Our editor reports back from a recent week in Ovacik, on Turkey’s Turquoise coast…
Who did you go away with? My four-year-old son.
Where did you stay? The Leytur Hotel
What did you think of your accommodation? The Leytur has recently been refurbished and the rooms are brilliant: spacious and completely spotless. The swimming pool has been extended and is much bigger than others in the area. It is quite deep but children have their own separate mini-pool. One thing that lets this hotel down is the neighbouring Leda Hotel: I chose the Leytur because it is in a rural, mountainous area. I imagined nothing but the sound of crickets and the odd whirr from a moped in the evenings but instead I had to put up with painful renditions of ‘I Will Survive’ booming out from next door into the early hours. It is a shame someone can’t pick up the Leda and drop it down the road in rowdy Hisaronu. We stayed half board, which was very cheap. Breakfast was brilliant and dinner looked good for meat-eaters but it is the first time in my travels that I have ever felt I am causing a big inconvenience by being a vegetarian. If the owner was around, she made sure I got a proper dish but otherwise, I was given a plate full of dry grilled vegetables and a shrug. This is a great hotel base for exploring the surrounding area though – clean and friendly, what more do you need?
What was the weather like? Hot, hot hot – well into the thirties every day and one nice cooling thunder storm. We didn’t need the air conditioning but in high summer I think you would need to hire a unit. All that pool space to cool off in is brilliant but obviously keep kids out of the sun.
What was your favourite part of the holiday? An evening wander round Fethiye Bazarr – definitely don’t go in the middle of the day when it is too hot and busy! Also the boat trip to Butterfly Valley. Ovacik is in between Olu Deniz, (where you’ll find a protected Blue Lagoon and the most photographed beach in Turkey) and Fethiye, a fishing port and busy tow. You get the best of both worlds, just hop on the regular dolmus that stops literally every few minutes along the main road.
Any hidden gems you’d like to share with our readers? Sugar Beach Club: This Caribbean-style beach club on the shores of the salt water lagoon serves excellent food and does relaxed live entertainment, day and evening. Accommodation is in gorgeous brightly-coloured beach bungalows but you don’t have to be a guest to come and use the facilities. Look out for turtles when you go snorkelling or take a pedalo out on the lagoon. There’s well-equipped children’s play area in the shade and a massage therapist on site too. It costs about £8 a day for a pair of sun loungers and parasol. Tucked away at the end of the lagoon, you really do feel like you’ve found a hideaway.
Would you go back and if so, would you stay at the same hotel? I think we would go back to the Turquoise coast but try to stay somewhere more rural on the Lycian Way. Ovacik is beautiful with its mountain backdrop and olive groves but the tackiness from Hisaronu seems to be spreading towards it, which is a real shame. I went expecting absolute tranquility and got a bit of a shock! Ovacik is a great base for exploring a beautiful part of Turkey, if you’re prepared to travel round a bit and the Leytur offers quality, value-for-money family accommodation.