Chill on an Undiscovered Beach.

May 5, 2009
Outside Magazine
Olympos Lodge

Olympos Lodge    Photo: courtesy of Olympos Lodge

EVERY SO OFTEN, you stumble upon a place so beautiful you want to scream about it from rooftops and keep it a closely guarded secret. The Olympos Lodge, in the small village of Cirali, Turkey, which sits on one of the most gorgeous, uncrowded stretches of the Mediterranean, is such a place. Hop a flight south from Istanbul to Antalya, then take an hour-plus cab ride to Cirali and the Olympos Lodge (from $175; olymposlodge.com.tr) and its 13 simple guest bungalows. You won't be spending much time in your room—the lodge's lush garden, complete with resident ducks and peacocks, spills onto an expansive beach. Grab a sea-view garden chaise and spend your days swimming in the teal water and watching Turkish gulets sail by.

Want active culture? Stroll five minutes down the beach to the Olympus ruins, where the backpacking set crashes in nearby treehouses. Or hike the slopes of 8,343-foot Mount Olympus, where you can access the Lycian Way trail (lycianway.com), which hugs much of Turkey's coastline; on the hillside you'll find the Chimaera, a natural-gas flame that's guided sailors for thousands of years. But mostly just chill and savor outdoor meals of feta-stuffed peppers, manti (a ravioli-like dish packed with yogurt, lamb, mint, and lemon), and honey-drenched baklava. If you're lucky, your bungalow neighbors will be from Belgrade and share their homemade grappa.

Filed To: Turkey