I’d never been to Turkey before, so the opportunity to visit the Muğla region was something I didn’t want to pass up. A chance to see what the country has to offer and to see if my perceptions were accurate or not.
Whenever someone’s mentioned Turkey to me in the past, I think of your all inclusive holiday offers and typically the kind of break that involves spending a lot of time by a pool and in the resort. Seeing the itinerary for this trip, I knew we’d be staying in some resorts like this, but of course we had a variety of activities – which, if you know me, sounds a lot more suited to my kinda holiday. So here we go, here’s my thoughts on visiting Turkey with PR Box to hit up the key points along the turquoise coast.
Where We Stayed
This was our first stop on our Turkish road trip. As soon as we arrived, tired from an overnight flight and drive to reach Bodrum, a quick breakfast followed by a nap sounded like a great idea. Breakfast was available buffet style and this was the same at each of the four hotels we stayed at during the trip. Drawn towards pastries, I picked up a few different ones (my favourite having olives in, mmm) some cheese (because why not) more olives (because I had to give them a try – and it was a little novelty to have olives for breakfast) and some fruit just to balance out the savoury. The view across Bodrum from the rooftop at the hotel is quite something, especially on a bright morning. Definitely pick a table outside and enjoy the view with your morning coffee.
Sentido Orka Lotus Beach, Marmaris
This was my favourite of the four hotels we stayed in. Ultimate luxury in Marmaris. The jetty out to the sea, the beach and what a stunning sunset from the Blue Bar and sunrise I witnessed the following morning from my balcony. The room had all the little touches you’d want, a big comfy bed, two massive mirrors in the room (so if you were sharing this room there’d be no fighting to get ready) tea and coffee and even a sewing kit. Plus the shower was huge; though if you’ve seen my vlog you’ll already know about this!
Green Nature Diamond, Marmaris
I had a great view across the resort to the sea from my top floor room here. We actually had some time to relax by the pool here and sampled a few of the cocktails for review purposes of course.. I’d recommend the cosmo (always) though there were a few interesting ones on their list and the bar staff were really helpful and friendly. There’s a beach just behind the pool area too if you want to listen to the sound of the waves while you get into that new read, or soak up the sun. I even caught some of the evening entertainment whilst we were at Green Nature; from the comfort of my balcony with tea of course. Little tip too, just in case you don’t already do this; where I have a twin room I always push two beds together so I have more room and for this night (since I had a triple room) I used the third bed to lay out my outfit for the next day.
photo- Orka Sunlife
Orka Sunlife Hotel, Oludeniz
This hotel is set up on the hillside and has a great atmosphere. From the plush comfy chairs in the lobby and bar, to the huge pool in the centre of the complex, some fun water slides (that I’m still sad I never had a chance to go on) and the incredible mountainside and sea views. I would’ve liked to stay here longer and explore the area more. Knowing this hotel has access to a beach nearby, I would’ve liked to see that and have a beach day. But it’s just reason to consider going back to the Oludeniz region. Oh and the bed here was super comfy, so comfy I actually slept in, oops! Little shout out to the mirror too, as the one in my room was huge and illuminated too. Fancy. My balcony area, being in the Saturn complex (all the areas are names after planets and solar system touches are my bag – so I loved this) was more of a terrace as I couldn’t see across the resort. It was still a nice touch though and an area where you could relax in the warm evenings.
What We Did
Bodrum was our first stop, where we had some time to look around the hotel. As it’s right on the beach, we headed down to have a look, and it was a great opportunity to wear my white swimsuit from Tobi. Later in the day we walked around the streets of Bodrum, stopped by a cute cafe on the waterside for coffee
Between Bodrum and Marmaris we stopped at this lookout point (see my top photo) and could see all the way over to the coast. I could even spot the kites from people kitesurfing, as apparently it’s a popular sport down at Akyaka. There’s plenty space to pull over at the roadside to take in the view, and I would definitely recommend you do. Even if you just stop for 5 minutes, it’s worth it.
Marmaris market and marina. Now I’ll be totally honest here, the market wasn’t quite the traditional market I expected, but their grand bazar is the place to go if you’re looking for genuine fakes. There were a couple sweet shops around there too, including one that had a great selection of turkish delight that I wish I’d picked up. It’s always the things you don’t buy… As we had some time, we made our way around the marina, admiring the boats and yachts that were docked. It’s definitely an area you could spend a slow afternoon if you want to leave the resort for a change of scenery.
Dalyan river tour: where we saw the lycian rock tombs in the mountainside (I left my camera on the minibus for this trip, knowing we were headed to the mud baths so check out my vlog and instagram to see more of this) which were really impressive. The detail you could see even just from the boat looking up at these tombs, and the time and effort it must’ve taken to carve these into the mountainside. Our boat trip took us over to the cleopatra mud baths, which were a little smelly, but trust me if you can get over the smell and the feeling of mud between your toes, your skin will thank you for it. As for how far you dip yourself in the thermal pool, well that’s up to you. I guess it depends how well you can hold your breath/how much you’re bothered by the smell of well, onions, if I had to sum it up.
Sailing in Fethiye was a highlight. Having been sailing before I knew this would be fun (I spent some time on yachts in Australia – and I will have some posts up about that very soon!) and that luckily I don’t feel seasick. We had a private yacht from Alesta Sailing and the crew were great. I went for full titanic pose, wandered around the yacht and dipped my feet in the sea when we stopped for one of two swimming stops. The trip seemed to fly by and soon we were coming back into the marina and taken over to the Alesta Yacht Hotel for some cocktails and nibbles. Anytime I’m offered olives, I’ll oblige. Always.
Fethiye market was a great experience. To mix with the locals going about their daily business buying fruit and vegetables (honestly, I wish I’d had the chance to visit a market at the start of our trip, as I would’ve stocked up on some fruit to snack on during the week) I had a turkish pastry that was so sweet and translating back to gbp, probably around 25p. If I could’ve bought a batch to bring back, I would’ve!
Fethiye marina is a place to visit whether you’re going on a boat trip or not. I spotted turtles in the water by the boats and as you can expect, was extremely overwhelmed by this. Have your camera ready and be patient and you might spot one or two of these amazing animals.
Rixos Premium Gocek is a luxury resort and we spent our last evening here for dinner. The resort is stunning, with a secret beach, the marina and the pool area looked great, even on an evening. It was a clear night so I stopped to take in the night sky after our three course dinner, which was so good and a great way to finish off our trip!
So my perceptions of Turkey were all wrong. I assumed, based on the location that it would be sandy with quite dry terrain, difficult to grow crops. Oh how I was wrong. It’s very much the opposite, yes there are some roads that are like dirt tracks which can be a bit bumpy – particularly if you’re trying to get up a mountain, or up to the viewpoint we visited to look out across Oludeniz, but the actual landscape is so green. There are trees everywhere, lots of flowers, it’s really mountainous and the scenery – well I’ll let that speak for itself. I also really noticed how friendly the locals were. Oh and the Turkish tea (cay) is great, I wish I’d had chance to buy some to bring home!
ps. If you’ve not yet watched my vlog, do check it out (and subscribe if you like!)
Is Turkey a destination you’ve visited before? If not, is it somewhere you would now consider?