A big city with a small-town feel, Fethiye rests peacefully on a harbor surrounded by pine forests and mountains. Its inexpensive pensions and nearby islands make Fethiye a popular stop on the Mediterranean backpacker circuit. Most visitors take daytrips to Ölüdeniz, Butterfly Valley, Kayaköy, or Saklikent Gorge during the day and later on enjoy Fethiye’s winding streets and ancient Lycian rock tombs, whose remains line the surrounding mountains as well as the streets themselves. Integrated into the city’s center is a pleasant and orderly bazaar that stretches along the edge of the relatively understated harbor. Though a popular base for exploring the coast, Fethiye has managed to maintain a certain calm, leaving the most of the late-night carousing to Ölüdeniz, its wilder neighbor to the south.
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Fethiye rests on ancient Telmessos, foimded in the 5th century BC. Telmessos was ruled by the Persians until it joined the Lycian Federation in the 4th century BC. From then, the list of its rulers runs the familiar gamut, including Alexander the Great, the Ptolemies, the Romans, and the Byzantines. The city was called Meğri, “the far city,” after its inclusion in the Ottoman Empire in 1424. In 1934, the city was renamed “Fethiye” in honor of a martyred fighter pilot, Fethi Bey.
- Buses: The otogar is on Ölüdeniz Cad. Buses running along the coastal road can drop off passengers anywhere, so there’s no need to wait for a bus to a specific destination. Ulusoy (612 37 37), Kamil Koç (612 06 36 or 614 19 73), and Pamukkale (614 14 51 or 614 19 99) have offices on Atatürk Cad. and serve Fethiye. To: Alanya (5hr,; 2:15pm, 2:15am; $9); Ankara (9hr.; 10, 11pm; $15); Antalya (4hr.; 2:15pm, 2:15am; $7); Bodrum (4hr.; 3:30am, 4pm; $8); Bursa (10hr.; 5, 10:30pm; $15.50); Cappadocia (13hr., 6pm, $14.50); Eskişehir (7hr.; 5, 10:30pm; $13.50); İstanbul (13hr.; 5, 9, 10:30pm; $18.50); İzmir (6hr., 5:30am-12:30am, $9.50); Kaş (2hr.; 3, 7, 9, 10am; $3); Marmaris (3hr., 2pm, $5); Pamukkale (4$4hr, 7 per day 7am-6:30pm, $6.50). To reach Selçuk, take the İzmir bus and change In Aydin.
- Dolmuş: From the dolmuş stop near the Intersection of Hastane and Atatürk Cad. to: Çalış Beach (15min., every 3min. 6am-12:30am, $.35); Ölüdeniz (20-25min., every 5min. 7am-12:30am, $1.15); Kayaköy (40min., every hr. 7am-10pm, $1.50); Saklikent (1 hr., every 20min. 7:30am-5pm, $2). Dolmuş boats to Çalış Beach leave from the waterfront to the right of the main harbor (every 15min. 9:30am-8pm, every 30min. 10pm-midnlght; $2).
- Taxi: (614 44 77), on Atatürk Cad., across from the Atatürk head. 24hr. service.
- Mopeds: Levent (612 42 16) and Best Rentals (614 62 03) are side by side on the road past the tourist office toward the jandarma. Competition can drive prices down, but they range between $13-15 per day. Both open daily 8am-midnight.
The otogar is 2km from the center of town, on the way to (Mildeniz. If there are no servis shuttles to the town center, leave the terminal, cross the street, and wait for a dolmuş heading to Fethiye (about 10min., frequent, $.40). The dolmuş runs on the main street, Atatürk Cad., past a mosque, PTT, and the Atatürk head on a pedestal. As the harbor ends, Atatürk Cad. becomes Fevzi Çakmak Cad. Facing the PTT, the harbor, tourist information office, and old town are on the left. The ritzy Çalış Beach is to the right along Sedir Sok., which becomes Akdeniz Cad. Near the PTT and the edge of the bazaar, Çarşı Cad. branches off Atatürk Cad.
TOURIST AND FINANCIAL SERVICES
- Tourist Office: 1/A İskele Meydanı (fax 612 19 75), at the end of the harbor, past the Atatürk head and antique theater, toward the jandarma. Map and lodging info. Open daily 8:30am-5pm; in winter M-F 8:30am-5pm.
