If our previous stay in Alacati was the hidden gem that only locals know, then Oludeniz is the unhidden gem that all the British know about. I don’t think we’ve seen so many folks from the UK (outside Australia), than in this one town. Blimey!
We had heard great things about Oludeniz from friends who had honeymooned there, so we made a priority to visit, and it certainly lived up to our expectations.
We found a room in the hotel Monte Verde for 3 days, which was an ideal length for a short trip but you could easily spend a week or more and still not see all the interesting sights around this beautiful region.
The hotel was conveniently located along the main street in town and contained a large, family-friendly swimming pool, which our kids loved. Attached to the main pool was a shallow toddler pool which is ideal for younger kids. Our kids spent hours splashing around and floating on the inflatable toys provided by the hotel.
For guests without kids, there’s a separate “quiet pool” for relaxation without interruption from little guests, if so desired.
Our room was comfortable and the kids had separate beds which made it easier for them to sleep at night.
There was a bar and restaurant on-site and we tried it out for lunch one day. Here’s some pics:
The warm weather was perfect for hanging out around the hotel pool, sipping drinks and chatting to fellow travellers. As always, Mia made a fast friends around the pool.
One evening after the kids had gone to sleep they were awoken by loud music coming from the pool area. Latin dancers were teaching guests how to dance which looked like fun, but it was a bit too loud for our kids. Fortunately, this was just one night, and although there was some music the next night it was noticeably quieter. Some of these kinds of hotel events are better suited if you have older kids (or no kids), but I’d still definitely consider the hotel to be family friendly for kids of all ages.
One afternoon we took the local bus (1.3TL per adult - $0.65) to the centre of town. From there we found an inflatable playground for the kids which cost around $18 for both kids including time on a trampoline.
Afterwards we were all hungry and tracked down a Chinese restaurant since it had been a while since we enjoyed authentic Chinese food. The Shanghai Blues restaurant was good value and hit the spot.
The tourist area of Oludeniz was lined with tourist shops in the evening offering everything from souvenirs to t-shirts, through to haircuts and massages. Car traffic was diverted creating a pedestrian-friendly area to roam around. We picked up a nice t-shirt for Caius since he was due for a replacement.
I noticed next door to the mosque was a cocktail bar. That pretty much sums up Oludeniz.
A small amusement park was located in the centre of town with attention-grabbing flashing lights contrasting against the dark night sky, and pumping out bass-heavy catchy dance tunes to entice visitors like a siren song. We gave the kids 1 ride token each and allowed them to choose. That was fun to watch their process of selection (and later negotiation, trying to weasel more tokens from mum and dad).
By the time we finished, the kids were ready for bed so we made the short trek back to the bus stop which was heading back to the hotel. Along the way we stopped at one of the tour stalls and booked a boat trip which toured 12 islands off the coast and that set us back £9 ($13.50) per adult, with the kids half-price. Yes, most of the pricing around this part of town was in British Pounds.
Early the next day, a small bus picked us up outside our hotel and took us to the boat which was docked in Feyithe.
We staked a spot on a lounge on the top deck and relaxed for the rest of the day listening to Turkish music and the occasional stop which provided the perfect opportunity to jump into the ocean or slide down the built-in water slide. Mia was a bit hesitant at first, but by the end of the day we couldn’t get her off it.
The lunch was very average and it was a long day, but if you haven’t done something similar before, then it would be good value for money. And I’d highly recommend that you bring your own snacks and drinks as the cost of on-board food was inflated as expected. But on the upside, the scenery was really beautiful and we got to see another unique side of Turkey.
The trip ended with a bit of dancing to Turkish music and Mia busted a move or two.
We would love to go back to Oludeniz and spend more time there. It is really easy to live there for a while since most people speak very good English, and there’s lots of conveniences that you may want from home, like Western food and supermarkets. But all with the Turkish twist, cheap prices, and the perfect summer weather. It’s easy to see why the Brits are invading.