The next morning we headed out on a small boat cruise along the Turquoise Coast. There are many excursions you can choose from along the marina in Fathiye, and they’re all pretty similar in price. We took the Fulya10 for $25, which didn’t include snacks, drinks or tips on the boat so approx $55 total (with no alcoholic drinks). The tour departed from Ölüdeniz, a beach town 15km from Fathiye. The boat cruise had a bit of a party boat vibe, but it was still relaxing to be out coasting along the sparkling, clear, waters – though I would have preferred a cruise that didn’t have loud music blasting the whole time.
Our first stop was Butterfly Valley, a gorge that in theory would have been filled with diverse species of butterflies had it not been for the loud tour groups. The short hike through the gorge was still nice though, and it was fun to climb up the gorge near the end (some good water/hiking shoes like Keens are recommended!).
The next stop was the Blue Cave, where we all jumped into a cold spring that is supposed to take five years off your life. Refreshing in any case!
We cruised through Aquarium Bay and ended up at Gemiler Island, also known as St. Nicholas Island where archaeologists believe was the location of the tomb of the original St. Nicholas. If you’re in the mood for some more ruins, the short hike around the island is very picturesque, or you can just relax and swim off the small beach near the boat dock.
They were making fresh Turkish crepes called “gözleme” on the boat – a perfect afternoon snack after a relaxing day on the water.
In the evening we went for a long walk through the town, and past by the Tomb of Amyntas, an Ionic temple facade carved into this rock face in 350 BC.
The election campaign was taking over Turkey while we were visiting, and Fathiye was no exception.
The shopping area around our hotel was a fun, lively area to stroll through at night. I wish we could have stayed a bit longer in this charming seaside town.