- Travel Agencies: Fetur (614 20 34; fax 614 38 45; ), 50m past the tourist office on Fevzi Çakmak Cad. Arranges flights and daily tours. Open daily 9am-7pm. Garfield Tourism and Travel Agency (614 93 12 or 614 93 13; fax 614 25 93), along the harbor on Fevzi Çakmak Cad., offers 3- and 4-day backpacker yacht cruises to Olimpos and the 12 islands ($110-145 July-Sept.; B.Y.O.B.).
- Diving: European Diving Center (614 97 71; fax 614 97 72), on Atatürk Cad. in the bazaar. Offers beginning and advanced scuba dives ($64).
- Banks: On Atatürk Cad., facing the PTT. 24hr. ATMs. Money exchange, on the corner of Atatürk and Çarşi Cad., available 8:30am-midnight.
English-Language Bookstores: Yay Sat (614 11 94), in the bazaar on Cumhuriyet Cad., has the best selection. Open daily 8am-midnight. imagine Bookstore (614 84 65), across the street, sells books, maps, and music. Open daily 9:30am-12:30am.
- Laundromat: (612 56 32), on Çarşı Cad. $3 per load. Open daily 8:30am-8:30pm.
- Hamam: (614 93 18), In the middle of the bazaar, opposite the Car Cemetery Baron Hamam Sok. Soak up history at this 400-year-old bath. $12 per person. Open daily 6am-midnight. For a cheaper and less touristed experience, try the Kaya Hamam (612 4308), on the right side of the road opposite the otogar. $10 per person. Discounts for large groups. Open daily 6am-11pm.
- Market: Along the canal about 500m from the tourist office. Vendors sell clothes, fresh vegetables, and fruit. Open Tu 7am-7pm.
EMERGENCY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Police: (614 10 40), around the corner from the tourist office, near the ancient theater. A larger branch (614 13 09) is on Atatürk Cad., across from the PTT.
- Pharmacies: Many on Atatürk Cad., including Kestepli Eczanesi Pharmacy, across from the mosque. A very helpful pharmacy can be found right next to the public hospital.
- Hospitals: Letoon Hospital (612 54 84), on Patlanak Mahaller Cad., has English- speaking doctors. Open 24hr. The public Devlet Hastanesi (614 40 17 or 614 40 18) is near the PTT at the intersection of Atatürk and Hastane Cad.
- Internet Access: Star Ata Internet Cafe (612 84 10), on the 3rd fl. of the Star Ata Market on Atatürk Cad. (take the elevator up). $.75 per hr. Open daily 8am-11pm. Internet Cafe (614 14 22), past the PTT on Atatürk Cad. Scrumptious fries ($1) to go with internet access at $.75 per hr. Open daily 9am-midnight.
- PTT: On Atatürk Cad., 500m from the tourist office. Poste restante, international phone calls, money exchange, and fax. Most services 24hr.
Cheap pensions can be found on and around Fevzi Çakmak Cad. Some excellent pensions on Karagözler Ordu Cad. are well worth the brief and scenic walk from I he city. Quality varies widely in Fethiye ask to see a room before checking in. Ideal Pension (»614 19 8). Take a left up the large hill as the harbor ends. The peachcolored exterior gives way to helpful, friendly service and 34 clean and orderly rooms. Free pick-up from the otogar. Internet access ($1.50 per hr.), book exchange, laundry ($4), and phenomenal deals with multinight stays. Breakfast included. $7.50 per person, shared rooms $5.50-6.50. 0 H Ferah Pansiyon, 2. Karagözler Ordu Cad. No. 21 (fax 614 28 16;). Call for free pickup from the otogar. A 10min. walk or a 3min. dolmuş ride ($.35) from Atatürk Cad. (Get off at the jandarma, walk up the hill opposite the bay, and take the 1st right; the hostel is on the left.) 9 clean rooms, most with bath, and one terrace dorm room with a view of the bay. Laundry $4. Free use of a nearby pool. Discount at nearby hamam. Home-cooked dinner $4. Breakfast Included. Dorms $4; singles $8; doubles $10. 10% discount with Let’s Go.
