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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.

The state of development in Kabak is in major flux. There are still backpacker/family oriented places that are truly interested in keeping Kabak beautiful and are invested for the long-term (Full Moon, Reflections, Sultan, Kabak Valley Camping, Turan Hill Lounge, and a few more), but they are being pushed out of the way by developers who just want to make a buck quickly (Lonely Planet authors got free accomodation/food here in exchange for a certain place being highlighted) and have no interest in the long-term outcome of Kabak besides profit. Someone who remembered it from 2005 would find it different now. For example, to build a resort on the property closest to the beach, they cut down the forest next to the beach. They also want to pave the road to the beach so package tourists can come. If you want to stay at a place that is helping Kabak stay beautiful, choose wisely.

Get in

There are minibuses (dolmuş) from Ölüdeniz. They are relatively frequent, (every 1-2 hours until 19:00 or so). They return to Ölüdeniz and continue to Fethiye at the same frequency. 4 TL for a trip from Ölüdeniz, 6 TL from Fethiye further away.

A heavily winding road connects Kabak with Ölüdeniz, passing through Faralya on the way. Road condition is good until the upper village of Kabak. Decending into the valley, it's a rough dirt road. Total distance from Ölüdeniz is around 25 km.

Lycian Way, a waymarked hiking trail 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

You can follow the Lycian Way, indicated by red and white painted stones that lead all the way down to the beach, about 20 minutes downhill on a dirt path, and beyond. It will pass by many places to stay, most with restaurants if you want to eat. Another branch of the Lycian Way passes around the upper part of the valley.

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.

See and Do

You can see the canyon itself and a number waterfalls along the canyon's sides (you have to hike a bit out of the village), swim in the Mediterranean, and perhaps take a cheesy yoga course offered by many of the guesthouses on the coast. If you are fit and keen on some tough physical exercise, maybe hike to the next settlement on either direction along Lycian Way. Other than that, you will not have much else to see or do in Kabak. But doing nothing is exactly what Kabak has to offer (and weren't you in Kabak for that in the first place?).

Waterfalls

To hike to some great waterfalls, first follow the red and white stones all the way to the beach. From the left side of the beach (looking toward the sea), continue following the red and white stones 20-25 minutes. You will see a big sign (put up by the Full Moon owner, Mustafa) that shows the Lycian Way to the right and waterfalls to the left. You will be able to follow the pipeline and old river until the waterfall. There are six or seven pools successively higher. From the waterfall, you can either return the way you came, or you can follow the red painted stones until that path rejoins the Lycian Way with red and white stones. When it rejoins, going left will return you to Kabak around the back side of the valley, and going right will return you to where the Lycian Way hits Kabak beach.

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. In general, you can stop at just about any guesthouse/campground/bungalow area, have a look at their food menu, and decide if you want to eat there. Since many only provide breakfast and dinner, all of them offer food to buy for lunch. If you are not staying overnight, you can easily negotiate a price for dinner.

  • Lazy Fish Cafe, (Not far up the valley from the beach. Facing away from the water up the valley, go up towards the left a minute or two and look for a hanging banner with Chinese characters.). Conveniently located near the beach, all reports have this food as being very delicious. Meal in the 15-25 TL range.
  • 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. Also has a pension/guesthouse
  • Olive Garden, (in the upper village). It is little restaurant with great well server meals. You can seat on chairs or lay on very comfortable mattresses. Views from there are outstanding, prices reasonable, waiters quiet but friendly and very helpful.

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, because it is not allowed to camp wild at the beach or in the forest. 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!

The more local, backpacker, and family oriented places are Full Moon, Reflections, Sultan, and Kabak Valley Camp. See the 'Understand' section more info about the tourism development in the Kabak Valley.

  • Full Moon Camp, (5 minutes down the Lycian Way from the bus stand), +90 252 642-10-81 (), [1]. Rustic bungalows with great views, delicious home-grown food, and a swimming pool if you don't feel like going to the beach. Incredible common patio covered with grape vines overlooking the entire valley with plenty of cushions. 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/made the sign to get to the waterfall). Great for backpackers and families. Kids 0-6 stay for free, ages 7-12 stay for 10 TL per night. 35/50 TL pp low/high season, including breakfast and dinner. 25 TL/pp (including food) camping in own tent..
  • Sea Valley Bungalows, (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.), +90 252 642-12-36 (), [2]. 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. However, that well manicured lawn meant cutting down the beautiful pine forest that used to be on the beach. 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, (Follow the red and white painted trail down from the dolmus stop, 15 min down), +90 252 642-10-16 (), [3]. 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..
  • Kabile Camping, (Follow the red and white rocks until the beach, then follow the road up in the same direction as Reflections. On the right.), +90 252 642 11 88, [4]. 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, (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 (mobile: +90-536-868-83-82, ), [5]. Nice location, close to beach. Free wireless and plenty of lounge space. Dinner and breakfast included. Along with Full Moon, the owners here are really working to keep Kabak quiet and beautiful. Bungalow en suite: 70 TL pp, Bungalow shared bathrooms: 50 TL pp, Own tent: 25 TL pp..
  • Reflections, (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. Along with Full Moon, the owners here are really working to keep Kabak quiet and beautiful. 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, (Sultan Camp is a 20min walk down the red and white marked path. Shuttles are also available at a cost from the bus stop.), +90 252 642-12-38 (), [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..
  • Turan Hill Lounge (Turan Hill Camping), Kabak Valley / Fethiye / Turkey, +90 (252) 642 12 27, [8]. Turan Hill Lounge was the first campsite to start life and living in Kabak Bay. For the last 20 years, it has been one of the most popular meeting points amongst nature lovers throughout the world due to its strong commitment for preserving nature's beauties. Turan Hill Lounge is located on the most beautiful slope of the bay, directly overlooking the blue sea and the secluded beach. It is surrounded by a wondrous canyon towering up to eight hundred metres high. In its backyard lies a thick, lush forest and the Aladere Waterfall giving life to thousands of different kinds of creatures, supporting a harmonious wild life. Together with its white cushioned terraces overlooking the magical sceneries, its large library, its temple-like fireplace and vases full of wild flowers, Turan Hill Lounge offers a most lovely and unique setting and embraces its guests with cosy tales seated deeply in its dear past.
  • Lissiya Hotel (www.lissiya.com), Uzunyurt Koyu. Kabak Mah. No.16 (At last of Kabak follow the Lissiya signs.), +902526421105, [9]. checkin: 24hrs; checkout: 12pm. Free wifi all around Lissiya Hotel. Luxury in the beauty of nature. Magical place to escape from the stress of world and enjoy yourself in the arms of nature with Lissiya`s services. Massage service is available. Fine Dine restaurant with top class chef and wide wine selection. Breakfast for 2 is included in the room rate. info@lissiyahotel.com 200€-340€.


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.

You're out of luck if you are looking for internet cafes. The only internet available will be at the place you are staying or maybe a cafe you get a drink or food at.

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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