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Famed for its sparkling lagoon and pine-clad peaks, Olu Deniz sets the bar pretty high for beach holidays. With blissful Blue Flag stretches of sand, an undeveloped national park and super affordable prices, it’s the Turquoise Coast at its beautiful best.
Since tourism took off here in the 60s, Olu Deniz has stood out for one spectacular reason: the Blue Lagoon. A dreamy oasis sheltered by a spit of fine, white sand, “postcard perfect” doesn’t even do this stunning attraction justice.
The beach isn’t bad, either. It stretches away from the lagoon for a mile, sandwiched between a rolling tumble of mountains and the peaceful Aegean. Resort-style facilities – including sunloungers and beach umbrellas – are available to rent, and there’s plenty to do. Spend a lazy day on the sand, take a blast on the banana boats, or don your goggles for a bit of snorkelling.
For those who need a little adrenaline with their vitamin D, there’s Babadag. A hulking mountain popular with paragliders, you can hurl yourself from its 1,960m summit – if you are brave enough – for unrivalled views of the lagoon and beyond. Paragliding not your bag? The minibus ride to the top takes on hairpin after hairpin – more than enough action for some – and you can reward your efforts with sweeping views accompanied with a Turkish coffee from the cafe.
If all that all sounds a bit much, the town’s bars and restaurants are a good spot to watch the action – the sky above Olu Deniz is dotted with colourful gliders who have taken the leap – with a cold Efes beer.
You’ll find a good selection of hotels set back away from the beach, from the affordable to the upscale, and more still a few miles away in busy Fethiye. Regular buses (dolmuş) connect the two towns, if you’ve not rented your own wheels.
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