If you had to describe an idyllic hideaway destination, how would you describe it?
Difficult to get to? Small, peaceful and with almost no tourists? A spectacular view of turquoise water from the dinner table? A banquet served al fresco each night by a local family, with local, organic produce? A bungalow surrounded by pomegranate trees, strawberry patches and pine trees, up high on a hill where the air is fresh?
Does this image come close?
After almost a week of travelling around Turkey, we were pretty tired by the time we arrived in Faralya, about 30 minutes from the popular resort town of Oludeniz.
Once we had checked into our simple wooden bungalows, something strange happened to us. We started walking more slowly, talking more slowly, and seem to move in a dream-like trance for the duration of our stay. It must have been something to do with the fresh mountain air, the delicious village produce and the influence of our serene and placid host, Bayram.
Not that Faralya is an easy place to get to. The village can be reached in two different ways. The first being to catch a boat to Butterfly Valley and make the steep ascent up the mountain side. The second is to close your eyes and trust your driver to negotiate hairpin turns on the narrow road winding up the mountain from Oludeniz.
For three nights we are welcomed into Bayram’s family and spend our time eating, reading, walking the Lycian Way and going to bed early. Having said that though, there is plenty to do around Faralya for those who want activity.
We walked the Lycian Way for three hours over the mountains and through fields to the neighbouring village of Kabak. The walking track benefits from spectacular views of the Med all the way along, and in my opinion is quite similar to the Cinque Terre walk in Italy. Yet this is an undiscovered gem of a walk – we only came across three or four other travellers along the way. Half way, we were offered freshly squeezed orange juice by a villager. We sat and ‘chatted’ with her two small children while watching her husband and son herd goats.
A visit to the ghost village of Kayakoy is mandatory for those who have read Louis de Berniere’s novel ‘Birds without Wings’. A victim of the population exchange between the Greeks and the Turks in the 1920s, this village has been uninhabited ever since.
In Oludeniz, we paraglided from Babadag Mountain at 2000 metres and landed on the beach near the famous lagoon. We then sipped frozen daiquiris at a beach bar to calm our nerves afterwards!
One activity that is absolutely unmissable in Faralya however, is to have a crisp glass of white wine or an efes beer while watching the sunset.
Heaven? We certainly think so!