Bay wonder: Is Oludeniz Turkey's most beautiful resort?

Bay wonder: Is Oludeniz Turkey's most beautiful resort?


Beyaz Yunus, an Exclusive Escapes property in Oluzdeniz

Oludeniz is not just one of the Mediterranean’s most magnificent bays, it’s a cover star. Indeed, the resort on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast is instantly recognisable from its starring role on posters, brochures and tourist board trade material.

Photis Lambrianides, Olympic Holidays commercial director says: “With its amazingly photogenic beach it has become the iconic image of the Turkish Riviera.”

Located just over an hour away from the gateway airport of Dalaman, framed by mountains and beautiful beaches, its position in a National Park has shielded it from overdevelopment.

It doesn’t just have the looks, there’s plenty to appeal to a broad range of clients. Accommodation ranges from budget two-stars to exclusive boutique properties.

The resort is certainly proving a hit with UK holidaymakers. Cosmos has seen a 50% year-on-year increase in sales and it’s also one of the most popular Turkish resorts for Olympic, which is featuring its biggest ever programme to the destination this summer.

Anatolian Sky’s managing director Akin Koc cites the value for money, beautiful scenery and an authentic Turkish experience as reasons for the resort’s popularity, adding: “Some 2012 prices are even lower than 2011, for example the four-star all-inclusive Hotel Meri in May 2012 is down to £669 from £685 in May 2011.”

Beaches

The Blue Lagoon on Oludeniz is said to be Turkey’s most photographed beach. There is a small entrance charge, but it’s well worth it for the idyllic surroundings and calm sea, where no motorised water sports are allowed.

Locals and those in the know head for the less crowded shingle beach at Kidrak, five minutes outside Oludeniz, or the bay of Gemiler. Both beaches are served by the dolmus bus network.

Nearby Fethiye, a traditional market town set around a natural harbour, is a centre for scuba diving. The promenade is closed to traffic during the summer, making it safe for children. Fethiye’s two-and-a-half-mile-long Calis beach shelves into the bay and the breeze and shallow waters at the northern end offer perfect conditions for windsurfing. Lessons and equipment hire are available.

Other beaches are inaccessible by road and a boat trip is a relaxing way to spend a day touring the islands with breaks for swimming and snorkelling.

Accommodation update

Wings Abroad is increasing beds in Oludeniz by about 10% and the 2012 programme is now on sale on the website, with the brochure due to be distributed to agents in September.

Prices are being pegged at 2011 levels with the three-star Karbel Beach Hotel leading in at £299 half-board in May 2012. Next year the operator will also offer flights from Glasgow and Newcastle.

Anatolian Sky has added another exclusive property to its programme, the four-star Orange Hotel. Situated by the beach, the 24 room adult-only property is perfect for couples and Anatolian recommends upgrading clients to the ground floor rooms, which have whirlpool baths. Prices in May 2012 start from £595, including an early booking discount.

Another top option for couples is Exclusive Escapes’ stylish Beyaz Yunus, a boutique property tucked away behind riad-style walls. The seven sea-view suites have large private terraces with outdoor Jacuzzis and there is a big emphasis on gourmet food.

Cosmos’s summer 2012 preview brochure has prices leading in at £259 B&B at the Ata Lagoon Beach Hotel. Its three-diamond-rated Asena Beach Hotel, sold on a B&B basis, is also popular with couples.

This summer Olympic Holidays added two all-inclusives in Oludeniz, the four-star Alize Hotel, an 111-room property with good children’s facilities, and the three-star Turquoise Hotel with 130 rooms. The operator features more than two dozen hotels in the resort.

Attractions

In addition to an abundance of water sports, other activities on offer in the area include mountain biking, jeep safaris, quad biking, horse riding and, for thrill seekers, paragliding from Babadag Mountain or white-water rafting on the Dalyan river.

Oludeniz has a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere and those in search of nightlife can head to the bars and clubs in Hisaronu, on the mountain plateau overlooking Oludeniz.

Popular excursions include trips to Dalyan to see the ancient Lycian rock tombs and take a dip in the mineral-rich mud baths. Alternatively, a visit to the hilltop ruins of Tlos can be combined with a trip to Saklikent, Europe’s second longest gorge, and the Yakapark trout farm and water gardens.

Sample product

Exclusive Escapes offers seven nights’ half-board at Beyaz Yunus from £1,350 in September, including flights from Heathrow, Bristol or Manchester, transfers, and a day’s luxury gulet cruise. exclusiveescapes.co.uk

Olympic Holidays offers seven nights’ all-inclusive at the four-star Alize Hotel from £589 in August. The price includes return flights from Gatwick and transfers.
olympicholidays.com

Hotels4U has seven nights at the four-star Belcehan Deluxe Hotel from £640 B&B in September, including flights from Gatwick. h4u.co.uk

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