In a past article, we took you on a journey from the maze of hotels in Ölüdeniz, and up along the remote, mountain road that leads to Faralya (Uzunyurt) and eventually to the neighbourhood of Kabak. We stopped a few times en route to take in the amazing scenery and to try to capture it on camera (never quite the same, is it?) before continuing our journey to the Olive Garden, Kabak.
The Olive Garden, Kabak
Over the years, we’ve been to the Olive Garden so many times, and, despite its secluded location, it’s a place very much on people’s radars, these days. In fact, we’d go so far as to say, when you even utter the word Kabak, Olive Garden is the first place that jumps into people’s heads. The two go hand in hand.
Something For Everyone
Well, it’s not surprising, really. It’s a place that’s there for all to enjoy. Other camps in Kabak we’ve stayed at – such as the chilled out Sultan Camp, Chakra Beach and the tranquil Tree Houses – are further into the valley, closer to the beach. The Olive Garden is right near the top of the cliff face, (relatively) easy to walk down to from the road.
For some, it’s their overnight getaway. For others, it’s a bar and restaurant; a place to chill out for the day. For yet others, like us, it’s a mixture of the two. Even if we’re staying closer to the beach in Kabak, we always pop in to the Olive Garden restaurant for lunch.
Booking A Stay At The Olive Garden, Kabak
Kabak, in the Faralya area, is a remote mountain village that happens to sit on the side of a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean. And so far (fingers crossed this continues), looks after its overnight visitors in various ‘camps’. It’s chilled, relaxed and the higher camps, such as the Olive Garden, benefit from the slightly cooler air.
Olive Garden ‘Glamping’
Wooden bungalows are your accommodation – you, the mountains, stupendous views…and the comfort of knowing you’re en suite, too. Glamping, Kabak style. They’re not obtrusive, the bungalows. It’s all about blending in with the scenery, and the scenery around the Olive Garden really does take your breath away.
These days, Fatih, the owner, has also had air conditioning fitted to the bungalows. But we’ve always been cool enough without it. Besides, what’s a bit of ‘being away from it all’ if you can’t listen to the sounds of the night time crickets and the morning cicadas waking up to the sunrise, eh? It’s bliss!
And those pesky mosquitoes? To be honest, Kabak isn’t too bad for them anyway. But your cute little bungalow at the Olive Garden has a mosquito net round the bed. They’re great fun in the middle of the night when you’re trying to grapple your way out of bed in the dark to nip to the loo! Yes, a voice of experience, here.
But, we’ve said this so many times about places like Kabak. You can’t come to these beautiful secluded places to feel at one with the world and nature and not expect to see and experience wildlife. At certain times of year – not all the time – where there’s food outdoors, there’s wasps! Fact of life. You get used to it. Mid-September to October is usually the prime time for these little annoyances.
The Magic Of Turkish Coffee
We get wasps at places like Cin Bal in Kayaköy and we get wasps in Kabak. The restaurants in places like this deal with them well; a plate of smouldering magic Turkish coffee powder on your table (the wasps don’t come near the smoke) and saucers of honey or meat bones hidden away from tables. These attract the wasps so that they leave diners and relaxers alone. And doesn’t the shaded köşk in the photo above look like a great place to kick back and chill a little?
A Look At The Olive Garden Kabak Menu
Oh, did someone mention food? Our favourite topic! If you are booking to stay overnight at the Olive Garden or other camps in Kabak, your evening meal and breakfast the following morning is included in the price. When we’ve stayed there, it’s been a set menu and the food has been fab.
But what about if you’re just taking yourself off to the Olive Garden to spend the day there, enjoying the food and the pool? Well, we can honestly say we have never been disappointed with whatever we’ve ordered. And tweaks to the Olive Garden Kabak menu, here and there, mean we don’t get bored with what’s on offer.
That’s not to say we don’t end up ordering old favourites every once in a while. The beef casserole at the Olive Garden is so yummy. I even order it in the height of summer when my brain tells me to go for a salad! Can’t help myself.
And Barry loves the cumin meatballs (kiremitte köfte), here, too. Again, the height of summer temperatures don’t really lend themselves to a clay pot full of red hot sizzling meat but, you know, what are you gonna do? It tastes amazing!
And Welcome Newcomers
But yeah, there are new additions on the Olive Garden Kabak menu, like we said. For one of them, we were ordering food on Barry’s birthday (it’s tradition that we go to Kabak for his birthday) and Fatih pointed out the new starter. Oh, he highly recommended it. Try it, he said. Ohhh, welllll, we weren’t going to have a starter but go on then…
And he wasn’t lying. This is nut roast köfte, and, if you’re having a main meal afterwards, you might want to share this starter. Three juicy köfte studded with pine nuts and, after prodding with our forks (and asking afterwards), we worked out that it’s also wrapped in yufka (phyllo pastry) around the edge. It’s served with a mustard seed mash and a sweet chilli sauce.
