Here is a list of things to do in Oludeniz, Turkey, that I love whenever I am in Ölüdeniz, from paragliding over the Blue Lagoon to beaches and horseback riding.
Oludeniz (Ölüdeniz) is home to one of the most photographed beaches in Turkey, if not the world – the famous Blue Lagoon.
If you’re in Turkey, it’s a crime not to visit here for a few days, and it’s also a great spot to dedicate an entire holiday! Packed during the summer months with visitors from all over the world.
Ölüdeniz is also blessed with relatively mild winter temperatures, so you can easily visit whatever the month and enjoy the chilled-out way of life and the stunning natural sights all around you.
Because Ölüdeniz is one of Turkey’s premier beach resorts, you can expect crowds between June and September in particular. However, the shoulder months of May to early June and September to October are ideal for grabbing a bargain break while enjoying high temperatures and plentiful sun.
During the peak months of July to August, expect the mercury to hit the mid-40s with almost zero chance of rain, and during the shoulder months, you’re still granted with mid-30s and possibly higher.
So, if you’re itching to visit Oludeniz, let’s look at how you can get there, what you can do, and a little history along the way.
Best tours in Oludeniz:
- 🚢 Discover the bays and islands around Oludeniz on a full-day Butterfly Valley & St. Nicholas Island cruise
- 🪂 Satisfy your craving for some extra doses of adrenaline on this paragliding experience
- 🌊 Swim in blue-water caves and along sandy beaches on this Olundeniz cruise to 6 island paradises
- 🤿 Explore the colorful underwater world of Oludeniz on this scuba diving trip from Muğla
How To Get To Oludeniz
The good news is that it’s pretty easy to get to Ölüdeniz during the summer and not too tricky out of season either. In the summer, you can fly directly to Dalaman Airport on the south coast pretty quickly, and from there, it’s just an hour-long transfer via coach, or you can hire a car at the airport.
Be sure to check if you need an eVisa for Turkey before arriving to avoid any hassles.
During the winter months, you may struggle to find direct flights to Dalaman, but you can always connect in Istanbul, and that’s an excellent excuse for a twin-center break!
Getting around the area is pretty easy simply because Oludeniz isn’t too large. It’s connected to Fethiye, the main resort town in the area, by regular buses, which is only around 10-15 minutes away by car. If you wanted to spread your wings a little further, you could reach other resort towns in Turkey, such as Marmaris or Icmeler, in around two hours.
There is plenty of history around Oludeniz, as it is part of the Lycian region of Turkey, with history and ruins that dates back around 3000 years. You can also join the Lycian Way from nearby Fethiye, a walking trail that runs all the way to Antalya and has many important ruins along the way.
In Turkish, Ölüdeniz translates to “dead sea,’ but that’s not literal – it’s essentially because the sea around here is so calm that it’s almost dead! That makes it the ideal spot for a family beach break, with safe waters for swimming.
As with most Turkish holiday resorts in this region, Oludeniz was once a fishing village that built itself up throughout the years and is now a thriving tourism center during the summer months.
The central point of Oludeniz, aside from the blue of the sea, is the huge Babadag Mountain, which rises high up to the sky behind the beach. This means ‘father mountain,’ and it’s one of the best spots in the world for paragliding. Overall, however, the picturesque setting of the entire town makes Ölüdeniz the perfect spot for Insta-worthy snaps to make everyone back home jealous!
Top Things To Do In Oludeniz
There are more things to do in Oludeniz during the summer than in the winter. However, you can still meander around, enjoy beach time on sunny days, and generally take in the chilled-out way of life when the tourists have disappeared until the following summer.
However, assuming you’re visiting when the temperatures are at their hottest, there are countless things you can do, and they’re all based outside, giving you the best chance at an enviable suntan!
If you’re brave enough, the number one thing to do in Ölüdeniz is to try your hand at paragliding. The huge mountain setting and the beautiful blues of the sea make it a fantastic spot to give the sport a go, and this is one of the best places in Europe for tandem paragliding overall.
There are take-off points almost at the top of the mountain, around 2000 meters high, and you will soar gently down to the beach, landing on the soft sand.
Be sure to shop around for the best deal as you’ll find many companies offering paragliding, and also make sure that insurance is included.
Ölüdeniz Blue Lagoon
We can’t mention Oludeniz and not mention the Blue Lagoon! This is undoubtedly the most famous and most photographed beach in Turkey, and the blinding blues of the Mediterranean against the white of the sand will take your breath away.
This is a national conservation area, so you will need to pay a small amount to get inside, but no boats are allowed, so you can be assured of a chilled-out day. The calm waters are also ideal for families to visit, with safe swimming. There is also a considerable amount of flora and fauna around, which gives the air a beautiful, fragrant scent.
Unlike many areas around the coast, Oludeniz is ideal for diving all year round, and the warm and clear sea makes it perfect for beginners and more advanced divers alike. You’ll also find countless diving schools that offer training if you’re a complete novice.
There are small diving areas full of brightly colored marine life for beginners, but if you’re more experienced, head out a little deeper and check out the tunnels, drop-offs, and arches. You’ll also find some archaeological diving sites around here with runs that date back to 300 BC, during the times of Alexander The Great.
Enjoy A Boat Trip
There are many small coves and islands around Oludeniz; the best way to explore them is by boat. You can head off on a commercial boat trip with several other people to make friends with along the way, or you can opt for a private journey with the crew to show you the local area. It’s up to you which you choose; however, be aware that party boat trips leave the harbor during the summer, so if you want a quiet day, it’s best to avoid those!
