This article was written for Fethiye Times by Steve Parsley.
Not everyone’s great at fairground rides, are they?
Some will happily strap themselves into a contraption designed specifically to make them feel as though they’re inches from meeting their maker – and then scream they want to go faster.
Others are happier just holding their bags.
But, with water parks, it often seems things are a little different. Perhaps it’s because you do have the option of at least a modicum of control over the speed of your descent, or perhaps it’s because there a deep pool of water there to catch you at the bottom.
But, whichever it is, you will often find those who wouldn’t dream of boarding a white-knuckle roller-coaster will quite happily ascend the stairs to the top of a brightly coloured slide – and then whoop all the way down.
Ölüdeniz Water World
At Ölüdeniz Water World, you have eight slides to choose from. Some are pretty straight-forward and designed to offer a sense of speed; others have lumps and bumps, tunnels, twists and turns. A couple are best used with inflatables while the daddy of them all combines the best elements of each.
Not all will necessarily be open for use at the same time but the amount of choice means queues waiting at those that are don’t usually stretch back too far. A ten- to 15-minute wait is usually about the longest you would expect during peak holiday periods such as the recent Eid festival.
But a day out at the water park – located about 300m from the junction at the top of the hill on the road between Ovacık and Fethiye – isn’t just for adrenalin junkies. There’s a wave pool too as well as a lazy river which flows around a kidney-shaped swimming pool with its own café and bar, making it ideal for those who need a rest or who simply prefer to enjoy soaking up the sun.
If you have small children, there’s even an area dedicated entirely to them, complete with figures from popular kids’ films. There are plenty of staff to watch over customers and to man the stalls around the park, but management prefer parents to accompany their children.
Nonetheless the water in the Kids’ Zone is shallow and warm, which makes it ideal for youngsters just building up their confidence, while there are some smaller slides too for youngsters ready for a little managed risk.
The park is also equipped with its own family restaurant serving snacks, ice creams, both soft and alcoholic drinks and a choice of simple cuisine. Guests are asked not to bring their own refreshments onto the premises but prices are pretty reasonable and comparable to many of the bars and restaurants in the area.
And, if you have forgotten to bring something, there is a kiosk selling a selection of swimming accessories, including sun hats, water pistols, flip-flops and swimming goggles.
But perhaps one of the neatest innovations at the park is its credit card system which allows customers to spend the day released from worry about their wallet or purse. All you need to do is load a (waterproof) waterpark credit card with the amount of money you expect to need for the day. Any unspent credit will then be returned to you before you leave.
The park is also equipped with lockers which cost 10TL with an additional 10TL deposit repaid when the keys are returned.
Owner Nuri Karagoz says 2018 has been kind so far with a 45% to 50% increase in business this summer compared with the two previous years, which has allowed management to consider future expansion.
“We have already improved the park steadily since we opened but the last couple of years have been about consolidating,” he said. “Happily, though, with this year being much better for business, we might be able to consider some additional attractions over the next couple of years.”
The park will remain open until October this year with admission priced at £10 (or the equivalent in Turkish lira) for adults and £8 for children aged between 11 and four. Children under four are admitted free.
Opening times are between 10am and 6pm. Free shuttle buses are also available by arrangement from Ölüdeniz, Hisarönü, Ovacık and Çalış. Bookings can be made by contacting the water park’s Facebook page.
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 four 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.