Ölüdeniz is located on the South-Western coast of Turkey at the foot of the Taurus Mountains. A very long coastline scattered with numerous sandy beaches and tiny coves along with it’s nature reserve status makes Ölüdeniz a highly desired destination for travelers. The blue lagoon at Ölüdeniz is one of the most photographed beaches in the Mediterranean due to it’s famous waters with shades of turqouise and aquamarine. Unsurprisingly it is rated as one of the top 5 beaches in the world. It’s location next to Mountain Baba Dağ makes it a popular place for paragliding, a magical experience giving panoramic views of the bay.
Hisarönü is the main location of all the resorts and just a quick bus ride to Ölüdeniz. The town is an ideal place for walkers, with a coast full of secluded bays and coves, accessible through footpaths. Due to it’s a higher altitude, Hisarönü is somewhat cooler and less humid than the neighbouring town of Fethiye. Besides heading to one of the many beaches at Ölüdeniz, the town is full of shops selling everything from clothing to carpets. There is a strip of legendary night clubs in Hisarönü, with Help Beach Lounge being one of the most happening places. Day cruises leave from the beach visiting stunning coves and islands along the Turquoise Coast; Butterfly Valley and St Nicholas Island are two of the top cruise destinations.
Ölüdeniz is home to arguably Turkey’s most beautifully situated beaches. There are two main beaches in Ölüdeniz, the first is Belceğiz beach the local beach of Ölüdeniz. Entrance to this beach is free but you pay for your sunbeds and umbrellas. 4 kms of shingle and sand reach from east to west ending in a sand bar. From the main beach you can swim out just a few meters to survey the surrounding hills and watch the paragliders dropping down to land. The waters at this beach can be more lively and the sand shelf beneath the waters drops suddenly so only confident swimmers should vetnure beyond the shoreline waters. This is the beach where the daily boat trips depart from.
The second ‘main’ beach to mention is Blue Lagoon beach (Kumburnu). This beach is incredibly beautiful and is located within the boundaries of a UNESCO world heritage site and so there is a small entrance fee. The sandy shore is fringed with pine and shrubs and the sea is very shallow and calm so it is ideal for children. There is good snorkelling if you swim across the entrance of the lagoon area to the rocks on the opposite verge. Water-sports such as ringo, banana and water-skiing are available most days and canoes and paddle boats can be hired. You may just decide to spend the whole day here especially if you have young children, choosing a snack from the local buffet at lunch-time. Facilites include sunbeds and umbrellas, shower and toilet facilities, beach cafe and bar. The beach is kept immaculately clean by a polite team of workers.
Babadağ ‘Father Mountain’
Babadag, part of the Taurus mountain range is located a short distance from Fethiye in Mugla province, southwest Turkey. Famed as one of the best spots in the world for paragliding, there are perfect thermal winds and an ideal location overlooking the gorgeous Blue Lagoon at Oludeniz and offering incomparable views along Turkey's Turquoise Coastline. All year round it is common to see paragliders launch themselves from the majestic peak of Babadag and perform 360 degree spins over the glistening sea before drifting down to land next to Oludeniz beach. Tandem jumps with experienced guides are offered every day, weather dependent, and you can even request to have your picture taken as you glide in the skies.
4x4's and minibuses can climb the steep road to the peak of Babadag and paragliding excursions can be organised in Oludeniz or Fethiye, May to October are the best months for flying. If you like hiking then a 13-kilometre trail runs from the beach to the peak, even if you don't plan to paraglide the view from the top of Babadag is well worth the hike.
Dining, Bars and Nightlife
Situated just off the public beach of Ölüdeniz is a bustling area filled with restaurants and bars serving a variety of cuisine at varying price ranges. Many of these restaurants have roof terraces so guests can gaze at the sea or watch paragliders swooping down over them as they dine. Dishes from around the world can be tasted, of course local and meditteranean features largely as does seafood but simple international favourites can also easily be found.
Further inland in Hisarönü there are more options again with traditional Turkish, Indian, Chinese and English restaurants serving food day and night visitors to this area will never be stuck for where to eat or bored of eating the same style of food.
For nighttime entertainment there are two venues adjacent to the public beach where evening events are held. The first is Buzz bar which holds themed dance events with live DJ’s throughout the summer. The second is VIP dance bar, a lively venue with an entertainment host that plays upbeat music and holds foam parties. However the main area for nightlife is back inland in Hisarönü where the lively main street is filled with a range of cocktail bars and clubs serving beverages throught the evening.
Organised Tours and Activities
Ölüdeniz offers visitors a wide variety of tours and activities to suit all interests. There are a number of daily safari tours including Jeep Safari visiting inland sites including Saklikent Gorge, local mud baths, Yaka Park, Tlos Ancient City and the long, sandy stretch of Patara Beach. Other safaris are available such as horse riding, camel riding and quad biking. For more extreme activity lovers there is paragliding over Ölüdeniz, trekking through Kaya Koy – the Greek Ghost town, Dalaman rafting or scuba diving.
As Ölüdeniz is primarily a touristic restort the range of shops found in Ölüdeniz and Hisarönü is limited. Clothing, jewellery, leather bags and souvenirs are the main items found in the shops in this area but as the larger town of Fethiye is so close by visitors can drive or catch the local bus service into Fethiye for a much wider range of shops, covered market and indoor shopping mall.
As Ölüdeniz is a bustling holiday hotspot public transport sevices are very regular and very reasonably priced. The local ‘Dolmuş’ services are mini bus style vehicles which run both through Hisarönü town centre and the Ölüdeniz beach area as well as many nearby areas (including Fethiye and Patara). Alternatively the local taxis services run day and night and many places are accessible on foot as main attractions are located close together.