Recipe for perfect CHILLOUT holiday for stressed out Mums after long summer school holiday (Sept 7th-14th) ;
Choose a few lovely intelligent witty mates! Jump on a plane to Dalaman (Don’t forget plenty of bubbly beforehand to knock you out for the flight).
Day 1 Brunching, at the Kordon by the river in Dalyan, on their delicious Turkish mezzes and local wines then hit the market late afternoon (quieter) and practice Turkish whilst stocking up with lots of lovely fresh local produce. Evening BBQ by the pool (don’t forget anti – mozzie citronella candle) then call Teturlar taxis to take you to the Calypso Hotel for cocktails then on to Leons bar. Spend the evening dancing (pole or belly) with the locals and karaoke singing and retreat before 3pm to avoid total disgrace and hangover.
Day 2 River boat cruise to Iztuzu beach. Pancake lunch with large beers. 'I didn’t know they did small ones!' - Princess Carolina. Make sure you are the last ones to leave at 6pm to enjoy the deserted beach but do get on that last boat (they do have a loudspeaker - which Princess Jude tried out!). Photo opportunities all the way back esp. rock tombs from river and turtles, kingfishers and rare waterfowl.
Days 3 Quiet day relaxing and basking in the sun by pool. Late afternoon, a row across the river to the ruined city of Caunos, then home via Mufla’s rock bar. And don’t forget plenty of fab shopping – shops open all hours. Great for leathers embroidered boots and bags, jewellery, pashminas and gorgeous oriental dancing gear ……………...
Day 4The 12 island cruise with Oruc Travel!FAB darlings (see video) it’s like being royalty for a day – get the crew to float the wine out to you in the sea following your own synchronised water-ballet exhibition! They even delivered ice-creams to us by speed boat!(Princess Kirsty bless her, managed a massage on one of the islands ! )
Day 5 A big night out – dinner at the Sahil, Kemal’s restaurant by the river overlooking the tombs – – simply breathtaking and a mouth-watering, flaming casseroles. Follow up with moonlit river cruise on the Sahil’s own boat to take in the illuminated rock tombs, a shooting star and the splashes of jumping fish.
Day 6Fresh fish lunch at the Golbasi restaurant on the Iztuzu beach road – a must – feed the turtles and ducks as you sit on the covered jetty surrounded by water and gorgeous young waiters. The restaurant collects and returns you to the villa
Day 7Taxi to the other end of Iztuzu beach – divine swim in the beautiful, clear, warm shallow bay and more yummy pancakes – bus back to villa – practising your best Turkish to give directions for stopping. Evening - visit the local Haman for a Turkish bath and massage – relaxing in a kind of invigorating kind of way! Then – shopping and dining before taxi comes to take you to airport. Collapse onto the plane feeling well rested and pampered.
See video and gallery for more shots
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The Turkish Chillout -Taking bookings now for September 08!
July/August 07 The finished Villa Meliha! 22nd August 2007
Arriving at Villa Meliha as dawn broke over the mountains was like waking up to a beautiful dream. The first thing I noticed as I jumped off the Oruc bus was the red ribbon wrapped around the gates at the entrance. I hurredly untied the bow and rushed into the villa. There was a frenzied scatter around inside to see all the newly furnished rooms, all beautifully arranged and finished to perfection! The piece de la resistance was the upstairs view from the balcony. The villa has a 360 degree panorama and the view of the mountains all around as the sun rose was absolutely breathtaking! I could not hold back the tears!
Since our visit in June, the gardens had become established, the pool (with the turtle mosaic on the bottom) was crystal clear and alluring and the villa simply glistened.
Exhausted and weary but too excited to crash into our beds, the boys christened the pool and we just wandered around the villa in a daze, discovering all the new additions like the arbour, the pagoda, the finished BBQ/outdoor kitchen/diner, all the lovely plants and baby trees, and the furniture that we had custom made, the beautiful embroidered curtains, the star-burst chandelier, the sun-loungers (all things we chose in February) the marble floor, the beautiful solid wood balcony door with surrounding feature windows and the built-in kitchen with beautiful black granite work tops and jade coloured stained wood cupboards, the fire-place,hand-crafted in local stone, the lovely white wrought iron railings.................. (We have placed pictures of the interior in the gallery section of the website).
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The three weeks just flew, aside from sorting out last minute things for our first guests we spent most of the time in or on the water – pool, river, lake and sea! We took the boys and their friends on our favourite excursions – the ruined city of Kaunos, the Mud baths/Sulphur springs, the 12 island cruise, a midnight cruise, a fishing cruise and for the first time the stunning Saklikent gorge and ancient city of Tlos which was an awesome excursion that also included lunch at a pretty trout farm and waterfall. Sampling icy cool mountain water was a treat and the climb to the top of Tlos rock tombs was well worth it for the stunning panoramic views
We dined in style at our favourite restaurants and Kemal from the Sahil did us proud. As well as collecting all 10 of us in his mini-bus to dine at his beautiful restaurant overlooking the floodlit rock tombs on the other side of the Dalyan river, we were treated to a lovely moonlight cruise where the boat anchored at the entrance to the lake for us to gaze up at the stars, hearing only the splashing of the fish as a soundscape. This was so beautiful and peaceful and we even caught a glimpse of few shooting stars. The Golbasi restaurant also collected us from the villa by min-bus and the boys had a fun evening there feeding the turtles and then taking the pedalo through the reed beds.
Catering for large groups in the villa was no trouble, especially having three distinct dining areas to choose from. The BBQ is a second kitchen complete with sink, fridge etc with a substantial shaded roof over the table, whilst the front balcony was a favourite for breakfasts, we had the occasional meal indoors in the air-conditioned kitchen/dining area whilst we curtained off the lounge area so the boys could watch a film whilst we chilled out at the table. We catered for 19 one day and that number hardly made an impression. So, we’ve tested Villa Meliha out for large groups and given it the thumbs up!
