Oludeniz December 2017 Christmas Day

Oludeniz December 2017  Christmas Day

Well we have just back from a great week away. Oludeniz December 2017. Three days in Oludeniz. One in Calis and ending with the last three in Fethiye.

Oludeniz December 2017

Set off from a cold wet day in Manchester and landed in Antalya around 6 pm local time. It was quite warm about 18 degrees I was expecting it to be much cooler. The transfer to Oludeniz took around 3 hours. Stopping for a break mid way as we made our way over the mountains. When we did stop at the halfway point between Antalya and Oludeniz It was freezing cold and was snowing quite heavily.

As we were not sure what the weather was going to be like. We booked accommodation which was more luxurious than we usually have in Turkey. The Oyster Residences behind the Sey Bar were perfect with a view out to sea. And if the weather was bad we would still have the comfort of a nice room to stay in. There was only one other couple there when we stayed. Who were there for the paragliding and also to see Oludeniz in winter.

Oludeniz December 2017 02

Arriving – Oludeniz December 2017 Holiday

Arriving at Oludeniz at around 10pm on the December the 23rd it did look as we had expected, most places were shut. We were met at our apartment and shown our room. Dropped our bags off and went out to see if anywhere was open. There was a cafe next door and some men were watching the TV inside. We asked if there was somewhere open where we could get a nightcap. We were welcomed in and had a couple of drinks inside. Hector one of the men inside told us not many were staying in the resort. Around 10 at the Akdeniz Beach Hotel and probably only 20 or so people in all.

Sey Bar Oludenis Christmas 2017

Only three bars were open on the sea front the Sey Bar, Cloud 9 and The Kumsal Pide. But were only open from around 10am to 8pm. If you wanted to stay out later a short dolmus (bus) or taxi up the hill to Hisaronu was the answer. There were more places open up there and stayed open until late. Catering for the many who have moved over to live in the area.

Weather – Oludeniz December 2017 Holiday

The weather was great clear blue sky’s most of the time and in the sun the temperature was in the low 20s. I had t shirts and shorts on for a couple of days. My better half even had a swim in the sea on boxing day. We were the only ones on the beach at the mouth of the lagoon. I would liken the climate it to a nice sunny spring day in May back in the UK. When the sun went in the temperature dropped quite quickly and you needed a thick jumper or coat on if outside.

Sey Bar looking Out to Sea Oludeniz December 2017

On Christmas day the Kumsal Pide was very busy. At midday Around 40 ex pats came down form Ovacik and had food and drinks there apparently its an annual event. A great atmosphere and even a Turkish Santa was in attendance. Sat in the sun we wondered if the weather was a one off and if we had just been lucky this year. Then we overheard one of the ex pats say it was his 8th Christmas day at the Kumsal Pide and every year it had been perfect weather.

Other things that are different are the suns position. It sets right at the middle of the bay at Oludeniz making the sunsets quite dramatic. It is also the only time you can actually see the Greek island Rhodes in the distance out to sea. The water seems much clearer, and the beach has no boats along the seafront. only a few people walking and fishing along the shore.

Christmas Day Sunset Oludeniz 2017

Laid Back –  Oludeniz December 2017 Holiday

Oludeniz December was so relaxing and laid back we had a great 3 days the paragliders were there as usual, Boat trips were on but only with small boats carrying 2 or 3 people. We had a walk over to Kidrick beach and back. Went on a boat trip one day. But spent much of the time enjoying having the resort to ourselves.  Just walking around the countryside and along the seafront. There were other people staying there but not many. Most of the people during the day were just visiting for a few hours by the beach or were there to paraglide.

Walking through the resort I can see why people say it is a ghost town.  Most places are shut. Some of the hotels and bars have workmen in them getting things ready for the next holiday season. The main strip could have been used for the set of a post apocalyptic zombie movie it was that empty. This didn’t bother us at all we quite liked the tranquility. We will be back in May and see it quite different. Hisaronu was much the same most places shut and looked even more like an abandoned holiday resort. However the bars that were open were busier and had local ex pats gathering in them.

When our 3 days were over we really did not want to go. Wishing we had booked the week in Oludeniz. But we wanted to see Calis and had never actually stayed in Fethiye so after a last walk along the beach we hopped on the Dolmus to Fethiye and on to Calis.

Calis Beach on Boxing Day –  Oludeniz December 2017 Holiday

We got to Calis mid afternoon on Boxing day the weather was still great the sun was warm and we were surprised how busy Calis was in comparison to Oludeniz, the bars along the front were all busy and it looked more like a holiday resort.  We dragged our bags up to the Nil bar where we had booked a room. Outside was Tarik who we knew from the Destina in Ovacik where we have stayed a few times. He now worked at the Nil Bar, small world. Dropped our bags off and went outside to have a drink and watch the sun go down. and it was quite spectacular Calis is known for good sunsets.

