An previous flame: a return journey to the seashores and mountains of Çıralı, Turkey | Travel

The second time you go to an space is at all times a check. You are presumably going again since you loved it the primary time. Will the second go to stay as much as expectations? We had been first beneficial Çıralı, on the Turkish coast south of Antalya, by a pal who had lived in Kardamyli in Greece. It was apparently very comparable: a fantastic however low-key resort, surrounded by mountains and much to discover. He was proper: we liked it.

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We made our return go to this spring, with our six-year-old and his 11-year-old sister. We arrived at our little picket cabin on the Azur Hotel late within the night, and went to mattress hoping issues could be as we remembered. We needn’t have fearful. Çıralı, no less than for us, is the right place for a household holiday. Cabins are set round a stunning backyard, produce from which is utilized in breakfasts, dinners and night meals.

The village is in a valley under the primary coast street, and feels distant with out being that arduous to get to. Hotels and lodges are among the many pomegranate bushes, and the one actual improvement is a brief fundamental street of eating places and outlets, and a string of fish tavernas alongside the seaside. Conservation legal guidelines imply issues are more likely to keep like this, and the pebble-and-sand seaside, dramatically surrounded by mountains, is nearly completely pristine.

The pool at Azur Hotel

Some could be comfortable to spend every week on this seaside – sufficiently big you can at all times discover a patch to make your personal. There is a lot else to do, although. A 15-minute stroll south alongside the seaside brings you the ruins of Olympos, a metropolis that dates again no less than so far as the Greeks, and continues by the Romans to medieval pirates – at all times good with the children. And this can be a child-friendly wreck, stretching up one other river valley and rewarding exploration, clambering and endeavour, with not a lot signal of fences or guidelines.

Phaselis, a 20-minute drive to the north, is the same website – a bit greater and busier, however with the good thing about three coves the place bathers can bounce off the traditional harbour partitions and swim out to the previous breakwaters.

The most stunning attraction of Çıralı, and the one my son, Jonah, had remembered greatest, is within the mountains above. We went up on our first day. Here, on a rocky hillside, flames have been curling out of small holes within the floor for hundreds of years, a phenomenon referred to as yanartaş (flaming stone) attributable to pure gasoline emissions. Toasting marshmallows, or sausages, on the everlasting flames is nice enjoyable, and most guests get no additional. However, well-marked paths lead up into the mountains previous secret swimming holes (and extra flames).

There is plenty of attention-grabbing strolling right here. The village is on the 540km Lycian Way and coastal and mountain routes abound. For views with out the hassle, head 25km north to 2,366-metre-high Tahtalı Dağı mountain, which could be ascended by spectacular cable automobile.

Flaming stones near Olympos.

Flaming stones close to Olympos. Photograph: Alamy

A superb household holiday, for us, additionally revolves round meals. Breakfast on the Azur Hotel was as we remembered: an ideal Mediterranean unfold of cheese, olives, selfmade jam, contemporary orange juice, good espresso and apple tea (our son’s favorite). This was supplemented by eggs as-you-wanted, contemporary from the hens that clucked contentedly simply beside us. Lunch tended to be picnics on the seaside, or within the ruins – the native outlets are small however do good contemporary meals and bread.

In the evenings we had been happy to seek out our previous favorite, Yörük, was nonetheless in business. Inside there’s a lengthy counter the place you select meze, dips and meat to be baked or grilled, and a central fireplace pit for cooler nights. Outside are low tables and cushions for “traditional” consuming, and the usual Turkish holiday dishes of native pizza and gözleme (pancakes) can be found (and good).

Anywhere else this is able to be a vacationer entice however in Çıralı it’s achieved effectively and Turkish guests appear to agree. We additionally took pot luck on among the fish tavernas on the seaside, and by no means regretted it. Choose from the contemporary seafood on show, be clear on costs, and revel in – the children can play on the seaside whilst you have a glass of wine and a few starters.

Ruins of an aqueduct in the ancient city of Phaselis.

Ruins of an aqueduct within the historic metropolis of Phaselis. Photograph: Getty Images

On our final day we celebrated a birthday by combining meals and mountains. The Rivera restaurant, within the hills north of the village of Beycik, is a superb mixture of a river dammed in to numerous trout swimming pools, topped by platforms in an historic tree the place you possibly can eat the fish. When we turned up (mid-April), the place regarded closed however Ali, the proprietor and sole builder of this dream, quickly turned up. His dialog, and the expertly grilled trout he scooped out of the swimming pools, left us considering third go to to Çıralı is likely to be so as.

• Wooden cabins with sofabed on the Azur price €150 an evening B&B for 2 adults and two youngsters aged 6-12. Thomas Cook Airlines, Jet2 and easyJet fly to Antalya from a number of UK airports from about £180 return. The Azur affords airport transfers for €90 for 4, however rent automobiles are low-cost and offer you extra choices

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