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2018 In Turkey – That Was The Year That Was

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What’s the end of a year without a little bit of reminiscing, eh? A look back at what has passed.

And 2018 has been a packed 365 days for us.

As always, that is reflected through the blog – life in Fethiye, life in the kitchen (and various eateries, of course) and a healthy sprinkling of travels, too.

Our Christmas festivities are over, we’re looking forward to New Year’s Eve with friends and 2019 hopes and goals are firmly in place.

But before we go hurtling through to the other side – no doubt with a hangover of some description – let’s look back at what 2018 dished up for us…

Fethiye Beach Life

For two people who don’t consider themselves to be particularly beachy, we managed to spend some time at a few of the local beaches throughout 2018.

Şövalye Island Beach View
View of the beach on Şövalye Island

After not setting foot on the island for a good few years, we made three visits over to Şövalye Island throughout the summer and spent time at Şövalye Adası Restaurant & Beach.

Always nice to renew an acquaintance with somewhere. I can’t really say this was about beach time, really. More snacking, drinking and exploring the island.

On the Fethiye Peninsula, more renewing of acquaintances with a couple of visits to Aksazlar Beach.

This place is so difficult to beat for its views of Fethiye.

Further round, we got a complete revamp in the shape of Büyük Boncuklu bay. We loved it here.

Very chilled – and they’re open at weekends through winter.

Köşk At JJ Beach Park
View from a köşk at JJ Beach Park

All of these beaches are now linked to from our Fethiye beaches page.

Şehit Fethi Bey Parkı Opened

And yes, it was worth the wait.

Back in July, the fences were removed, the dumper trucks disappeared and Fethiye’s brand new recreation area, Şehit Fethi Bey Parkı opened.

It’s quickly become a much-loved area for many. Take yourself along there at the weekends or school holidays and you’ll see what we mean.

Şehit Fethi Bey Park Pathways
The pathways of Fethi Bey Park are no ordinary pathways

For us, it’s made our walk to Çalıs so much more pleasant. And the running track is a much appreciated feature for us and lots of other sporty types in the vicinity.

Coupled with the park opening, our lovely little Duck Island has had a bit of a facelift and there are now a couple of seating areas where you can sit and watch the birdlife go by.

Of course, we got the cycle track, too.

Some people weren’t happy about it running along the centre of the harbour path in places.

And it’s proved to be very slippery after rainfall (take your time if you’re using it after or during rain) but it’s well used and our cycle buddies love it.

Fethiye Cycle Track
The cycle path is well used

Şehit Fethi Bey Park has now joined the list of things not to miss when you’re in Fethiye.


Hmm, can we mention any highlights for the first half of the season? Well, suppose there was the 4-1 win away to Pendikspor.

However, all is not going swimmingly. Time to feel optimistic for the second half of the season in 2019…

Fethiye Foodie Highlights

2018 welcomed a few new restaurants to the Fethiye area and there were some facelifts, too.

Meri Bar in Çalış moved a couple of doors away to bigger premises and is now very much a place where we like to while away the odd afternoon.

Denizatı Restaurant, along the harbour in Fethiye, closed for a few weeks in early 2018 and had a huge refurb. One of our favourite places!

Babzen Kebab Restaurant, Çalış
Welcome, Babzen Kebab

In Çalış, Babzen Kebab Restaurant opened its doors and we’re very grateful for this foodie addition to that particular neighbourhood.

A definite regular for us and it has impressed all the friends we’ve taken there. Top notch kebabs as well as other treats on the menu!

A visit to Kayaköy back in spring prompted us to try a first. Again, we were late to the party on this one but we finally got ourselves to Izela Restaurant – a favourite place for many.

Sure we’ll be back again in spring of next year for another sunny lunch.

Izela Restaurant Garden
Izela Restaurant – shaded and cool on a sunny day

We also returned to eat at a couple of old faithfuls that we hadn’t eaten at for years. Boğaziçi Restaurant and Paşa Kebap both served up great kebabs on those visits.

All the places where we have fed and watered ourselves (and written about) around the Fethiye area are featured on our Fethiye Eating and Drinking page.

We’re looking forward to making the list even longer in 2019.

Walks Around Fethiye

We don’t get too much time for long hikes, these days, with training for various races and general daily life.

However, springtime makes us want to be out there, so we hit the trail for the stretch of the Lycian Way between Ovacık and Faralya.

Ovacık To Faralya Lycian Way Views
A way marker on the route to Faralya

We also wandered through the ruins of Kayaköy and over the hill to Cold Water Bay. Not just once, but twice, in fact. Spring and Autumn.

These two routes are now happy additions to our Fethiye walks page.

Travelling Turkey

Ahh, our lovely slow travels. When finances permit, we’re usually keen to take off somewhere.

And, in 2018, we were truly blessed.

Registering for various races gives us a perfect excuse to get away at least for a couple of nights.

And September has also become a bit of a traditional month for taking off on a little road trip. We’re still writing articles from these travels but here goes…

March 2018: Antalya

The annual Runtalya Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k means we get to spend time in Antalya each March.

Barry did the marathon this time so we needed a slightly more upmarket hotel (decent bed and shower) than our usual budget choices.

1207 Boutique Hotel in Kaleiçi old town suited us just fine.

Restoration In Kaleiçi
Many Kaleiçi buildings are now hotels and pensions

April-May 2018: Bodrum and Datça

April is the month of the Bodrum Global Run. Bodrum in springtime is so pretty and peaceful.

