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Turkish Delights

Turkey – First Impressions

Here at Holiday Homes Turkey, we are really rather passionate about showing you everything wonderful about Turkey. It was with this in mind that we recently invited professional UK photographer Yvonne White, of White Gold Images, to visit us for 8 days and capture her impressions of Turkey through her camera lens. She did that brilliantly and is happy to confess that as a first time visitor to Turkey, fell head over heels in love with the area. So much so she has written the piece below just for us and we can’t wait to welcome her back again soon.

I am a Wedding and Commercial photographer based in the UK and like most people, love to travel, so when I was asked to go over to Turkey to enjoy a working holiday photographing properties and the region, I didn’t have to think too long or hard about it. Turkey was a country I had never before visited, so was keen to take a look around, capture the sights and get to know the people because for me, that is what travel is all about.

However, I confess I was not prepared to be quite so impressed, to find myself not wanting to leave in a way no other country has quite managed. It is a place that really gets under your skin and I can understand why so many friends return year after year and several own or are looking to own property there.

Our trip started at Antalya airport and we drove along the coast to Kekova for the first night, before heading to our main base for the week at Kalkan. The coast road winds its way around the cliffs as they drop to the sea and during the day, it constantly reveals new views, but at night, with a storm in the air and lightening flashing over the hillsides, it was a dramatic introduction to this stunning coastline and quite thrilling. Kekova on the other hand was a tiny jewel of absolute peace and tranquility, where the only sounds are the waves gently lapping on the moored up boats and looking up reveals a sky packed full of stars, with a perfect view of the milky way.

Sunrise the next day revealed a small and perfectly formed village nestling in the foot of the hills, a small marina of fishing and pleasure boats and tranquil views. At Kekova I enjoyed the first of several Turkish style breakfasts, plenty of fresh fruit, nuts, salads, cheeses and bread. Oh and of course, the must have Turkish coffee!

Our main base for our stay was in Kalkan, and if Kekova calmed the senses, Kalkan gives them a whole new kick start. Originally a small village, Kalkan sits neatly snuggled in it’s own bay area, and whilst a little bigger now, still retains the charm of its humble beginnings. The harbour is small compared to some in the area, but incredibly pretty and surrounded by restaurants and bars offering a friendly welcome, without the feeling of being pressured into coming in. To the east of the harbour is small beach whilst the whole bay has several beach resorts, where you can jump straight into the crystal clear sea from the man made terraces, or just relax on the loungers with a drink and your bottle of sun lotion. The old cobbled streets climb up through the old town, lined with boutique shops and restaurants with rooftop dining and superb views of the bay which have to be experienced. Villas and homes reach up across the hillsides around the bay, so where ever you stay, you almost always have an uninterrupted view. The icing on Kalkans cake is the sun setting over the bay, a sight I never got bored of and could go back just for the pleasure of watching it every evening.

Speaking of restaurants, Turkey does food, in a big way and at prices you will find very affordable. We sampled everything from upmarket restaurants to a take away kebab delivered to our villa and I can hand on heart say we did not experience a bad meal. Most of the restaurants use fresh local produce and know how to cook them.

From Kalkan we took ourselves to see so many areas along the coast, as far as the yatching and holiday resort of the region at Marmaris. We took boat trips to beaches where turtles come ashore at night to lay eggs at Dalyan. We drank coffee and watched the world go by in Goçek, walked along the sandy beach and the lagoon at Ölüdiniz watching the paragliders floating down against the early morning sun.  We drove through mountain villages, stopping to chat to the locals, living a world so different to the bustle of our every day lives.

This area of Turkey has a mixed and vivid history and there are Greek and Roman ruins, tombs and all manner of ancient sites dotted throughout the region and open to visitors. If you fancy something a little more adventurous, you can mountain bike through the unspoilt Taurus mountains, scuba dive and snorkel, horse ride and for the real adrenaline junkies, paraglide. Now being built for comfort, not speed, I admit to not having indulged in any of these, but they looked amazing.

We finished our week with a short ferry crossing to Meis, an island about 3 miles off the coast at Kaş, known by the Greeks as Kastellorizo. It has a Greek name because it is a Greek island, passports are needed! More to the point, it is an incredibly pretty island, definitely worth the trip. We climbed up to the old fort to look back at the Turkish coast and then sat on the edge of the harbour watching the turtles. An utterly blissful way to finish the week.

Where ever we went in Turkey, we were made to feel very welcome, something indefinable but something more than the usual  tourist welcome. It is a place where you can relax, where you can have fun and excitement, it is a place where you can just ‘be’ and personally, I think I could spend a lot more time just being in Turkey. Teşekkürler Türkiye, sana aşığım, ben yakında geriye gelecegim

 

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