- Hotel Plaza (»614 90 30), on Çarşi Cad. An understated hotel with all the amenities. Tidy rooms with telephone, A/C, and TV, right in the center of town. $9 per person. O Pension Çetin, 100 Cad. Dolgu Sahası DSİ Yanı (»614 61 56; fax 614 77 94). When facing the PTT, head right on Atatürk Cad. and turn left onto Hastane Cad.; a sign for the pension is 100m down on the right side of street. 18 large and comfortable rooms with wood paneling, bath, and balconies. Very friendly and helpful owner. Conveniently close to the Tuesday market. Breakfast $1.50. Singles $6; doubles $12.50.
- Artemis Pansiyon (»612 49 80; fax 612 50 13), down the street from the Ferah Pansiyon, on the right. 14 bright rooms with balcony and bath. Beautiful terrace with harbor view. The multilingual owners used to work as chefs in a 5-star Istanbul hotel and now create gourmet meals for guests. Breakfast included. Singles $8; doubles $14.
Çarşı Cad., in the pleasant old town, oozes with great dining possibilities. Options near the harbor have views, but tend to be pricier. On the boardwalk of Çalış Beach (up Hastane Cad. away from the mosque) are restaurants, bars, and cafes.
- Meğri Lokantası (»614 40 47), near the harbor, off Atatürk Cad., before curve in the road. Huge selection of sumptuous local fare. Soğuk meze $1; şiş $3. Open 24hr. 0 Meğri Restaurant (»614 40 47), in the main square of the bazaar. A sister establishment of the Lokantası, this large outdoor restaurant specializes in fresh fish and includes an extensive menu with several vegetarian options. Fish $4-7; grilled meat $4- 6. Open daily 9am-1am.
- Cumba Restaurant (»614 60 12), past the tourist office and the amphitheater as Atatürk Cad. turns into Fevzi Çakmak Cad. and the harbor ends. Fresh outdoor dining overlooking the harbor complemented by fresh steak ($4-5) and grilled meats ($3-7). Pick a pomegranate from the white washed tree when the time is ripe.
- Saray Lokantası (»614 23 67), on Atatürk Cad. opposite the PTT. A humble Turkish kitchen where the weary may rest their feet and their pocketbooks with pizzas ($3-5), mezes ($1), and grilled meats ($1-5). Open daily 6:30am-midnight.
- Rıhtım Pastanesi, Çarşı Cad. (»612 38 31). A whole lotta baking going on. A huge selection of international pastries and classics like baklava (4 for $1). Try a sampling of dozens of mini-tarts ($1.25). Open daily 6am-1am.
The road north into Fethiye climbs steep hillsides thick with pine trees and loud with the shrill chirps of crickets. Isolated from the rest of Asia Minor, this region fostered the development of an insulated Lycian culture in ancient times. Believed to be the descendants of a pre-Hittite Anatolian people, the Lycians remained independent until the Persians gained control in 545 BC. The necropolis that remains is the most concrete remnant of Lycian culture. The facades of the cliff-hewn tombs replicate Greek temples down to the pediments, porticoes, and cornices. The tombs themselves are thought to be replicas of Lycian homes. The most notable find at the site is the 4th-century BC Tomb of Amyntas, reached by a 200-step climb. You can enter the other tombs as well, though to reach them you must clamber around the rocks. From the necropolis, the remains of the Fethiye Tower, built by the Knights of St. John of the Templar, are visible. (Follow the tiny roads behind Çarşı Cad. to the left and uphill to the rock tombs. Necropolis open 24hr. $1.20.)
ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM. Fethiye’s museum contains Lycian artifacts from neighboring digs. Upon entering, be sure to check out the display on ancient dress and weaving techniques. Of particular note are the Stelae of Music in the back room, a trilingual stele from Letoon that helped crack the Lycian dialect, and an unbelievable 19th-century Greek wooden door carved with elaborate floral decorations. (One block from the Devlet Hastanesi on Atatürk Cad., toward the bus station, -a 614 11 50. Open Tu-Su 9am-5pm; in winter 8am-5pm. $1, students $.50.)
OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES. An evening stroll on the hillside roads above Fethiye offers a fantastic view of the surrounding hillsides, the sea, and yachts in the marina. Eventually, the dirt roads wind into a quiet fanning village. For something completely different, one- or three-day boat trips to nearby islands include riotous booze cruises for ‘‘backpackers and free-minded travelers.” Twelve-island tours usually stop at Göcek Island for a quick swim, continue to the resort town Göcek, then on to Flat Island, and finally to the Dock-Yard Island (where the ruins of an Ottoman dockyard can be seen). Other stops include Cleopatra’s Bath (where bathing in the spring is said to make you look ten years younger), the Step Cave, and çay at Somanlik Bay. The Ölüdeniz-Butterfly Valley tour stops first by Butterfly Valley and continues to the famous beach at Ölüdeniz There are also trips to Turtle Beach and Dalyan Kaunos, which include a mud bath ($18). Call a travel agency for details (see Travel Agencies). (Boats depart 10am, return 6:30pm; $11-18; lunch and tea included.)
Check with a travel agent for horseback riding trips to Ölüdeniz and Kayaköy. (3hr., leaves when there are enough people, $15.) River rafting trips on the Dalaman River are another favorite pastime of Fethiye visitors. (Daily 8am-6pm; $72, lunch included.)
Despite its large size, Fethiye’s nightlife is relatively quiet: laws require music to be turned down at midnight. The bars and clubs are located in the bazaar. For a taste of package tour pizzazz, head down to the string of lively bars along Çarşı Beach.
- Ottoman Bar (“612 11 48), on the right, before Karagözler Sok. runs into Çarşı Cad. Fit for a paşa: fragrant smoke drifts from the large selection of water pipes (try the apple- apricot flavor). The relaxed crowd lounges outdoors in cushion-lined booths when not dancing to tunes. Water pipe $3.50; beer $1.75; rakı $2.25. Open daily noon-3am.
- Car Cemetery Bar, Hamam Sok. (612 78 72), up the street from the old hamam in the bazaar. Have a cold beer amid deceased car parts. Cocktail names like “orgasm,””sperm of the barman,” and “quick fuck” will be sure to spice up your evening. Beer $2; rakı $2.25; cocktails $6-7. Open daily 10am-3:30am.
- The Music Factory, on Karagözler Sok. A pumping metallic cage with 2 levels of flashing dance floors and stylish, thrashing bodies. House and dance music. Beer $2; rakı $2.50; cocktails 2 for $8. Open daily 5pm-5am.
- Yos Bar, on Cumhuriyet Cad., above the English bookstore. Enjoy free melon with your drink and watch buff waiters dance with their mirror reflections. Alternative music. Beer $1.50; rakı $2.50; cocktails $5. Open daily 8pm-4am.
DAYTRIPS FROM FETHİYE
SAKLI KENT GORGE
To get to Saklıkent Gorge from Fethiye, catch the Saklıkent dolmuş, opposite the mosque and near the intersection of Hastane Cad. and Atatürk Cad. (45min„ every 20min., $2). Otherwise, most travel agents along Fethiye’s marina offer a package tour ($15). A third choice is to catch a dolmuş tour from the main dolmuş station in Fethiye (opposite the sea on Çarşı Cad., behind the gas station) or from the dolmuş stop next to the mosque. Every 25min. to Saklıkent, Tlos, and Yaka Park (home to a fish farm restaurant); May-Sept. 9:30am, return 8pm; $4.) Gorge open summer only 8am-8pm. $.60; students with ID $.30. Let’s Go does not recommend going deep into the gorge alone.
Icy water gushes in from natural springs to flood this 18km deep canyon, leaving incredibly smooth, white stone walls and stone terraces in its wake. Occasional patches of sunshine illuminate striking views of the mountains above the raging rapids. Enter the opening of the gorge and battle rushing water and slippery- ,smooth surfaces, going as far into the gorge as you feel comfortable. Claustro phobes should run for their lives, but everyone else should relish it. There arc ill fitting plastic shoes for rent in the gorge ($1) and at the River Tree Bar outside the gorge ($.50; $1 if you lose them). Sneakers or other shoes with good traction are a better bet. Enthusiastic young boys are willing to help you through for a price.
A number of local restaurants cater to the hungry adventurer. Saklıkent , past the wooden bridge in the mouth of the gorge, serves Turkish food at low Ottoman tables on beautiful patios built over the rushing water. (»636 85 55. Köfte $3.50. (open daily 7am-8:30pm.) Kayıp Cennet , over the bridge in Paradise Park, serves it. a huge buffet of cold mazes, a main course of fish or chicken ($2), and watermelon for dessert. It also has nifty Ottoman-style seating on small islands in the river. (»636 84 06 or 636 87 77. Open 24hr.) River Bar (»636 87 67) offers full lunch plates (salad, trout, and fries $6; omelettes $1.20) and popular treehouse camping (free for customers; toilets and showers available; breakfast and dinner included; $8 per person; caravan with electricity $4). The bar also offers internet service, rafting expeditions, and tubing ($6.50). Sleep for free on cushioned riverside platforms at the neighboring Kanyon Restaurant (»659 00 89); beer is discounted for those who spend the night. Remember: rafting and rakı don’t mix.
