Clear, bluer-than-blue sea, swaying palms and lazy days spent perfecting the tan, munching on meze and sipping ice-cool cocktails – sounds perfect, right? Well, you’re in luck. Oludeniz is famed for its beaches and boasts more than enough coastal eye-candy to satisfy even the fussiest beach goer. Here’s Growing Up Two’s list of the best beaches in Oludeniz with tips on how to get there and if they are suitable for the kids.
Best beaches in Oludeniz and the Blue Lagoon.
1.Kumburnu – the famed arm of the Oludeniz ‘blue lagoon’. Kumburnu refers to the famed sandbank separating the main Oludeniz public beach of Belcekiz, with its well-known inner ‘blue lagoon’. Most will be familiar with the image – the pale sand and shingle stretch surrounded by bands of turquoise and aquamarine. So beautiful is the scene that it has become the recognised coastal image for Turkey and been tipped as one of the top beaches worldwide many times. Kumburnu itself is a National Park and protected, there is a fee on entry. There are a couple of cafes serving snacks and drinks, watersports, sunloungers and brollies for hire. Kumburnu is well worth a visit but does get extremely busy during high season. One of the main draws for families are the lagoons shallow waters. The side of Kumburnu facing Oludeniz resort is deeper, but the side facing the lagoon exceptionally shallow so ideal for the little ones. Tip: For those really wanting to laze on the famed arm, Kumburnu is the place to head. But, for families with the very young or those looking for somewhere not so packed, one of the many little private beaches tucked at the rear of the sandbank may be a better option.
Best private beaches around the inner shores of the lagoon.
2. Sugar Beach Club. Head on past the entrance to Kumburnu and along the little road off to the right and one of the first private beaches you come across is Sugar Beach Club. This is one of the most popular private beaches on the lagoon and open year around. It’s got that beachy, hippy feel with bright coloured furniture, chilled out music and a fair sized sandy beach with comfy loungers opening onto the lagoon. There’s no entrance fee but you do pay for your lounger and umbrella. The restaurant serves a good Mediterranean selection, decent coffee and great cocktails. Staff are friendly, love the kids and they also run occasional events or special nights during the summer. There are a few wooden bungalows for those wanting to stay on site (some with en-suites, terrace and air-conditioning), and the waters are very shallow so ideal for the little ones. See their website for details.
3. S3 Seahorse Beach Club. Another lagoon-side haunt is S3 Seahorse Beach Club. Here they charge an entrance fee (meaning it’s normally quieter), but this includes your chaise-longe and brolly. There are 10 modern rooms with air-con on site for those wanting to stay and restaurants serving everything from English breakfast to steak dinners. The beach is well maintained with a good lagoon frontage. They offer a free pick-up and drop-off service from hotels and private properties in Oludeniz, Hisaronu and Ovacik. Take a look at their website for details.
4. Billys Beach. A popular private beach in Oludeniz is Billys Beach. A modern restaurant and bar overlooking a good stretch of sandy beach facing the centre of the lagoon. Burgers, coffee’s, pizzas and cocktails are all served up to guests many of whom return to the beach frequently during their holiday. There’s no entry fee, just the cost of your umbrella and lounger. Billy’s run regular BBQ nights during the high season which includes a great Turkish meze and grilled spread with varying entertainment (a good option for a family night out). Free transfers are available from local hotels and accommodation. See their Facebook Page for details.
5. Paradise Beach. Paradise Beach is a smaller beach but one of our personal favourites. Found towards the centre of the lagoon, the food and hospitality on offer is excellent. There’s a small hotel offering accommodation to the rear, and the front has a good sandy stretch leading onto shallow waters ideal for the kids. The bar serves fabulous cocktails and a wooden terrace built over the lagoon is the place to tuck into your beachside snacks or fancier A La Carte grills and meals both of the day and evening (nice place for a romantic dinner!). There’s no entrance fee, prices reasonable and you just pay for your lounger and brolly. Paradise Beach offers a free pick-up and drop-off service, see their Facebook Page for info.
6. Golden Sands Beach Club. Another popular private beach in Oludeniz is Golden Sands. Again, no entry fee and just pay for your lounger and umbrella. There’s a restaurant and bar serving all the classics plus they run DJ nights and beach parties throughout the summer, follow their Facebook Page for updates.
