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Olive Garden Kabak – Restaurant, Rooms & Views

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The Olive Garden, Kabak; these days, there aren’t many people who have never heard of this place.

At least amongst those who know the Fethiye area, that is.

Two wooden dining tables on a balcony overlooking the Mediterranean.
Dine whilst overlooking the Mediterranean at the Olive Garden

So much so that the name, ‘Olive Garden’ has actually become synonymous with Kabak, despite the fact that there are oodles of other places to eat and stay around this steep hillside and bay below.

Return To The Olive Garden

Whilst it wasn’t the first place on the hillside to offer food, drink and bungalow accommodation, it perhaps became the most well known because of its amazing – and more easily accessible setting – just below the road where the Kabak dolmuş drops off visitors to the area.

A setting with views over Kabak bay and the beach way down below. Not to mention the spectacular panoramic sea views.

Looking down on Kabak Bay from the Olive Garden. The bay is surrounded by pine clad mountains.
It’s a stunning view of Kabak Bay from the Olive Garden

In the late noughties, we loved the seclusion and tranquility of the Olive Garden.

Just a smattering of day visitors enjoying the traditional Turkish food and Mediterranean dishes at the a la carte restaurant area.

And then, if were were lucky enough to be staying overnight, it was us, the stars – no light pollution here – and the sound of the crickets.

We and the other guests soaking up the silence, speaking in almost whispers.

Perhaps inevitably, as the 2010s progressed, things started to get a bit busy. Kabak itself got busier.

Great for businesses. But for us, that mood, that vibe that drew us there so often, was gone.

So, in the late 2010s and the beginning of the 2020s – helped along by the pandemic, of course – we left the Olive Garden alone.

Friends To Visit

Until the summer of 2023, that is.

We had friends staying in the resort of Ölüdeniz. And they wanted us to show them somewhere different.

They’d had their fill of beach days at the blue lagoon.

They’d been to Kayaköy. They’d done their shopping in Fethiye’s old town of Paspatur. And taken the water taxi over to Çalış Beach for the day.

Time to head off in the opposite direction and hit the mountain road towards Faralya. Once more to venture to the Olive Garden.

So long since we’d been there ourselves, it was only right to get reacquainted.

Got to admit, we were slightly apprehensive because we could have been going back to that noisy atmosphere that had stolen the sheen from our tranquil retreat in the first place.

But we’re glad we did go back.

It was late September. And yes, things have changed, but the Olive Garden seems to have settled into its busier skin.

Olive Garden infinity pool looking out over the Mediterranean. A forest clad cliff face is to the left.
As infinity pools go…

There’s more space in the public areas for people to sunbathe – both around the amazing infinity pool with its fantastically wonderful views over the Mediterranean Sea – and the grounds just below.

Meanwhile, the shaded wooden köşks, nestled amongst the wild growth offer that bit of seclusion.

Wooden köşk seating set amongst natural greenery and overlooking the sea far below.
Chill out in the shaded köşk seating

Time To Eat

We were a group of 7. But owner, Fatih and his team of friendly staff soon had a bigger table set up for us in the shade.

Would this once superb restaurant still be as pleasingly satisfying as it used to be?

A wooden table for two, overlooking the Mediterranean below.
A more intimate table for 2 with a view

Definitely the perfect setting. Now we just needed the food and drink to match.

Obviously, the menu has changed a bit in the years since our last visit.

It was good to see at least one of the famous Olive Garden burgers still there.

But also good to see some dishes from around the world. As well as a few Turkish favourites.

Seafood Choices

Both Barry and I were immediately drawn to the seafood choices.

A bowl of fish curry with a separate simple side salad.
Barry’s fish curry didn’t disappoint

Barry went for the fish curry – apparently a favourite with many Olive Garden customers.

We could see why, once it arrived. Big chunks of white fish – and lots of it.

Fresh ginger and a curry sauce that wouldn’t be out of place in a local British chippy!

I went for the mixed seafood stir fry – a Turkish sote dish – which was served in the pan.

A bowl of mixed seafood in a light sauce.
The seafood stir fry was packed with variety

Up there with the best meals out that we’ve had throughout 2023.

Everything cooked perfectly!

Both of our dishes were served with a side salad and bulgur pilaf.

But my memory of Olive Garden chunky homemade chips is a very happy one. So I had to order a portion just to see if they were still as good.

They are!

And they were perfect for dipping into Barry’s leftover curry sauce!

