Dip into an enchanting oasis on Turkey’s turquoise coast
Rarely can one place offer every aspect of the dream getaway, yet the fabled Fethiye on the Mediterranean coast in Turkey delivers just that – and more. Picture crystal-clear water, distant mountains and the scattering of sail boats, all framed by magenta bougainvillea.
Where to stay
Just a four-hour flight from London Gatwick to Dalaman airport and a 45-minute drive, is the small port of Fethiye, a secluded natural marina and one of the oldest towns on the Lycian Coast. Backdropped by rolling green hills in Kalemya Cove, you can find the award-winning five-star Hillside Beach Club. Nestled in a privately-owned bay on the Aegean shoreline, also known as Turkey’s turquoise coast, this slice of paradise promises the perfect stay.
Thoughtfully designed around the hillside, all rooms face the gorgeous bay, and with six bars, two spas, three restaurants, three separate beaches, a two-tiered pool, tennis court, two dedicated kids’ clubs, amphitheatre and more, there’s something for everyone.
We stayed in the Superior Family room, which has space to sleep up to two adults and three children. The suite has a king-sized bed, separate dressing area, inside/outside bathroom, and a spacious private terrace with an outdoor sofa that looks out on to the ocean. The separate kids’ room with sea views is ideal for families who want their private space whilst still staying together.
Away from the main beach, you’ll discover one of Hillside’s adult-only beaches – Silent Beach, which has stylish sun loungers, and with devices discouraged for a digital detox, it feels like a lifetime away from pinging phones and email inboxes.
For a similar, quieter vibe, stroll further along the secluded nature path until you reach the aptly named Serenity Beach. Alternatively, hop on the half-hourly boat and arrive on the beach in five minutes. True to its namesake, this stretch of white pebble bay is home to shaded day beds, hammocks, and a rustic bar. You can sip on an ice-cold cocktail or fresh juice, delivered to you by the friendly waiters, or tuck into the delicious freshly grilled salmon or steak served at lunchtimes.
Time to explore
Rise and shine with morning guided meditation sessions on the beach, or try your hand at yoga, with expert teachers who adapt their practice to all ability levels.
Then lose yourself in ancient mythology by marvelling at the Lycian rock tombs and other historical ruins above Fethiye. A quick 20-minute drive will take you to the fascinating ‘ghost town’ of Kayaköy, where an expert tour guide will take you through the abandoned stone ruins of a once-thriving town in the hills. After you’ve got your history fix, return to the hotel, and learn how to create signature drinks in private cocktail-making workshops, followed by a sunset movie night on the beach.
For those craving adventure, there are sunset hikes and guided e-bike tours, or you can glide along the bay on a paddle board or kayak. Discover hidden coves on one of the many boat tours available, where a friendly crew will take you to little-known spots to go snorkelling. In the evening, dance the night away under the stars to live music, shows and special guest DJs all provided by the hotel.
After all your adventures, you can indulge yourself at one of the resort’s two tranquil spas. Nestled in the leafy foliage behind the Silent Beach is the SANDA nature spa, a true gem offering an extensive menu of treatments, including traditional Balinese and hot-stone massages to melt away your worries. Or leave feeling like a new person after a traditional Turkish hammam, which includes a sauna before, and wonderful tea after your treatment.
Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the extensive buffet in the main restaurant looks like an artisan food hall, piled high with anything you could ever imagine from fresh fruit, cooked breakfasts, made-to-order omelettes, Turkish pastries and more. For late risers, help yourself to delicious granola of the day or a coffee and croissant at the Pasha on the Bay restaurant.
There are also two à la carte restaurants with seating on the water’s edge, serving up gourmet local and international cuisine – including traditional Turkish meze and indulgent Italian, with gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options available.
Best of all, everything is available at the click of a button with the Hillside App – where you can order cocktails to your sun lounger, look up what activities are available each day, and browse the evening’s menus.
Need to know
Stay at Hillside Beach Club in Turkey for seven nights, including flights, in a Club Double Room full board with British Airways Holidays from £1,213 per person. Departing from London Gatwick with 23kg of luggage included. Book online at Britishairways.com/turkey/
Full board includes all meals, and drinks consumed during breakfast (7.30am-10am), lunch (12.30-3pm) and dinner (7-10pm) at the main restaurant. Reservations at Hillside’s other dining outlets will need to be booked in advance and will be an added cost. For more information, visit Hillsidebeachclub.com/en
Water sports from £100pp (for a wakeboarding session) and spa treatments from £55pp.
The closest airport to Hillside Beach Club is Dalaman – around a one-hour drive away.
Words: Lena Blacker