Arriving at the Babadağ Mountain, safety belts are fastened to your legs and chest and hooked onto the snap hook. You take a deep breath for the last time before stepping forward – slowly at first, before gaining more and more pace as you go. You race down the hill and notice your body leaving the ground and slowly ascending. You shoot up even higher with ease and glide through the warm air with your paraglider. All around you is the boundless freedom, with the picture-perfect backdrop of the beaches of Ölüdeniz below. Surrounded by pine forests and mountainous landscapes you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the sea which glistens with various colours from turquoise to aquamarine, merging into dark blue and green tones. It’s so quiet that not even the slightest wave dares to disturb the waters – the Blue Lagoon has truly earned its name Ölüdeniz, meaning Dead Sea. As you let your eyes wander across this paradise, you slowly begin to descend and lose altitude until you land, safe and sound, next to one of the pretty, white beaches which adorn the lagoon.
Ölüdeniz makes history
The fact that this piece of paradise didn’t remain undiscovered for long was to be expected. Although the Turkish region of Lycia, especially the town of Belceğiz, was never exactly famous it’s become familiar to everyone since the discovery of the Blue Lagoon. Well, most of you probably don’t know it under the name of Becelğiz – but Ölüdeniz should ring a bell. Since it’s the beach that made the town famous, its name was used to keep things simple. Countless tourists travel to Turkey every year between April and December in order to swim in the crystal clear waters and relax on the sand and pebble beach. That’s one thing you can do best here: relaxing and enjoying the undisturbed nature. The beach as well as the sea are well protected from the wind and weather by the pine forests. In addition, the beach has been distinguished with the award of a Blue Flag which stands for special water quality. So it’s no big surprise that parts of the beach are subject to nature conservation in order to preserve this beautiful corner of the Earth in its original state.
Tourists drawn to the beauty
As so many tourists travel to Ölüdeniz every year, mass tourism and its consequences are of course also present here. What used to be a small, quiet village is a tourist stronghold today. Nevertheless, in order to create a balance between tourism and nature conservation it has been agreed not to build hotels directly next to the beach as well as in the north-west, while in the south-eastern part of Ölüdeniz you’ll find one building clinging to the next. Although the undeveloped parts of the beach are open to visitors, you have to pay a small fee during the day, which is then used to keep the beach clean. Because of this you have to consider whether renting a hotel room further away will pay off, as even though the hotels near the beach will charge you a bit more for your stay, entry to the beach is often included.
You’re probably suspecting that thanks to its beauty Ölüdeniz is pretty crowded. Unfortunately, you’re right. However, if you’d like to catch a moment of peace and quiet with nature practically all to yourself, the early morning is the perfect time – the view of the sunrise over Ölüdeniz is priceless and hard to put in words.
Arriving in Ölüdeniz
If you’re a fan of holidays in Turkey, you should definitely not miss a trip to Ölüdeniz. If you book a flight to Dalaman or Antalya, getting to this piece of paradise will be a piece of cake. And you can then decide whether you’d rather book a hotel near the beach or one in the popular resort of Fethiye. In case both of these options don’t really appeal to you, I’ve also found some pretty, private accommodation at Airbnb. This way you’re bound to find something to suit your taste. If you need help with the planning, you know where to find me: over at my Deal Finder!