After we’d all eaten, some of our friends went off to have a dip in that incredible pool with stunning views of the sea.

Olive Garden Bungalow Memories

We wanted to show our friends what the cosy bungalows with private bathroom were like inside.

But on the day we were there, the Olive Garden was (unsurprisingly) fully booked.

A wooden bungalow with small balcony. Olive trees & mountains in the background.
The Olive Garden bungalows are typical rustic Kabak accommodation

These days, as well as those standard wooden bungalows with cute little balcony, there are two deluxe ones complete with hot tub, wi-fi connection and flat-screen TV.

All have air con. A far cry from the days of a fan and a mosquito net as your luxury items.

But, whenever we’ve stayed at the Olive Garden and elsewhere in Kabak valley, we’ve never used the fan or the air con.

Around here, it’s a lovely, cool air at night, even in the height of summer.

Lovely to listen to the crickets and the crashing of the waves (you can hear them sometimes, even from this lofty position) as you drift off into slumber.

Back On The Radar

But, back to our leisurely afternoon and early evening Olive Garden visit.

We’re so pleased we made the effort to return to a place we always loved so much.

Yes, our little hidden idyll is very much on the radar of many, these days.

We dare say it gets much busier than on the day we were there.

But, at least on the day we were there, it looked to be dealing with that really well.

A lovely chilled atmosphere; friendly, top-notch service – and a very reasonable bill at the end of it all.

We’ll definitely be back again soon.

And as the Olive Garden is also open through winter, we could be back sooner than we thought…

Olive Garden, Kabak – Useful Information

  • The Olive Garden, Kabak is just off the main mountain road between Ölüdeniz and Faralya (see map below).
  • The nearest airport is Dalaman Airport.
  • If you are arriving by dolmuş, tell the driver where you are going and he will drop you off at the junction. The Olive Garden is just a few minutes’ walk down the hill.
  • In high season, the dolmuş leaves hourly from Fethiye dolmuş station. This same bus goes via the closest bus station, Fethiye Otogar. So, you can pick this dolmuş up if you arrive at the otogar by intercity bus or the Dalaman Airport bus.
  • In winter, the dolmuş service is very limited with just a few each day so check locally.
  • Journey time by dolmuş from Fethiye via the resorts of Hisarönü and Ölüdeniz is approx 80 minutes.
  • If you are arriving by car, the Olive Garden has free private parking. If you’re not scared of heights, be sure to stop off along the way to peer down at the beautifully scenic Butterfly Valley (you’ll see others stopped there).
  • There is free wi-fi for guests and day customers.
  • The menu is a mix of Turkish and international dishes. There is a full bar which also serves a selection of non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Kabak Beach is around a 20 minute walk down the steep hillside. Or you can take the shuttle bus down there.
  • Day customers are welcome to use the swimming pool and sunbeds. It is requested that you don’t bring children under the age of 14.
  • You can find out more about the Olive Garden & book overnight stays on their website.
  • If the Olive Garden seems like it is too far out of your way, check out our list of other places to eat and drink around Fethiye.

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Rachel

Monday 16th of January 2023

I went to The Olive Garden last year for dinner , we drove from Kayakoy in the evening and it was quite difficult to find in the dark… I realize now we would enjoy it much better in the daytime for the views and hikes and a dip in that pool… the food was very tasty and substantial to say the least.. we were novices and had no idea about the extras that come with many Turkish Dishes…

Turkey's For Life

Wednesday 18th of January 2023

Hi Rachel, thanks a lot for your comment. Oh yeah, the Olive Garden is definitely a place to visit in the daytime if you're not staying overnight. The views and the pool are amazing. :) You were brave, driving back in the dark. :)

Turkey's For Life

Wednesday 18th of July 2012

@ Joy: Ha ha, I didn't even know there was a chain called Olive Garden. Yes, the one at Kabak is certainly a bit different to restaurants of the chain variety. :)

Joy

Wednesday 18th of July 2012

I have to say when I first saw this post pop up I was like, Olive Garden, really? in Turkey? Referring to the tacky Italian restaurant chain that's all over the U.S. LOL.

However, THIS Olive Garden looks really lovely and I can see why you could spend several hours here relaxing in the sun and countryside. :-)

Turkey's For Life

Wednesday 18th of July 2012

@ Brock: Well, we can think of a few worse places to eat than the Olive Garden. :)

Brock - Backpack with Brock

Tuesday 17th of July 2012

Looks like an amazing place to eat!

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