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.
We 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 Roman. 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.
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.