And so, the weather in Fethiye has reached those temperatures bearable enough to consider a walk. For weeks, we’ve been talking about walking around the Fethiye peninsula to another of Fethiye’s bays, Kuleli Koyu – but it’s been a long, impatient wait as summer clings onto Southwest Turkey in stubborn fashion.
Last week, we finally sensed coolness in the breeze, roped in a couple of friends to join us, and set off towards the Fethiye Peninsula. It is possible to take the Taşyaka-Karagözler dolmuş all the way to Kuleli Koyu, but we wanted to take in the scenery. It’s Fethiye scenery we will never tire of; in fact, we all said how it’s so easy to forget how beautiful it is. There’s a reason why these bays made it into our Fethiye Must Sees and Dos (number4).
So, we’re walking up the slightly steep, winding road that you need to take if you are hiking from Fethiye to Kayaköy. The forest is thick and lush at the moment, despite the dry summer, so there’s lots of shade at this point and the gentle breeze from the bay is refreshing.
Eventually, at the top of this section of road, we come to the three-way junction. If we turn left, we’ll continue up the old forest track to Kayaköy. Straight on will take us to the all-inclusive resort, Hillside Beach Club and a right turn – the one we are going to take – will take us towards Kuleli Koyu.
The road is high and after the climb, we’re rewarded with views through the pines, down to Küçük Boncuklu Koyu. Gülets and other crafts are anchored here, enjoying the calm waters that the bays of Fethiye provide.
Take in this scene because now, we’re heading steeply downhill towards Büyük Boncuklu and right back down to sea level. This is a free-to-enter bay but not the most attractive. Stick to the road. Kuleli is going to be much more rewarding – and you’ll just have to trust us on this because, right in front, you will see the road once more climbing steeply around the rock face.
Despite sudden appearances, this road is not too taxing – and a bit of height soon rewards you with vistas of the gulf of Fethiye through the gaps in the pine trees. Even our friends didn’t moan at us – we’d forgotten about this second steep climb, and so, they (and we) were completely unprepared.
And what goes up must come down. On reaching the top (again, there are fabulous open views over the Mediterranean), the road plummets back downhill and you’ll be pleased to know that this drop in height takes us straight to Kuleli Koyu…
…and to some of the clearest swimming water in the area. Wear your swimming stuff and you can literally walk from the road, remove those outer garments and walk straight into the sea. Well, that’s what we did. There are changing cabins at Kuleli Koyu and our friends changed there before hitting the cool waters.
We’ll be telling you more about the bay itself in ‘Kuleli Koyu Part 2‘ tomorrow but, just in case you were thinking it sounds like a long walk back to Fethiye, the dolmuş comes right into the bay during the season. We took this option to get home!
Fethiye to Kuleli Koyu – Useful Info
- We set off from the council bus stop, opposite Telmessos Theatre in Fethiye. From the bus stop to Kuleli Koyu, it takes around 90 minutes. Longer if you’re going to be stopping for the inevitable photo opportunities.
- At Marina Vista Hotel, you will see a sign pointing to the right for Kuleli Koyu. This is the slightly further dolmus route. Take the left and the road is quieter.
- The dolmuş to Kuleli is every 20 minutes in season and is 4 TL (2012). Check with the driver when this service finishes, otherwise you will have to walk to Aksazlar Koyu (about 4 miles) to pick up the regular Karagözler-Taşyaka dolmuş.
- If you don’t want to walk to Kuleli, look out for the orange-fronted dolmuş that says ‘Letoonia, Samanlık, Kuleli Koyu’ in the window. You can also drive there easily.
Update June 2015 – This Fethiye beach has had a massive facelift and is now the all-new Kuleli Beach Park.