Ask anyone who knows me and they will all agree on one thing, I am obsessed with Turkey – the food, the people, the culture and history, the architecture, the shopping; you name it. But the one thing that I obsess over the most? The coastline. Now, I’m Australian – so I’d like to think I know a thing or two about good beaches, so trust me when I say there are few coastlines as impressive as Turkey. Sparkling clear warm waters, cheap beach side clubs and sailing on gülets (traditional boats) make for a truly memorable experience. Having been to Turkey four times I’d say I’m one trip away from being stopped in the airport and offered citizenship. This year I travelled with several of my very good friends and had such an amazing time that I just wanted to share a few bits and bobs to hopefully inspire you to visit one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Check out those Adriatic blues. Honestly, how much closer to heaven can you get? When we arrived in Antalya we all agreed we felt like we had hit the jackpot. A much needed break from the chaos of Istanbul, Antalya was free from the usual hoards of foreign tourists who cruise the Med each summer. You know you’re onto something good when it’s just you and the locals enjoying unspoilt beaches and hidden seaside clubs. Away from the beach (but seriously, why would you ever want to leave) are gorgeous marble streets lined with cafes, restaurants, bars and small shops selling traditional Turkish fare. The atmosphere is so relaxing that after a few days you feel recharged and ready to rejoin the hustle and bustle of Europe.
We stayed at Agatha Lodge and More which I would highly recommend. It was great value, the rooms were large and clean with air-conditioning (what ever you do, always book a place with air-conditioning if you’re visiting during the summer) and the location was unbeatable. The only downside I will admit is that there wasn’t a pool, which a couple of the surrounding hotels did have. Just meaning that on days when you’re too lazy to brave the heat and head for the beach you don’t really have another option to cool-down.
After Antalya we headed deep into the Turkish jungle where we experienced what life would be like if we lived on the set of Jurassic Park (fucking surreal, incase you’re wondering). While Kabak is only a few hours from Antalya it took us 8 hours to reach our little paradise by taxi/coach/local bus/jeep. The resort is much easier to access from Dalaman Airport or the town of Fethiye.
We spent a week at Turan Hill Lounge where we basically slipped into a holiday coma (that, or we just melted into sweaty blobs – we haven’t quite worked that one out yet). This remote resort is an assembly of huts, camping grounds and tree houses all thrown together in a deep valley on the beach. Because it’s a little bit of a trek I would recommend staying for at least four days to make the journey worth your while. If you stay a little longer and feel like a change of pace there are plenty of day-trip and activity options which can be organised through the hotel or independently (including trips to Olüdeniz where there are lots of adventure tours on offer). The beach, popular with travelling hippies who seem to have made themselves quite at home, is an easy walk from the resort, though there is also a quiet pool with a great lounging area if you prefer to stay closer to home.
Because I spent most of the trip in the aforementioned holiday coma I’ve stolen some promo shots (below) from the resorts website to give you a proper idea of just how incredible this place was!