Well, as far as we're concerned, surviving winter in Fethiye isn't about surviving at all. We love it! But we do get many people asking us, "But what do you do in winter? What's the weather like? Don't you get bored?" No. In fact, we'd love Fethiye to be on everyone's winter itineraries. For starters, with the exception of Saklıkent Gorge, our Fethiye Must Sees would be very easy to complete.
Of course, the long, hot summer days and balmy nights are what immediately comes to mind when Fethiye is mentioned, but life here doesn't come to a grinding halt just because the last summer flight has left Dalaman Airport. This is when Fethiye and its residents switch to winter mode and make the most of what's on offer when the sun isn't sapping every ounce of energy.
There are many trails around the hills of Fethiye, and a sunny day in winter is perfect for getting away from the centre and enjoying the open spaces. We love to walk from Fethiye to Kayaköy or from Kayaköy to Ölüdeniz, or even both at once, depending on how energetic we're feeling.
It's only in winter that the air is so clear. The summer haze disperses, leaving extensive views and colourful contrasts of the azure blues of the Mediterranean against the lush green of the pine forests. It's scenery like this that strips away any tendencies to start becoming blasé about where we live. And, for those of you who are keen on photography, winter time is when you'll get your best photos of the Fethiye scenery.
We're not beach people. That doesn't mean we don't enjoy beaches. We just don't like sunbathing, so, if you're ever looking for us in summer, you're more likely to find us in a bar with an Efes Pilsen rather than horizontal on the sand.
However, once the winter months hit Fethiye, the local beaches are deserted and that's when they come into their own for these two non-sunbathers. We usually mix in a trip to the beach with our trekking such as the walk to Kuleli Koyu. Take a picnic and enjoy the solitude of the bays as it's likely you'll be the only people there, unless you go on a Sunday.
Our favourite winter beach has got to be Gemiler Bay. The council snack bar (on the left side of the beach) is open all year - so if you hike to Af Kule and then down to Gemiler Beach afterwards, you'll know there's refreshment waiting for you at the bottom.
The winter months in Fethiye are perfect for hiring a car or taking a bus to some of the nearby archaeological sites and towns such as the supremely pretty Kaş. Where the archaeological sites are concerned, as with the beaches, this is the time of year where you could well be the only people there, giving you a real feel for the place and you're not going to be sweltering as you explore the site.
We were the only visitors there when we visited the UNESCO heritage sites of Letoon and Xanthos earlier this year. And, of course, it's much easier to get your photos and choose the angles you want, without people's heads bobbing in the way or tour buses suddenly coming into shot in the background. It really does make a huge difference, having the place to yourself.
Build A Snowman:
This is one for when winter really kicks in. Actually, what prompted the writing of this post was a telltale bite in the wind yesterday. A telltale bite that tells you the snow has started to fall on the higher mountains. By February, the snow will have encroached to the lower slopes and we will only be a 20-minute drive away from snowball fun.
This is not an activity we partake in every year (well, we are 38 year old adults!) but it's certainly good fun when the folks of Fethiye hit the road and head to the snow in Nif for the day. If you decide to join the convoy, expect roadside barbecues (despite the snowy weather), people sledging on plastic carrier bags and in washing up bowls and the sculpting of many, many snowmen.
Enjoy A Night Out, Indoors:
Our first four tips are all about getting out there and making the most of the great outdoors, but let's now go inside to get warm. In summer, we enjoy sitting outside the bars and restaurants of Fethiye, just as we do in winter...in the daytime. As soon as the sun goes down, the temperatures drop and fires are lit. Deep Blue Bar and Cafe Geniş have cosy, open fires to entice customers through their doors.
It can be very difficult to tear ourselves away from the warmth of our own home on the cold winter nights - but there's usually something going on that tempts us to brave the cold occasionally. Cafe Pazar recently hosted a tapas night with live music, Shaka are holding a sushi night (both places no doubt have plans for follow-ups, too) and we're sometimes enticed up the hill to enjoy occasional festive treats at the Sundial. Oh, and Sundial have an open fire in winter, too. Lovely!
These are just FIVE things we love about winter in Fethiye. There are so many more but we'll save them for another post. What do you enjoy most about winter where you are?
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