Calis Beach December 2017

The bars along the front were less busy during the night but there were still quite a few open with people inside. The Nil Bar itself was very busy. The next day after breakfast we had a walk along the front at Calis and then set off on the dolmus for our last 3 nights in Fethiye the weather was still great although there were now some clouds in the sky.

Fethiye – Oludeniz December 2017 Holiday

After a short walk from the Dolmus we arrived at our hotel in Fethiye. The Hotel Unique looked stunning the decor was great as was our room with a view over the harbour and a hot-tub on the balcony. we went for a walk around the old town and along the harbour. By the time we got back we decided to have a meal in the hotel as the clouds had come over by now and it had just started to rain.

The next day it was still dull with light showers but soon brightened up and by lunchtime it was blue sky and sun again. I went out in the morning walking up to the castle and rocktombs with a coat and a sweatshirt on and came back carrying them both in my backpack.

Fethiye December 2017

The next day was our last full day and the weather had broken. It was not cold but was dull and rainy we went around the museum in Fethiye and then decided to get the dolmus back up to Hisaronu and have an afternoon having a few drinks and a meal in the bars up there. By the time we got back to Fethiye that evening the heavens opened and the thunderstorm began. Still we had a good day again. We usually go in May and October and often get a day of rain while on holiday.

Back To Blighty –  Oludeniz December 2017 Holiday

We got up the next day the 30th it was still raining. Our transfer would be here soon to take us back to the UK. I was hoping the rain would stop for all the people there getting ready for the New Year. Looking on the internet when we got back it did brighten up thankfully. The next day the sun was again lighting up that beautiful turquoise coastline. Back home It was cold and grey as per usual living in the North West of England.

Oludeniz December. Would I go again for Christmas? Its an easy answer YES. try and stop me I will definitely be spending another Christmas day there! It was one of the best Christmas breaks we have ever had. We did originally book for Side near Antalya but changed our minds last minute. And are so glad we did. Having come back after a great week with lots of walking and sightseeing. If we had gone to Side in the all inclusive (all abusive) hotel we would have probably stayed around the hotel all week. Drank like fish and fed ourselves like foie gras geese. I’m sure we would have enjoyed that also though 🙂

Just a few pictures off my phone on this page more to be added when I sift through the hundreds on my camera. Back home now and counting the weeks until we return in May.

Oludeniz Christmas

Oludeniz Christmas 2017

Well 2017 will be an Oludeniz Christmas.  If we can we try and get away at Christmas. We have the minimum holidays from work, so its nice to get some winter sun if we can. But it can be so expensive so we do it every 2 to 3 years if possible. This year we were considering Malaga in Spain. The flights were really cheap but the hotels were coming up quite expensive and so we also had a look at Turkey. The temperatures were comparable. The flights to Turkey cost quite a bit more, but when you compare the cost of hotels and eating out in Turkey, all in all there was not much between the two.

oludeniz christmas

Turkey For Christmas

So we booked flights to Antalya and a hotel in Side. We have been to Side once before and had a nice holiday, it has a great amphitheater in the center of the town. The hotel that we booked was very large and was an all inclusive with heated pools. and themed restaurants etc. All very luxurious. So I’m ready now for our Christmas break. However part of us still wanted to see our favorite part of Turkey, Oludeniz. But Oludeniz is closed at Christmas. We did ponder with the idea of Calis or Fethiye and going over to Olu for one day.

But we had booked Side and if the weather is bad we have a large hotel full of amenities. A gym, a la carte restaurants, cocktail bars. Truth told, the gym would have given way to the cocktail bar if push came to shove and the weather turned bad.

Change to Plans Oludeniz Christmas

So less than a month to go and ready for my break Side here we come! Then my better half tells me shes cancelled the hotel in Side, and has booked a transfer from Antalya to Oludeniz. We are now staying 3 days in Oludeniz and 4 days in Fethiye. Suddenly I’m looking forward to the break even more. Waking up Christmas day with the beach at Oludeniz almost deserted sounds pretty good. Doing the beautiful scenic walk from the lagoon to Kaya. Walking along the harbor in Fethiye, and seeing the area out of season. It will cost a little more now, as the hotel in Side was a real bargain. But I cant wait for an Oludeniz Christmas.

Oludeniz Christmas 02

Festive Fethiye Christmas

We usually travel around when we visit Turkey. And although we have been to Fethiye numerous times for day visits, we have never stayed there. So this time we have booked a few days. Partly due to the person we booked the transfer from. His comments were “Oludeniz Christmas! are you sure you want to stay there? The graveyard has more life”. He did also advise us to try Fethiye as it will be much busier. I’m really not too bothered about Oludeniz being almost all closed. We usually try and find the quietest bars when we stay anyway. I Don’t think that will be a problem this time.

I looked online for anything about Oludeniz or Ovacik at Christmas but came up with very little, so I decided to write this. I’ll post a follow up and some picks as soon as I get back.

St Nicholas Santa Claus

Oludeniz Christmas – St Nicholas Santa Claus

If you have been on one of the boat trips from Oludeniz you most probably have visited St Nicholas Island.  Stopped there for half an hour. And maybe walked around the church ruins there.