Many Fethiye travel agencies offer daily tours to Tlos, which usually include Saklıkent Gorge (see Travel Agencies). Alternatively, Saklıkent-Yaka Park-Tlos daytrip dolmuş depart from the station in Fethiye (10:30am, return 4pm; $4; bring your own lunch). A third option is to catch any Saklıkent-bound dolmuş from Fethiye (30min., every 20min., $2); ask to be let off near Tlos and walk 4km uphill from the yellow sign. Open daily 8am-7pm. $1.50.
One of the six major cities of the Lycian Kingdom, Tlos is now home to an eclectic mixture of Lycian, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman ruins. Its prominent castle is visible from kilometers away. At the entrance to the site, ignore the sign for the castle (20m from the entrance booth). Instead, start at the theater and bath at the back of the ruins and work your way up to the castle. With a seating capacity of 5000 in its heyday, the theater still has several intact entrances, including one leading to the stage. Continuing down the road, take a left at the hamam sign and note the desperately overgrown Byzantine church on your left. Beyond the church, is a well-preserved but still unexcavated Roman bath, whose high arches once supported a bath and sports center but are now home to a gorgeous view.
Back on the main road and to the left, a large stadium stands with arched entry- ways through which Roman gladiators once rushed in anticipation of bloody duels. Continue back toward the castle sign and ascend a small mountain to see 7th been try BC rock tombs and well-preserved Lycian Sarcophagi with inverted boat-shaped lids. The tombs’ corrugated roofs replicate the style used by the Lycians in the roofs of their own homes. A hike up to the castle-fortress is rewarded by an incredible view of the valley, the old horse stables, and the rest of the site. Far in the distance, Saklikent Gorge appears as a massive crack in the mountains.
A favorite place to stop is Yaka Park Restaurant , 2km up the road from the Tlos ruins. Fish and chicken meals (both $4) are served at shady tables over falling water. Be sure to tour the fish farm and the twisting waterways that wind through the enormous outdoor eating area, full of the very fish you’re about to eat. (634 00 36. Open 24hr.) Dolmuş pass the restaurant before arming in Tlos. Across from the ruins is the Belleforo Restaurant . (Meal $3. Room with breakfast $5, with breakfast and dinner $8.) Or try the speckled trout ($3), a local specialty, at. the Tlo- saile Restaurant next door, (634 02 20. Open daily 8am-7pm.)
Dolmuş leave for Kayaköy from in front of the mosque in Fethiye (30min every hr. 7am-8pm,$1.20). Roaming the abandoned town takes about 3hr. (Open daily 9am-6pm. $1.50; free after 6pm.)Deserted and desolate, the abandoned village of Kayaköy looms eerily over a quiet agricultural valley some 10km from Fethiye. Built in the beginning of the 18th century, Kayaköy was inhabited by 2500 Greeks until the 1923 population exchange (see The Treaty of Lausanne, ). Kayaköy was abandoned and the newly arrived Turks refused to move into the village, some say out of respect for those who, like themselves, were forced to leave their homes. Others suggest that the Turks disliked the style of Kayaköy’s two story houses, which had a first floor reserved for animals and the bath outside of the house. Each house was built on the hill, so that its shadow would not fall on another house. The doors, windows, and roofs were taken by the Turks to help build new’ houses down the road, leaving Kayaköy a haunting shell of what it once was. The Turkish Ministry of Culture made the ghost town a historical monument in the mid-1980s when commercial interests threatened to turn Kayaköy into a holiday village. If sponsors consent, there are plans to build a library’ and restore some of the houses and the two Orthodox churches.
