So we left Antalya to head towards the coastal settlement of Olympos. Olympos is a tiny little resort type area that consists mainly of hotels and restaurants near a pebbly beach and some old ruins. So once we arrived there we quickly found a summer camp like hotel (most of the hotels here are set up to handle a hundred or more guests and include dinner and breakfast so it kind of feels like staying in a summer camp while you’re here) and got organized for our Blue Cruise starting the next day, a Blue Cruise is a 4 day sailing trip from Olympos to Fethiye that’s been nicknamed a Blue Cruise.
After getting all settled in we decided to walk down through the ruins and check out the beach, our first beach experience on the Mediterranean. The walk down to the beach was quite nice and we got to see lots of old ruined buildings along the way which we hadn’t expected, or at least not of the quality that we saw. Arriving at the beach we quickly found a nice pebbly spot (the entire beach was covered in small rounded rocks) and spread out to enjoy the day. The beach was pretty windy and so at times it seemed more like we were bracing ourselves from the wind rather than enjoying the beach but it was still enjoyable. The water at the beach was crystal clear as well and fairly warm so it was wonderful for swimming. After relaxing on the beach for a few hours we headed back to our “camp” and spent some time checking out the fantastic ruins on the way.
That evening we joined a tour to the nearby site of Chimaera, which is a place where fire has been burning on the side of Mt Olympos for centuries. The flames here are just points where natural gas is seeping through cracks in the mountain and has been set on fire. So after being deposited at the base of a short walk we climbed a part of Mt Olympos to see the Chimaera site. Here there were about 20 spots that were on fire and was extremely interesting to see, especially at night as it lit up the surrounding area wonderfully. After seeing the flames we returned back to our hotel to prepare for our boat cruise the next day.
The following day at 10 am we were picked up and got to enjoy a nice hour long van ride to Demre, the starting point of the cruise. After enjoying an early lunch and wandering around the town for a few minutes we got to board our boat and we were underway. The first day of sailing we sailed by a little town located on the coast (I think, it may have been an island but I doubt it) and got to enjoy some time to swim in the beautiful Mediterranean then. After our short swim we proceeded to sail over the remains of a sunken city, an old city that became submerged under water after an earthquake, although the water was too choppy to really be able to see anything of note below us. We continued on to our mooring spot for the night and enjoyed another swim in the Mediterranean before spending the evening relaxing on the boat for the night.
The next morning we set sail bright and early to arrive in the port of Kas where we enjoyed our breakfast. After breakfast we were given a few hours to wander around the city which is supposed to be one of the most beautiful cities in Turkey. The city was quite picturesque although because of this it is also very touristy but still an enjoyable stop from the cruise. Mom and I started off by walking around the town for a bit and stumbled upon the remains of an old theater just on the edge of the town. After seeing the theater we spent our remaining time just wandering around looking for some nice beaches and seeing the town. Returning to the boat we continued sailing for a bit and spent the afternoon swimming in a couple of different bays and generally just enjoying the great sunshine and the beautiful waters of the Mediterranean. During one of our stops we caught some sea urchins and with the help of a fellow Japanese tourist we cracked them open and enjoyed some uni.
The third day on the boat we started off by sailing for Butterfly valley, a secluded little bay that’s famous for being a stop on the migration path for one type of butterfly. Unfortunately we were there at the wrong time of year for any of the butterfly’s, but we did enjoy a walk through the valley to a spectacular waterfall that we climbed up. The climb up the waterfall was a lot of fun as it required actually climbing up where the water was falling using ropes and stuff to pull us up. After visiting the butterfly valley we proceeded to sail to Oludeniz, a beautiful resort town and a great lagoon for swimming. Here we spent several hours swimming and jumping off cliffs into the great water while a couple of guys on the cruise went paragliding. After stopping off at Oludeniz we continued to St Nicholas’s Island, an island that houses the ruins of a small town and most importantly was a spot where St Nicholas lived for a few years. Here we enjoyed our last night of being rocked to sleep on our great cruise boat.
Our final day on the cruise we got to finally sleep in and we slowly made our way to the port in Fethiye. Upon arriving in Fethiye mom and I found a hotel and I proceeded to relax for the afternoon while mom went to and abandoned ghost town just outside of Fethiye. That evening we enjoyed a delicious fish meal from the local fish market before retiring to our solid be for the night.
The next day we decided to spend the morning touring around Fethiye before catching a bus out to Selcuk to see Ephesus. As a result I decided to head out to the ghost town that mom visited yesterday as she spoke so highly of it while she did some shopping in the weekly market. So I headed out to the ghost town to see a small village of completely abandoned buildings standing alone on a beautiful hillside. The village had once been an entire Christian community but after the first world war when all of the Christians were deported to Greece the village was forced to be abandoned. As a result today you can walk around the crumbling remains of this old town and see just how much the buildings have deteriorated in the fast 80 years. A truly extraordinary sight.
After returning to Fethiye to meet up with mom, we quickly made our way to the bus station and caught a bus to Selcuk where we were going to see Ephesus and our last stop together in Turkey. More on that next time though.
Originally written for Devin’s Travels