Along Turkey’s stunning Turquoise Coast you’ll find one of the country’s most photographed beaches. The particular stretch of sand is the Blue Flag awarded Ölüdeniz Beach. Otherwise known as the famous Blue Lagoon, an area also renowned for its paragliding.
This beautiful beach is nestled into the bottom of pine-clad Babadag Mountain, close to the town of Fethiye. And it’s a great place to experience the Riviera’s beautiful turquoise waters.
Here’s what you need to know about the beautiful beaches and activities available at Oludeniz. Use the table of contents below to jump to the section you want (or read every word of the post I wrote for you!)
Ölüdeniz Beach / Blue Lagoon Beach is a long beach that runs along about 2 km of coastline and is divided into two.
Belcekiz is the stretch of soft golden sands closest to the steep cliffs of Babadag Mountain and Oludeniz resort. It’s a free–access public beach with sun loungers, water sports, scuba diving and boat trips to places like Butterfly valley and 12 islands.
The sun loungers are in blocks and there are empty stretches of sand between them. So there’s space if you just want to go and lay down your towel without paying for a bed.
Where the beach meets the sea the sand turns to pebbles. Once you’re in, there’s a sharp drop-offquite close to the shore. So take care if you’re not a strong swimmer. And wear shoes to protect your feet.
As I mentioned, paragliding is popular here. There’s a landing site by this beach so be aware of your surroundings when you’re walking about. I saw a few tourists nearly being knocked over as paragliders came careering down from the sky for a fast landing!
The second part of the beach is Olu Deniz or Dead Sea. That part is the sheltered lagoon at the far end. It’s a protected national park so there is usually an entrance fee. It’s just a small fee of a few Turkish Lira that goes towards maintaining the area’s natural beauty. But when I visited in October/November I wasn’t charged.
This is the pebble beach that curves around the mouth of the lagoon. You can reach it by walking all the way to the end of the sandy Oludeniz Beach.
There are a lot of loungers to rent, albeit packed very closely. You can rent one of the cabanas for a bit more space. You can also bring a beach chair of your own so you’re comfortable on the stones.
Because this spot is at the edge of the curve it’s the perfect place to watch the paragliders descend. I’ve heard it’s also lovely at sunset.
If you’re visiting as a family with young children this is a good section to be in. The bay is calm and shallow since the waves are naturally blocked.
Note that most of the far side of this section belongs to beach clubs. For places like Sugar Beach Club and Billy’s Bar you’ll need to pay for entry.
More Beaches Near The Blue Lagoon Turkey
Kidrak beach is another protected nature reserve so be prepared to pay. You won’t need to spend a lot to get in though, just around 13 Turkish Lira per person or around 40 Turkish Lira per car. (Prices may vary based on the season.)
I really liked this beach and it’s less touristy and crowded than the main Blue Lagoon beaches. There is parking as well as toilet and changing facilities. There are picnic tables amongst the shady pine trees if you bring a picnic. And there’s a cafe if you’d prefer to use that.
The sea is generally calm although the water gets deep fairly quickly. The sand here is a bit pebbly.
Blue Lagoon Beaches Accessible Only By Boat
The beaches that I’ve mentioned above are the main beaches around Oludeniz. However, you can visit even more by boat. You can also take a water taxi to a specific beach that you want to visit.
On my tour, we went to the famous Butterfly Valley and St Nicolas island. Although it was a long day I really enjoyed it. The crew was good fun and the other guests were friendly.
On that tour we stopped at:
Camel beach got its name from the rocky islets in front of it since they look like camels lying down. It’s a small beach with pebbles. There are rocks in the water so I was grateful for my water shoes. And the water gets really deep quickly here.
This is Butterfly Valley. The beach is accessible only by boat (well, by paragliding too, if you’re an enthusiast).
The valley is so named because lots of different types of butterflies spend time there. However, I think they’re most prolific in June. I visited in October and there were only a few fluttering about. But beautiful ones nonetheless.
