Whenever we have friends over to visit, we always like to try to take them somewhere in the area that they’ve never seen before – somewhere that sends them home with vivid memories of their time in Turkey. The friends who are here at the moment have been to Fethiye many times before, and so, for this visit, we were racking our brains. This one had to be good…
And then it came to us. The ultimate in dramatic, Southwest Turkey beauty; that which inspires awe amongst all – and even makes you feel a bit dizzy if you look down too quickly. We’d hired a car for a couple of days so we decided it was high time we introduced our friends to Kabak.
The road from Ölüdeniz to Kabak is clearly visible to sunbathers on Belcekiz Beach in Ölüdeniz, those enjoying a relaxing day at Gemiler Bay and to sailors going about their business along this stretch of amazing coastline. It’s a scar that begins amongst the hotels of Belcekiz before stretching off into the distance and climbing the foothills of Babadağ.
Within minutes, the driver and passengers are rewarded with enough height to force the driver to pull over to the side of the road, admire, oooh and ahhh, take lots of photos and come to realise just why it is that Ölüdeniz became so famous. This is not a stretch of road to be rushed. No. Take your time and allow yourself to be blown away by natural beauty.
The road to Kabak isn’t for everyone. It’s steep, winding and narrow with sheer drops, but, in our opinion, those who brave the journey get to see Southwest Turkey and the Turquoise Coast at its fantastic best. No one said you had make it to Kabak in record time. 1st and 2nd gear, easy does it…and as soon as you spy an opportunity, get out of the car to take yet more photos.
You don’t realise how much you’ve climbed until you see the vast Mediterranean directly below you. Yachts have become the only specks of white that interrupt the blanket of vivid blue…
…and the cliffs plunge vertically into the sea, occasionally allowing the formation of bays and beaches. You’ll know when you reach this section of road. Colossal boulders by the side of the road remind us how small and insignificant we are as we potter about in our little car. Stop the car here and, without getting too close to the edge of course, take a peek downwards. We’re standing above Butterfly Valley and are almost in Faralya.
But we’ve not come to Faralya today. We need to drive through the village, passing the fork in the road that leads to the village of Kirme before becoming the Lycian Way footpath back to Ovacık. Drive by the agricultural terraces, boutique hotels and camping bungalows of Faralya and continue to follow the road. We’ve got a further 7 kilometres to go…
We’re in Lycian Way territory now and Kabak is a popular first overnight stop along the route. Eventually, 100 metres or so before the road ends completely, we see a sign that tells us we’ve reached our destination. We’ve been to Kabak in the past (a good few years ago) but the Olive Garden is a first for us as well as for our friends. We’ve got high hopes as it’s been recommended by so many people.
I don’t much fancy inching the car down the steep, rubble track so we park on the road and follow the arrows on foot. Five minutes later, we’re on the terraces of the the Olive Garden Restaurant, mouths agape…but those photos are for the next post!