A couple of nights there and then we did what we’ve wanted to do for some time.

We took the ferry from Bodrum to Datça. What a great way to get from A to B.

Bodrum Castle From The Windmills
Bodrum in springtime

After a pleasant sail across the Aegean, we took ourselves off to Fora Apart Hotel and enjoyed three days in pretty Datça.

Datça Things To Do
Kumluk Yolu in Datça follows the seashore

July 2018: Cittaslow Akyaka

When slow travels take you to a town that’s part of the Cittaslow movement. We took ourselves off to Akyaka during a Fethiye heatwave just to breathe in some less humid air.

Lovely to renew our acquaintance with this town; it’s picture postcard pretty and a perfect place to relax.

Courtyard Villa Yonca
Picture-postcard pretty Akyaka

Akyaka is famous for its traditional architecture so we just had to stay in digs that are a celebration of this architectural style.

July 2018: Rhodes

Tradition for Barry’s birthday is to have lunch at the Olive Garden in Kabak and then stay overnight somewhere closer to the beach such as Sultan Camp or Chakra Beach.

However, a special offer that was running at the time prompted us to go over to the Greek island of Rhodes for the day, instead.

It was a longer trip, so, on arrival, we jumped on a bus and went off to Lindos for a few hours.

We’re yet to write that article but it is en route…

September 2018: Anatolian Lake District Road Trip

This year’s road trip was all about lakes and mountains and a bit of exploration around Turkey’s Lake District.

Another goal realised by making our base at the stunning Cittaslow Eğirdir. Guess 2018 has been a year of Cittaslow towns, for us.

Eğirdir Lake Boat Trip
Beautiful Eğirdir

Our little pension on the lake shore was cosy Göl Pension and we travelled to and from sights around the area from that base.

As well as Eğirdir, we took in Salda Gölü and also realised another goal; visiting the ruins of Sagalassos.

Our Sagalassos article is en route as are articles about other places around the lakes we visited.

October 2018: Dalyan

Again, running comes into play, here. October is the month for the Dalyan Caretta Run.

It’s a great round off to the summer for us and a couple of nights in Dalyan is always going to be lovely.

Entrance To Iztuzu Beach, Dalyan, Turkey
A sail to Iztuzu Beach, Dalyan

A 2019 goal is to arrange all of our Dalyan articles to make a more coherent and helpful category for you so that it’s more of a resource.

November 2018: Istanbul

Galata Bridge, Istanbul
Istanbul is always a highlight

Yes, more running again. We’re in Istanbul every year in November for the Istanbul Marathon – well, 10k route, for me.

Because we visit the city at least once a year, our Istanbul category is updated as and when.

More articles are lined up for the coming months.

2018 Kitchen Highlights

Ahh, we do love our kitchen time. Much of it is spent cooking up old favourites, most of which feature on our Turkish recipes page.

This year, we’ve also continued to add new recipes to the list as well as well as improving old ones.

Traditional Turkish Menemen
Our menemen served at home

Cauliflower fans will love this seasonal winter Turkish cauliflower stew. We updated our menemen recipe to make it easier to follow.

And back in spring, we made use of the seasonal fruit, greengage. Erik tavası was a first for us but it won’t be a last. We’ll definitely be cooking that up again in May.

More seasonality in the summer months when we did our recipe for refreshing galia melon salad and also made our garlic yoghurt with carrots meze recipe more readable.

Most Viewed Post Of 2018

Which brings us nicely onto our most popular article of 2018. We say ‘nicely’ because our most popular article of the year is also a recipe.

Readers of this blog; you have fabulous taste! This dish is a massive favourite for us and it seems you like it, too.

Sucuk And Eggs
Sucuklu yumurta is your 2018 favourite

Sucuklu yumurta – a classic Turkish breakfast / brunch dish of sucuk (Turkish sausage) and eggs is your hands down winner! That’s made us very happy.

Thank You And Happy New Year!

That just about wraps up 2018 on the blog. Thank you for reading, thank you for sharing and thank you for all your comments.

It really is much appreciated! We wish you a very happy new year and see you on the other side in 2019 for more tales from Turkey…

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Tuesday 1st of January 2019

Happy New Year to you both.

Turkey's For Life

Sunday 6th of January 2019

And to you as well, Annie. Hope 2019 is happy and peaceful for you. :)

Judy Buckley-Sharp

Monday 31st of December 2018

What a busy year! How I wish we could visit Turkey more often but, unfortunately, other events get in the way. Wishing both of you another fantastic year, Happy 2019.

Turkey's For Life

Sunday 6th of January 2019

Happy New Year to you, too. :) Yeah, 2018 was a very busy year and 2019 could be pretty similar. We just need to find the time to write the posts up, now. :)

Joy @MyTravelingJoys

Monday 31st of December 2018

Looks like a wonderful year! Hope that 2019 is equally as fun and as delicious. Happy New Year guys! Also, I'm quite jealous of your beach time...UK beaches just aren't the same and neither are the cold waters. ;)

Turkey's For Life

Sunday 6th of January 2019

Happy New Year to you, too, Joy. Yeah, we've been lucky through 2018. Got to admit to loving a UK beach but yeah, you need the southern ones for warmer waters. :)

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