There’s a camping site at Kelebekler Vadisi and a casual restaurant or two. It’s a pleasant beach to spend some time on with wonderfully clear water.
The main thing I enjoyed at Butterfly Valley was hiking up to the waterfall. It takes about 35 minutes to get there and back and there’s a small fee to get to the path. I paid 10 lira in October but the price might be slightly different in other seasons.
The first part of the path is easy and pleasant. As you get to the bottom of the waterfall you need to scramble up the rocks a bit so wear sneakers/trainers.
Best Time To Visit Blue Lagoon Turkey Beaches
With the fragrant pine forests in the background and outstanding blue waters beyond it’s unsurprising that Oludeniz beaches get busy in the summer months. In the height of summer, visitors come from all around Turkey as well as abroad so prepare for a fairly crowded, touristy experience. (Book your hotels early.)
But similar to the Greek islands, the surrounding months still offer great beach weather. The season starts in April which is probably on the cool side for swimming although there are other activities you can enjoy.
The sea temperature starts becoming more bearable from mid-May and rises through the summer. It stays pleasant through the beginning of autumn and you can likely swim until mid-November.
You can absolutely have a great time a the Blue Lagoon in May, June, September and October, even into November. The good news is that there are other activities that are better when it’s a bit cooler. Things like hiking and even sightseeing some of the ancient ruins in the area.
Other Activities Close To Blue Lagoon Beaches
This area of Turkey has a lot to do, especially if you’re only on a short visit.
The trailhead starts on the coastal path above Oludeniz. The whole path takes about a month to walk so don’t head off and expect to be back before tea! You can do a shorter day hike or just go as far as the viewpoint and back.
As you head up the hill the cable cars glide overhead up Pabadag mountain.
I have to say I didn’t enjoy this at all but the views were amazing. There are different levels you can stop at to see. So go up for the views, watch the paragliders take off, and enjoy a meal at one of the restaurants.
Watching the paragliders all around you might make you want to have a go yourself. Tandem jumps are bookable with various companies. Usually, they offer packages which include hotel pick up and drop off and access via the cable cars to the jump site.
Saklikent Gorge was good fun and I would recommend going there if you can make time.
Tlos – get some history in by visiting the remains of the ancient Lycian city at Tlos.
Kayakoy abandoned village – pay a small entrance fee to access and then you can explore the abandoned Greek village.
Wear sneakers/trainers and take water. You can get views at the top and down on the road there are some cafes and little stalls/shops to buy bits and pieces.
Some day trips from Oludeniz combine Tlos with the Tuesday market at Fethiye. It’s renowned for the market which sells everything.
I went on Friday to the villagers’/farmers’ market which was impressive. But on Tuesday it’s much bigger with a huge variety of things for sale.
You can also go to Fethiye yourself and see the rock tombs, waterfront promenade and the old town.
How To Get To The Blue Lagoon Beaches Turkey
Dalaman International is the closest airport to the Blue Lagoon Beaches. Depending on where you’re coming from you can fly here directly. If not you’ll need to come via Istanbul Airport.
Get to Oludeniz by bus – from the airport you can get a shuttle bus to Fethiye. You’ll see the coaches lined up at the domestic arrivals area. Once you arrive in Fethiye you’ll need to get a taxi to Oludeniz so I don’t think this option is worth it.
Get a Taxi/Transfer – having something booked in advance is probably a good idea. I’ve used Welcome Pickups and found them reliable and professional. They operate from Dalaman and have up-to-date prices on their website.
Boat from Rhodes
If you’re combining Turkey with a trip to Greece you can come over on the boat from Rhodes. I bought my ticket online at Ferryhopper.com. For this trip you have to collect a paper version of your ticket. There’s a little booth at the port where you get your ticket an hour before departure.
The boat goes from Rhodes to Fethiye in about 1 hour 45 minutes. From Fethiye, you can get a taxi or dolmus (mini bus) to Oludeniz. Or check whether your hotel offers a shuttle service.
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