Ölüdeniz must be one of the most famous and beautiful beaches in Turkey. It isn’t hard to understand why people call it the blue lagoon. Even in winter time, on a grey day, the color of the water has all shades of blue. And while Ölüdeniz is a buzzing circus in the summertime, winter brings a very different vibe. All shops, bars, hotels, and restaurants on the ‘strip’ (or main street) and the surrounding streets are closed, but the promenade and the beach are full of life on a sunny February day. Time for a tribute to the laid-back atmosphere of Ölüdeniz in winter! And just for once, we will show you the blue lagoon and its surroundings in black & white.
Ölüdeniz in winter: two different worlds
Those who know Ölüdeniz from their summer holidays might not realize it, but in wintertime, all those shiny cocktail bars and restaurants are closed. In fact, apart from a few businesses on the promenade, everything in Ölüdeniz is closed. And when we say closed, we mean closed. Not just lock up and go; no, after the season, entire interiors and even exteriors get covered in plastic or any other form of protection. You may think this is sad, but while the village goes into sleeping mode, life at the beach goes on; albeit in a slightly different version than what you may know from summer. And as far as we are concerned, there is beauty to be found in everything, even the deserted streets of Ölüdeniz in winter.
Life at the beach: fishing, swimming, taking in the sun
As soon as the tourist season starts, the streets of Ölüdeniz will be full of life and entertainment again. Shops and bars will have a fresh layer of paint, ready to welcome their long-awaited customers. The beach is also transformed. Life at the beach in winter is gentle chaos. There are families with children, young couples, locals and expats, a colorful and eclectic mix of people taking in the sun, each in their way. There are no sunbeds, no umbrellas, no pirate boats or loud music, and only a few restaurants are open. But there is something very soothing about it all. People are content, and Ölüdeniz beach looks glorious in all its natural beauty. Take it from us: after an afternoon in Ölüdeniz in winter, you will feel completely relaxed!
Ölüdeniz promenade in winter
The boardwalk next to the beach is home to paragliders doing general maintenance, people having a drink or a meal, or children playing football. Just like in summer, paragliders use the promenade as their landing spot gently sliding past people walking along it. Happy faces everywhere you look!
We admit that we absolutely love the vibe of Ölüdeniz in winter. However, you will need to find a hotel and more mundane entertainment in nearby Fethiye. Still, there are regular dolmuş (public transport) services all day from Fethiye to the blue lagoon to get you to paradise whenever you feel like it. In short, unless you are the ultimate party animal, you might very well be just as taken by the quiet nature of Ölüdeniz as we are.
Practical information about Ölüdeniz as a winter destination
Ready to start making plans? You’ll find cheap flight options here. Or you can use the search widget on the side to quickly find the most affordable and best flights available. Hardly any of the local airports like Dalaman (which is closest to Fethiye) have direct international flights in winter. A stop in Istanbul is usually required.
Please note that a lot of accommodations are closed out of season, that is why you’ll get to enjoy authentic Turkey.
And don’t forget to bring a reliable travel guide. Lonely Planet has you covered with their Turkey Edition which is available both in Kindle version and in Paperback.