Since my birthday was last Wednesday (the 22nd), I decided to plan a trip to celebrate with a few others. We went out to Fethiye, in the Muğla Province on the Mediterranean coast. It’s famous for its nice beaches with turquoise water. It was a lot of fun!
On Friday we mostly hung around the town, and also walked up to the Lycian tombs carved into the mountain, which is just a short walk from the marina. It is the home to the Tomb of Amyntas, built in 350 BC. You can also get a nice view of the city from the tomb.
On Saturday we did an all-day boat tour that was arranged by our hostel. We started out at the famous Ölüdeniz, and spent the day stopping at various beaches to swim or to just hang out on the beach. Ölüdeniz means “Dead Sea,” given that name because it generally has pretty calm waters. Unfortunately it was pretty choppy on Saturday, so not only did many of us (including me!) get nauseous from the rocking, but that also meant that we had to stay close to the bays on one side, and had to miss out on the famous Butterfly Valley. But it was still fun!
My favorite stop was St. Nicholas’ Island, home to the ruins of the St. Nicholas Monastery, built around the 7th century AD. From the top of the island you have a nice view of the sea.
Saturday evening we had dinner at a restaurant along the marina, recommended by the Lonely Planet guide. On the way there we actually spotted a couple of Loggerhead turtles (an endangered species!). I tried to get a good photo of them, but they’re still a little hard to make out. There are a few beaches in the part of Turkey where they can be found.
And then on Sunday we took a trip to see Saklıkent Canyon, about a 45 minute mini-bus ride. It was very tiring but definitely worth the time. There is a footbridge along the gorge that you walk on, and you reach a small park surrounded by water streaming down from other parts of the mountain. We walked along the edges in the most shallow parts for a little bit, but the water was freezing cold so that didn’t last too long. Some people were crossing the river to walk along the other side, but even though it was a more shallow crossing, the water still went up to the waist on most people, so we all decided against it.
It’s not often that I get to spend my birthday on the Mediterranean coast, so I feel pretty lucky! As of today I only have 24 days left in Turkey, and just a few more trips until it’s time to go home!