Cooling Off In The Fethiye Mountains – Black Tree Farm & Cottages

A couple of weeks back, while we were on the way back from our little overnight stay at Chakra Beach in Kabak, we decided to get off the dolmuş in Ölüdeniz, just for a wander around and to check in with a few people we’d not seen in a while. As we strolled along the pathway, past all the bars and restaurants, we spotted Osman, one of the owners at Buzz Beach Bar, sitting by the bar. One person to go and say hello to…

Mid-conversation – and drink – he asked, “What are you up to on Sunday?”

“Nothing much. Not thought that far ahead.” (It was only Thursday.)

“We’re doing spit roasted lamb up in Karaağaç if you fancy it. Come back to Buzz Beach Bar on Sunday lunchtime and we’ll drive up from here.”

Karaağaç Black Tree Farm, Turkey

Karaağaç Black Tree Farm & Cottages – the dining terrace

August in particular has seen some very hot temperatures this year, and the draw of some cooler mountain air was too much to resist. Oh, and the draw of a bit of lamb cooked on the spit, too, of course. Wow, how can we resist that?

Animals At Black Tree Farm, Fethiye, Turkey

There are lots of chicken and turkeys at Karaağaç

And so, on the Sunday lunchtime, we piled into the 4-wheel drive (a car expert would be able to tell you what type of vehicle we were piling into – but we were just happy it looked sturdy enough to carry us all up the mountain). Five of us inside, and 3 kids and a sheep carcass in the back, along with a few other deliveries for Black Tree Farm and Cottages at Karaağaç. The dog was going to come along, too, but, in the end, he had to stay in Ölüdeniz…there was just no room for him.

Pool Area At Karaağaç Black Tree Farm, Fethiye, Turkey

Karaağaç Black Tree Farm & Cottages swimming pool

It’s not the first time we’ve been to Karaağaç. A good few years ago, we hired a car and were pondering where to go. A guy we know, ‘Shooting Mehmet,’ (that nickname is just one we use for him) suggested we come up here. “Go along the D400, take the turning for Sidyma and then just keep climbing up the mountain. Keep going, going, going and you’ll feel like you’ve gone the wrong way but keep going. You’ll get there.”

We did exactly that. Wow, we were climbing high. A road became a rubble track, mountain goats stood in the road and scampered out of the way, our friend from England was in the back feeling very queasy. Roads like this are really not familiar territory for those used to England’s roads.
“Are you sure this is right?”
“No, you know as much as us. Shooting Mehmet said we’d feel like we were going wrong – but it would be right.”
“But what if we are going wrong?”

This was no road to start testing my 3-point-turn abilities so we pressed on…

Cottages at Karaağaç, Black Tree Farm, Fethiye, Turkey

Cottages at Karaağaç

And, eventually, you are so high up that everywhere plateaus and Karaağaç Black Tree Farm and Cottages are there before you. On that occasion, around eight or nine years ago, we remember talking to the owner, an English woman who spoke fantastic Turkish.

This time, when we went back in 2014, there was the same woman, looking exactly as we remembered her. This is Osman’s mum, of course, but all those years ago, we didn’t know Osman and it’s only relatively recently, we’ve realised the family connection.

Cottages At Black Tree Farm, Karaağaç, Turkey

Cottages at Karaağaç

Black Tree Farm and Cottages are pretty much as we remembered them. Guests staying in the cottages are lounging around the pool, a couple of kids are playing on the tennis/basketball court, and some diners – Italian families who have dropped in to eat while en route elsewhere in their camper vans – are tucking into their food on the terrace.

Osman is in charge of spit-roasting the lamb; a slow process which requires the lamb to be rotated, by hand, constantly. He goes off to prepare the fire and the lamb and…yes, well we’ll tell you about that in our next post.

Horses & Donkeys At Black Tree Farm, Karaağaç, Turkey

Foodie treats for the horses and donkeys

Karaağaç Black Tree Farm and Cottages are great for wandering. There are fruit orchards, pathways – this is Lycian Way territory an there are also numerous other tracks to explore – horses and donkeys. Barry sets off along one of the paths where he’s been told he can view Kabak from the top. I wanted to go…but dress and sandals were far from appropriate. I decided to stick to wandering around this area, taking photos.

Animals At Black Tree Farm, Karaağaç, Fethiye

Unlikely friends

Because animals are such good fun. This puppy has no idea he’s not a calf – or that this calf is not a puppy. I couldn’t quite decide. The calf was lying down for some time, but got bored eventually as the puppy jumped all over it, chewing its ears, playfully. Fair to say the puppy was more enthusiastic than the calf about this relationship.

Drying Chillies, Karaağaç, Black Tree Farm

Chillies drying on the roof in the mountains

More exploration and a bit of curiosity takes us up a spiral staircase leading to the roof of one of the buildings (Barry’s now back from his short hike and did indeed view Kabak). Chillies are drying up here – a beautiful scene. I take photos and Barry has to sample one. More sweet than hot, he says.

Turkish Bath At Black Tree Farm, Karaağaç

The hamam at Black Tree Farm & Cottages

There’s a hamam in the process of being constructed. This is the outside of the building – and inside, the bare pipes line the floor and walls, waiting to be concealed. All the same, it’s looking great on the outside – no doubt the inside will be just as good upon completion.

Black Tree Farm, Karaağaç, Fethiye, Turkey

View from the library and craft area

There’s a library and craft area set in a stone building with its own little private area of multi-coloured tiled flooring. There’s lots going on here in an area that is so serene, so peaceful and away from it all. It’s actually a hive of activity without you even noticing.

Food & Dining Area, Black Tree Farm and Cottages, Karaağaç, Turkey

The hub – food and dining area at Black Tree Farm and Cottages

Throughout all this, we’ve been keeping an eye on lamb progress, too. Ohhh, it looks good! We head back to the main building to take a seat on the terrace, ready for eating. The kids are doing printing activities at one end of the terrace. Anthea (Osman’s mum) has cajoled them into leaving their tablets and iPads to one side for a few moments. “You’ve not come all the way up here just to play on those things.”

And as they print their own designs onto sheets of fabric, the tables are being set and Osman is inside removing the meat from the lamb. The kids run inside to steal a couple of pieces just for us to sample – divine – and I follow them back inside to view the process. Lots of supervisors of course…photos of that, though, in the next post…

Karaağaç Black Tree Farm & Cottages – Useful Info

  • Karaağaç Black Tree Farm & Cottages are located high in the mountains, close to the village of Alınca.
  • The Lycian Way and other trekking paths run through this area.
  • This time, we came up via the Ölüdeniz to Faralya road, and turned off left (it’s signposted) uphill towards Karaağaç. PLEASE NOTE that once past the village of Kirme, the tarmac is no more and it’s a steep rubble track which hasn’t been maintained for a couple of years. You’ll need a 4-wheel drive to get up via this route as there are various rubble obstacles. (2014).
  • But you can also reach Black Tree Farm in cars and campervans from the D400 road (as we did the first time all those years ago…). From Fethiye, head eastwards along the D400 towards Kalkan and take a left at the Sidyma turnoff. Follow the signs up the mountain.
  • You can book a cottage at Black Tree Farm through Booking.com

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Comments

  1. . . what an absolutely brilliant place!

  2. I’ve come over all nostalgic!

  3. Brings back happy memories
    Pat & John

  4. This looks really nice. I am looking around for places to hold Retreats for my new business and this looks interesting. Just wondering if you guys having been there think it would make a good retreat place?

    Cheers Kerry x

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