We've had a few package holidays in recent years but this time Claire and I decided to try doing it our own way. We'd read about a particularly good hotel in Turkey, jointly run by an English woman and her Turkish business partner. We phoned Maureen and booked up for a week, then booked the flights through an agent she recommended. No trouble, no tour guides, no travel agents. It was easier than I thought.
The hotel we went to is called the Yakamoz Hotel. It's situated on a
plateau between the resort town of Olu Deniz and the port of Fethiye,
on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. Because it's high up, it receives
a bit of a breeze during the night so it was cool enough to sleep. The
first night was difficult, though, as it was hotter than usual, about 110
The hotel was a small one, so we got a chance to get to know the other guests. The pool is a generous size and warmed well by the sun. The food was very good, and cheap, so we ate at the hotel every night.
We had a relaxing holiday, mostly lounging by the pool and reading. When we did venture out, a 15 minute walk to the main road and a couple of minutes wait for a Dolmus, minibuses used for public transport, were enough to get us to the nearby towns. We had to get used to the local currency: two people to Olu Deniz on the Dolmus cost two and a half million lira. But that was just about a pound, so that was OK.
Tuesday is market day in Fethiye, so we went down to have a look around. I hadn't expected too much but was pleasantly surprised: the market was large, and they had a variety of stuff, from fruit and veg, spices, Turkish Delight and apple tea, to jewelery, leather goods and 'designer' wear. The stall owners were friendly, offered us their wares at prices 'cheaper than Asda' and weren't too pushy, though I wasn't best pleased at the man who got my attention with 'Hey, big belly!'.
The hotel had booked a boat trip for us for the Thursday. It was just people at the hotel on our boat, and most of us went, which meant there was a good atmosphere on board. It was a trial getting on and off as the beach at Olu Deniz was suffering from quite a swell, but we all made it on and the boat took us on a trip around the local coastline.
We basically just stopped at various coves in the area, and had a chance to sit on the rocks or swim in the sea for a while. The sea was an amazing turquoise colour, and warm enough to enjoy a swim. We did stop and explore one place - an island called St Nicholas Island, where there were ruins of old houses, and a ruined church near the top.
We went down to Olu Deniz on Friday morning, armed with a cool box of sandwiches made by the waitors at the hotel. There's a choice of beach at Olu Deniz: the public beach faces the Med, and is nice, but the surf is quite strong. There's also a lagoon, though, in a national park area. The lagoon is very calm and lovely for a relaxing place to rest and to swim.
On Saturday we visited Hisoranu, a small town on the way to Olu Deniz. Olu Deniz didn't have much in the way of shops, but Hisoranu has loads of tourist shops, barbers, cafes and restaurants. We managed to complete our list of shopping here, and posted our postcards. After a lunch involving much melon, we caught the Dolmus back to the Yakamoz. As we left the Dolmus, we were greeted by a small cat, which followed us back to the hotel and hung about for the next few days.
Monday and time to head back home. We had a nice time in Turkey. It was very hot when we went in August, but still bearable. We had a nice quiet holiday, but there was plenty opportunity for adventure if we'd wanted: microlights, parachutes, scuba diving, jeep safaris and historical tours were all available. Maybe next time. Thanks to Maureen and all the staff at the Yakamoz.