Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Mediterranean Coast

After reading countless poorly translated signs at various archeological sites we knew we had to give our brains a rest and took a bus south toward the Mediterranean Sea. We delighted in the luxury of our transportation on the inside (AC and personal TVs!) while on the outside the scenery slowly transitioned from farmland to rolling mountains covered in spruce trees. Up, down, and around the windy road until we crossed our last mountain pass and nothing but the breathtaking view of the sea stretched out below us. From that high vantage point we could see the dramatic landscape of mountains falling sharply into the crystal blue sea and small wooded islands dotting the crooked coast.

We started our coastal tour in the small town of Icmeler on a peninsula just a few miles south of the resort city Marmaris. We got a great deal on a room overlooking the boardwalk and beach and soon found out why. Out of 54 rooms in our four story hotel there were exactly 53 others available. The Turkish coast is a lonely place in late April.

Lucky for us the weather was amazing and we spent our first few days just lounging on the empty beach. With fresh sunburns and a desire for a little more adventure we headed east along the coast to another small town named Dalyan famous for it's nearby turtle beach.

Dalyan sits on a small river that empties into the Mediterranean a few miles downstream and the main activity in town is a boat tour of the sites along the way. The pontoon style boats were nothing fancy but the tour was well worth the $13. Over the course of the day we visited mud baths and hot springs, swam in a fresh water lake, explored ruins dating back to 400BC, and relaxed on the turtle nesting grounds of Iztuzu Beach.

We even saw a handful of the large Loggerhead turtles as they slowly swam along side our boat on the way down the river.

Our plan was to continue hopping from town to town along the coast but that idea died when we found a little slice of paradise in the bay town Oludeniz. As a town it was nothing special, just a small resort town, but the white pebble beach and crystal clear water surrounded by 3,000 foot mountains looked like a picture out of National Geographic.

We also scored the deal of the century on our accommodation. For $25 we got a nice room overlooking an Olympic size pool, a huge breakfast and dinner buffet, and nightly entertainment.

While we probably would have been content just reading on the beach all day every day we figured we should take advantage of the full day boat tours being offered of the surrounding area. We ended up doing two such tours one of which was on a 100 foot sailboat. We explored a couple islands and underwater ruins, swam into a large cave, lounged on some undeveloped beaches, and snorkeled in the cool Mediterranean.

After six glorious days of sun and buffets we stood the risk of becoming permanent fixtures on the poolside lounge chairs. We worked up the courage to leave paradise and took a brutal 12 hour overnight bus ride to Cappadocia in the middle of the country. The shock-less bus may have undone the relaxation of our bodies but the beautiful beach will be burned into our minds forever.


  1. Favorite posting to date. Laughed out loud of the pics of zach by himself amongst the thatched umbrellas on the empty beach. Loved the words and images!

  2. This is amazing. Looks like you had the 'celeb' treatment!