After several years of spotting reasonably sized Loggerhead turtles in and around the bays of South Turkey’s stretch of turquoise coastline, I have simply fallen in love with this incredible species.
They’re easy to spot in the clear blue waters of most harbour areas. I’ve seen them around Kalkan and Fethiye many times, often from the dock and more often from a boat heading out to a beach club. They emerge as a brown blob at the surface of the sea and occasionally pop their heads up for a gasp of air (very cute!). If you blink – you’ll miss them, which doesn’t bode well for your chances of having time to rummage around your handbag to find a camera!
FACT: Patara beach (voted one of the best beaches in the world by the Sunday Times in 2005) is one of the few places in the world where the endangered Loggerhead turtles come to lay their eggs.
So with my new found obsession with spotting these hard shelled beauties, and many failed attempts at trying to take a photo as evidence of my accomplished turtle spotting skills, I found myself on a mission to a) find somewhere well populated with my new favourite sea creatures, b) find somewhere with bigger versions of said sea creatures than those I’d seen previously, and c) find some that are easier to photograph (surely A + B = C?).
I follow a group on Facebook called ‘Friends of Kalkan’ which is a fairly big community of people who love to visit this part of Turkey and between the members, you can pretty much find out anything you want to know. So naturally this was my starting place for advice on where to look and sure enough – I was told to visit Meis (this is what the Turks call Kastellorizo), a tiny Greek island off the coast of Kas. I usually do more research but this tip came with actual photographic proof of A, B, and C. Not kidding! – Pass me my passport and show me the ferry…
Here’s what I saw; 3 giant turtles swimming in a bay, right up to the edge – I even fed them some prawns. It was turtle heaven!
I have a lot more to tell you about my time in Meis (Kastellorizo), aside from these guys being the absolute highlight, which you can read in my blog post titled ‘On An Island: One Day Only In Kastellorizo’.