Vacation in Fethiye
Photo: Adil Gür
Anyone with children knows the challenges involved in taking a family vacation. We recently decided, that, in spite of our very dynamic three-year-old and lively four-month-old, we would test the vacation waters once again.
Who doesn't dream of a beach vacation, loaded with long, leisurely walks on the beach, sunbathing, relaxing at a café table for hours, maybe some shopping? For anyone with children, dreaming is about the closest thing you get these days. The long beach walks are replaced by a voice begging to be carried; sunbathing traded for sunscreen policing and constant umbrella time. Even the café days are augmented by bouncing the kids on both knees while one spouse tries to gobble lunch down. But I digress; we recently traveled to Fethiye on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey to see if there was some truth to the tales of beautiful water and uncrowded beaches.
After a nine-hour trip by car (with ample time allowed for potty breaks of course) we arrived and checked into our Apart-Hotel in Çalış Beach. I'm as much a fan of all-inclusive 5 star hotels as anyone, but there is certain beauty to paying only 30 million TL a day for a large suite with kitchen and separate bedroom. The kitchen is brilliant to have if one has bottles and formula to prepare, and the refrigerator just as useful for those little snacks. Our apart-hotel was equipped with a pool. Maybe it was just our good luck, but it was practically deserted during the day.
The beaches are as good they say they are; amazing considered that they appear in photos and advertisements of Turkey around the world. The Ölüdeniz (blue lagoon) is a treasure, with lovely sandy beaches and tempting turquoise water just right for the little ones. As it's a sheltered inlet there are no strong currents or crashing waves. As good as it looks from the beach, I'm sure it's even more breathtaking from the water. You'll see many offers for yacht tours for as little as 10 million TL the hour. Having had good enough fortune though with our children for the moment, we decided not to try our yachting luck and instead took the car to a beach ironically named 'Gemi Plaji' (Boat Beach). Again, the crowds were still smaller than you would expect at the height of tourist session. We spent a lovely afternoon playing on the beach, a pebbly one butted against olive groves with a soundtrack of cicadas in the background. As with all the beaches in the area, you don't have to go far to find a place to have a bite to eat or have a drink. Most have a slew of charming family-run restaurants ready to prepare a local meal just off the beach.
Fethiye itself has a convenient center, so those pushing baby carriages and totting sleepy little people can enjoy a stroll after all. For those who have the liberty of more activities, paragliding above the Ölüdeniz is a popular pastime at around 110 million TL for a 45-minute descent. Hiking, horseback riding, and water sports are also available. If you need a break from the beach there are many ruins in the area to explore at your leisure. Even our three-year-old got a kick out of Kayaköy, a deserted formally Greek settlement with lots of ruins that date back to the 15th century.
The verdict? After having had such an enjoyable time there is still hope for
tantrum-free family vacations. Well, unless you count the one when you will
all have when it's time to go home.
Latest comments about this article
By clover 27.5.2010
Dear Nicole, I lost your e-mail but found this article as I was surfing mymerhaba pages :) and I really am curious about the name of the place you stayed, and if you have discovered even nicer places for families with kids (like me) since then. Hope you´re well, Yonca email@example.com
By Butterfly63 29.11.2004
Please can you tell me where you stayed for such a great price???!!!
By turkeyfan 22.8.2004
we were also in Fethiye, 23rd May 2002. for photos see at: www.brandtjes.nl (travelreport 2002)
By CurtisMoe 23.3.2004
It seems clear to me that Ms. Ozturan should be writing for one of Turkey´s Travel and Tourism publications as her descriptions of the beach areas are vivid and very inviting!
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