Fethiye is a seaside city that relies on tourism, and hence has some nice infrastructure aimed at tourists. It has become a little bit of an English city, with many expats coming here to holiday and live. First impressions indicated that this was not my type of city. The town is a little larger than the other towns I have been to and is the first place where I have found a full size supermarket with prices on all items. I imagine this is a buzzing tourist town in the summer, as there is a multitude of restaurants and pubs all with English menu’s. Somewhat amusingly I only intended to stay here one night in order to start my walk of the Lycian Way the next day. A very rainy day meant that I stayed here two nights instead of the intended one night, and then a third night after getting inspiration from a fellow traveller. I was running behind in my quest to walk the Lycian Way anyway so thought that I could just do a day trip from here instead.
On arrival at the Fethiye Downtown Hostel I met two travellers sitting on the couch. Hostels are filled with interesting people and this place was no exception. One, a German who was travelling for two weeks and hiking around Turkey. The other, a Mexican who was on four weeks break while looking for a job. The German was my kind of person, he was shy and interesting, not creepy at all and great to converse with. He also hiked often and had some great photo’s and suggestions for walking part of the Lycian Way. The Mexican was a pickup artist, and was rather frustrating while being an amusing guy. I could tell he was using pickup tactics on me which put me on edge a little, however it was interesting to recognise the behaviour. It was a little too obvious that he was only interested in screwing women, made especially so by him continuously stating that men and women can’t be friends. Nevertheless, it made for some interesting insight in to a self proclaimed pickup artist’s mind. Other than this the hostel was great, really clean and the breakfast was nice. The owners were very nice and it was good to spend a couple of dinners with them.
Rainy days aren’t very good for walking the Lycian Way, due to steep inclines and rocky terrain so I opted for a walk to see the Rock Tombs and a walk along the harbour instead. I got pretty wet, but luckily had my trusty waterproof jacket to keep my upper body dry. There were numerous cafés along the jetty, so I chose a bakery type place for a tea and some pastries. I went back to the hotel and hibernated there for the rest of the day. It was nice to have a rest anyway.
The next day saw beautiful blue skies and perfect hiking temperatures so I caught the bus to Olüdeniz and started my hike to Butterfly Valley. The hike is around 15 kilometres, however the first 6 km’s was mostly uphill. The area is filled with beautiful vegetation, amazing views of the blue lagoon and livestock. None of the goats or cows seemed aggressive and it was nice to see them traversing the path in front of me at some points. I felt a bit like an accidental shepherd. The hike is not easy, and the only snacks I brought were roasted chick peas as I thought there would be several places open along the way. When I thought I wouldn’t be eating anything until dinner I found a place called the Lemon Café. Even if I had brought lunch with me I don’t think the owners would have let me past. I bought a gözleme and sat inside with the grandmother, watching a Turkish dating show and sipping on tea. It was a nice break from walking.
Attraction: The start of the Lycian Way until the Butterfly Valley
Getting there: Catch a Dolmuz to Ölüdeniz town. From Hisarönü roundabout walk toward Ölüdeniz for about 1km and you will see the first yellow sign for the Lycian Way among many large resort signs. Walk down this path and you will find a paved path leading to the start sign and then the lookout point for Ölüdeniz beach.
Cost: The Dolmuz was 5 TL to Ölüdeniz, the walking trail is free. The Dolmuz back from Ovacik was 7 TL
After a 3km walk on the edge of a small river I came in to Farilya, and the view was incredible. The sheer cliffs on one side, the butterfly valley in the middle and the town of Faralya to the left. I asked a man when the dolmuz would come and I only understood bes – five in Turkish, as I hadn’t learnt any other numbers over ten yet. It was three so I figured I had time to make it halfway down to the beach below. I walked for about thirty minutes along the cliff edge and turned around when the track turned to go around another mountain figuring the walk up would take longer than the walk down. I explored the tiny town for a few minutes and then went to wait for my bus.
At five no dolmuz came, so I sat for a little longer. Five twenty and it was still not there. I asked another man who pointed to the 9 part of his watch! Uh oh, I was freezing and didn’t want to wait until 9. The look on my face made him clarify, bes and then the 9, oh 5:45, not so bad. I waited until 5:45, shaking from the cold and wishing I had of climbed to the bottom of the valley. It got to 5:45 and still no dolmuz. I was looking in to headlights so I couldn’t see who was coming towards me and was worried that the dolmuz would drive write past if I didn’t signal it, so started signalling random cars which were van height. Finally at 6:10pm the dolmuz arrived and many teşekkürler’s (thanks in Turkish) later I was on my way back to Fethiye, arriving just in time for dinner at the hostel.
My plan was to move on to Kas from here, however the only way to Cappadocia from Kas was through Antalya, so I decided to find a town on the way to Cappadocia. Much googling resulted in me finding the town of Egirdir, a small town near a lake which it is said that time has forgotten. One wrong bus later and I was on my way to a bus station 2 towns from Egirdir to wait another two hours for another bus. Ahh the joys of last minute planning. The Lycian Way really is somewhere I will have to get back to and walk later on, with a lighter backpack and a tent.
Accommodation – 25/night at the downtown Fethiye hostel; Food – 5/ meal in the hostel (except breakfast which was included), 15 for pide and ayran, 6 for pide, 6.50 for 2 pastries and a tea