British folk are used to rain. We are used to donning jackets, wearing a hat, wrapping up for a cold spell and keeping a micro-brolly in the handbag. We are expert puddle-jumpers, after all, rarely in Britain does it not rain or drizzle.
But come to Turkey and most expect clear blue skies and warm weather the year through. From April to October sun is almost guaranteed, but come winter it does get cold, very cold of a December and January night, and it does rain. I’m not just talking about a few spots and then happy-clappy skies again, when it rains here in Turkey, it really rains. Winter rain is the type of rain that comes down vertically in torrents, that hammers hard on the roof and makes the windows shudder. Step outside and you are drowned in seconds, the sloping mountain streets a river in minutes.
Luckily torrential rain tends to be short-lived, an hour at most before it eases up. But come January (the wet month), a rainy spell in Fethiye can last a few days before normality returns and the sun starts shining. So what is there to do in Fethiye when it rains? The majority of the resorts and activities are decidedly summery, all open air and roofless. How can you keep yourself and the kids entertained?
WHAT TO DO IN FETHIYE WHEN IT RAINS.
Erasta AVM (Fethiye’s only Shopping Mall). OK, I’ve started with the obvious rainy day trip, an outing to the one and only shopping centre here in Fethiye. Don’t get too excited here, Erasta is hardly Lakeside, but it does have a reasonable selection of clothes shops (men’s and women’s), a good few coffee houses (including Starbucks), a food court with a good selection of Turkish fast food joints, a KFC and a Burger King. On the upper floor, there’s a cinema and an entertainment centre with indoor bowling, amusements and a soft-play area for the kids. The good thing about Erasta is that it’s the perfect place to escape Fethiye’s extremes; the very hot August weather as it’s air-conditioned, and a rainy day as it’s covered. It’s found near the main bus station (Otogar), a couple of miles out of Fethiye centre, in Tasyaka. It has underground parking if you’re driving, and is easily reached from Oludeniz, Hisaronu, Ovacik or Fethiye on the local bus routes.
A Coffee Cafe Hop in Fethiye.
If you have a brolly, a coffee hunt through the cafes of Fethiye is a great rainy day pastime. Fethiye has developed a lot over recent years and now homes a great range of cosy little independent cafes and coffee shops ideal to find sanctuary on a miserable day. Take a book, your iPad or phone with you as most offer free WiFi and connections. If you are with the kids, take a pack of cards, some drawing materials or a game, chances are most places will even have a backgammon set if you ask. Your best bet, certainly off-season, is to head for the centre of Fethiye, start around the streets near Paspatur Old Town and wander around. Suggestions; Apple Cafe on the one-way street up from Garanti and TEB banks, opposite the entrance to Paspatur a good bet, as is Pukka Coffee near the amphitheatre, a wonderful little place serving freshly ground coffee and some lovely cakes. Umbrella Street has Cafe Cafe, a little front with a deceptively large interior, reasonable food and decent coffee. Kose Coffee is a little harder to find off the little Kaya Road as you head towards the Lycian Rock Tombs, I have heard that the owner is a coffee importer so a mug of good coffee is assured. Or if you want to head along the harbour front then head to Ozsut, a chain coffee house near the amphitheatre roundabout or Starbucks can be found near the main town square. As I am a coffee lover and struggled until recently to find a decent cup here in Fethiye, I am planning to write a post on where to find the best coffee in Fethiye very soon – keep tuned 😉
Visit Fethiye Museum. Combine a spot of Coffee Cafe Hopping, with a wander around Fethiye Museum. It’s found in the centre, not far from McDonald’s and the Tuesday market area. Now, don’t get too excited here, it really is quite small, but it does contain some fascinating artefacts and really is worth a nosey around if you’re in the area. You will find ceramics, jewellery, and mosaics, some found at local sites like Tlos and Letoon. It’s certainly a good way to spend an hour and something a little educational if you’ve got the kids in tow.
Go to the cinema. There are two cinemas in Fethiye; an older one in the centre on a street behind the town square, a newer one in Erasta shopping mall as mentioned above. The majority of the films shown are Turkish or Turkish spoken, but normally they do have one of the current blockbusters in English with Turkish subtitles. Do check online in advance.
Head to the Hamam (Turkish Bath). A Turkish Bath is something everyone should take on the first few days of visiting here as it really is quite special. A steamy sauna followed by a good scrubbing on a marble slab under a pillow of scented bubbles. Top this off with a cold shower and you emerge clean, energised and relaxed. The whole process takes a little over an hour, longer if you opt for the massage after. OK, this may not be suited for the little ones, but for adults it’s a great way to escape the rain, or in summer it’s perfect for preparing your skin for a deep tan. There’s a traditional old Turkish Bath house right in the centre of Fethiye Old Town, failing that many of the larger hotels have modern Hamams.
Get Pampered. Head to the Hairdressers or Barber. Everyone deserves ‘me’ time and a rainy day is a perfect excuse to indulge in a little plucking and pruning. For men, the barbers here are great and will go out of their way to massage, shave and chop hair exactly how you want it – they even flame nostril and ear hairs and trim those straggly eyebrows. For women, no end of pampering possibilities are available locally. Dyes, cut and blow dries, extensions, manicures, pedicures, highlights, lowlights, waxing, threading – you name it, it’s available here at a fraction of the cost of back home. Most hairdressers and barbers here are used to dealing with kids. They paint nails, cut hair, use nail art or simply dress up little heads in curls to make little girls feel special. For boys they get to sit in the big chair, maybe play with the fluffy big brush as they get their hair trimmed, all very grown up and my boys love it! A pampering day is a great way to dodge downpours in Fethiye and leaves you feeling wonderful after!
So, don’t get disheartened if you encounter a little rain here, travelling anywhere off-season can throw a curve ball at you. Fethiye still has lots to offer its visitors, simply change tact and make the most of it!
Do please comment and let me know if you can think of any rain dodging tips I’ve missed, or if you know of any good, ‘proper’ coffee houses that deserve a mention in my upcoming coffee post. Please be kind and give the post a Like or a Share if you enjoyed it, and don’t forget to sign up on the right for updates. 🙂