7. Sun City Beach. Tucked away at the rear of the lagoon is Sun City Beach Club. A popular wedding venue and linked with a local all-inclusive hotel of the same name (although the all-in deal doesn’t appear to apply here for its guests). The beach offers great views of the lagoon and shallow waters for the bubbas. There’s a restaurant, bar and cafe serving a decent range of dishes and all your normal alcoholic and non-boozy beverages. There is an entry fee on arrival and I believe a free shuttle service operates from Sun City Hotel in Oludeniz for its guests.
Other beaches in Oludeniz
8. Belcekiz Beach (the main Oludeniz public beach). Head along to Oludeniz and you will invariably end up sitting in a bar or restaurant on the seafront, sundown cocktail in hand, watching as the paragliders pull their tricks and land along the beachfront promenade – it’s one of those ‘must-do’ things in the area. Belcekiz beach is where the action is. A long stretch of sand and shingle (very hot on the feet!), with row upon row of sun loungers and the odd public shower. There’s no entry fee but there is a charge for the hire of sunloungers and brollies. The beach is backed by a large walkway (where all the paragliders land), and a heap of restaurants, shops and bars. The main resort of Oludeniz stretches back from here. The sea on Belcekiz does have a steep shelf in places and the current can be quite strong so kids do need to be watched closely. It is, however, great for wave jumping and does get very popular during the summer with locals and foreigners. It’s the place to spend the day watching the paragliders pull their aerial antics overhead, listen as their passengers scream and shout, and potter off for a spot of lunch in one of the bars at the back when the sun gets too much or you’re thirsty. The ‘dolmus’ (bus) stop is right on the promenade at the end and runs regular services to Fethiye via Hisaronu and Ovacik. Do, however, watch out for paragliders landing as you cross the walkway – some approach extremely quickly and you certainly wouldn’t want to get bashed by an incoming para-boot!
9. Kidrak Beach. Follow the coastal road around the bay towards Faralya and the first beach you come to is Kidrak, just before the colossal Lykia World complex. This is a far quieter beach, not nearly so commercial and unlikely to be busy. Kidrak is protected so there is a small entry fee at the gate. The beach is large and wide with pine trees and a forest area giving some shade at the rear. The main beach is exposed so do pack the sunscreen. There are a few sunloungers and umbrellas for hire and a basic snack bar and toilets tucked away under the trees. It’s a sand and pebble beach (hot and hard on your feet so wear beach shoes) and, like Belcekiz, there are waves and a steep shelf so great for swimmers, not so brill for toddlers in armbands. This beach suits those that don’t want the fuss and action of a packed sandy stretch and are happy entertaining themselves without a DJ playing or a heap of people to chat to. Kidrak is remarkably unspoilt given its location only 5 minutes from the razmataz of Oludeniz. The Faralya buses from Oludeniz and Fethiye do pass the entrance (but are often infrequent), you can drive, or simply take a taxi to escape.
10. Butterfly Valley (Kelebek Vadisi). Imagine a beautiful little bay only accessible by boat lying at the foot of 250m high cliffs with a small waterfall at the back. Now, add a whole heap of fluttery butterflies, a rustic restaurant and bar and people chanting ‘namaste’ camping all hippy-like in treehouses or on the beach. Yep, that pretty much describes Butterfly Valley – when the day-trippers aren’t there! It’s an unbelievably beautiful bay with crystal clear waters living up to any postcard-perfect image. It’s one of the first stops on most Oludeniz daily boat trips – from around 11 am until 12.30 pm each day the day-trippers head over and nosey about. The boat trips are a fab way to see the bay but, if you want to see it at it’s best, hire a speedboat and head over yourself, or catch the Butterfly Boat, get back to basics and spend the night there. The bay is certainly worth visiting, just don’t get tempted to try and crawl down or canyon the steep cliffs from the rear – there have been many seriously injured or worse trying to rough-route their way down shoddy trails said to lead to the bay.
Well, there you have it – my quick little rundown on the 10 best beaches in Oludeniz. Yes, I know I have probably missed many. There are other great options further afield – Kabak just past Faralya is beautiful and quiet, Gemiler Beach past Kayakoy is small and faces St. Nicholas Island, and there are many other great beaches on the Fethiye peninsular – Help Beach and Yacht Club, and Aksazlar to mention just two of our favourites 😉 I am planning on writing separate blogs on the beaches around Fethiye and Calis in the coming weeks. If you are after more things to do in Fethiye with kids, take a look here.
Have I missed anywhere you would recommend? Please do comment and let me know. Unfortunately, with kids in tow, you tend to revisit the favourites and gravitate towards what you know. Which are the best beaches in Oludeniz in your opinion?
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Thanks for reading.
(This is not a sponsored post, simply my families opinion having lived in the area many years).