If you are on holiday in the Fethiye area and are looking for an alternative day out then why not visit some wonderful botanical gardens unique to the area.

The UK is blessed with a wide range of formal gardens to visit. But in Turkey the concept of the ornamental garden has never really taken off in the south west of Turkey where production of food has always been a priority.

However, the Palm Centre at Köyceğiz is a unique and large garden and is an excellent destination for a day out with a difference whilst on holiday in Fethiye.

It’s about an hour’s drive from Fethiye to Köyceğiz (80km) where you should park in the town, take a walk around and along the edge of the lake.

There are lots of good value small cafes in the main square adjacent to the lake where you can enjoy lunch – or take a picnic and eat it further along the lakeside, after the lakefront restaurants end, where there are benches.

Then head out to the Palm Centre – ‘Palmiye Merkezi’ in Turkish.

Just follow the road towards Ekinçik alongside the lake for about 2km and you will see the huge plastic tunnels which are the Centre’s plant sales area, with the large arched entrance to the Centre itself next door.

Entry costs e few Lira which includes a guided tour of the gardens and tea or coffee and a cake at the end of your tour.

The gardens were established by a Turkish doctor, Ragip Esener, who spent part of his career in Africa and fell in love with palm trees.

He bought the land now occupied by the Palm Centre in 1993 and from 1996 has been developing his gardens, an extensive palmery and the Plant Sales area.

The gardens are lovely and include a koi pond, turtle pond, collections of palms (of course) but also of cactus, succulents, water lilies and oleanders amongst others.

If you’re lucky your guide could be Ragip himself who has the patient of saint when answering questions about plants, and speaks excellent English.

Of course if your guests are flying home to the UK soon they can’t buy large plants – but seed is also for sale at the Centre, or they could buy a plant for your garden/balcony as a memento of a lovely day out.

If you do go to the Palm Centre let us know what you think.

The Gardens are open from 1st June to 31st October, 09.00 – 18.00.

And if you have ideas for any other alternative days out, why not pass those on as well.

A map of the location of Köyceğiz can be found here.

Contact Details

Tel: 0252 262 28 92

Web: http://palmiyemerkezi.com/english/homepage.html