Most boat trips will take you to the Blue Cave, the famous Butterfly Valley, inaccessible via any other means, the local waterfalls, and St. Nicholas Island, which is confirmed to be where St. Nicholas (aka Santa) lived. Some trips will also take you to Step Ladder Bay or Merdivenli, which has an old cave carved into the cliff’s side.
Babadag Mountain Cable Car
The Babadag Mountain’s cable car rising directly from the beach, which opened in 2021. If you take a ride, the cable car will take you up to the top of Babadag Mountain, where you can enjoy a 360 view of the area below.
On the way up, the cable car makes two stops: at 1200 meters and at 1700 meters. For those interested in traveling even higher still, a chairlift is available to take you the rest of the way up.
While on the mountain, dine at one of the restaurants while watching the sunset, view the daring paragliders who take off from 6 different spots along the cliff, and make sure to snap loads of photos – the view is incredible!
The countryside around Oludeniz is ideal for a day’s horse riding, and you’ll find many excursions that will take you out into the local area, along with a guide and lunch at a local Turkish village. This is a great way to get out and see a little more of the calmer way of life, and you can also enjoy horse riding at the same time, so it’s a win-win!
Around one hour away from Ölüdeniz, you will find a natural wonder – Saklikent Gorge. During summer, you can kayak or canoe, walk, and enjoy the area’s stunning scenery. You’ll also find small village restaurants that serve delicious and authentic Turkish breakfast.
This is a day-long trip, so get up early and make the most of it. You’ll also get to check out nearby Patara Beach, which is one of the most beautiful hidden beaches in the entire region.
Walk A Little Of The Lycian Way
We’ve already mentioned that this part of the country was formerly known as Lycia, and the Lycian Walk runs from Fethiye to Antalya. While the entire walk is quite a big ask for one holiday at 540km, you can walk a little of it and still enjoy the history and scenery of the surrounding area.
It’s worth mentioning that parts of the trail are pretty tricky for beginners, and you’ll need comfortable walking shoes thanks to some unexpected drips – this is not a walk for flip-flops! The best time to walk is between February and May or from September to November, thanks to the cooler temperatures, and you’ll find more availability in the small guest houses that line the walk.
Explore The Kayakoy Ruins
Around 20 minutes away from Oludeniz by bus or taxi, you’ll find the ghost town of Kayakoy. Firstly, you’ll need some comfortable shoes – don’t be tempted to explore here in flip-flops!
Also, there is very little shade here, if any, so if you’re visiting during the summer months, it might be best to go early in the morning or late in the afternoon with a hat, plenty of water, and sun protection.
Tips aside, Kayakoy is an amazing spot to visit, and it will certainly give you goosebumps. This is a totally abandoned Greek village that was known as Carmylessus.
It is located in what was formerly Lycia. Once the Greco-Turkish war ended in 1923, the Christian inhabitants of the village suddenly left due to political reasons and nobody has been back since.
Kayakoy is amazing to walk around; it literally feels like going back to town and the buildings, although some stand in ruin, are surprisingly well-preserved.
Butterfly Valley is a must-visit. Accessible only by boat, you’ll find trips heading there several times throughout the summer months.
The valley is known for its high population of rare butterflies, although the chances of seeing one in high summer are considered pretty slim. They’re elusive creatures, but early spring and late September are good times to spot them.
The beach itself is stunning, with clear water and soaring mountains all around you. There is also a green, heavily forested section you can walk through behind the beach and a waterfall, too.
However, do not be tempted to travel to Butterfly Valley by road and trek down to the beach – yes, the views are amazing, but the trail down is extremely rocky and, in some parts, totally sheer. It’s extremely dangerous and not worth risking. Instead, take a boat trip and enjoy the views from the sea.
Choosing Where To Stay In Oludeniz
When searching for accommodation in Oludeniz, deciding whether you mind being far from the beach or wanting to be within a few minutes’ walking distance is important.
When you search, you’ll find hotels and apartments for Hisaronu, and sometimes even Ovacik comes up when you type in ‘Oludeniz.’ Now, they’re not far away from each other (around 15 minutes by car), but the issue is that Hisaronu and Ovacik don’t have beaches.
These are two small, neighboring resorts offering cheaper accommodation and great shopping and nightlife, but they’re located up the (very steep) hill from Oludeniz.
Most people choose to stay here for the nightlife and to save a little cash, as accommodation in these two resorts is CONSIDERABLY cheaper than down near the beach. They then choose to get a taxi or a dolmus into Oludeniz whenever they want to go.
By the way, I don’t recommend walking – there is no pavement down that hill, lots of traffic, and it’s super-steep on the way back up!
Nightlife is Hisaronu, and Ovacik is loud and bright. It’s great fun, but there are not many chilled-out cocktail bar vibes going on. You will find that on Oludeniz beachfront, along with a few fun-pub-style bars and clubs further up the road.
So, make sure you double-check where your chosen accommodation is before you press ‘book.’ Yes, you’ll pay a little more to be close to the beach, but it’s worth it if that’s important to you.
These are some of the most popular things to do in and around Oludeniz, but spending time chilling at one of the many beach cafes is a great way to spend the day. You won’t struggle to find plentiful nightlife in the evenings, especially in the summer.
We hope that you are now ready to visit Oludeniz.