Getting from Saklikent to Fethiye by dolmus was very easy. I believe there is a dolmus every 20 or 30 minutes. I didn’t know where exactly the dolmus would let me out, though, so I just got out at some point and walked a long way to my hostel near the pier. There was a swimming contest going on, so I watched that in the bay for a little while first. When I arrived at the hostel (I don’t remember the name… but it was the standard 30 TL a night with breakfast included), I met a young Korean girl traveling alone. She and I got along really well, so we wandered through a shopping area and then feasted on a mixed BBQ together.
She got a good laugh at the end of our meal when our server asked if we would be back the next night. He told me he loved my eyes and my smile and that I was beautiful. It may have caught my attention if I hadn’t lived in Turkey for nearly a year already. I said thank you and we returned to the hostel and discussed our plans for the following day.
I initially wanted to return to Fethiye because it looked nice when we first arrived for our Blue Cruise, but we didn’t get to spend any time there. We flew in very late the night before our boat set sail. After galavanting around the southern coast for nearly two weeks at this point, I decided that I didn’t need much time in Fethiye. There were, however, two things that needed to be done, both of which were supposed to happen on our Blue Cruise but didn’t:
I first went paragliding in Interlaken, Switzerland in 2009 during my fall break from Salzburg College. It was my first time traveling alone. My tandem partner/guide told me to run, then walk so the parachute could catch the air, and then run again… Only I couldn’t run! My feet were off the ground before his were! Next thing I knew, I was soaring through the air. That moment when I realized my feet weren’t touching the ground anymore was the only moment I felt nervous. As soon as I was in the air, I felt so free.
I wasn’t able to go paragliding again until summer of 2014 in Kitzbuhel, Austria. I had just finished my third year of teaching and my final year in that school district. A big transition, moving to Turkey, was ahead of me. When a colleague mentioned paragliding, I was on board. No need to twist my arm. If there was ever a time to run off a mountain, this seemed like the time. When I got in the air, I was quiet. My guide asked me if I was okay. I said, “Yes. I feel so at peace.”
Naturally, I was disappointed when the captain of my Blue Cruise forgot to make my paragliding reservation. As I swam in the beautiful waters of Oludeniz, I watched hundreds of people flying above me. I had never seen so many paragliders at once! I was determined to come back, and so I did. This was THE MOST BEAUTIFUL place I have paraglided to date. The price was probably comparable to my first two times, but it seemed high, especially with the pictures and video package (about 300 TL, I think). But, whatever! Worth it!
2) Butterfly Valley
After paragliding, I grabbed some lunch and quickly discovered that places like Oludeniz are my worst nightmare as a traveler. I don’t want all those tourists and fancy resorts around me. I couldn’t stand it! That’s not my type of adventure.
I caught the 2:00pm water taxi to Butterfly Valley with a 5:00pm return time. If you’re not going via day cruise, there are only two water taxis per day which cost 20 TL roundtrip. It’s only accessible by water. There are ways to hike in from villages above the valley, but I read that it isn’t always safe. Since I was alone, I didn’t want to risk it.
While I was in the Valley, I bumped into Alex AGAIN from Kas and the bus to Ucagiz. He told me that he was hiking down from Faralya, I believe, and that it had an amazing view there. He recommended that I stay there next time I venture that direction.
Butterfly Valley was very picturesque. And yes, there ARE butterflies! I hiked back to the waterfalls, met some lovely Turks and Germans, hiked back towards the boat and swam for a bit before it was time to return. When I saw the tents available, I thought, “Oooohhh, next time I’ll stay here!” Maybe they do bonfires on the beach? I would love that!
Like I said, I had no desire to do anything else in Fethiye, but I’m sure there are other lovely beaches like there are in many of the southern coast towns. If you’re in Fethiye, you’d be foolish not to go to Butterfly Valley. And if you can handle the idea of paragliding, it was an amazing experience that I would easily do again.
Next stop: Pamukkale!