Ölüdeniz is known as Blue Lagoon in English, however, at times, it is also referred to as the Dead Sea as it is the literal translation of the original name. The name was given to the sea because of its calm nature even in the worst weather conditions. Because of its calm nature, it is recommended for those who do not know how to swim. Ölüdeniz is located in the Fethiye district of Muğla where Aegean and Mediterranean Sea collide. The sea is mostly known for its beautiful blue hue, a mixture of turquoise and aquamarine. Ölüdeniz is also a famous spot for paragliding, offering an amazing panoramic view of the surroundings. Scuba diving is another popular activity around here where you can take classes and even receive scuba diving licenses. If you do not want to scuba dive, snorkeling is another fun underwater activity you can do here. Do not forget that you have to pay a certain fee in order to enter Ölüdeniz. Even though it is quite expensive for the locals, it may not be as expensive for a foreigner.
Another great location in Fethiye is the Saklıkent Canyon. It is not as popular as Ölüdeniz, however, it is no less beautiful. Even though it is not so far away from the living areas, it was first discovered by a shepherd. The place has become a national park due to its importance. When you enter the park, you will first see the canyon. You will have to walk through the water by stepping on the rocks. Therefore it is a good idea to be dressed appropriately and to have extra clothes with you in case you get wet along the way. This walking journey will be an amazing opportunity to be refreshed especially if you are visiting the area on a hot summer day. Inside the park, there is also an island you can visit where you can enjoy a little seclusion. If you keep walking and go deeper into the canyon, you will come across a small waterfall that has the potential to brighten up your day. The entrance fee is quite affordable. You can also rent or buy plastic shoes if you do not want to bring your own. There are also many restaurants in the area where you can stop and enjoy a nice meal.
Turgut Waterfall is located in a village named Turgut which is where it got its name from. It should be noted that you cannot reach the waterfall by a public transportation service. You can only reach it with a rental car. The water coming from the waterfall is quite cold, allowing you to cool down on the hot days of summer. Just because of the name, do not think that Turgut Waterfall is a huge one. It is in fact quite small to be called a waterfall, only falling from a 4-meters high cliff. In any case, you can swim in the small lake the waterfall reaches. Even though some people seem to be disappointed by the size of the waterfall, it is still a beautiful place to visit especially for nature lovers.
Sedir Island originally got its name from the cedarwoods found in the area, as “sedir” means cedar in Turkish. The island is only 16 kilometers away from the city center. Sedir Island is most famous for its beach. What makes this beach so special is its sand. It even affects the color of the sea. This yellow-hued sand is said to have come from Africa. According to the legend, the sand was specifically brought from Africa for Cleopatra and Antony to spend time on the beach which is why the island is also known as the Cleopatra Island. The sand is so unique that the visitors are not allowed to enter the beach with flip flops and towels, sunbathe on the sand or anything that might carry some of the sand away from the beach. In fact, the visitors must take a shower before leaving the beach in order not to carry any of the sand with them. It is forbidden to stay on the island overnight or camp as well. In the Sedir Island, there are also the remnants of the Cedrae antique city along with other artifacts such as a theater and an agora from the Roman Empire as well as the Temple of Apollo from the antiquity.
Bodrum Castle was built by the Knights of St. John in 1402. The castle has four towers in total that bear the names, English, Italian, German and French. These are the four nations that were involved in the construction of the structure. Yet, the castle was taken over by the Ottoman Empire in 1523. The chapel inside was turned into a mosque with a minaret added to the structure itself. The castle was used by the Ottomans until World War I. After World War I castle remained empty until it was turned into the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archeology.
Butterfly Valley gets its name due to actual butterflies that cover the area with their amazing colors and beautiful shapes. The butterflies in the valley can only be encountered during April and May. If you are planning to visit Muğla and want to see the butterflies, you might want to pay attention to the time of your visit. Butterfly Valley is located at the foothill of Babadağ Mountain. In the Butterfly Valley, there are two paths, one leading to a waterfall and the other leading to a village named Faralya. It is important to note that hiking in the valley can be dangerous. If you have no experience of hiking or climbing, only visit the waterfall and return. If you do have experience, then you can keep hiking to see a unique view of the Butterfly Valley. On the other hand, the path that leads to the village is extremely steep, requiring climbing with a rope at certain points. Therefore, if you are not an experienced mountain climber, do not attempt to reach the village at all. There are no hotels in the valley however, you can camp or stay on the terraces covered with trees.
Gemiler Island is also known as St. Nicholas Island. The island is a great spot to visit due to its rich history and the ruins of the historical structures. On Gemiler Island, you can find the remains of an old monastery that belongs to the Byzantine Empire era. On the island, there are only the ruins of four churches along with the ruins of a few houses and tombs. It is also known that the original resting place of St. Nicholas was on the island however, after pirates attacked the island, his remains were moved to Myra. St. Nicholas is actually who has been referred to as the Santa. Gemiler Island was a frequently visited stop on the way to the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. If you manage to reach the peak of the island, you will see an amazing view of the coast.
Letoon was an ancient city where national festivities were held, political and religious decisions were declared. In Letoon there were stone inscriptions found written in the Lycian language. These inscriptions are considered to be the most important and the longest scripts in the language. In this ancient city, there is a theater, temples, tablets and a basilica. The city is referred to as a sacred cult center and it is known to be dedicated to the Goddess Leto, mother of Apollo and Artemis. One of the temples, the largest of them all, is the Leto Temple. The other two temples are Apollo and Artemis temples. Letoon managed to be a part of the World Heritage List of UNESCO in 1988.
The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus is located in Bodrum and was built for Mausolus between 353 and 350 BCE who was a strap of the Persian Empire. The tomb was designed by Greek architects and carries the Hellenistic architectural elements. The structure was damaged after earthquakes happened in the area which left it in ruins. It is also known that in the building of the Bodrum Castle, The Knights of St John of Rhodes used the stones of the Mausoleum. It is also discovered that the tombs of Mausolus and his sister were plundered by grave robbers even before the knights came to the place.
Kaunos is an ancient city where Carians lived. In the history of this ancient city, a mythological story is told. According to this myth, Kaunos was established by King Kaunos who was the son of the Carian King named Miletus. Kaunos was also believed to be the grandson of Apollo. When Kaunos learned that his sister was in love with him, he flew with some of his followers to live somewhere else and the sister became insane after he left. She was desperately searching for him and she even tried to kill herself. It is said that the Calbys river was formed of her tears in the myth. In this ancient city, there are the remnants of a theater, temple and statues that you can visit.
Kayaköy was a place where the Greeks were living in Turkey. After the Greeks returned to Greece and the Turks living in Greece returned to Turkey in 1922, some of the Turks were placed in Karaköy. However, the place was not suitable for the Turks to live in as they had a completely different lifestyle. As a result, the Turks abandoned the place and moved somewhere else to live. Since then Karaköy remained abandoned and became a ghost town where tourists are visiting each year. The village has an amazing view. At the top of the hill, there is only one church found where you can view the city from.