DISCOVERING MUĞLA, TURKEY

At the beginning of this month, I was lucky enough to jump onboard a trip to Muğla, a Turkish province, situated along the South-west coast of Turkey. Muğla finds itself along the beautiful Turquoise Coast and claims some of the most popular, Turkish tourist destinations including Bodrum, Marmaris and Fethiye. A group of ten joined together with PR Box, took on an adventure and together experienced the beauty of Turkish culture first-hand.

Day one; after a tedious journey to our destination, feeling delirious from lack of sleep and non-stop giggles on the plane, we arrived at our first hotel in Bodrum, Royal Asarlik Beach Hotel. After a warm welcome and a much-needed breakfast at the rooftop restaurant, we were shown to our rooms for a short rest before embarking on the rest of the day.

Once we were all freshened up we took to an adventure around the hotel. The hotel boasted two outdoor pools and two private beaches. Far enough away from the hustle and bustle of Bodrum centre but close enough if you want to explore. Later that day, we ventured into Bodrum centre. After a beautiful walk along the marina and getting lost in the market, we found a small coffee shop along the seafront where we decided to sit and take it all in.

Day two; an early start for all. We were now on our way to Marmaris. The journey took just shy of three hours, so plenty of pit-stops were made along the way. A trip to view the scenery at one of the highest points of Muğla and a lunch stop at Alyans Ocakbaşı, a Turkish barbeque restaurant. It was around 3:00 pm when we arrived at our next hotel, Sentido Orka Lotus Beach Hotel. We were greeted with a glass of champagne and escorted to our rooms. I think it took me about 90 seconds before I was stripped down to my bikini and ready to run to their private beach. The hotel gushed luxury, with over half a kilometre of beach outside your room, we knew we’d hit the jackpot.

That evening, we all met for cocktails on the rooftop bar and then joined for a meal at the hotel’s buffet restaurant – it was here that I discovered my love for Turkish wet cake and Erik fruit. After maybe one too many glasses of white wine, we finished our night at the hotel’s Shisha bar and giggled away like we’d all known each other not only a couple of days but all our lives.

We set off for another day exploring Marmaris, before arriving at our second hotel in the city, Green Nature Diamond Hotel. After two hectic days of travelling and exploring, we were all ready for a day of relaxation and sunshine. It was here that I discovered the best basil pasta that I have ever in tasted in my life. I was sold. I wasn’t coming home. This was the life. Suncream on, blissful spot around the pool and a cocktail in hand, I didn’t move until I was told the pool was closing – even then I wanted to protest to stay because the weather was just so delicious.

The staff at Green Nature Diamond Hotel were faultless; so welcoming and friendly. During dinner service, bar staff and waiters waited on us hand and foot, no request was too much. This was 5* service! After dinner, I headed back to my room for an early night ready for the next day. Jumping into my humongous bed, I slept like a baby.

It was an early start and we were on our way to see the Lycian Rock Tombs, Fethiye and then to the Turkish mud baths. All aboard a little boat we set sail down the river.

It was just a short journey on the boat before we found ourselves at the Turkish mud baths. Known to be enriched in minerals, the mud baths are used to treat a variety of ailments due to their rejuvenating properties. Crawling ever so slowly into the mud bath, I cringed, the mud oozed between my toes but nonetheless, in the name of beauty, I dug and dug myself into the clay-like water until I was covered head to toe. It was now time to dry myself out. Sitting in the 30C heat, I left myself to set like a piece of pottery. I kid you not, I could feel every pore of my body being cleansed. Once the mud was dry it was time to shower and then take a dip in the thermal pool. The pool was sulphur-enriched, if you can take on the smell then I can assure you this pool will do absolute wonders for your skin. I came out feeling baby smooth and like a new woman.

It was onto our fourth and final hotel, and we were now in Ölüdeniz. We were welcomed to Orka Sunlife Resort & Spa. We arrived late afternoon, shortly after checking in we were welcomed to our rooms. I was blown away. A spacious, clean and modern SUITE. Yes, suite. My jaw dropped. The bathroom had a shower and  jacuzzi bath, the bedroom was separate from the living area, a huge balcony and a beautiful sea view. The hotel itself was beautiful and had all the amenities you could wish for, staff were ever so friendly and were happy to help.

Our last day was spent exploring Ölüdeniz, we visited their famous Turquoise Coast beach and went for lunch at Seahorse Beach & Hotel. Once we were well fed, we made our way to one of the most anticipated excursions of the trip, Alesta Yachting. Boarding onto Kayhan 2, a Gulet with the capacity to hold over 70 guests, the weather was on our side, music was blaring and sun cream was at the ready, we began our party. The two-hour trip took us out into the Dead Sea, stopping into two locations for an opportunity to jump off the yacht and into the bright blue sea.

We finished our evening by visiting a traditional Turkish market (Fethiye, El Pazari). It was busy, it was colourful, it smelt wonderful. With the small amount of money I had left I started buying fresh fruit, vegetables, desserts, snacks. I wanted everything. A kilo of fresh, sweet strawberries worked out at £2. Turkish Tulumba, a delicious, sticky treat, was 25p. And finally my favourite, Gözleme. A traditional Turkish flatbread filled with your desired filling, £2. It was so inexpensive yet so good. It felt like home. The type of comfort food you dream of when you’re feeling a little under the weather. I could have spent all day here.

After a quick shower and freshen up, we headed to Rixos Premium Göcek for our last group meal before heading back to the airport. An adults-only hotel situated in the heart of Göcek between the two marinas, Rixos oozed opulence. During our short visit to the Rixos, we were made to feel like royalty. A set menu was served to the majority of the group, but due to dietary requirements, I couldn’t eat it. Expecting to have to nibble at what I could, I was blown away when I was brought out a specially prepared meal – hand on my heart, it was probably the best pizza I’ve ever eaten.

So overall, Muğla in a few words. Scenic. Beautiful. Warm. Friendly. It was like a home from home. Summer season is just beginning in Turkey and I just cannot wait to return.

Have you visited Muğla? If so, what are your favourite things to do and do you love it as much as me? Leave me a comment below.

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