Turkey's poster child
Olu Deniz is a bit of a show off. This small resort on Turkey's south-west coast serves up the Blue Lagoon, one of the most photographed beaches on the Med.The rest of the place scrubs up pretty well, too – it sits in a lush valley backed by pine trees. And it’s dead easy to get around – the shops, bars and restaurants line up for inspection on the street down to the beach and along the promenade.
Two top beaches
It’s no wonder the Blue Lagoon is top dog. It’s got National Park status, a Blue Flag award and more shades of turquoise than Photoshop. It can get quite crowded, but Olu Deniz has a back-up plan – another beach next door. This one’s a shingly stretch that drops quite steeply into the sea.
While the beach gets top billing, the promenade is also a bit of a star in its own right. By day, it’s the landing pad for paragliders who drop out of the air from the top of nearby Babadag Mountain. Watching them zoom in is a spectator sport in itself. And at night, the bars along this stretch turn up the volume to get things in the party mood.
Close to Fethiye
A 20-minute drive brings you to the pretty waterfront resort of Fethiye. The big pulls at this place include an atmospheric old quarter, a swanky yacht-packed harbour, and a weekly market crammed with carpets, ceramics and handcrafted jewellery.