Ölüdeniz: A Turkish Delight

Located on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, the laid-back beach resort of Ölüdeniz, is the perfect escape for Sussex families, couples and thrill seekers alike, with a plethora of relaxed bars, restaurants and hotels, a sandy and shingle beach, a breath-taking blue lagoon and the opportunity to experience some of the world’s best paragliding, all in one picturesque and protected area, just four hours away from Gatwick.

Thirty five minutes away from the hustle and bustle of busy Dalaman and its international airport, the sleepy seaside village of Ölüdeniz retains all of that traditional Turkish charm that many of us dream about visiting.

Picture postcard pretty is just one way to describe this chilled out resort, with the white sand and shingle Belceğiz beach, contrasting the vivid blue waters of the Aegean Sea, all set against dramatic pine clad hills. In three words; it is bucket list beautiful.

Legend has it that the resort, translated to mean dead sea, was named after the handsome son of a captain fell in love with a girl called Belcekiz, when he visited shore to drink water (in Medieval times, many Greek-bound Syrian and Egyptian ships used to pass by Ölüdeniz and take on board fresh water). The boy then had to leave his love and return to his father’s boat, however, time and time again, he would return and the two would meet.

During one visit, a heavy storm struck the region, and the son told his father to take shelter in a calm cove. However, and like with many fables ; the course of true love did not run smoothly, as the father only believed that his son wanted to visit his beloved and when arguing, hit his son with an oar, for his body to fall into the waves. Eventually, the father found himself in an extremely still cove – just has his son had promised – but, sadly it was too late to apologise, as the son’s body had been found, washed up on the rocks.

Belcekiz, then committed suicide, by jumping on the rocks, after finding her lover’s body. From that day, the place she jumped from was named after her and the resort the boy died, known as: Dead Sea, with the magical changing colours of the water believed to be fires of mourning; one for the girl, one for the boy.

Whether you believe in this local legend or not, one thing that will most certainly give you goose pimples is a trip to Ölüdeniz’ infamous Blue Lagoon. Now, a national park, the stunning protected area is well-worth paying the small entry fee for!

Spend the day relaxing on the sandy shores, swimming in the calm, enchanting waters and taking in that awe-inspiring view. You can also watch the paragliders, descend over the mountains, too! Of course, for those of you feeling brave and wanting to see the Lagoon in a truly memorable way – you can always have a go yourself. Just one company that offers tandem paragliding is Easy Riders (who also organise daily boat cruises, for those wanting a more leisurely sight-seeing experience!).

Located right on the Lagoon, the Suncity Beach Club has its own private blue flag beach, and is a hot sunbathing spot with those who enjoy supping cocktails through the day, toasting the stunning sunsets and dancing the night away.

Speaking of places to party, Ölüdeniz may be a small and quiet resort during the day, but as darkness falls, bars and clubs, such as Revolutions, Crusoes Beach Club and VIP Bar open their doors, for memorable nights of fun!

Fancy something a little more laid-back? Be sure to make a reservation at Ölüdeniz’ highly rated restaurants; Terrace (right next to the sea) and Cloud 9, which has unsurprisingly impressed travel bloggers, with its Italian-influenced home-cooked menu and its amazing location – right next to the main landing area for paragliders. You’ll even find many paragliding pilots, sat around the restaurant’s communal table, watching Cloud 9’s live transmission from Babadag mountain on the big screen, most days.

After either an exhilarating adventure or a blissful chilled-out day in the sunshine, there’s nothing better than strolling back to your nearby hotel for a little bit of Turkish TLC. While many areas of the resort are protected from construction, there is plenty of choice for hotels; ranging from traditionally quaint to luxury boutiques, within Ölüdeniz.

Staying close to the Blue Lagoon and 300m away from the beach, the aptly named Blue Lagoon Hotel is a great base, for those wanting to take in all that Ölüdeniz has to offer. Boasting seventy-three deluxe and standard rooms, along with four large family rooms (all of which have recently been renovated to a high standard), as well as an impressive pool, a kids pool, a restaurant and gorgeous terrace bar, this family run hotel has everything you need, for a carefree holiday.

turkey holiday resort

If you can’t bear to go without Wi-Fi access, during your stay, you’re in luck, as this hotel offers complimentary Wi-Fi in all rooms and communal areas – great for planning those excursions! If you would prefer an internet-free holiday (think digital detox!), don’t worry, the helpful family will be on-hand to help you plan any day trips, including paragliding, private yacht tours and visits to nearby bazaars.

If your dream holiday consists of luxury, regional tastes and sophisticatedly, swimming up to your room, check in to the La Boutique Maya. This luxurious boutique hotel has thirty rooms, with three plush options; swim-up, superior and penthouse, all with terraces for sunbathing and the fantastic opportunity to enter the pool, from your room!

A believer in bigger is better? Upgrade to the divine penthouse rooms, decorated in an authentic style, with oriel windows. Sit by the oriel and sip coffee, or take a dip and wind away any pre-holiday stress in your personal Jacuzzi – you are on holiday, after all!

Each room overlooks the serene and scenic garden and pool area, surrounded by olive and lemon trees and is fabulously equipped with elegant furniture and lighting, as well as free WIFI, air conditioning, flat screen TV, mini bar and tea and coffee making facilities – making it a sumptuous home from home.

Located in the heart of Ölüdeniz, Hotel Unsal is actually one of the first hotels that was built when the resort began welcoming tourists, back in the 1980s. Being one of the first has stood this small, but perfectly formed, family-run hotel in good stead with both Turkish and overseas guests alike, with many returning year after year.

We can see why too; the hotel is just a two minute walk from the beach, fifteen minutes from the lagoon and prides itself on being a guests second home, with cosy rooms, a spacious swimming pool area and 24 hour reception.

Want to visit Ölüdeniz, but on a budget? No worries, or “endişe etme”, as the locals would say! The resort’s Vento Hotel, with it’s gorgeous Turkish garden, is a great place to stay, for those looking to save a few pennies! Unlike many ‘budget’ options, it recently became a boutique hotel and is still close to all amenities!

Regardless of where you stay in Ölüdeniz, one thing is for sure; you won’t forget visiting this terrfic Turkish delight…