First of all who was St Nicholas?

St Nicholas was the Bishop of Myra. Now called Demre in Southern Turkey. His story has given him other well-known names around the world such as St Nick, Kris Kringle, Santa Claus and Farther Christmas. While the image of Santa we have today has more to do with re-branding. by the coca cola company in 1931. Rather than that of the bishop from Turkey.

St Nicholas Oludeniz Turkey Coca Cola Santa - St Nicholas Oludeniz Turkey

St Nicholas very Brief History

Going back almost 1740 years to around 280AD, Southern Turkey then had a large Greek Christian community along the coast.  A boy called Nicholas was born to wealthy parents in a town called Patara. Unfortunately, his parents died in an epidemic leaving the orphan Nicholas with his family’s fortune. Adopted by his uncle who was the Bishop of Patara. The story then goes that Nicholas started giving away some of his wealth. Doing this in secret giving money to those that needed it more than he did. He climbed on to roofs of houses and then dropped coins down chimney’s.

He was discovered doing this and the word spread of what he had done. Nicholas continued to do more and more for the community using his wealth and position to help those that needed it. He was well respected and loved by the people.  The church later pronounced him the Bishop of Myra whilst he was still a young man. “A lot more can be seen of his history here”.

Oludeniz – St Nicholas – Protector of children and sailors

What is the Oludeniz Link? well it lies behind the Buzz bar near the beach at Oludeniz. I first visited Oludeniz in the 1990s this area was a field then with a campsite and carpark on it. over the years excavation started on the ruins of a church. St. Demetrius Church, Symbola now called Oludeniz.

St Demetrius Church Oludeniz St Demetrius Church Oludeniz Turkey

St Demetrius Church Oludeniz

The church at Oludeniz was the largest and most significant of 6 churches in the locality and records state that the church was visited a number of times by Nicholas the Bishop of Myra. A large part of the church was destroyed by Pirates from Africa however recent excavations have unearthed some very rare mosaics. Now in the grounds of a boutique hotel the church is protected under a canopy and still being excavated during the winter months.

St Demetrius Church Oludeniz Turkey 02 St Nicholas Island Oludeniz

St Nicholas Island Oludeniz.

Many modern historians now believe that St. Nicholas Island. now called Gemlier Island may have been the place where original tomb of St Nicholas was. The Island was known as St Nicholas Island in Medieval times. There were several churches on the Island and over 50 Christian tombs. Furthermore It is believed that st Nicholas was entombed there from 326ad when he died. until the 650s when the island was threatened by an Arab fleet. The island was then deserted, and St Nicholas’s remains were taken to Myra 25 miles to the east.

Gemiler Island - St Nicholas Island Turkey Gemiler Island - St Nicholas Island Oludeniz

Oludeniz Air Games 2018

Oludeniz Air Games 2018 – 16th to 21st October 2018

Oludeniz is famous for its paragliding. Paragliders take off all day weather permitting from the mountain “Babadag”. Which overlooks the resort and is almost 2000 mtrs high. The annual International Oludeniz Air Games 2018 start in October. This years dates are from the 16th to the 21st of October. If you are looking into having a holiday at this time of the year. Catching the air games is an added bonus.

19th International Air Games

I first went quite a few years ago not knowing the air games was on. Since then I have been back 3 times during October. Making sure I catch at least some of the air games.  Not only do you get the great holiday as always. Its nice to see the build up for the games and all the people there for the event.

Oludeniz Air Games 2017

Oludeniz Air Games 2018 – 16th to the 21st October

In addition to the numerous paragliders who flock there for this time of year  filling the sky from dawn till dusk. The competition events are very impressive from the aerial displays by solo and team paragliders. To base jumpers and people in wing suits. The base jumpers had my heart in my mouth watching them fall towards the ground and opening their parachutes just in time.

Oludeniz Wing Suit

Youtube Oludeniz Air Games

If you want to see what Oludeniz is like during the air games. Have a look on Youtube there are numerous videos up of the event. If you think the front at Oludeniz is busy with paragliders during the summer. Its nothing compared to what its like during the air games in October.  Seeing tables and chairs cloaked with a parachute or a fire engine helping a paraglider out of a tree is not that uncommon. But with that amount of solo pilots there landing at the same time its hardly surprising.

Be prepared for it getting cooler at nights October can be unpredictable. We have been there with jeans and sweatshirts at night and some of the bars have fires outside. Other times we have been and wore t shirts and shorts in the evening. Although I would expect it to be colder at night. and if it isn’t its a bonus. Ive booked again for in 2018. The 19th International Air Games 2018 – 16th of October to the 21st of October in Oludeniz Turkey.

Air Games Oludeniz 2017 Air Games Turkey October Oludeniz Air Games October Oludeniz Air Games 2018 Oludeniz Air Games October 2018 Air Games Turkey 2018 Air Games Turkey October 2018

2018 Oludeniz Air Games