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Review: Kayakoy and surrounding areas

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Turkey

Turkey as a holiday destination. Why I love it.

  • By SilverTraveller annemac101

    5 reviews

  • Sep 2013
  • Husband

16 people found this review helpful

Turkey is a country of contrasts. We were having a rural kind of holiday in a rented villa in Kayakoy but just 15 mins by car and Hisaronu was there with its bright lights, bars and full English breakfasts. We don't enjoy that kind of holiday anymore but we quite like to dip in and out of it. If you enjoy sand, sea or watersports or paragliding then Oludeniz was only a half hour away. It is also one of the most photographed beaches in the world. You might prefer beautiful views and for that we drove through the mountain to Kabak. This drive was even more scary than a ride in a dolmus (the local transport). As the road climbs higher and higher you look down at the sheer drop below. There are no crash barriers here, crash barriers are for wimps. It gets even more scary when the driver coming towards you seems to want both sides of the road and just as you are trying to negotiate, a motorbike zooms in between both of you. Kabak is a stop along the Lycian Way and we had heard that The Olive Garden was a lovely place to stop, have lunch and admire the view. We pass by a Full Moon Camp, Natural Life Camp, Reflections Camp and I get the feeling that this is quite a magical place. You can only imagine the work that went into carving out this road through the mountain. We pass by mosques in the strangest of places and little goats tethered at the edge of the roadside. Even graffiti on a large rock perilously close to the huge drop down. The wonderful views and a lovely lunch at The Olive Garden are your reward for making the journey. There is a steep path down to the beach but if you walk down you also have to walk back up so I'm afraid I declined. The Olive Garden has cabins for overnight stays and a small pool, I do think it would be a quiet and relaxing place to stay but maybe just for a few nights. We thought about driving on further but as it would have meant driving back to our villa in the dark I didn't think it was a good idea especially back along the mountain road again. If you prefer the hustle and bustle of a real Turkish town then Fethiye was 20mins drive from Kayakoy. Go to the Pastapur which is the old town full of bars, restaurants and shops selling everything from spices to leather jackets and don't forget to visit the fish market, choose your fish and have it cooked for you at any of the restaurants surrounding it. A walk along the harbour will walk all that food off.



We first visited Turkey 25 yrs ago with our two young children. It was a cheap destination and all we could afford. The drive from the airport to our resort of Marmaris by coach was hair raising and as I looked at the landscape and the shacks we passed I wondered if we had made the right decision to come here. Local police who looked like soldiers came onto the bus to check our passports and scared us all silly. Marmaris was a very different place then, very small and only the old town had places to eat and drink. Nearbly Icmeler didn't even exist. Although today Marmaris gets the name of being a wild place to holiday with bars and clubs, the old town remains the same. It hasn't lost its authenticity, has great eating places and a walk along the harbour looking at the million pound boats is amazing.



All those years ago the public toilets were just holes in the ground, the beach was over run with stray dogs and you couldn't eat a meal without at least two cats on the table. Some people may think Turkey is still like that but they couldn't be more wrong. Our first holiday there was made wonderful by the Turkish people themselves, they were so friendly and hospitable and that is the one thing that hasn't changed over the 25 years. One year on holiday I had a sore throat, I lost my voice and couldn't speak and waiters in every restaurant we ate in brought out special drinks for me or fruits or ice cream, anything that would help my voice, that's Turkey for you. I want to convey in this post that whatever kind of holiday you love, five star fully inclusive hotels, clubs and bars, sports, walking, sailing, sun sea and sand or living like us in a rural location with the chickens and cows you'll find it in Turkey. Whatever food you like, Sunday roast dinners, full English breakfasts, curries, Chinese food, Italian and of course Turkish cuisine, you'll find that here too. I hear so many people saying they would never holiday in Turkey when what they know is only based on how Turkey was over 25 years ago when it first became a holiday destination for the Brits. I have visited Turkey many times and only had one hotel I didn't like. We now usually travel independently and book our own flights and choose a villa or book direct with the hotel, we have found this to be the most cost effective way of travelling. I hope after reading this you will maybe think of Turkey for your next holiday destination.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 6 Comment(s)

  • annemac101
    over 5 years ago
    Hi Sue, I love going out in gulets and smallers boats in Turkey but really want to try a Gulet Cruise,just a bit apprehensive about sharing such a small space with strangers and finding the right Gulet company to book with. I agree Turkey is beautiful.
  • annemac101
    over 5 years ago
    Thank you Happy Feet. I really enjoy Icmeler I've been there many times. It's lovely to get the boat over to Marmaris and walk through the old town.
  • annemac101
    over 5 years ago
    Yorkshire Cat,I'm sorry about your experience, I have heard about Russians not behaving so good on holiday but I didn't think Fethiye was one of the places they holiday at. I know some of the fully inclusive hotels in Antalya have a reputation for thing like that happening. Please don't let it put you off although I can understand. One of my favourite places is Kalkan it's lovely.
  • yorkshirecat
    over 5 years ago
    For many years I was put off Turkey by the film "Midnight Express" but after a wonderful fortnight in Oludeniz in the late 1990s, we went on to enjoy several happy family holidays at the idyllic Hillside Beach Club near Fethiye. After a hair-raising coach journey from the airport around vertiginous hair-pin bends, we felt we were entering paradise as we descended through the pine-tree clad hillside towards the shimmering bay. We all learnt to play tennis and to sail and scuba dive in the crystal clear sea. One of our children won a table tennis competition securing us a day trip cruising around the Islands in a Turkish Gulet. The evening entertainment started up with the Kiss Kiss song by Turkish pop star Tarkan (later recorded my Holly Valance). The Turkish people we met were very warm and friendly. Sadly, we are unlikely to return to Hillside Beach Club as our last visit was marred by the presence of a large group of overbearing and aggressive Russian guests, one of whom physically attacked a small child for "staring at his girlfriend". Security were called, and, allegedly, guns were drawn on both sides: I was too busy comforting the mother and child and keeping my own children safe. This would not put me off returning to Turkey, but I would think twice about that particular resort. Reviews continue to describe it a wonderful place for families so hopefully that was a one-off. Thank you for bringing back many happy memories of Turkey.
  • Happy-Feet
    over 5 years ago
    Excellent review - we totally agree with all your comments about beautiful Turkey. Have had fabulous holidays in great hotels in Oludeniz and Icmeler and received warm hospitality from all concerned.
  • Su
    over 5 years ago
    Turkey is a gem of a country to visit, we love it! We enjoyed a holiday in a Turkish gullet last May,where we sailed to gorgeous bays sharing them with millionaires and their yachts! There is so much variety in Turkey. You can never tire of her beauty.