My Dream Vacation – Oludeniz, Turkey

What is a Dream Vacation? It’s a masterpiece of Travel Wizards, the kind of vacation that you enjoy so much, you speak about it years and years after coming back. You enjoy every second of every minute of every hour of every day. You take lots of photos, dance like a dervish on the streets and charge yourself with enough energy to last you for a year or two.

How to come up with such a vacation? That’s a mix of knowledge, advanced hotel search skills, planning, great advice from friends passionate about traveling and a whole lot of luck. I’ve had such a vacation last year, when I spent 10 days in the Netherlands. So I did my best to organize an at least similar one for this year. I thought it would be nice to share my plans with you now and then report back every day and tell you what the real deal is like.

Location: Fethiye, Oludeniz, Turkey!

Oludeniz is said to be the best place for paragliding. It’s home to a paradise-like lagoon and beach on the Mediterranean and the nearby mountains are the perfect place for those looking for extreme sensations. Placed in between Kusadasi and Antalyia, it is less popular among travel agencies, Blue Pearl Hotel Fethiyebut hard core tourists know is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The location of choice, Fethiye, is a few miles away from Oludeniz.

I started planning early. I made the reservations at the Blue Pearl hotel back in February. And I advise you to plan early as well if at least part of your trip is in peak season (July-August). I made reservations for an apartment from August 23rd to September 12th and there were only 2-3 apartments left at each hotel in the area. I also advise you to go there in early summer or late summer/early autumn to make sure you’re not affected by extreme heat.

As you can tell, I had quite a lot of time to find out what to do while staying in Oludeniz. You’d think 3 weeks are hard to fill with loads of fun activities, but in these parts of Turkey, it’s actually quite easy!

What to Do in Oludeniz? Anything You Want Basically!

Of course, there’s the beach where you can lay in the sun, swim in the Mediterranean Sea, read a book under an umbrella, have fruit cocktails or simply enjoy the view. There are always the magic moments to be treasured: the sunrise and the sunset. But that’s enough to fill three days. What else?

Let’s Start with Paragliding!

Paragliding in Oludeniz

They say Oludeniz is the best place for paragliding in the world. As it will be a first in my life, I’m guessing I’ll love it anyway. And I have this not so secret plan of getting it all on my camera and then share it with you.

For beginners like me, there are several professionals of tandem paragliding to take you on a breathtaking experience from the top of Babadag, above the Oludeniz Beach and Lagoon, and finally landing on the Oludeniz Beach.

Of course, hard core paragliders are not obliged to have an instructor with them and for those wannabes looking for a license, you can get one here, after acing a 5 or 10 day course. You’ll get excellent paragliding conditions from April till November, 8 months every year. Now that’s some extended season for extreme sports!

White Water Rafting

Rafting Oludeniz

It just so happens that there are quite a few of Turkish rivers perfect for white water rafting. The nearby Dalaman River is the perfect place to try out your rafting skills. The river is graded 3-4 and is open to rafting from April till October.

It also has a 5 grade section for more experienced rafters which is only open from April to July. And if you want to have fun for more than a few hours, there are one day or overnight rafting campings trips. So get your life jacket and helmet ready, add jackets, wet suits and bootees if it’s cold and let’s go!

Dalayan Mud Bath and Turtle Beach

Dalayan Mud Bath and Turtle Beach

As you must be tired after such extreme experiences, some light visiting is in order. On your way to the Dalyan Delta, stop to see the ancient rock tombs of Caunos. Then go see the mud bath and dip in the sulfur springs of Dalayan. It’s then time for the spectacular Iztuzu Beach, one of the last nesting places of the endangered Caretta Caretta turtles. The turtles measuring up to 3-4 feet in length come here to nest from May to September.


You can then take a day canoing down the Xanthos River (Eşen Çay) through the Patara National Park. Luckily with those like me, no previous canoing experience is necessary.

Horseback Riding

Hors Riding Oludeniz

Now that you’re a little rested, nothing like a horseback ride to fill your afternoon! The 18km beach of Patara is the perfect place to start, then make your way through the dunes and along the farmland of Cayagzi.


Alternatively, you can take long walks on the beach or start going up to see snow-covered mountain peaks and the yayla (highland plateau). You’ll be free to enjoy the extensive pine and cedar forests, the junipers, the maquis and everything else the impressive Babadag mountain has to offer.

Time to Dive!

Scubadiving Oludeniz

After spending so long on the surface, I’d say seeing the Mediterranean underworld is a must. The Fethiye and Oludeniz areas offer a wide range of perfect places for both scuba diving and snorkeling and there are plenty of experienced teachers ready to give you a few pointers if you haven’t done this before. You can sign up for a 2 to 5 days diving course or become a master diver in one of the specialty courses.

The underwater landscape is typically a varied selection of reefs, walls, drop-offs and caverns. Local marine life is less abundant than in tropical seas but includes grouper, rays, moray eels, turtles and octopi.

Jump on Board for a Cruise

Boat Cruises OludenizIf you made it all the way to Oludeniz, then experiencing a Turkish gulet is a must. Boat trips come in all directions and lengths possible so it’s impossible not to find something to suit your mood. For example, if you get tired of the Oludeniz beach, take a boat trip to Bodrum and enjoy your time in the sun.

And if all these were not enough for you (and I for one still have some hours to fill), then write these down:

  • *Must see where Helen of Troy and Paris had their love story – Pamukkale
  • *Visit the ruins of Tlos
  • *Visit Yakapark trout farm and water gardens
  • *See the Hellenistic city of Hierapolis which is over 2500 years old and swim in Cleopatra’s spa bath
  • *Visit Ephesus, one of the best preserved classical cities in the eastern Mediterranean

If this is still not enough, just ask around and you’ll surely find out about amazing places to see and new things to try out. I’m guessing I won’t get bored. What do you think?

Photo credit (hotel). Photo credit (Tourist Attractions).