A tad relieved…
That’s how we’re feeling now after having spent a couple of hours yesterday at one of our favourite Fethiye beaches, Kuleli. Because when you’ve known and loved somewhere for so long and then that somewhere changes. And changes a lot. Well, you’re gonna be a bit concerned or worried and sad, aren’t you?
We like to be open-minded; to see things for ourselves and decide what we think about them. But we were still sat on the dolmuş, heading around the peninsula in Fethiye, wondering what we’d think when we saw the all the new Kuleli Beach Park in the flesh.
Fethiye’s Kuleli Koyu – Kuleli Beach Park
We’ve watched developments over winter as we’ve walked around Oyuktepe. Diggers, dumper trucks, joiners, builders. It was definitely bye bye to the old Kuleli beach we used to know. By the time we walked around the peninsula, things were really starting to take shape. Their Facebook page and Instagram profile were up and running, and it was clear the new owners were intending to make an impact and make sure everyone knew they were around.
We followed their progress via their Facebook page and Instagram profile. Then, as summer season started to kick in and friends went to visit, we began to see their photos on Facebook, too. Wow, it looked different. Were we going to like it? Our lovely little forested bay, now an all-singing, all-dancing ‘beach club’. We knew we had to go and see for ourselves before chuntering and moaning. So that’s what we did yesterday afternoon.
And well, we’re writing about it now, aren’t we, so, if you know our blog (we only write about the places we like), you’ll know it’s won us over. It’s not all completely finished yet – they’re working hard to get everything 100% up and running by next week – but the main areas are done, and, right now, all is very pleasant, we’ve got to say.
Rustic has made way for more of a chic look with cobbled footpaths leading down from the entrance to the beach and grassy areas for beanbags. The köşks are still there, lining the path, but they’re no longer wooden. They’re metal-framed and sturdy (clearly built to last) and softened with cushions and fabrics. Some are of a curved shape with shading in different places and again, the over-sized comfy cushions are there.
A member of staff spotted us wandering around and came over to tell us a little bit about what has been going on and what’s to come…
The köşks are called cabanas and can be hired for the day which is great if there’s a few of you. Sunbeds and umbrellas can also be hired for the day, if it’s a laze on the beach you’re after, and there’s a beach bar so you don’t have to trail back up to the main eating area if you fancy a drink. All this is the same as many other beach areas around Fethiye, and prices are similar, too…but they’ve really gone to town in making everywhere look really stylish, as you can see in the photos.
Changing cabins and numerous (very stylish) showers mean you don’t have to sit around in your beach gear all day if you like to get changed, later on.
Dine Or BBQ
As well as the beach and the cabanas, there is also a large dining area of around 50 picnic-style tables (we did a rough count) that can sit six people each and at the foot of each table is a barbecue. You can either bring your own food for your barbecue or buy it at Kuleli Beach Park, itself.
And if you don’t want to barbecue, there’s a large restaurant. We decided to sit down and have a couple of drinks, chill a little and take all in. The staff are friendly and (yeahy!) replied to us in Turkish when we ordered in Turkish. Always little bonuses. While we had our drinks, we watched the staff in the kitchen (everything is on show) preparing kebabs and köfte for customers. Mmmm, if we weren’t still full from our trip to Italy we would have been tempted. And another little happy bonus…they do real chips! Great! There is just no substitute for homemade chips as far as we’re concerned.
Car ownership has increased significantly in Turkey in recent years. And, throughout other areas of Turkey, Fethiye has appeared on people’s holiday radar. The number of cars on the road around Fethiye last summer was very noticeable, especially around beaches and bays. Kuleli Koyu is now able to cater for large numbers of people on any given day (in the thousands) but they have limited parking space.
Tip: Weekends – especially Sundays – are very popular with Turkish families for having a day out. Bays such as Kuleli Koyu will be packed on these days. Go on a weekday if you prefer more tranquility.
The lady we spoke to said they are addressing the transport issue by encouraging people not to go there by car. As lovers of public transport, we’re big fans of this. They’re not ready just yet but in the next few weeks, Kuleli Beach Park will hopefully have free boats running to and from the bay; from Fethiye and from Çalış. There’s also the dolmuş, too, of course, which is how we got there yesterday.
The new Kuleli Beach Park at Kuleli Koyu has definitely made a statement on the Oyuktepe peninsula. It’s big and bold and shiny and new. We arrived feeling nervous at what we were going to find. We left feeling happy that we could go back again and still enjoy one of our favourite bays. Best of luck to them for this season and in the future, too.
Kuleli Koyu / Kuleli Beach Park – Useful Information
- Kuleli Beach Park is in Fethiye, on the Oyuktepe peninsula (the hill where you can see the Letoonia All-Inclusive Hotel & Resort).
- If you don’t have a car, entrance to Kuleli Koyu is free. Cars are charged a parking fee.
- Sunbeds are 7.50 TL for the day and umbrellas are 5 TL (summer 2015).
- The cabanas are available for hire for the whole day, as are barbecues. We were told this can be done as a package, too. Ask at Kuleli Beach Park for further details if this is what you want to do.
- If you just want to go to Kuleli Beach Park for a drink or something to eat, then you only pay for your food & drink – and prices are reasonable. We paid 10TL for an Efes Beer.
- The orange-fronted Taşyaka-Karagözler dolmuş runs right through the centre of Fethiye and is continuing around the Oyuktepe peninsula, as far as Kuleli Koyu, every 20 minutes throughout the summer season. The cost is only 4 TL per person. Look for the Taşyaka-Karagözler dolmuş which also says ‘Kuleli’ in the window.
- If you’re the energetic type, you can also walk to the beach. Fabulous views but not a lot of shade in summer so cover up and take water with you.
- We’ve also got lots of other walks you can do in Fethiye outlined here.
- You can keep up to date with developments at Kuleli Koyu – Kuleli Beach Park by liking their Facebook page and following them on Instagram.