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Kabak

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Lycia : Kabak
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Overlooking Kabak Beach from Full Moon

Kabak is a small village in Lycia, Turkey. It is the perfect place to escape the package tourist groups, and a great place on the Turkish Mediterranean to have a truly laid-back experience.


Understand

As it doesn't have sufficient population to be designated as a "village", Kabak is officially a neighbourhood of Uzunyurt, and as such, is usually omitted from maps, even quite detailed ones.

Kabak consists of two physically seperate sections: the settlement proper, a small agglomeration of two-story buildings along the road, clinging on a mountainside way above the coastline (though with a view of beautiful Mediterranean), and the cluster of guesthouses below, between the coast and the canyon known as Kabak Koyu, which, with its pine groves, waterfalls, and coastline, is quite similar to much more famous Butterfly Valley of Faralya; however physical access to Kabak Koyu is a little easier than Butterfly Valley, although the relative remoteness of Kabak offsets that.

Get in

A heavily winding road connects Kabak with Ölüdeniz, passing through Faralya on the way. However, the paved—but heavily potholed, anyway—part ends at the southern exit of Faralya, and the last 6-7 km to Kabak is a dirt road, although wide enough for two cars passing side by side. Total distance from Ölüdeniz is around 25 km, but don't let this what seems like a short distance fool you—it may take around an hour to drive (which is great for the passengers to enjoy the gorgeous views, though).

There are minibuses (dolmuş) from Ölüdeniz taking the same route. They are relatively frequent, (every 1-2 hours until 19:00 or so). They return to Ölüdeniz at the same frequency.

Lycian Way, a waymarked hiking trail with red and white painted rocks down the beach in Kabak passes through the village, providing a tiresome but peaceful connection with Ovacık, a suburb of Ölüdeniz. It takes a de-tour through the mountains, with many impressive vistas and through hamlets no one—except hikers—has ever been, and gradually loses height for Faralya, once more to go up to mountains and descending this time to Kabak. Most hikers break this 22-km section into two days, with an overnight stay in one of Faralya's guesthouses.

Get around

There is a dirt road (branching from the main road from Faralya about 2 km away from the village) leading into the canyon and the coast, however if you have any smallest bit of love for your car, avoid driving through that road (think of a rocky downslope where the soft topsoil has all but bulldozed). Instead, you may park your car in the upper village and take a dolmuş down there—they don't have fixed hours (i.e., ready to go as soon as you pay; but you may have to wait for one returning from the coast first) and, regardless of the number of passengers, do have the fixed price of 35 TL, which, if lucky, you may share with fellow travellers waiting for one when you get there. Ask at the grocery store at the upper village for these dolmuşes.

However, if you have been walking all the way from Ovacık, you possibly won't mind walking for an extra half an hour.

See and Do

Apart from seeing the canyon itself and a number waterfalls—some of which are at the end of remote and narrow footpaths—along the canyon's sides, swimming, and perhaps taking a cheesy yoga course offered by many of the guesthouses on the coast, and if you are fit and are keen on some tough physical exercise, maybe hiking to the next settlement on either direction along Lycian Way, you will not have much else (actually, anything else) to see or do in Kabak. But doing nothing is exactly what Kabak has to offer—and weren't you for that in Kabak in the first place?

Buy

There is a small grocery store in the upper village. As you might rightly be expecting, they don't accept credit cards.

There is no ATM in the village either, so bring enough cash. The nearest ATMs are in Ölüdeniz (and a little futher away in Fethiye).

Eat and Drink

You'll have your meals in your guesthouse. Just don't have expectations too big—for the guesthouse owners, a hearty and filling dinner means some local handmade noodles with basic tomato sauce and various green salads, which is welcome if you are a vegetarian. You might even get some fried aubergines and/or squash if you are in your lucky day!

  • Mama's House, (in the upper village). If you are on a day trip to Kabak, this is the most likely place where you will have your quick lunch, consisting of freshly baked Turkish cheese pancake (gözleme), perhaps alongside a cup of tea. Run by a local old lady, the place has a patio at the backside with an outstanding view of the cove below.

It's possible to take a seat and enjoy a beer against the waves in your guesthouse at night (or during the day, if that's your preference).

Sleep

Both the upper village and the coastal part have a number of guesthouses, some of which consist of wooden bungalows. Most also offer campgrounds in their yards, although you can wild camp for free on the beach or in the isolated parts of the canyon. Overall, Full Moon is the closest to the dolmus stop, but far from the beach. The rest are closer to the beach, but it's a walk back up to the dolmus stand. Something to consider if you have a heavy pack and you either want to chill in your camping/bungalow area or hang out more on the beach. Follow the red and white painted rocks for the trail all the way to the beach, through which you will pass several locations with bungalows and camping spaces. There are plenty more to find, so contribute if you stay at any of them!

