Located 6 km (3,7 miles) outside of Fethiye is Calis Beach, a purposely built tourist village with lots of hotels of different sizes and prices, popular especially amongst British and German tourists. Calis Beach is a good value for money, but the place lacks any kind of individuality, and is another sad example of mass tourism getting out of control in Turkey.
We booked accommodation in Calis Beach for 4 nights and attempted to stay away from the place as much as possible. The main thing that struck me on the first walk around the place was how much it wanted to satisfy the taste of European tourists: almost every restaurant served English breakfast or fish and chips suppers; every bar had karaoke nights, happy hour promos, sex on the beach and mojito cocktails, and we even found restaurants specialising in Turkish-Chinese cuisine (?!). We did not attempt to try them out. Calis has a long promenade along a shingle beach full of restaurants and bars, and while it looks ok during the day, it lights up with aggressive flashy neon lights at night, which, together with numerous stalls selling cheap and kitschy souvenirs, make the place a really poor experience.
On a positive side, Calis Beach can really be a place for budget travellers, and you can chill out all day on the beach, and head to Fethiye for an evening meal or drink. If you want to stay in Calis and chill out in less busy bars, you can walk towards the end of the promenade, which has more intimate and quiet atmosphere.
If you decide to stay in Calis Beach, you can choose from a few options to get to your hotel.
In downtown Fethiye, you can take a water taxi across Fethiye Bay and Calis Canal, which is a very pleasant and frequent service, and costs TL5.
If you have just arrived in Fethiye’s otogar, getting to Calis Beach is a bit more complicated and you have the following transport to choose from:
• By taxi
The easiest option is to take taxi, which will cost you about TL15 – TL20 but also deprive of excitement of finding your way in a new place!
• By dolmus (minibus)
Fethiye otogar is located in a bit of a distance from the city centre, and it can prove tricky trying to find a minibus stop to catch a dolmus to Calis Beach. We had to ask locals for directions, and then walk a few minutes to get there.
If you need to take dolmus to Calis Beach from Fethiye’s otogar, follow the steps below:
A is the area outside of the bus station
B is a bus parking lot
C is the petrol station
D is the dolmus stop
1. When you arrive at Fethiye’s otogar, you will get off the bus on the bus parking lot (B). You don’t have to go inside of the bus station (A) – what you need to do is look around for a petrol station (C), which is just behind you if you’re standing on the bus parking lot facing the bus station.
2. Head towards the petrol station, and soon you will find a very busy street in front of you. You will see lots of dolmuses passing by but none of them is going to Calis Beach. Turn to your left, and follow this direction for about 5 – 7 mins until you get to a busy junction and traffic lights. On the traffic lights you need to turn right.
3. Once you turned right, walk down the street for 2-3 mins until you get outside of a supermarket called Migros (see photo below). Right in front of the store you have a minibus stop; it’s also marked D (for dolmus).
When you get in the dolmus tell the driver you’re going to Calis Beach and the name of your hotel, and they will tell you when to get off. You can pay for the journey upfront or before you get off. One way journey will cost you TL2, and take about 10-15 mins.
Calis Beach is relatively close to Fethiye, therefore it is easy to get away for an afternoon or evening chill out in Fethiye.
You can either take a dolmus or a water taxi.
Dolmuses depart from Mustafa Kemal Bv in Calis Beach, cost TL2 for a single fare, and take about 10 mins to get to Fethiye. You can pay when you get in the dolmus, or when you get off. Dolmuses run till late evening hours both ways, but it’s best to check the times with your hotel staff.
Water taxi departs from a small pier in the centre of Calis, by the promenade. The boat costs TL5, takes about 30 mins to get to Fethiye, and is especially recommended for pretty views of Fethiye harbour and nearby mountains. Water taxi departs every 30 mins, and you can buy tickets just before you board the boat in a small booth outside the jetty.
Cenk Bey Hotel Foça Mh., 48300 Fethiye/Muğla, Turcja
We booked Cenk Bey Hotel on travelrepublic.co.uk, and found the place a good value for money, as for a 4 night half board stay we paid only £100 (booked one month in advance for a stay between 18th and 22nd of Sept).
Cenk Bey Hotel is relatively small, but this is exactly what we wanted. The place in run by a Turkish – German couple, and we found many German holidaymakers staying in the hotel at the time. You will like Cenk Bey Hotel if you want quiet, relaxing holidays in a small, family run place; there is no loud music throughout the day, so you can chill out in the swimming pool area, or outside in the bar. The swimming pool itself was of a decent size, and we never found it too busy. The place itself was not too busy at all and holidaymakers were mainly families with kids or elderly couples, so if you want a bit of more action choose other place to stay. The good point about the hotel is that it is very close to the beach and the water taxi jetty (literally 2 mins walk!), and a dolmus stop is right outside of Cenk Bey Hotel. If your room overlooks the swimming pool you can chill out on a small balcony at night as well, as it’s lovely and quiet.
On a negative site, the place could do with a bit of upgrading as it looks a bit oldish. It’s very clean, though, but you can feel it had its prime in the 90s.
The food is just ok – just the usual Turkish breakfast with eggs, different types of cheese, olives and fresh fruit, though I thought that the dinners were a bit plain and monotonous. Each night they served soup and a main course always consisting of meat; you could also choose from different types of cold starters but altogether there was not much variety in the menu and the food was pretty repetitive, with only some ingredients changed. Cenk Bey does not impress food-wise, and at the time we both thought that the menu mainly attempted to cut down the costs rather than satisfy the guests’ taste.
One thing you really need to watch out for is to avoid staying in rooms that have windows facing the road – it is a very busy road from early morning hours till late night hours. Also, the hotel opposite Cenk Bey had a Turkish music night every night up until 12 or 1 am, so the noise must have been unbearable for people staying on the other side as even we could sometimes hear it in our room. If I was to book my stay again in Cenk Bey I would first call the hotel and ask if they have any free pool side rooms, as I really cannot imagine how people managed to sleep with the noise from the road and the Turkish music.
I do not have any pictures from Cenk Bey Hotel, but you can check them out on tripadvisor’s website, which also has some opinions about the place. Below is the picture of the busy road outside of Cenk Bey – photo taken about 9am, so the road was still relatively quiet.