For as long as we’ve known it, Fethiye’s Karagözler has always managed to play host to a happy mix of local dwellings (lots of them are very swanky local dwellings, too, we might add), small hotels of the more luxurious variety, mid-priced hotels and backpacker hostels where travellers happily share budget multi-bed dorms with other like-minded wanderers.
Welcome, El Camino Hostel & Pub
And now, the Karagözler has a very welcome new addition to the hostel tally – apart form the fact that it adds more budget beds to the town centre, this place is also a pub! Welcome to Fethiye, El Camino Hostel & Pub. It’s the pub bit we’re concentrating on in this post because we’ve been up there a few times now and it’s a great place – young, chilled and friendly atmosphere, decent food and fabulous views over the bay of Fethiye.
Amongst Fethiyeli (people from Fethiye) El Camino Hostel & Pub is arguably the town’s worst kept secret. Most of our Turkish friends have either been there or have talked about their intention of going there sometime soon. We first saw a photo of the view from there on Instagram, taken by a guy we know. As I was scrolling through photo after photo in our feed one morning, I stopped dead on his photo.
“Where’s this? Why have we not seen this? El Camino Hostel & Pub? In Fethiye? Never heard of it. Barry, we’ve got a new pub in town and it looks really good and need to go and explore!”
While we’ve certainly not been to every watering establishment in Fethiye, we like to think we know where most of them are – you know, for intended future sampling and all that. But this one was a complete mystery. We could see where it was from the photo because, apart from the views over Fethiye and the bay, the immediate scene down below was that of Hotel Unique and its swimming pool. Yeah, we needed to go and explore, but we know that road well – we hoped the steep climb was going to be worth it…
Our first visit was straight after we’d been walking around the peninsula on a sunny, spring day. 8 miles of ups and downs, nosying through the trees at the changes to Kuleli Koyu and the other bays…and then the climb up the hill to El Camino. Woooo, that was pull on the legs, that day. (Now, in the summer heat, if we know we’re heading up that way, we make sure we don’t do daft things like going for 8-mile walks beforehand!)
As it’s a hostel, too, we thought the bar might be quiet; perhaps just a place for guests to mingle. Well, we thought wrong. It’s only a small bar but it was packed. Fortunately, someone was leaving as we arrived so we managed to bag ourselves a seat right on the edge of the terrace, overlooking town.
We looked through the menu. Not massive but a few different dishes on there – noodles, a couple of Thai options and more familiar offerings like cheeseburgers and köfte. Burgers and köfte are homemade (it’s an open kitchen so you can watch proceedings) and as we’ve had both (you know us and our köfte love), we can highly recommend them. The bottom left photo was Barry’s choice and yes, I coveted. Macedonian Köfte – two oblong homemade köfte oozing from within with melted cheese and served on a bed of charred aubergine and courgette. Not bad for ‘pub grub!’
But it’s not just about the food, coming to El Camino Hostel & Pub. We just like the atmosphere and the young energy. It’s got a happy feeling – and it’s also got a map of the world made from beer bottle tops at the entrance. We love that. Good effort!
And when you do arrive at the doorway of El Camino, slightly out of puff from your climb, and you head through the bar and across to that oh-I-can-never-get-bored-of-looking-at-this view; sitting at a table and having that first freezing cold beer placed before you – oh, how much do we enjoy that beer!
Our friends have an apartment in Karagözler and we told them about El Camino Hostel & Pub – it’s now become their new local. We also went with some more friends who are over on holiday and they both mentioned the atmosphere, too. As for the hostel part, we’ve not seen any dorms or rooms in person but El Camino is currently on a ‘Superb’ rating on Booking.com. So you see, it’s not just us – always good to get an endorsement from other people along the way…
El Camino Hostel & Pub – Useful Info
- El Camino Hostel & Pub is on Abdi İpekçi Caddesi on Karagözler 1
- To get there, head up the steep hill facing Yacht Boutique Hotel, following the bend to the right – then take a left after you’ve passed Ideal Pension. The entrance to El Camino is on your left after about 50 metres.
- You can get more info, photos, updates etc by liking the El Camino Hostel & Pub Facebook page.
- Click into our page for more ideas about where to eat and drink when you’re in the Fethiye area.