposts out there, ready to be discovered at another time.
Only a few days before, I had come to Fethiye to catch some of its charm. To the East of Bodrum lies a place of magic, filled with traces of seafarers and builders, stories and astonishing colors.
There are many more spots to discover around Fethiye, filled with history and culture, natural beauty and traces of Romans and Greeks who traveled these roads. Catch a boat ride in Fethiye and wander to a magic spot of your own.
more information: goturkeytourism.com,
youtube: Turkey’s Turquoise Coast in 4K by Ben Anderson,