Olive Garden Burger Feasts
Yep, we’ve had this a couple of times, now. It’s on our favourites list. Oh, and if you think you’ll order a burger because you just fancy a light snack, hmm, think again. The Olive Garden burgers have become a real feasty treat!
There’s a few different burgers on the menu – a plain burger, cheeseburger, and the one you can see in the photo, are included. The one in the photo is the Olive Garden burger. The special one. That’s because it’s got spiced pastırma on top (pastırma is that lovely Turkish cured beef used in paçanga recipes).
It’s topped with lettuce, tomato and thinly sliced pickled gherkins. It’s served with chips, two dips and a side of sauteed sliced mushroom and onion. Well, it’s not just a burger, is it, eh? Get your knife and fork out as well as your fingers, be hungry and thoroughly enjoy! We did.
Lots Of Other Choices, Too
Ahh, and here we are with our look at the Olive Garden Kabak menu. This blog is our personal account of our life in Turkey. This is what we’ve eaten. Dear vegetarians and light eaters who might not fancy a meaty feast, there is lots on offer for you, too. Breakfast dishes, meze plates, salads, hot dishes, seafoods, sandwiches, wraps, omelettes, sweety goodies…
The Olive Garden Kabak Views & Set Up
Honestly, we are not exaggerating when we use the adjective, ‘stupendous,’ when we describe the views from the Olive Garden. Its cliff face setting means you can can see right down to the distant beach below – hiking footpath or (approved) vehicle access available should you fancy a jaunt down there – and, out to sea, as far as the Mediterranean horizon.
On Foot Or By Vehicle?
Hiking down to the beach (for us) is preferable to the journey by vehicle because we both love a wander on foot and Kabak’s a hiker’s dream. And the vehicle track down to the valley and beach, well for me, it’s white knuckles and I’m pleased when I clamber out at the bottom in one piece. I’m not the best passenger in a vehicle on the flattest, widest of roads…and this is far from the flattest and widest of roads.
Kabak is a great first night stopover if you’re hiking the Lycian Way and you’ve set off from Ovacık. The Olive Garden and other places at similar height are good choices because you’ve not got a hike or shuttle bus back up the hillside before you continue the path upwards towards Alınca and beyond. And the good news is, for winter 2016/17, the Olive Garden is staying open. How to keep warm while you’re there?
Well, don’t forget what we said about the air conditioned bungalows. They can throw out heat as well as cold air. A few fleecy toasty blankets and now also a cosy indoor section of the Olive Garden restaurant for food and drinks. Stay overnight or go up there for the day and enjoy some food in a super quiet, secluded Kabak, minus its local and international summer crowds. Perfect!
And if you’re gonna be up in Kabak during the summer season, the Olive Garden is on people’s radars so if you wanna stay overnight in Kabak/Faralya, book your bungalow in advance. The restaurant and bar is open all day for residents and day visitors, and, as well as chilling out and enjoying the views, you can also relax in a shaded köşk, sunbathe, or take in the pretty amazing infinity pool – it’s those stupendous views again that do it.
Nothing stays still for too long in Turkey, as we love to keep piping on about. This is the newish infinity swimming pool at the Olive Garden and since we took this photo, the metal barrier across the far edge is no more. We’ve been to the Olive Garden very recently but we just ate and didn’t venture to the pool area. This pool is now the image of the Olive Garden – can’t tell you how many photos we’ve seen of people doing yoga shapes, sitting, standing, jumping, lounging and gazing out at the view…An amazing sight.
There’s no doubting that the Olive Garden in Kabak is much more popular than it used to be, and, in high summer, you can expect a healthy gathering of overnighters, hikers and day visitors. But if you want great food, amazing views, relatively easy access and, if you want to stay overnight, a little taste of Kabak treehouse life, Olive Garden’s your place. Oh, and the owner Fatih’s a very hospitable chap, too.
Olive Garden Kabak – Useful Info
- The Olive Garden is in Kabak Mahallesi in Uzunyurt/Faralya and is reached via the high mountain road, east of Ölüdeniz.
- In summer, the Kabak dolmuş runs every half an hour from Fethiye, via Ölüdeniz and on to Kabak. In winter, there are only a few dolmuşes each day so check times before leaving.
- You can also drive or hike – via the Lycian Way – to Kabak and the Olive Garden.
- If you are staying overnight at the Olive Garden, book ahead as it gets booked up and they sometimes host yoga retreats, too, in the shoulder seasons.
- As well as following the footpath from the Olive Garden down to the beach – very rewarding – you can also get a lift in the 4-wheel drive.
- For 2016-17, the Olive Garden is open through winter and a guided walk with breakfast and dinner included has already taken place. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for any events you might be interested in.
- You can also keep yourself going with Kabak scenery fixes via the Olive Garden Kabak’s Instagram account.