Ölüdeniz, near Fethiye, Turkey

Ölüdeniz, only 8.5 km (5.3 miles) south of Fethiye over the mountains (map), has some of Mediterranean Turkey‘s most, famous, popular and beautiful beaches. (More photos…)

Hundreds of hotels, flats/apartments and villasaccommodate the international sun-seekers who flock here in the warm months. More…

Belcekız Beach at Ölüdeniz (ur-LEW-deh-neez, “dead” or calm, sea), is big enough to handle the crowds of swimmers and sunbathers, but not always the number of cars and buses that cram the access road.

Paragliders leap from nearby mountaintops, soaring and floating above the beach and the sea, finally landing right on the beach. Tandem paragliding, where an unexperienced person flies with and under the control of a pilot, is very popular.

The fertile alluvial plain behind the beach is now filled with small hotels, pensions and restaurants, and any further expansion has been relegated to the nearby hilltop towns of Ovacık and Hisarönü.

Oludeniz, Turkey
Fun in the sun at Ölüdeniz.

The beach takes its eerie name from the secluded lagoon at the beach’s western end by the 3-star 94-room Hotel Meri. Protected by hills and entered by a narrow channel, the lagoon is calm during even the worst storms.

The Lycian Way, a 500-km (311-mile) rustic footpath, starts in Fethiye and wanders through the hills, descending to Ölüdeniz before ascending again above Kıdrak and Faralya, passing the head of Butterfly Valley before wandering southeastward toward Pataraand, ultimately, Antalya.

To get away from it all, consider the Mandarin Boutique Hotel in Faralya, past Ölüdeniz along the coast.

If you plan only a short stay at Ölüdeniz beach before moving on, you might want to stay in Fethiye, where prices tend to be lower, and take one of the frequent minibuses to Ölüdeniz for the day. All intercity busesoperate out of Fethiye’s otogar (bus terminal).

For distances from Ölüdeniz to other places, see the distances on the Fethiye page, and add 8.5 km (5.3 miles).

—by Tom Brosnahan

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