This article was written for Fethiye Times by Rebecca Parsley.

One of the best things about winter in the Fethiye area is waking up to a crisp, sunny day and knowing it’s perfect weather to enjoy a walk.

One of our favourites starts in the village of Kayaköy and takes us through the famous Ghost Village and up over the hill, dropping down to Cold Water Bay on the other side.

The Route

Start by walking through the Ghost Village. There are several entrance points and it doesn’t really matter which you use as long as you head upwards towards the abandoned chapel at the top of the hill.

A winter walk – Kayaköy to Cold Water Bay
Once you’re in the Ghost Village, head towards the abandoned chapel.

Don’t climb right up to the ruined building though – before the final rise you’ll see a path to the left that cuts to the left, and that’s where you need to go. This will take you to the top of the hill and you’ll see the path stretching away down the other side.

It’s fairly straightforward, but further on there are a number of different ways to get down to the bay itself. Keep a sharp eye out for way-markers – some are the familiar red-and-yellow stripes while others are just single-colour painted arrows, but many have faded over time and are easily missed.

Some of the way-markers can be difficult to spot.
A winter walk – Kayaköy to Cold Water Bay
At this point, after climbing over the water pipe, you can either follow a path to your left or go straight on. Don’t worry – both will get you down to Cold Water Bay.
A winter walk – Kayaköy to Cold Water Bay
Previous walkers have also left indicators such as rags tied to trees to help you keep to the path, so watch out for them.

The route you take will determine whether you’ll approach Cold Water Bay itself from the right or left, but either way it’s breathtakingly beautiful with clear blue water and views across the sea. The beach is pebbly with shady areas under the trees behind, and there’s every chance you’ll have it to yourself. Make the most of it by taking a picnic and, if you have a wetsuit (or are a hardy type who doesn’t need one), enjoying a winter swim!

A winter walk – Kayaköy to Cold Water Bay
Cold Water Bay in winter – a stunning and peaceful place.
A winter walk – Kayaköy to Cold Water Bay
The water is still warm enough for a swim in winter.

Once you’re ready to return, simply retrace your steps – or try a different path on the way back. As long as you keep heading up and back towards the Ghost Village, it’s difficult to get lost.

A winter walk – Kayaköy to Cold Water Bay
Look out for pretty wildflowers on your way.
A winter walk – Kayaköy to Cold Water Bay
You may find a memento such as a porcupine quill.

How hard is this walk and how long will it take?

We won’t lie – it’s not a gentle stroll. There’s some clambering over rocks and the path is rough at times. The distance from the Ghost Village to Cold Water Bay and back is around 5.5km or a little under 3.5 miles. If you’re reasonably fit it will take you around 45 minutes on the way down and an hour or so to get back, bearing in mind that the return is a fairly steep, uphill walk. It’s definitely not what we’d call ‘easy walking’ or for those who aren’t good on rough ground.

What should I wear and take with me?

Walking boots or other sturdy footwear is essential – make sure your ankles are supported. Bear in mind that some of the paths are narrow and bushes can be prickly, so you might prefer long trousers to shorts. Layers of clothing are advisable as, even if the air is cool, you’ll get hot scrambling up and down.

Always take plenty of water to drink and at the very least something to snack on such as cereal bars or dried fruit. As you’ll be a while, though, a picnic is nice while you sit and enjoy your surroundings.

There is a restaurant down by the bay but it’s only open during the season so you’re unlikely to be able to buy refreshments there. Once you get back to Kayaköy though there are several places open throughout the winter where you can get a drink, gözleme, kahvaltı (breakfast) or a full meal before you return home.

Walking is a great way to appreciate the area in a new way. Take your time, relish the view, and most of all enjoy yourself!

Rebecca & Steve Parsley are both former journalists with experience in newspapers, magazines and on radio. Since 2006 they have run their own communications agency, specialising in social media and online content writing. They moved to Turkey just over three years ago and live in Kayaköy with their German Shepherd dog, Dillon – formerly a street dog – and two cats. When not slaving over their keyboards or walking in the local countryside, they enjoy watching motorsport – especially Formula 1 – and are also salsa dance addicts.

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