Sailing the Mediterranean in Turkey
When Scott and I were in Jordan, we met a lot of great people. People that, like us, were traveling extensively and Turkey kept on coming up in conversations. We heard constant rave reviews of many cities aside from (but still including) Istanbul. Our plan was always to get to the country somehow from Greece but only visit Istanbul for one week. In a matter of 7 days in Jordan, all of that changed. Suddenly, we had a 3-week Turkey itinerary in the future. I guess that is the fun in having an open summer, you can just plan as you go and make decisions on the spot!
That was Turkey for us – one great decision after another.
We entered the country via ferry from Rhodes into Fethiye. Fethiye is a lovely port town where French, Dutch and English retirees spend their summers, either on their boats or in a purchased home. The population is so foreign that the ATMs spit out Euros, Pounds in addition to Turkish Lira.
Being a port town, the highlight of this town is the Fish Market. In the evenings you can go to a courtyard of restaurants. The center of the square houses freezers where local fisherman will sell you the fresh seafood they recently caught. You select whatever fresh fish, squid, prawns, etc that is on display and you pay the fisherman directly. Then you point to the restaurant you want to eat at. The fisherman will clean your seafood and take it to the restaurant for you.
For about $3/per person, any restaurant will grill your seafood and along with tons of salad and garlic bread. Yummmm. It was so delicious I forgot to take a picture!
Fethiye historically is known for being the beginning of the Lycian way, a 510km footpath of the ancient civilization that once ruled Turkey (I think around 1250BC). Scott and I hiked up the small mountains that backdrop the city and saw very old Lycian tombs.
(You can spot the tomb in the top right)
Fethiye also was the starting point of our 4 day cruise along the Mediterranean Coast. Commonly referred to as “The Blue Cruise” the boat sails east, visiting many islands, bays and small towns, that are along the way to the final destination of Demre.
It was literally our vacation from a vacation. For four days, we didn’t have to worry about planning activities, transportation, meals, etc. We just swam and ate when we were told to and relaxed the rest of the time.
Once we arrived in Demre, we drove on high cliffs along the coast for about one hour and it felt like we were back on highway 1 again. The views were simply breathtaking.
We finished our 4 day excursion in Olympos, an important Lycian town settled along one of the most beautiful beaches in Turkey. Olympos, now only survived by ruins, dated back to at least the 2nd century BC. I believe it also is the end of the Lycian way. At night you can see “eternal” flames spitting out of Mount Olympos due to Methane pockets. But we were only visiting for the day since we had to take an overnight bus to Cappadocia.
The Cappadocia post is forthcoming and I guarantee it will be one of our most fascinating posts. If you haven’t heard of it, it is worth a two minute google!