Relaxing holidays based around a beautiful lagoon
With a locale as idyllic as this, it’s not surprising that paragliding is a very popular activity here. Seeing the lagoon from above really helps you to appreciate its astounding beauty. Although there’s certainly just as much fun to be had out on the water itself, enjoying parasailing or pedaloes in such a secluded bay. Even simply swimming in the lagoon is a delight, thanks to its whirlpool-warmth and gently shelving sand.
But as difficult as it may seem to tear yourself away from this wonderful beach, there’s lots to discover around the resort too. The famous scenic walk of the Lycian Way is close by, whilst fascinating historical sites are only a few miles away at the crumbling ghost town of Kayakoy and the ancient tombs and amphitheatres in Fethiye.
After exploring the surrounding areas, you’ll find balmy evenings in Olu Deniz take on a suitably chilled character. Watch the orange glow of the sunset descend gracefully under the mountains as you enjoy char-grilled kebabs at traditional Turkish restaurants. A trip to the local beachfront bars in the resort will see you appreciating those scenic seaside views yet again, this time with a cool cocktail in hand amidst green forests and twirling vines. The perfect way to round off a day spent in paradise.
Scenic attractions and exciting activities
When it comes to activities in Olu Deniz, it’s all about making the most of the stunning natural scenery that surrounds you. It’s likely that your holidays in Olu Deniz will be focused around the Blue Lagoon, admiring the serene turquoise bay surrounded by pine-forested mountains. The warm, crystalline waters and calm currents make the perfect conditions for scuba diving, and there are facilities available for everyone from experts to beginners. Under the water you’ll have a chance of spotting turtles, eels, octopuses and more, although the visibility is so good you still might see a variety of vibrant fish and corals when snorkelling across the surface.
However, the best way to really appreciate the lush colours of your environment is to head to the Babadag Mountain that rises above the lagoon. As you ascend, you’ll see the terrain changing from valleys of fragrant pine to an arid, desert-like peak. Close to the top, there’s a very popular paragliding launch spot, often described as one of the best in the world. Due to the great level of interest, there are several paragliding schools in the area, so you could have lessons or even paraglide in tandem if you are a complete beginner. Your swooping glide to the bottom will reveal the blue lagoon in its fully glory with a bird’s eye view of the thin strip of white sand leading to water that transforms tones from turquoise to azure and aquamarine.
But if you’re not sure about taking the plunge into paragliding, there’s still plenty of opportunity to enjoy the scenery by walking on the Lycian Way. This ancient footpath stretches for over 500km, from Olu Deniz all the way east to Hisarcandir near Antalya. Whilst the route has many peaks and troughs, walking just a short section in Olu Deniz will reward you with incredible views of densely forested mountains and fascinating archaeological sites. It also passes the Butterfly Valley in Faralya, 9 miles south of Olu Deniz. This deep, rocky canyon gets its name from the swarms of rare butterflies you’ll see here, while the area has a hippy community that fell in love with the isolated nature of the valley and the beauty of its cascading waterfalls and peaceful golden beach. If you don’t fancy making the walk, there are boat trips direct from the nearby resort of Fethiye.
Another great advantage of the location of Olu Deniz is that it’s very close to several astounding historical sites. For instance, the ghost town of Kayakoy is just 4 miles away. This eerily empty village was a Greek town until 1923, when a Greco-Turkish agreement forced all Greek nationals to move back to Greece. Visiting this UNESCO-protected site, you’ll see rows of roofless, crumbling cobbled houses. The deserted churches in particular are extremely affecting – inside the light glows inwards from windowless arches, illuminating the weathered white interior.
For much older historical attractions, the ancient tombs and Roman ruins of Fethiye are just 7 miles away, and there is a regular mini bus (known as a ‘dolmus’) that links the two resorts. Fethiye is most famous for its Lycian Rock Tombs, carved directly out of the cliffs themselves over 3,000 years ago. The intricate stonework of the tombs is simply staggering, and it shows the effort the ancient Lycian civilisation made to honour its kings. Also in Fethiye, you’ll uncover the terracotta coloured Roman ruins of the 2nd century Telmessos Theatre, the silvery stone of the Pinara Lycian Amphitheatre, an archaeological museum featuring Lycian coins and ceramics and a medieval castle built by the Knights of St.John.
For families, perhaps the best fun to be found in Olu Deniz is at the watersports centres that offer many exciting watery activities including banana boats, doughnuts and pedaloes. The mountainside resort of Ovacik is also only a mile away and has a small waterpark with a choice of colourful slides and spiralling water chutes.
“Take some time out to enjoy the lush, stunning scenery and book a paragliding trip - an absolutely breathtaking experience.”
