Whenever we have friends out to visit, we usually try to go out and about so that they can visit places they haven’t yet seen. Winter is no exception. We had a few hours in Göcek on the way to Dalaman Airport but one of the places they really wanted to see was Gemiler Bay. It was perfect winter weather in Fethiye the week they were here – sunny and clear – so our friends got to see Gemiler Bay at its beautiful best.
In the centre of Kayaköy, there’s a signpost for Gemiler Adası (Gemiler Island). Follow this road sign and you’ll be taken on a short journey out of Kayaköy, through the pretty village of Kınalı and on through a forest road. All of a sudden, you will be faced with this beautiful view of Gemiler Bay with the island just opposite.
We talk about this a lot as there are so many beaches and bays in this area of Turkey, but I’m going to go out on a limb and state here, in black and white: Gemiler is our favourite! There, I’ve said it. You can hold me to that if / when I forget and declare favouritism for another of Fethiye’s bays in a future post.
Zigzag your way down the hillside road and you’ll reach the only evidence of civilisation in the form of this snack bar – amazingly, open all year! One member of staff and the hum of a generator. Thanks to the generator, we were able to sit at the raised waterside tables, enjoy the warm winter sunshine…and enjoy a cold can of the Turkish beer, Efes Pilsen. Just one of those unexpected perfect moments where all is well with the world.
In summer, when the sea isn’t quite so high, this little area has a few sunbeds and the beach bar receives a decent sprinkling of customers. If you’re like me and not very brave in the crashing waves of Belcekiz Beach at Ölüdeniz, then Gemiler is a perfect place to swim and snorkel. It was so warm when we were there a couple of weeks ago, one of our friends had a paddle with beer in hand.
In the summer season, the Fethiye to Kayaköy dolmuş comes all the way down to Gemiler bay, every few hours.
As it’s winter, there was no entrance charge but in summer, there is a small charge to park your car and use the sunbeds. If you arrive on foot or by dolmuş and are only visiting the snack bar, it’s worth mentioning this to the guy on the gate and you may get in for free.
Gemiler Island (St. Nicholas Island) is one of the stop-off points on the Ölüdeniz boat trip if you’re interested in the Byzantine ruins there.