Today I will introduce you to a hidden gem in Turkey, a little paradise unknown even to many locals: Kabak Koyu. This is a great place to switch off from the world and enjoy the tranquility and beauty of untapped nature!
If you have never been to Turkey but have looked into visiting, leave at home any Muslim stereotypes and be ready for the beauty and diversity of this vast country. The country has a lot to share with its visitors ranging from breathtaking landscapes and incredible turquoise water beaches to unusual natural wonders that you will not find anywhere else. Indeed much more to offer than just mosques, bazaars and Ottoman architecture! A couple of years ago, I discover a great and unspoiled place that combines nature with a fantastic beach. Let me explain you all you need to know about Kabak Koyu and how to get there!
How to get to Kabak Koyu?
Kabak Koyu is a small village located on the west of the Turkish Mediterranean coast. Even though Kabak Koyu is close to Fethiye and Ölüdeniz, it is an oasis of calm compared to its neighbors.
The easiest way to reach Kabak Koyu is flying to Dalaman from Istanbul (Pegasus Airlines offers low cost daily flights). In Dalaman you can take the shuttle bus that connects its small airport to Fethiye. Once there, you can take the minibus (dolmuş) from Fethiye to Kabak, passing through Ölüdeniz and Faralya (Butterfly Valley). In high season, there are hourly services until 7PM or so. The price from Fethiye is 7TL (around 2 €).
A heavily winding road of about 25 km connects Ölüdeniz with Kabak, giving some breathtaking views of the Mediterranean sea and the surrounding mountains and valleys.
Once you arrive to “Kabak last stop“, you will be in the village of Kabak. However, to reach the beach (Kabak Köyü) you will still need to either walk down a steep path, part of the Lycian Way, or to hire a jeep that will take you down the hill through a rough dirt road. The cost of the trip down may vary depending on the number of passengers. The driver won’t move his jeep until he gets the fixed price of 40 TL, which if you are lucky, you may share with other travelers (meaning that if there are 8 or more passengers going down, you will only have to pay 5TL but if there are only two, you will have to pay 20TL each).
If you don’t have heavy luggage, I recommend to walk down. It’s quite a long and deep way, but very much worth every step. The views of Kabak Koyu are priceless and you can take a break in one of the cute tree House hostels you will find along your way. If you decide to walk the path down, wear suitable shoes (forget flip flops!) and bring plenty of water. The walk should take you no more than 25-30 minutes.
What to do in Kabak Koyu?
Besides hiking and maybe take a yoga lesson offered by some of the guesthouses near the beach, you will not have much to do in Kabak Koyu. However, Kabab is the perfect place to do nothing! Its beach of turquoise and calm waters is ideal for swimming and relaxing all day long. The spectacular views and the laid-back, hippie atmosphere are great to enjoy your well-deserved summer vacation.
Where to stay in Kabak Koyu
Both the upper town and the coastal part have plenty of backpacker guesthouses to suit any budget, most of which consist of wooden bungalows and tree houses. Some hostels also have a camping area. I recommend choosing one of the guesthouses close to the beach (not in the upper village where the minibus leaves you). Otherwise, you will need to climb down and up the steep path everytime you want to go to the beach.
I stayed at Lilith Camping, one of the cheapest options during peak season and located only 200 metres away from the beach. The Small bungalow was 80 TL/pp (around 28 €) incuding breakfast and dinner. Although not as comfortable as a resort holiday, Litith is a good option if you prefer something backpacker (Kabak style). I liked the local and hyppyish atmosphere and the (mostly) vegetarian dinner buffet. It also has nice chill out areas and a bar. The only objection is the lighting at night was pretty poor so, I highly recommend to bring a flashlight if you want to move around easily and go to the beach at night (stars are beautiful when all around you is darkness!).
To sum up, Kabak Koyu is a perfect destination for travelers looking for a tranquil, hippy-esque paradise. If you are looking for a peaceful beach, untapped nature and good energy, consider Kabak Koyu. I am looking forward to come back soon…