Adventurers and water babies flock to the Aegean for its crystal-clear waters, mild climate and spectacular backdrop. Though Aegean adventure holidays are commonly associated with Greece, on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey is the private Kalemya Bay situated near to the ancient town of Fethiye. Nestled on the shore is Hillside Beach Club (hillsidebeachclub.com), one of the most exclusive, beautifully appointed resorts in Turkey, where every year, those in-the-know descend onto its numerous beaches. Days here revolve in and around the water’s edge in many different forms – be it gliding over the waters on a catamaran accompanied by a family of dolphins, flying through the air on a wakeboard or just happily paddling in the aqua pura.
It is not surprising that Hillside is home to Turkey’s first official waterskiing and wakeboard school, with professionals on site each year, and has been host to the World Wakeboard Championship in the past. Its watersports credentials are internationally renowned. Enthusiasts revel in playing in the wakes that crisscross the idyllic bay, which itself feels like a magical playground hidden from the world by a wall of towering pine trees. It is little wonder that it has been described by its repeat guests (of which there are many) as “Heaven on Earth”.
This part of the world is one of the most thrilling and satisfying places to take to sea on a boat and explore the life that lies offshore. Take a sunset tour and drop anchor at a nearby island. For those wanting to delve deeper into the ancient history of the region, take an all-day odyssey to chart the storybook islands around the Gulf of Fethiye, a region historically known as Lycia, that has been documented in records from as far back as ancient Egyptian times. This is ideal territory for sailing aficionados or amateurs, who can learn or hone new skills at Hillside Beach Club’s sailing school, where professional certificated courses are available. The rush of the warm breeze while navigating across the calm waters in these fabled lands is exhilarating.
As above water, sub aqua provides a whole host of treasures that is heaven for divers and snorkellers. The underwater world of wonder hugging the coast around Hillside Beach Club is ripe for exploration for both first time and seasoned aquatic adventurers. Pretty colourful fish swim alongside impressively sized shoals. Such a plentiful bounty means that dining options are inspired by the surroundings. Fresh fish dishes are served à la both local Mediterranean and Turkish traditions, delightful combinations of crisp, dynamic, delicious flavours, which are a feast to the senses and hungry tummies after a day at sea.
When night falls, after a hearty meal intrepid travellers come on shore to enjoy varied experiences from learning how to read the night sky at an astronomy seminar or haggling for local Turkish treasures at the weekly Night Bazaar. Hillside Beach Club offers award-winning service and guest experiences while feeling more like an elegant holiday town, far surpassing the expectations of a traditional beach club environment. With azure waters, magnificent sunsets and year-round mild temperatures, time spent on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast at Hillside Beach Club will leave you feeling the right kind of blue.