Three popular hikes can be made from Kayaköy, all beginning from the small white chapel at the top of the Kayaköy ridge. They include a 2hr. hike to Ölüdeniz, winding through cool pine forests, with views of the Blue Lagoon. Follow the red trail marks, about every 10m. The lovely and less touristed Cool Water Bay, another popular trek, takes between 45min. and 2 hr. Gemiler Beach, a 1hr. hike, passes an exquisite hidden monastery. As signs on the trail do not distinguish between hikes, it may be wise to ask for trekking advice at the popular Kayaköy Motel and Restaurant , which has great mezes ($1.50), pizza ($2.40), and grilled meats ($4). Crash in one of their 14 rooms or bring a tent and camp for free in the garden by the swimming pool. (258 618 00 69. Doubles $15.) Next door, the İstanbul Restaurant serves tasty böreks ($1), french fries ($1.25), soups ($1.25), and various meat dishes. (618 01 48. Open daily 8am-midnight.)
UP IN SMOKE
Seventy years after the introduction of tobacco to Turkey, .1 remarkable 80% of men and 50% of women over the age of 18 smoke regularly. Tobacco use seems to be a part of ancient tradition and has been documented in the Qur’an; its popularity has grown to the point where the government has established a monopoly over the production and distribution of the crop. Most black tobacco is relegated to the northern Samsun area, while Sarikiz (“Yellow girl”) tobacco is grown in Southeast Anatolia. Few foreign cigarettes have legally made their way into Turkish lungs and are mostly renowned for being a mere touristic accommodation. Any unsanctioned brands are sold under the table along with the cheapest cigarette, Birinci, that only comes unfiltered and costs about $.20 a pack, Strangely enough, it is not illegal to smoke foreign cigarettes, only to sell or buy them. The best and most expensive cigarette in Turkey are Telkens (aptly meaning “monopoly”), which sell for about $.80.
This famous Turkish Riviera retreat caters to both the hippie and glitzy beach I own crowds. Although posters of the partially enclosed beach hang on the walls most Turkish hotels, no picture can convey the sheer beauty of Ölüdeniz’s beach and lagoon. Ölüdeniz has been bitten hard by the tourist bug, and it suf¬fers from the usual symptoms of commercial package tours and resorts, including an active nightlife that can at times be distracting for those seeking peace. However, the excellent campsites and the variety of exciting outdoor activities still allow visitors to appreciate the area’s glorious natural beauty. Ölüdeniz and Hisarönü, its quieter neighbor to the north, arc well placed for daytrips to the Butterfly Valley and nearby bays, and Ölüdeniz has become a popular paragliding spot for amateurs and professionals alike.
TRANSPORTATION AND PRACTICAL INFORMATION
The best way to reach Ölüdeniz is via Fethiye. Dolmuş conveniently stop on the main pebble beach before a curve in the main road. The lagoon and some campgrounds are on the right (when facing the water). To the left along the waterfront is a string of bars, restaurants, other campsites, and paragliding companies.
- Dolmuş: In summer, dolmuş run to Fethiye (25mm., every 10min. 7am-1am, $1.15).
- Tourism Cooperative: (617 04 38 or 617 01 45; fax 617 01 35), in the small wooden building on the left just up the Fethiye road. Helps with rooms and offers valuable information about boat trips and paragliding. English spoken. Open daily 8:30am-11pm.
- Travel Agencies: Living Force (fax 616 67 91; open daily 8am-11pm), Traveler’s World (s 617 00 45; fax 617 00 54), and Adventura (617 03 14; fax 617 03 78), all on the main road along the waterfront, offer tours. Trips to Camel Beach, the Blue Caves, and Butterfly Valley ($8) jeep safaris to Saklikent Gorge, Tlos, Patara, Xanthos, and a local mudbath ($35); and boat service to Dalyan-Kaunos ($20). Adventura also offers paintball (10am-5pm; $35 includes 50 balls) in a pine forest near Kayaköy; horseback riding (8:30am-1:30pm and 2-5pm; $20); diving ($50); and river rafting (9am- 6pm; $50, meals included). All agencies book flights.
- Hamam: Sultan Haiham Club Belceklz (617 00 77) on the waterfront. Bath and drink $15. Open daily 9am-9pm.
- Police: Jandarma (617 00 55), 50m toward the lagoon entrance.
- Pharmacies: Several line the main road of Hisarönü.
- Medical Assistance: Lykia Medical Service ( 616 69 30). Walk 1 block up the road to Fethiye, turn right, and continue 100m.
