Friday, April 18, 2014

Beach, Bacon, and Booze Visiting Ölüdeniz, Turkey

This piece first appeared on Check it out for all things food and travel related.

So you've been travelling through Turkey for a few weeks now. Perhaps you've been educated by the lengthy role this country has played in history. Maybe you've been rendered speechless by the natural wonders. Definitely you've put on a few pounds, having indulged in all the great Turkish specialities. But maybe, just maybe you would give anything for a slice or two of bacon with your kahvalti (breakfast). If you are looking for a little slice of the Western world in this unique foreign country, the beach town of Ölüdeniz is perfect for the homesick Traveler. Most of the signs are in English in this small village in the Fethiye district. Tiki bars line the streets offering a variety of nightly specials like my personal favourite 2 for 1 Margaritas. Then there's the bacon. Not only does just about every brunch joint serve a traditional English breakfast but Ölüdeniz has it's own Porky's, so you can stock up on Pork products if you so desire. 

Once your bacon craving has been satisfied, it's easy to see why Westerners, and Turks alike flock here in the summer months. The beach called Belcegiz pronounced Beljehiz is where the Aegan meets the Mediterranean. The water is clear, warm, and a celeste turquoise blue. The sand is soft and white except for at the water's edge. Here there is a metre wide bench of stones, that add a great percussion to the crashing of the waves, but are not so kind to sensitive feet. I recommend water shoes, especially if you have kids with you. Access to the beach is free but there is a $5TL fee if you want the comfort of a beach chair or umbrella. 
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The beach couldn't be more relaxing, but if adrenaline pumping is more your style, paragliding off Mount Babadag will surely do the trick. The elevation is almost 2,000 metres, thats 6,400 feet up. It takes about 50 minutes to get to the top and another 50 to paraglide down, while you enjoy a view fit for the gods. Prices start at around $250TL which is about $120 US. You want to check for two things before booking with a company; 1 they offer insurance and 2 you are going to the very top of Babadag. Some companies only go halfway up which means you end up flying for only 10-15 minutes often for the same price as the 50 minute adventure. 
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Some other great activities available in the area include; day long boat trips that provide lunch, great views of the coast and the best swimming spots. Hiking the Lycian way. Rock climbing. Or try out a rejuvenating full body clay mask. Inline image 1

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