A speedy two-hour drive from the much-improved Dalaman airport to the vibrant fishing village of Kalkan, and the extraordinary scenery of the turquoise coast set to a backdrop of lush pine forests. Stay at the trendy Hotel Villa Mahal (villamahal.com) set amongst the lush pine forests with panoramic vistas overlooking the Aegean Sea. Order a mojito at the hotel’s beach club – intimate terraces built into the rock – or, on a balmy evening, head up to the rooftop restaurant for freshly caught sea bass and Turkish meze.
If you can drag yourself away from the chic infinity swimming pool, the hotel’s private boat shuttle service will whizz you into Kalkan for a lively evening of Turkish rooftop dining, cooling cocktails and excellent boutique shopping. Try The Nar for sophisticated dining and a Turkish inspired menu high above the streets below or Aubergine (kalkanaubergine.com) by the buzzy marina for a family-friendly evening of succulent lamb, grilled chicken shish and sea bass.
Charter the super luxe Infinity ‘gulet’ and experience traditional Turkish craftsmanship coupled with contemporary luxury. Explore the extraordinarily lush coast, hidden coves and turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea. Onboard, the vessel comfortably accommodates twelve guests – with each stateroom equipped with a state of the art entertainment system, an expansive deck filled with crisp white sun loungers and a chic, shaded alfresco dining area (exclusivegulets.co.uk).
A mere one and a half hour transfer back in the direction of Dalaman is Faralya, a sleepy, unspoilt village perched amongst the deep green pine forests on the vertiginous mountain side. Hotel Nautical (hotelnautical.com) occupies arguably the most stunning position on the Lycian Coast. The west-facing luxury boutique hotel provides one-bedroom duplex suites with private wrap-around swimming pools, an outdoor dining terrace with sunset views, a decent-sized communal swimming pool and thoughtfully arranged sun loungers on terraces overlooking the crystal waters with direct access to a private jetty.
Quaff Turkish chardonnay and freshly caught swordfish steak for dinner whilst gazing at the breathtakingly beautiful sunset. Nip next door to sister hotel, Perdue, and indulge in a one-hour massage by resident Ukranian masseuse, Anya, in the private tepee with the gentle breeze tickling your neck. For the more adventurous, take the coastal path due south of the hotel and refuel on the tastiest barbequed chicken shish kebabs for miles at Aktas Beach Restaurant.
Explore the archeological site at Patara national park, a key biodiversity area rich in birdlife, and then spend the day on the serenely beautiful 12km stretch of beach – with the dramatic Taurus mountains as your backdrop.
The ultra-glamorous D-Hotel Maris (dhotel.com.tr), situated within its own private bay in Marmaris, provides a truly sumptuous full-service resort with 200 bedrooms, numerous suites and a 2-bedroom villa, not to mention five restaurants and four bars. Sample the seafood and cocktails at the trendy sea view Aqua Bar. Guests staying in the hotel’s suites or villa have access to a private beach. Watersports, tennis, a spacious gym and the opulent in-house ESPA, which offers signature treatments and a chic hammam with private individual scrub rooms will ensure you are kept stimulated. Jet in on a private sea plane and avoid the 2-hour airport transfer. Bliss.
Bodrum’s hottest new addition, Mandarin Oriental Bodrum, located on the northern side of the spectacular peninsula, offers panoramic views of the Aegean Sea. Comprising 82 delightful guestrooms and 20 suites, the resort offers six restaurants and bars, the ultra-sleek lobby lounge, the chic poolside bar and a Beach Club, complete with every water activity imaginable. For the ultimate indulgence, guests can opt for the two-storey Oriental Villa complete with four bedrooms, six bathrooms, mini spa, private garden and infinity swimming pool (mandarinoriental.com).
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