It was finally time to explore some of Turkey’s amazing coastline after seeing some amazing historical sites.Â We spent four wonderful days in this area on the Mediterranean sea (8/25/11 – 8/29/11).
The first town, Fethiye, was a large town of 50, 000 with a large harbor.Â We arrived mid-day after another crazy dolmus ride and a standard, uneventful bus ride.Â Luckily the bus was empty and we each got our own bench seat as Mike was too big for the seats and his legs were up to his chin.
Our pension in Fethiye was called “Ideal,”Â but it was anything but ideal!Â We arrived and after some discussion over the promised price, we saw the room.Â We agreed to stay there, but looking back, we should have just walked out and foundÂ a different hotel.Â The room had a beautiful view of the sea, but the bathroom was disgusting!Â It was super small, so there was no shower stall or curtain.Â So the water went everywhere and mold was growing as everything was wet most of the time.Â I wore my shower shoes!!
That first afternoon, we went to the local beach about 2 miles away from our hotel room.Â It felt great to swim in the water and cool off!Â It is still super hot and the only way to cool off is to submerge in the water!Â The harbor is beautiful with the surrounding hills covered in trees.Â You could see Lycian tombs carved into the hillsides from the water which was really neat.
We spent the next day on a boat cruising around the harbor.Â The boat was good size and there were close to 50 people on board.Â We found a spot in the shade to relax near the back of the boat.Â The captain was quite laid back and often left the wheel to get himself some tea or smoke another cigarette.Â Luckily, there wasn’t too much boat traffic and we went slow:)Â
There are 11 islands in the harbor varying in size.Â We stopped at 5 of them throughout the day to swim.Â Mike and I were in the water from the moment that the boat stopped to right before it was going to take off again.Â It was too hot to be on the boat and too much fun not to be in the water.Â I’m glad that Mike enjoys swimming as much as I do!Â At all but one, we just jumped from the steps of the boat to swim in the deep water and the boat just anchored.Â At Flat Island, the boat docked and we explored the Island a bit, but mostly swam.Â The water was perfectly clear and a beautiful shade of blue/teal.Â It was a great way to spend the day, and we didn’t get back until 6:30 after 8 hours on the boat!
We left the next day to go to Kabak via a Dolmus.Â There was quite the crowd waiting for the Dolmus, mostly Turkish young folks going there to spend their week holiday as Ramazan was almost over.Â The Dolmus arrived and we all piled in – 24 people, plus luggage in a 15 passenger van!Â The ride was an hour long up steep, windy roads with big drop offs to the sea below.Â We made it safe and sound, but I am starting to believe the guidebook that the Dolmus drivers are all nuts!
Once in Kabak, we easily found a place to stay at Half Moon and we slept in a small woodenÂ hut overlooking the water.Â The beach was a 40 minute walk down a steep hill.Â There were tarps set up so there was shade to relax.Â The water was again perfect temperature and we swam all afternoon.Â Our hotel included dinner, so we headed back there to relax on the terrace where I made friends with the owners 7ish year old daughter.Â Their cat had just had a litter of kittens, so together we chased them and played with them.Â They were so cute and fuzzy, and I am not a cat person!
The next day we got an early start as we planed to hike a portion of the Lycian way (a 500km trail) to the next town for a total of 7km.Â We needed to head out early as it has been in the high 90’s and I have not been doing well in the heat plus we had our full packs.Â So we left the hotel around 7:30.Â The trail was marked with red and white spray paint every 100′ or so.Â After 10 minutes, we made a turn downhill after asking a few folks.Â What we didn’t do was consult the guidebook to confirm the turn, but there were markers going downhill.Â Well after 10 minutes, they stopped.Â After an hour of trying to figure it out, we finally looked at the guidebook and we were supposed to go uphill at the turn, not downhill.Â We decided that the local camps like to bring traffic their way by marking their trails with red and white too!Â But some of it was our fault for not following the directions:)Â
After getting back on track, we hiked 3 hours in the scorching heat.Â The first 1.5 hours was all uphill.Â At one point we stopped for some water, and we were completly drenched in our own sweat.Â It looked like we had been swimming!Â The middle of the hike was flat and we hiked through abandoned terraces with amazing views of the sea.Â All the grass was brown, and we later found out that it had not rained since May!Â The last section of the hike was downhill through steep switchbacks through a pretty pine forest.Â We ran into a young boy and his flock of sheep and also some goats.Â We passed them fine, and it was cool to be out in rural Turkey!
We got into Faralya and headed to George House, the recomended hotel.Â They had a room and we both took cold showers to lower our body heat.Â I’m glad we did the hike and my legs felt strong, but the heat was so intense!
After some recovery time and an amazing lunch at George’s, we headed to the beach.Â The hike down to Butterfly valley takes 45 minutes and is a super steep trail with some sections of 4th class downclimbing.Â They had ropes installed to assist as well.Â We ran into a few scared folks, but we helped them along.Â We did get passed by a pushy guy wearing a speedo and hiking boots.Â What an image!
The beach was great and is supposed to be a good area to see the local butterflies.Â I don’t think we saw any, but I enjoyed checking out the valley walls as they were steep rock cliffs.Â So beautiful!Â After our fill of swimming, we hiked back up to George’s to enjoy watching the sunset over the sea.Â Dinner was again included in our stay and it was delicous.Â George’s is run by a family and they grow almost everything they serve on their land, so it is all super fresh.Â I loved staying here and I could have stayed a few more days.Â Plenty of the guests had been there 30+ days:)Â
This area of Turkey has been amazing and so beautiful. The people continue to be super friendly and helpful.Â The water is so clear and nice and the scenery is awesome!Â I was sad to leave, but happy that we would be spending some more time at the beach!