The thing that most impressed us with Oruc, the company that built the villa was that you only have to mention something once and before you blink it is done!We really did feel like royality after a while as nothing we asked seemed to be any trouble! It was all like such a lovely dream.
I have just finished updating our gallery with all the latest shots of the villa-inside and out, along with some great shorts of excursions that are available from Dalyan so please take a look at the gallery to give you a flavour of everything.
I will be back at the villa in September for a week with a group of girlfriends to celebrate a really special birthday – I can not wait. Watch this space!!!!!!
June 07 18th June 2007
The 12 island cruise
Can you imagine leaving the villa in February and not being able to come back until June - the suspense was overwhelming!It was really like a dream come true to return in June to find the villa very nearly finished. The pool was filled, the garden planted and the electricians were fitting in all the lights including our lovely chandelier that looks like an explosion of fireworks! The craftsmen were finishing off the varnishing and the wrought iron railings and we were able to chat with the curtain makers about where the poles were going. We managed to buy everything we needed for the beds and the kitchen using our Turkish phrase book! It really is amazing how quickly you learn when you have to! It is now our mission to be a bit more fluent next time.
During our stay this time we managed to dine at most of the restaurants and we found everyone absolutely charming and the food was always delicious. We dined by the water’s edge most evenings or at least al fresco and the climate (mid June) was perfect. Following a couple of meetings with Oruc, the construction company we had two days left to be simply tourists. It was our wedding anniversary so we treated ourselves to the 12 island cruise from Gocek marina which was fabulous and so relaxing. Our next visit will be in July and we are taking the kids out with us and Alastair’s sister and family will be our first guests.By then everything should be well established in the garden and the villa will then be available for rentals from 18th August onwards. That’s if I don’t dig my heels in and decide to stay! See you in July! - Judy
April 16th April 2007
Wow! we have been having such an amazing heatwave in the UK - glad we didn't splash out on an Easter in Turkey! But it is not just about the weather is it boys and girls?
We are getting really excited now as we have had an e mail from Oruc construction telling us that the villa is going to be completed one month ahead of schedule! The roof is now on and all tiled and the painters have been and finished the outside and the pool is all there complete with electric light fittings and there is a lot of work going on in the garden and surroundings. It is quite remarkable, the pace at which they are working.
We are now getting booking inquiries so some people are obviously not too put off by the photos of the building site and we are about to go 'live' with Holiday Lettings a site where you can advertise your villa globally. So get booking we want friends and family to try it out first! Check out the latest photos in our gallery!
We will send out another update next month and please do let us hear your comments on both the website and the villa. See you in May!
Judy and Alastair
Building Villa Meliha 30th March 2007
A slide-show of the progress on the build of Villa Meliha, we will be updating this slideshow until the scheduled completion of the Villa in June 2007.
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Visit in February 28th February 2007
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It is February and we’ve just spent a week with Cumali and his mighty team finalising finer details in the construction of the Villa. It is now a complete structure with only the roof to go on to complete the actual shell. The electrical cables are all in place and phones and satellite ones too. The view from upstairs (the living area and open plan kitchen) is breathtaking and yes you can even see the Lycian Rock tombs that are carved into the cliff face. We can now visualise what it is all going to look like in June. It’s been a manic week of decision making about fixtures and furnishings and the shape of the pool which has to be just right for Alastair doing his racing turns. It won’t surprise you that we have spent lots of time with the joiner, the electrician, the ironsmith as well as fleeing around buying electrical domesticals and chairs and tables and curtains and sofas galore.
We’ve still had time to socialise with the locals and expats though and take lots of cycle rides and a moped ride to the lovely Itzuzu beach. Over the next few months we are looking forward to receiving more up-to-date photo’s of Villa Meliha so we can see the lovely ironmongery and natural stonework going up and the garden developing as well as all the hand-made cupboards and furnishings installed. And we’ll be scratching our heads and wondering how we are going pay for it all!
How it all began 14th December 2006
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The story so far…
We all went out to Dalyan for a week’s holiday in late August as a result of enthusiastic reports by friends. We stayed in a lovely Villa on the outskirts of the town.
Straight away we thought that the place was rather special. Where else can you find mountains, a massive inland lake from which a large river skirts the mountains and then runs down through massive reed beds to a beautiful beach and thence the sea. All less than a few miles apart from each other. And all so verdant. The wild life was abundant. We saw turtles, storks and kingfishers and an eagle. There is a load of history with a Roman amphitheatre, town and a ruined port and Lyceum tombs cut into the rock face. All that and beautiful sunny weather.
We were very taken with the whole ambience. Anyway on the third day we asked a local firm Oruc if we could see some villas. Their villas were of high quality and all individual. We were duly shown some but none seemed quite right. Then we asked if there was any land for building and were shown a lemon grove about a mile out of town. It was very special. All on its own with 360 degree open sky looking west towards the Lyceum rock tombs.
On our last day we asked to see it again and were taken out there by Cumali one of the directors at Oruc. If anything it looked even more desirable. Well talk about a rush of blood to the head and a maxed out credit card on the shake of a hand! We then sent out a large sum of money to Turkey. Trusting or what?
Now in November we have approved the architect’s plans for a “four bedroom ground floor and open plan first floor villa” and the bulldozers have moved onto the site. The Villa Meliha is to be completed by May! We are going out on an inspection trip in February 07 and again in June with a holiday booked for July. The Villa will be open for bookings from late July, August onwards. This year there will be special rates for the brave. