A Hidden Gem – Cirali
I suppose the pictures allready speak for themselves. Nevertheless, I really want to share some thoughts on Cirali and Antalya, the greater area which it belongs to. As you probably know, I used to live in Antalya until the age of six. Back then, and even further back when my grand parents’s used to live here, Antalya looked very much alike Cirali. Cirali is a tiny little village on the south coast, about a 100 km further west of Antalya city. However, as tourism expanded within Antalya’s most popular corners, Side, Belek and Lara, the town began to grow at a very high pace. As you might expect, Antalya looks nothing alike Cirali anymore. Where there used to be Lemon and Orange trees, there are now shopping malls and hotel bunkers.
When I visit my hometown, I tend to spend little time inside the city. Usually, I meet up with family and friends and try to do some shopping. But when it comes to relaxation and real holidays I head further west. There are many beautiful and scenic little places on Turkey’s south coast. One of them is Cirali. Cirali actually is Unesco protected, which means that no major building constructions are allowed. Thanks God! Due to is breathtaking nature, Cirali tends to attract backpackers, campers and daily visitors as well as local people. When I was a child, my father and I used to come here in order to eat some fresh fish and enjoy the wild nature. If you ever think about going to Cirali, just passing by or even spending a couple of days, you should definitely check out the following things:
First of all, Cirali is great for hanging around and doing nothing. You can smell all the lemons and oranges and just read a book by the beautiful beach. There are many tiny little hotels and bungalows, where you can sleep at a very reasonable price. Furthermore, you need to eat some fresh fish (for the ones who don’t like fish, I am so sorry for you guys!). I suggest you eat your fish right on the beach (see in the pictures above), at a restaurant called Azur (http://www.azurhotelcirali.com/en). The owners are real locals and super welcoming as well as friendly. Ask them for their catch of the day and mention that you came here because somebody suggested you to do so. Turkish people like to hear that there restaurant is being talked about!
On the last picture you see a white lounge within a beautiful garden. This place is called Olympos Lodge (http://olymposlodge.com.tr), a breathtaking, tiny bed and breakfast run by a Turkish couple. It’s located directly on the beach and it has a very English vibe to it. It’s nothing like a Turkish bed and breakfast. The owners used to live in Germany for a couple of years and travelled a lot around Europe. When they came back, they wanted to bring with them a tiny little bit of Europe and so they established Olympos Lodge. This was 28 years ago. Now, Olympos Lodge has become somewhat like a hidden gem, where people like Cameron Diaz and other famous singers and actors like to stay. It’s rather pricey for Cirali, but you can also just stop by for a coffee (Turkish coffee, Espresso, Latte, Cappuccino, they have it all!). The 28 year old garden is really worth a look. It’s located at the very west end of Cirali’s beach, so you can easily stop by after a swim!
I hope you found this post interesting and let me know if you want to see more travel posts in the future!