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Oludeniz Beach & Blue Lagoon

A lagoon is a body of water protected from the open waters by a sandbar or reef.. There are many such in Turkey but none quite like Oludeniz. You can find its story in our Features.

For the seafarer the lagoon is a place of refuge, a door opening onto the realms of terra firma.

To protect the Oludeniz lagoon mooring of larger boats inside the lagoon is no longer permitted… unless there is a storm !

Up to some 40 years ago the lagoon was home to flat-tailed Lobsters, Pina, Oysters and Mussels… Today fish still abound there but one can no longer search for a seafood salad!

In those ‘good old days’ we used to boil marrow bones, attach them to strings and take them to the lagoon, where sitting in a rowboat we would dangle the stringed bones  over the side. Within minutes several octopi would attach themselves and we would pull up the bone with the octopus firmly attached. Depending on the size of the octopus there were different ways of preparing them for the pot. The most authentic and that chosen by true fishermen is to cook them in their own ink until they look like pieces of soft liquorice with a taste of  sea. Today I am thoroughly ashamed of this past-time with high protein zap. Having watched My Teacher Octopus I personally will never again indulge in ‘Pulpo ad Olivo’…or similar. I will  just stick to the nourishing olive. However humble the olive is  as an addition to the Turkish breakfast table, the tree itself is sacred to the goddess Athena. Whole groves of olives were planted in her honour, and in each grove she was present.

Oludeniz enjoys a seascape little  equalled anywhere in the world, backed by the Western Taurus mountains and fronted by a sea of turquoise.

Babadag (Father) Mountain

Babadag (Father) Mountain

Oludeniz is even today a relatively small resort linked to the local harbour town of Fethiye. After international flights started to Dalaman in 1985 visitors have formed friendships here, sealed on return visits and never forgotten.

Oludeniz enjoys a seascape little equalled anywhere in the world, backed by the Western Taurus mountains and fronted by a sea of turquoise.

The local mountain Babadag holds many secrets: ancient cedars with girths as wide as windmills, pine needled slopes hiding orchids in spring and mushrooms in autumn.

Mossed stone spoilage used and reinvented: was it an apse, is it now a shepherds hut? Footprints; a lynx, a hog, a wolf ?

And through the forested mountains run marked paths leading to a viewpoint or a bowered villager offering a welcome refreshment.

Where the mountain meets the beach calcium carbonate churns its waters to a deep turquoise.

What was an isolated paradise… so isolated that the only mode of transport was the mule… is now a sophisticated hub for  nature-lovers drawn to the beauty of this turquoise shore. The villagers of yesterday run pensions and welcome guests with the usual Turkish hospitality. Larger complexes host those who just want to ‘cool’. The local peak  ‘Babadag’ soars to 1969 metres at a distance of 1500 metres from the Oludeniz shoreline making it the world’s most picturesque paragliding venue: a scenic take-off and a soft landing.

Due to the peak’s proximity to the sea many relic plant species are endemic to the area. Five million years ago ice melting on the Eurasian plateau flowed south to form glacial canyons, of which the Seven Capes of the Babadag range are prime examples. These canyons hold waterfalls and sandy coves whose depths offer excellent scuba-diving possibilities.

Two years ago a Cable-car was constructed running from Oludeniz up to the Babadag peak. Three restaurants at differing heights offer astounding views, great food, a children’s play area and evening concerts. The  local plains of Esen and Fethiye provide pre-season fruit  and vegetables. 

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