Stunning coast, crystal clear waters, freezing temperatures!
02.04.2010 - 03.04.2010 20 °C
We decided to drive up the coast from Fethiye, to find Butterfly Valley, an apparently isolated beach only accessible by boat, or by car plus a hike. Boats weren't running at this time of year, so we piled into the Turkeymobile and zoomed as best we could along the coast, with a huge drop to the ocean beside us. We stopped a couple of times to take in the beautiful Mediterranean - cerulean blue and crystal clear.
We arrived at a really steep canyon with beautiful turquoise water below, which was Butterfly Valley. We followed our nose along the roads and came to a cluster of houses and pensions clinging to the side of the cliffs. We were here. The friendly locals at a pension pointed us towards the 'path' down to the valley, which were merely red spraypainted dots on rocks. "Only follow the red dots" we were instructed, advice we stuck to, having read about tourists who perished while straying off the marked trail. We were about 200m above the valley, with a lush-looking meadow and some fields at the bottom.
Our descent was hair-raising, to say the least as we climbed down the treacherous rocks - a combination of loose scree, some rock-climbing (literally), switch-back turns and some very big drops. In places the track was no more than a goat track, with some ropes to assist the descent. We found it difficult walking down in our walking shoes, and poor Lisa only had her jandals on! (Mind you they were all-terrain jandals!). After about 45 minutes we hit the valley floor and headed through the fields towards the beach, passing lodgings along the way, wooden huts. Lucky for us we arrived just in time for lunch, so we admired the grey-stoned beach and dipped our toes in the cold, clear water. Lunch was a communal, serve-yourself affair. We munched on salad, lentil soup and spaghetti and watched the bohemiem guests simultaneously eat and dance on the stony ground to the booming music.
The climb back up was a hot and tricky affair, but we made up back up and thirstily necked water and Fanta at the pension cafe at the top, marvelling at the German travellers who climbed up with bulging backpacks! We drove back to Fethiye and stopped at the Greek ruins of Kayakoy, which were about 2,000 abandoned and derelict stone ruins from the period of resettlement in the 1920s. We also stopped small town called Ölüdeniz, which was closed for the winter but typically, full of English pubs for the tourists who flock to the coast in summer.
The next day after breakfast Lisa tried to organise a boat trip for us, which was a lot harder than it sound, being a shoulder season, and even the hotel staff struggled to find operators for us. Luckily one was found, which was a 12-island cruise and was departing in ten minutes. We headed straight there and onboard in time. The tour was fantastic, the water and views amazing. We pulled into several sheltered bays to amble off the boat and also dive into the water... which was heart-attack-inducing icy! Jac had forgotten her togs so apologised to the rest of the boat for swimming in her undies and t-shirt... of course that day she happened to be wearing her most daggy grey ones! The day was spent swimming (and screaming), chilling out in the sun, listening to music and drinking lots of Efes. Hilarously, we spied another boat, seemingly full of teenagers, who were all on the hull in formation, practising a Macarena-esque dance to some Europop. After a brilliant, relaxing day on the water we pulled back into Fethiye harbour, said goodbye to our new friends and walked back to our hotel for more drinks served by Sean Connery.
A deserted patch of gorgeous beach
Jac and Chalky
Jac and Lisa overlooking Butterfly Valley
Butterfly Valley - a treacherous climb down
Heading down... slowly!
Looking at the cliffs we'd climb back up
Chalky, Jac and Lisa on the boat
The perfect water
Grinning despite the scream-inducing icy water!
Chalky goes to try the rope swing
All chilled out