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Topics include Transportation, Things to Do, Dining Scene, Turkey: For Foreign Visitors & more!
Kayakoy is a beautiful rural village in South West Turkey. Previously known as Levissi and Karmylassos it is known as a ‘ghost town’. It was a thriving market town of great importance when Greek speaking Christians lived in many towns and villages in the area known as Anatolia.
The Greek speaking christians lived in Kayakoy until aproximatley 1923, when the residents were forced to move following the population exchange agreement signed between the Turkish and the Greek folling the Greco-Turkish war in the early 20’s. The village remains a monument to peace and is listed as a UNESCO site of peace. The buildings and churches are now in almost complete ruin but the remains of this impressive village covering the mountain side is a stunning example of historic design and function and is hauntingly beautiful to explore.
The ancient history of the area can be traced back further with stunning examples of Lycian house and rock tombs hidden in the valley and documented in the British Museum.
The lush fertile valley floor is now mostly small homesteads farming garden crops and animals. Many of the older villagers remember the not so ancient history of this important community.
The poignant story that lies behind this very special location can be found by
reading Birds Without Wings by Louis de Berniere (who also wrote Captain
Corelli’s Mandolin) and historical information on the village itself can be
found in the official information booklet available from Izela Restaurant and
Gunays Garden Villas, www.gunaysgarden.com, located in the valley close to the
entry point to the ruined village.
Today life in Kaya Koy continues much as it has in the past and pleasant walks amongst the still functioning farms can be enjoyed. Take the road to Gemiler to discover the hidden treasure that iis Afkula Monastery. There are many lokantas and restaurants offering a warm welcome and local shops can provide for your immediate needs.
For those first time visitors,who perhaps think that all attractions lie outside of the immediate vicinity – please don’t be fooled. Kaya is undoubtedly a local gem and conceals all manner of authentic Turkish surprises. Walking in the area is sublime and the views at sunset need to be experienced. Do not hesitate to walk down farm tracks and explore hidden alley ways – there are surprises awaiting the curious and the locals are very friendly. Walking routes, maps, guide books and information are all available from Gunays Garden Villas in the centre of Kayakoy and also from the renowned Izela Restaurant, set underneath the stunning backdrop of the desserted village.
A variety of accommodation to suit all budgets is available in the Kaya Valley, independent accommodations such as the luxury villas at Gunays Garden Villas or the delightful B&B accomodation with dedicated hosts at Villa Rhapsody Pension. The beautiful villa Taş Evi and the cottages at The Fig Garden, to name but a few. With over 30 different eateries within walking distance of each other on the valley floor, again, every budget and taste is catered for. Refined mediterranean dining can be experienced at Izela Restaurant and Levissi Wine House, savoury pancakes at İsmal’s or Bulents, BBQ restaurants with beautiful local lamb and meze selections, such as Yalçin Kebab, again to mention just a few.
Horse riding with Nadir, Sea Kayaking with Dean at Seven Capes,guided walks through the valley with Ali Isan, paragliding with Skysports, microlighting with FlySouth, Gulet cruises on the Deniz Bey gulet, car hire and Jeep hire through DalamanCars again to mention but a few....
The most enjoyable and varied travel experience can be enjoyed by all, from the spirtual organic yoga experience to the gluttonous sun worshiper (me)... you will fall in love with Kayakoy. For some fabulous pictures of Kaya and its residents see KAYA KÖYÜ on facebook