- Esnaf Hospital (616 65 17 or 616 65 13), near Lykia Medical. English spoken. Both open 24hr. Fethiye‘s Letöon Hospital also keeps an ambulance in Ölüdeniz for emergency service.
- Internet Access: In the back of Buzz Bar, on the waterfront next to Traveler’s World. $2.25 per hr. Open daily 10am-10;30pm. Ölüdeniz Camping, OBA Camping, Crusoe’s Bar all offer access for $2.50 per hr.
- PTT: (617 01 29), next to the police station. International phone calls and basic mail services. Poste restante. Open daily 10am-7pm; in winter 8:30am-noon and 1:30-5pm.
Campsites offer backpackers a laid-back community atmosphere, but Hisarönü, the village uphill from the beach, is growing in popularity for its cheap pensions and hi-tech discos. Dolmuş from Fethiye to Ölüdeniz stop there. It is also possible to find a room in one of Ölüdeniz’s many hotels for about $8 per person. Ask at the Tourism Cooperative for information on local hotels and bookings.
- OBA (617 04 70; fax 617 05 22). Head uphill from the dolmuş stop and turn right at the OBA sign. This large and friendly campsite is a popular option for backpackers. Laundry $5 per load. Internet $2.50 per hr. International phones available. Excellent bar and restaurant with a special vegetarian menu (meals $6-7; beer $1.50). 30 bungalows. $5 per person; mosquito-netted bed in the large treehouse $2; rooms $7-9.
- Ölüdeniz Camping (617 00 48; fax 617 01 81), 1km along the road to the lagoon entrance (turn right from the dolmuş stop). Call for free pick up. A loud backpackers’ mecca, popular with Aussies and Kiwis. 40 bungalows, a small beach, market, restaurant, and bar. Internet access $2 per hr. 2-for-l drinks 7-9pm. Breakfast $2-5. Bungalows $5 per person; double bungalows with showers $10; tents $3 per person, with own tent $2; spot in the large treehouse $2; caravans $5.
- İlkiz Hotel (617 02 51), across from OBA. İlkiz has fresh rooms with balconies and bath, a pool, billiards, ping pong, and a playground. Doubles $15
Food, drink, and revelry cost a pretty penny in Ölüdeniz, especially along the boardwalk, but the quality and service usually match the prices. You can always opt to grab a meal at your campsite.
- Hippl Shake (617 06 31). From the boardwalk, turn left at the only street that intersects the waterfront strip and walk 10m. Muesli $3.40; spicy chicken and tabouli pockets $2.50; burgers and salads $3-4; delicious shakes, smoothies, and desserts $2-3. Open daily 9am-midnight.
- Kum-Tur Pide (617 00 58; fax 617 03 77), left of the dolmuş stop, at the end of the boardwalk. One of the oldest restaurants in Ölüdeniz. Fantastic traditional food at good prices. Quiet eating area in the shade. Salads $1; pide $1-2.25; seafood $2.50-6. Sugar Shack/Help Bar (617 04 98), to the left on the boardwalk. This funky combination bar and snack shack has mouth-watering specials, sizzling fajitas, and “funky and fruity cocktails” ($3). Salads $3-4; pasta dishes $5; a mean chocolate cake $2.40. Beer $1; cocktails $2-6. Open daily 9am-3am; kitchen closes at 11:30pm.
- Döner Kebap ( 616 06 09), on the waterfront, past the intersection. Ample portions of chicken and meat served up with a bevy of toppings and Turkish bread. Take away your sandwich and enjoy it on the beach. Sandwiches $1-3. Open daily 8am-midnight.
- Our Place (616 69 19), in Hisarönü, on the Fethiye dolmuş route. A delicious selec¬tion of vegetarian cuisine. The menu changes daily. Swimming pool, bar (beer $1.20), and a cozy reading area with couches and used books in English. Soup $2; salads $2; main dishes $4-8; outstanding desserts $2-3. Open 11am-3am.
IIs marvelous pebble beach aside, Ölüdeniz’s main attraction is the Blue Lagoon, an idyllic peninsula of beach cradled in wooded hills and lapped by shining, clear water. Take a blissful, quiet dip in these waters, especially on weekday mornings ¡md evenings when crowds are thinner. Enter from Tabiat Park, on the right of the road from Fethiye, where drinkable water, bathrooms, and showers are available. It’s a 20-minute walk to the tip or a $6 taxi ride from the dolmuş station. (Park and lagoon open daily 8am-7pm. $.75, cars $3.50.)
