Saturday, June 16, 2012

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Just the other day I was in Olympos - spectacular beach, a hidden gem ready to be discovered.  A long shoreline in a natural setting minus the lines of parasols, no hotel resorts, no beachside bars, and what makes it more unique is the ruins of an ancient civilization scattered around the forest before reaching the seashore.

The beach in Oludeniz or popularly known as Blue Lagoon is likewise fabulous, with the green mountains of Babadag forming a shadow over the azure waters of the vast ocean.   In contrast with Olympos, Oludeniz beach is not a hidden gem, it’s a jewel along the Mediterranean coast all right, but it’s a resort village popular among tourists particularly vacationing British some of whom owns some properties around the area.  

It’s screaming mass tourism for goodness sake!  Having been voted as one of the best beaches in the world and one of the most photographed, with breath-taking pictures of the turquoise beach and the blue lagoon on the other side of a strip of land that separates it flaunted all over the world wide web.

Touristy? It's not the tourist season yet so it's quite empty.

 There are several hotel accommodations mostly family-owned sprawling from the shoreline up to the nearby village of Hisaronu which is basically a bar-restaurant-shops community, so guests at Oludeniz usually go to Hisaronu to soak in its vibrant nightlife.

Like Olympos, the village of Oludeniz is along the 500 kilometers Lycian Way hiking trail.

Oludeniz is also famous for its paragliding activity with its panoramic views of the ocean and the Babadag mountains, you'll immediately take notice of those colorful paraglides hovering over the skies above the beach area.  Tandem paragliding costs from GBP 80 to 120 per person, depending on your bargaining skills and the season.

Paragliding is a popular sport in Oludeniz.

 I was staying at the center of Fethiye so I have to travel half an hour by minibus  to get to Oludeniz.  It’s still the cold season and I’m not really a beach person so I did not come to swim.  Even so, there are not much people in town, the beach is almost deserted except for few people sitting at benches lining along the pavement on the edge of the sands, just watching the ocean and the canopies of paragliders soaring the hazy blue skies.

I walked along the beach until I reached a stair at the end of the shoreline on to the highway above.  Interestingly, similar to what I saw while going up the hill in Olympos to see the beach from atop, I also stumbled upon a turtle slowly crossing the highway. 

Turtle minus the zebra-lane.

While hiking along the highway I came across two hikers coming from the opposite direction and I asked what’s at the end of the highway.  They told me it’s the village of Faralya, although I want to continue walking, I saw a signboard that says it’s 8 kilometers away so I turned back but before heading to the town, I saw an ascend of big-sized stairs going up the mountain from a break along highway.  

I treaded the steps up some paint-marked rocks onto the top.  Not an easy task though, the path is a bit rocky and lots of thorny bushes.  I followed the paint marks on the rocks and encountered herd of goats.  I froze for a while noticing that all of them were staring at me.  Luckily they all scurried away, so I was scary huh?

The goats got scared of me HA HA.

I’ve reached a cemented platform jutting on the edge of the mountain and there it is - the panoramic view of the whole town and the full-length of the sandy beach.  What an amazing view!

Getting to Oludeniz:

Oludeniz can be reached in half an hour by minibus from Fethiye centrum.  Catch the minibus at the back of the Yeni Hamidiye Mosque which is near PTT.  The bus is passing by Hisaronu before heading to the beach resort.  Fare is TL5.


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