The villages of Faralya and Kabak beyond the outer fringes of OluDeniz are part of the famous Lycian Way and have been hosting walkers and back packers for many years. But one of the villages is home to a great restuarant with good foo and great views.
The villages of Faralya and Kabak beyond the outer fringes of OluDeniz are part of the famous Lycian Way and have been hosting walkers and back packers for many years.
Since the road was opened up in 2004 a selection of boutique hotels have been added to the choice of accommodations in this stunningly beautiful location, presenting new possibilities for those visitors who yearn for something more than the mass tourism experience which has become the normal holiday fare in the resorts of south west Turkey.
Having always used a car to get to this breathtaking location in the past this time I decided to use the bus.
So I set off last Sunday, with a distinct sense of anticipation, to spend a day in natural surroundings and taste the culinary delights that I had heard that The Olive Garden had to offer.
The delightful Village Breakfast of traditional preserves, freshly baked village bread, olives, tomatoes, cucumber and eggs (10 tl) was what I was after but my own tardiness at not setting out earlier made it a lunch date that I was keeping rather than the first meal of the day.
During my bus ride I had ‘collected’ two other visitors to the area who had never been to Turkey before and were heartily weary of the bustle of the beach scene.
It is their reaction on their arrival at the Olive Garden that I will recall – they were speechless!
The approach to the small eating area, which houses two kiosks and half a dozen simple wooden tables dressed with cotton cloths and pretty posies of fresh flowers, is down a rough path about 300 metres long lined with ancient olive groves.
We were greeted not only by a view of a pretty turquoise bay which twinkled in the morning sun about 800 feet below us but also the lovely owner, Fatih Canozu.
He has been at the Olive Garden for several years now, having cut his teeth in a restaurant in Hisaronu some years back.
His English is more than passable and he is polite, welcoming and cheerful.
Justly proud of The Olive Garden he proved to be a lovely host who takes your order with a smile and prepares each dish freshly from organic produce grown on the site.
The menu is modest but offers a surprising range of freshly made options to cater for the eclectic tastes of their guests who come from all over the world.
The Turkish fare consists of a selection of mezes (4-5 tl) and casseroles – beef (14-16 tl), chicken (13 tl) or lamb (14 tl) and there is generally a catch of day – something tasty from the ocean caught fresh that morning by a local fisherman (16 tl).
A soup of the day is also on offer – served with freshly made local bread which is both filling and tasty.
I also noticed stir fry, goulash and several other dishes of European origin to tempt the taste buds of the generally cosmopolitan visitor who frequents the area.
Vegetarians are also catered for and I was almost tempted by the Leeks in White wine and cream (9tl).
For those with less of a sense of culinary curiosity or who just want a snack – there were omelettes, sandwiches and jacket potatoes – all with a range of fillings to appeal to the palate of even the most particular eater.
I opted for the Mediterranean Sandwich (9tl) which had a delicious filling of tuna, capers and onion – it actually materialised as a durum wrap rather than the hunk of bread I had anticipated, but was acceptable all the same.
My two new friends went for the jacket potatoes with cheese – generous portions accompanied by a small salad (6tl).
Guests who want to dine there in the evening (car and torch essential) are treated to a Turkish supper of whatever Fatih is serving to his residents, but if that is not to taste, options from the main menu may be selected.
To visit at night time, however, would be to miss the views of the majestic cliff faces and terraced valleys that greet you at every twist and turn of this serendipitous journey – my advice is to go in the daytime and wallow in the wonderful surroundings.
My other tip is to please let Fatih know if you are tied to a bus timetable.
Food needs time to be prepared and if he knows you have to leave at a certain time he can ensure you choose something that can be served in the time available.
The Olive Garden was established in 1995 and has improved it’s accommodation and dining facilities under Fatih’s management over the years, but if you want fresh organic food served in scenic splendour, then the rustic simplicity of this little eatery is the perfect place to be.
With or without a car, anyone who fails to visit this outstanding location is definitely missing out.
How to Find the Olive Garden
The Olu Deniz Co-operative bus leaves Fethiye dolmus station (main mosque) at the following times;
7.00am/9.00am/11.00am/1.00pm/4.00pm and 6.00pm
It returns 1 ½ hours after leaving Fethiye. i.e the 1.00pm bus returns from Kabak terminus at 2.30pm
The fare from Fethiye is 4.25 tl and from Olu Deniz it is 3.25 tl (July 2009).
Get off at the terminus in Kabak and retrace your route no more than 100 metres – The Olive Garden can be found nestling on a hillside about 300 metres down a track to your left and is clearly signposted.
Wear sensible shoes (high heels just won’t cut it…)!
Date of visit: Sunday 19 July – lunchtime
Setting: scenic splendour in a peaceful rural location
Type of Food – Turkish/European and simple snack options
Other diners – German, French, British and at the time of my visit American teachers down from Istanbul.
Ambiance: definitely laid back and friendly – everyone gets talking
Service: This is no fast food joint, everything prepared freshly – do not be in a hurry!
Total bill for 3 (including tip, 1 beer and 3 non-alcoholic drinks) 59 tl
Telephone 0252 642 1083