Traditional Turkish tastes and international inspiration
One area where Olu Deniz retains its roots as a traditional Turkish town is in the excellent choice of authentic cuisine. There’s a range of Turkish restaurants here that demonstrate how varied, vibrant, and above all tasty, the local food really is. Delicious specialities to try whilst you’re on your holidays in Olu Deniz include clay-baked lamb and beef stew, served in the rustic terracotta pot it was cooked in, succulent chicken skewered kebabs smothered in herbs and cooked over an open coal fire, and vine leaves stuffed with fragrant rice and meat known as ‘dolma’.
Of course, with Olu Deniz being an international beach holiday resort, influences from foreign shores have made their way here too. You’ll find that Italian restaurants are particularly well represented; giving you the option to enjoy stone baked pizzas topped with fresh local ingredients, while British bars and cafes make a strong appearance too. And as Olu Deniz is a coastal town, it also has a fine line of seafood restaurants that make the most of the fresh local catches. Expect to taste delicious fish dishes such as stuffed mussels and leaf-wrapped sea bass.
At Jet2holidays, we also offer hotels in Olu Deniz with a range of different board options, from Bed & Breakfast to Half Board and All Inclusive. If you’re intending on having family holidays in Olu Deniz, all inclusive is a great choice as you’ll save on the cost of food and drink. Stay at the Dorian Hotel with Jet2holidays and you’ll enjoy an all inclusive holiday where you can eat and drink to your heart’s content.
The most idyllic beaches in Turkey
One of the main reasons for having holidays in Olu Deniz is that beautiful beach. The thin strip of golden sand and shingle of Belcekiz Beach follows the coastline of the resort, arcing into a peninsula to form the heart-achingly gorgeous Blue Lagoon. One of the most photographed beaches in the world, paragliding from above you can clearly see the way the colours of the water surrounding the sand change from emerald to turquoise to dark sapphire. But lazing on the beach is just as enjoyable, especially as your scenery is even more enhanced by the rising peak of the Babadag Mountain, which makes you feel as if you’re encircled by pine forests on all sides. Stay at the Tower Hotel with Jet2holidays and you’ll be just 600m from this fabulous beach. And whilst the lagoon is extremely peaceful, there’s still plenty of opportunity for watersports further out on the sea. Parasailing is a great option to see the lagoon from a higher vantage point if you’re not up for parasailing or walking along the Lycian Way.
With such beauty of the Blue Lagoon in your resort, you’ll never really need to travel to another beach. But just in case you do fancy a change, the closest beach that is almost as attractive as the lagoon is at the Butterfly Valley in Faralya. This deep canyon has craggy, moss-covered cliffs rising on either side, adding to the sense of seclusion. The beach at its coastline is of the most radiant gold, and its leads to turquoise waters just as luminescent as the Blue Lagoon’s. Behind the beach, you’ll discover green fields and a cascading waterfall surrounded by softly scented flowers. This area is a major habitat for wild butterflies, with over 40 species found in the valley, including the ultra-rare bright orange Tiger Butterflies. It’s truly a natural oasis.
Calis Beach is also less than 4 miles away from Olu Deniz. Directly south from the abandoned ghost town of Kayakoy, this beach is a complete contrast to the Blue Lagoon as it has a wide, open stretch of golden sand, lined with a modern promenade and beachfront restaurants. It’s a great choice if you’d prefer more space for sunbathing, although it certainly isn’t as scenic as the local beach in Olu Deniz. However, it is famed for its sunset, which has a misty amber glow lined with the dark silhouettes of the surrounding mountains.
Chilled beach bars and lively clubs
The bars in Olu Deniz make the most of the fantastic location by being based around the beachfront. With two balcony levels that look out on the sea and surrounded by green forests, the famous Buzz Beach Bar certainly epitomises the character of the nightlife in Olu Deniz. The atmosphere is suitably chilled, as everyone enjoys sipping exotic cocktails whilst taking in the views of the rising mountains. At night, the action heats up in Olu Deniz, but it’s never too lively, and the bars have more of a sociable village feel where families are always welcome.
Further up into the mountains (yet less than a mile from Olu Deniz), Hisaronu offers a more lively experience. Perhaps it’s because the higher altitude of this hillside resort means that the evenings are cooler, giving everyone more energy to drink and dance! The main street in Hisaronu has a variety of cocktail, karaoke and sports bars where you’ll see everything from live performances to foam parties and revellers dancing on tables!
Fethiye is also less than 7 miles away from Olu Deniz, and this more built-up resort has an even bigger choice of bars and clubs. The sleek decor of the tapas bar Sobe plays Latin rhythms well into the night, highlighting the more modern, international nature of Turkey’s nightlife. Plus the huge open-air club Yes! plays the latest dance tunes to a mixed crowd of lively tourists and locals.