The more daring rival to swimming in the Blue Lagoon is to see it from above by paragliding. There are plenty of offices on the boardwalk, including Sky Sports Paragliding (617 05 11; fax 617 03 24), who will show you their video and set you up for one of several daily flights, with their professional English-speaking staff. Passengers are driven to the top of Baba Dağı ridge (1000m) before plunging into the great wide open accompanied by a professional. (Flight time varies with conditions, but the whole experience usually takes about two hours and costs $130. You may have to book a day in advance.) Experienced solo pilots can usually get transportation to the top of the mountain from paragliding companies ($8; another $50 to rent a glider). Paragliding is not without risk; injury due to wind conditions during take-off and landing can occur.
Ölüdeniz is a great base for daily boat excursions. St. Nicholas Island, which once boused a thriving Greek community, now offers swimming, a spine-tingling view of the coast, and the remains of a Byzantine basilica. For other tours to places such as Camel Beach, the Blue Caves, and Butterfly Valley.
Mildeniz’s nightlife focuses on the waterfront, where stores and restaurants bum the midnight oil and a few bars and clubs stay open into the wee hours. Be prepared, however: Ölüdeniz doesn’t let loose and dance until the early morning.
- Crusoe’s Bar (617 05 49). Match the twinkle of the moonlit sea with the twinkle in your eye over a drink in the “cabana.’’ Large-screen TVs show major sports events and one English-language movie per night (9pm, free with drink). Pool table available. Beer $2; cocktails $5-6. Open daily noon-5am.
- Tonoz Beach Club Bar/Barcelona Night Club/Soho Bar/Chillout Cafe & Restaurant (617 05 88), on the street past the Hippi Shake. A massive block-long complex. Sway to top 40 hits as you order another round from your audaciously dressed waiter at Soho Bar. For the late late dance scene, hit up the Barcelona nightclub or plunge into the pool. Happy hour 7:30-8:30pm and 10:30-11:30pm. Open daily 7pm-3am.
- Buzz Beach Bar/Buzz Snacks (617 00 45), on the left side of the boardwalk. Chill at this bar or snack at the adjoining cafe. Great view of the water. Internet access ($2 per hr.) and daily specials. Beer $2; cocktails $5. Open daily 9am-3am.
- Banana Club/Bar,B 175m past the Tonoz Beach Club (when heading away from the beach). This tropical dive offers billiards ($3.50), a sauna (free with drinks), a pool table, darts, a pool, and plenty of strange banana concoctions ($3-6).
DAYTRIP FROM ÖLÜDENİZ: BUTTERFLY VALLEY
Small wooden dolmuş boats heading to Butterfly Valley leave from the beach to the right of Ölüdeniz (45min.; 1am, 2, 4pm; return 1, 5pm; $3 each way). Fancier yacht tours will also take you on a daytrip that includes Butterfly Valley for a much higher price.
Almost indescribably beautiful, this tiny turquoise bay near Ölüdeniz is home to waterfalls and several species of butterflies, including the nocturnal orange and black Jersey Tiger butterfly. After the day trippers leave, an inviolable silence settles over Butterfly Valley, with only the rolling surf and the occasional strains of a backpacker’s guitar to lull visitors to sleep in their huts.
From the entrance to the valley, proceed up the rocky path leading to the two waterfalls (follow the blue dots). Though the journey can be made in 25 minutes, most visitors take more time as they relish the butterflies and flowers along the way. Since some stones can be slippery, it’s best to wear shoes with good traction. Pay for entry about 30m past the beach ($1). More experienced hikers may opt to take the rocky path (30min.-1hr.) up to the quiet, traditional mountain village of Faralya. The journey is steep and considered risky. Let’s Go recommends that those who choose to take this route proceed with caution and not go alone.
Should you decide to spend the night, you can camp on the beach, rent a mattress in a 2- to 20- person treehouse or hut, or get a bed in one of the three Greek houses for $10 including breakfast and dinner. Accommodations have communal toilets and showers. Food is readily available at discount prices for guests at the Butterfly Valley Shop O. Try the spaghetti ($1.25) or sandwiches. ( 642 19 01. Open 24hr.) The Rock Café O, built into the cliffs, serves juices ($.80) and drinks ($1).