Ölüdeniz Beach, near Fethiye

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Ölüdeniz Beach, Fethiye, Turkey

The Perfect Beach

Just look at it! Is this a picture of a perfect beach, or what? A wide swath of sand and pebbles backed by pine-clad mountains from which paragliderssoar.

Ölüdeniz (ur-LEW-deh-neez: “dead,” meaning calm, sea) is a wide pebble beach protected from heavy surf by headlands on both sides, backed by a shallow, steep-walled alluvial valley. It’s only 8.5 km (5.3 miles) south of Fethiye on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.

Actually, the beach is officially named Belcekiz (BEHL-jeh-kuhz). Ölüdeniz is the lagoon at the far end of the beach (not visible in this photo). Even during the worst storms, secluded Ölüdeniz remains calm, which is why mariners gave it its distinctive name.

Ölüdeniz Beach is anything but calm in summer, when hordes of sun-and-sea worshippers descend on it from 50 countries. It holds them all, with room to stretch out.


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