- Category: route
From Gemiler Island one reaches Bestas Harbor. Rounding Yogan Cape from here one enters the gulf of Belcegiz. Olu Deniz, a beautiful inland bay that stretches behind the cape. The reason this heavenly place is called Olu Deniz ("Sea of the Dead") is attributed to the following legend. Once a father and son were caught in a storm here and were in danger of sinking. The son claimed that if they approached the rocks ashore they could take shelter in a cove. The father on the other hand asserted that their ship would be driven onto the rocks and break up and that there were no coves around here anyway. In his terror of running around on the rocks, the father knocked his son (who was at the helm) into the sea with an oar and took over the helm himself. Just as the ship was about to hit the rocks on the cape, she turned into this calm, smooth watered bay. This is the reason they say the bay is called the Sea of the Dead, whereas what with the pine clad sandy beach stretched out like a tongue, the name "Paradise Bay" would be more fitting. Vessels are not allowed inside the bay to prevent its pollution.
Ölü Deniz is the most famous beach in Turkey. The peak of the region's highest mountain, Baba Dağ, plunges down to the stunning lagoon which must have been photographed a million times and is a signature image of coastal Turkey. A ‘must-have’ experience for the more adventurous is to enjoy the adrenaline rush of leaping from the top of Baba Dağ to paraglide over the lagoon before eventually landing on the water’s edge. However, this cannot detract from the stunning impact of the beautiful lagoon.
On the hillside overlooking the entire beach at Ölü Deniz is one of our fabulous hotel’s Beyaz Yunus Ölü Deniz. From here the road follows the rugged coastline past the untouched sands of Kidrak bay (and a less untouched Holiday Village!) before starting a dramatic climb towards the village of Faralya. The road clings to the side of the mountain providing the most amazing views across the Mediterranean - on clear days you can see all the way to Rhodes. After 15-minute you round a corner on a headland and come to the farming settlement of Faralya.
The village looks down on one of Turkey’s most picturesque bays – the turquoise waters of Butterfly Valley. Faralya has a small selection of lokantas (local cafés) which provide welcome refreshment for hikers following the renowned Lycian Way, justly famous as one of the world’s top walks. A sleepy village, with the cleanest mountain air, most glorious location and – if you really want – access to the very much more lively and commercial temptations of Ölü Deniz!