  • Faralya Art House, Karabağlar Mah. 35, Kabak Mevkii (at Kabak Koyu-Kabak Valley), +90-536-268-30-01, [1]. checkin: 6PM; checkout: noon. A small guesthouse with five rooms and a campsite with bungalows and tents. € 10.
  • Full Moon Camp, (5 minutes down the Lycian Way from the bus stand), +90 252 642-10-81 (), [2]. Rustic bungalows with great views, delicious home-grown food, and a swimming pool if you don't feel like going to the beach. Free Wifi. You can camp in your own tent on the roof. 20-25 minute walk downhill to Kabak beach. The owner, Mustafa, is from Kabak and truly interested in keeping Kabak beautiful, and fights against big tourism development (he's the one who put the sun shades on the beach and painted the rocks to get to the waterfall). 35/50 TL pp low/high season, including breakfast and dinner. 25 TL/pp (including food) camping in own tent..
  • Sea Valley Bungalows, info@seavalleycamping.com (Follow the red and white painted rocks all the way until the beach. If you contact ahead of time, they can arrange a pick-up.), 0 252 642 12 36, [3]. The most up-market place in Kabak with the best location in terms of proximity to beach. Nice pool, internet, manicured lawn, a wide selection of bungalows. Bar on site. Depending on how busy it looks, you can probably negotiate the prices. All bungalows have own shower and toilet, and are of high quality. If you want to wash off after swimming, you could probably use their showers by the pool and no one would say anything. Small bungalow: 80 TL/pp, Large bungalow: 100 TL/pp, with own tent: 20 pp, with their tent: 25 TL/pp, only breakfast included.
  • Gemile Camping, campgemile@gmail.com (Follow the red and white painted trail down from the dolmus stop, 15 min down), 0 252 642 10 16, [4]. Popular with Turkish tourists. Free wifi. Nice lounge areas and bar, close to the beach. Web site has gallery if you want to look. 40 TL pp with own tent, with their tent w/ bed and blanket: 55 pp. Bungalows range from 55-125 TL pp, see site for more pricing details. All include breakfast and dinner..
  • Cabile Camping, (Follow the red and white rocks until the beach, then follow the road up in the same direction as Reflections. On the right.). The sort of place with dread-locked employees. Live music every night at 9. Solid place to pass a few nights. Bed and blanket provided in every tent. You might have to ask around to find this place. Only camping: 30 TL pp incl breakfast and dinner..
  • Kabak Valley Camp, info@kabakvalleycamp.com (Follow the red and white rocks down to the beach and come back up the road a short walk. You should see signs.), +90 252 642 10 27, + 90 536 868 83 82, [5]. Nice location, close to beach. Free wireless and plenty of lounge space. Dinner and breakfast included. Bungalow en suite: 70 TL pp, Bungalow shared bathrooms: 50 TL pp, Own tent: 25 TL pp..
  • Reflections, contact@reflectionscamp.com (Follow the red and white painted rocks all the way to the beach, then follow the road up a few hundred meters, you will see signs.), 90 539 872 56 50, [6]. Part-American owned and listed in the guidebooks, so you probably find a slight cheaper stay in any of a number of the surrounding places. Great location close to the beach. Free wifi. Plenty of chillout zones and great food. Breakfast and dinner included. Children 0-6: free - 7-12 %50: discount - 13 and over: normal price. The website has lots of info. 35 TL pp in own tent, 50 TL pp in bungalow.
  • Sultan Camp, sultancamping@gmail.com (Sultan Camp is a 20min walk down the red and white marked path. Shuttles dropping you to our door are also available at a cost from the bus stop.), 0090 252 642 1238, [7]. checkin: 24 hr. Only a 5 minute walk to the beach, Sultan Camp has a variety of accomodation options including bungalows with or without toilet and shower, and tent areas (tents available). Delicious breakfast and dinner is included with each accomodation option. Bar, pool, internet, hammocks. Cash or Credit card accepted for balance upon arrival. 2 bed tent: 30 TL pp, single and double bungalows range from 50-120 TL pp, shared and en suite..

Contact

The area code for landline phones in the village is (+90) 252.

Kabak is within the coverage area of Turkey's mobile phone operators.

Get out

As far as anything running on wheels is concerned, Kabak is literally the dead end street, as the road coming from Ölüdeniz ends here, giving way to complete wilderness of Yediburunlar (literally "seven headlands") area, the remotest section of Lycian coast.

However, for hikers, the fun has just started yet—the remote mountain hamlets of this rugged (and seemingly inaccessible) area is connected to each other by Lycian Way, which turns and twists on the sides of the mountains, following the coastline from a distance. Within about three days' time, after some (usually quite sharp) descents and ascents, and enjoying vistas which were practically the same thousands of years ago, you will be back to "civilization" on the Patara beach, just south of the modern town of Kınık, or Xanthos, as it was known to ancient Lycians, on the other side of Yediburunlar.



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