Swimming with Turtles

Recently we took a short break to Çıralı, a place we had been to before many years ago.   Çıralı has changed, when we were last there it was a sleepy village with three or four pensions, a café on the beach and not a lot else.  Now there are many pensions and hotels, but the village has somehow managed to maintain its sleepy laid back charm.

The beach is fantastic, and a well-known turtle beach.  The nests were clearly marked, dated, and everyone there seemed very respectful of their presence.  At night people are not allowed on the beach and pretty much all development is set well back from the shore.  Çıralı beach is a very good example of how turtles and humans can make use of the same resource.

Phaselis3We took a boat trip to Phaselis, not the cheapest boat trip we have ever taken, but it is a good way t get to Phaselis.  There is a small but nice theatre, and a few other structures, mostly RomaPhaselis1n.  The most interesting parts are the inscriptions, mostly dedicated to athletes, and one to Hadrian.  I never knew that Hadrian was the saviour of the universe.

Phaselis2

We might have spent a bit more time poking around the ruins but when our boat arrived at the south harbour there were Loggerhead Turtles (Caretta caretta) swimming there, clearly unbothered by the few boats and bathers present.  I (Ashley) got really lucky, and sorry there are no photographs, our cameras are not the sort that can be used under water.  I got to swim and watch the turtles, at times almost directly beneath me in water less than two metres depth and incredibly clear.  It was a very very wonderful experience.

boattrip1

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6 responses to “Swimming with Turtles

  1. . . what a nice experience – been close to these wonderful creatures on many occasions but they’ve never hung around for very long.

    • They were in the bay at Phaselis for quite some time. At least an hour. We saw them from the boat, from the shore and whilst in the water. Though Ashley did get the best view. (We were sharing one pair of goggles)

  2. I need to locate this place on a map – sounds like heaven.

    • And it has just got a reprieve from plans to rent out the beach for touristic recreation. Whatever that would have entailed. Our hotel was at the quieter end of town, well, pretty well the outskirts of the village. We would happily recommend the Uğur Pansyon to anyone! Food was pretty good as well.

  3. Love this area, but missed turtle season as we visited in May! There’s several trout/waterfall restaurants near Çıralı as well.

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