After overcoming her fear of the deep yesterday and jumping off boats into crystal clear waters, Penny’s second day at Sensatori Fethiye resort involved an incredible excursion, a Jeep Safari though forests, rivers and ravines, stopping to experience the best of what Turkey has to offer, old and new. Would she be brave enough to river tube though, that’s what we want to know…
Firstly I should state, there are no animals on this safari, but was you do see for 29 Euros (September 2015) is pretty incredible. I was blown away by the value and variety on offer here. Expect stunning landscapes, adventure, culture, ancient tombs, great food, mud baths, river tubing if you want to, and the most magical waterfall cafe. Oh, and small children who attack you with water pistols on route. Our guide did warn us locals might jump out with water pistols and buckets of water on route and to keep phones and cameras tucked away – this all added to what was a truly epic adventure.
Our jeep was waiting for us outside Sensatori Fethiye resort, we met up with the rest of the convoy and soon left Fethiye town behind and found ourselves travelling through the forest.
Our first stop was a Turkish village in the mountains, which our guide’s grandfather had grown up in. Everyone was very welcoming and happy to see us and have photos taken, so I can only assume they get commission for letting visitors in.
These children were all busy watching and waving as our guide explained what jobs people do in the village, what salaries and pensions are like and what a slow lived, strong community they are.
Then we were off again!
After a quick snack and toilet stop at a restaurant with stunning views of the mountains, before we made our way to Pegasus’s tomb. Our guide was really knowledgeable and explained the history of the tombs.
Our journey continued, winding up into the mountains.
We were ready for food by this point and could not believe how magical our lunch stop, Selale Yaka Park was. Stunning cabanas beside a waterfall and freezing plunge pools which we dared each other to stay in for as long as possible to cool off.
Another traditional Turkish feast. Fish or meat or omlette with a wide range of vegetables and a flat bread, which you can see being made by a group of women under the trees.
We needed a big lunch because our next incredible stop was Saklikent Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world.
My camera had a bit of a funny turn at this point, but with one of the other journalists I walked through the river, holding onto a rope, and on the other side, walked along the incredible gorge in the rocks, a path way that seems to continue for miles. Looking it up when I got home I discovered you can only walk it in Summer, and that 4 kilometres of the 17 km gorge are accessible. We regretted not hiring hard helmets as a small rock narrowly missed us. You can hire these and neoprene shoes very cheaply, but health and safety isn’t flagged up like it is in England, and in the rush we missed this.
It was time to get back to river tube. This is optional, there is a pool and lovely riverside cafe, or you could just enjoy the gorge a little longer. I believe it cost us 10 Euros per person which is really reasonable. Families can be strapped together to make it really safe and shoes, helmets and life jackets are also included. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
I smiled bravely for the camera though.
River tubing is actually great fun, there are moments of drama where you crash into the sides or run aground in shallow waters, but on the whole it’s a lovely way to appreciate the incredible canyon scenery.
With river tubing ticked off we had one last stop, this safari just keeps giving.
Time to get muddy! After being eased into the mud hand in hand, we were encouraged to slather it on and then our fabulous guides dressed us up with leaves and pine cones.
All that was left to do was wash it off in the river. Slightly exhilarating to say the least, but quicker when I allowed the guide to shovel bucket loads of water at me until I was clean. We screamed, but we soon warmed up again.
Then homeward bound. Minds and bodies truly stimulated and ready for a nap, and dinner at Sensatori Fethiye.
Need to Know
The open top jeeps were great fun to travel in, the breeze was refreshing and exhilarating. I think kids would love them, I travelled in term time, there were a few children on the day I went. It is a long day, but a very well organised tour with lots of stops for food, water and toilet breaks to keep youngsters entertained and happy. Pack suncream and sunhats. The company supply bandanas which you can use to cover heads or back of the neck, or just to look cool.
I spent a lot of time taking photos, but the photographer who came with us had a much better camera, and you could buy a disc for 20 Euros at the end, ours had nearly 200 photos, mainly just of us – so this is truly a day to relax and leave the camera behind.
Thanks to Evergreen Jeep Safari Experience for an incredible day and photos 1, 3, 6, 11, 14, 15, 16.
Price includes insurance, lunch, hotel pick up, guide and all the incredible stops. River Tubing is an optional extra.
Sensatori resorts can be found in Turkey, Crete, Cyprus, Ibiza, Eygpt, Mexico and Jamaica.
Sensatori Fethiye from £629pp fully inclusive.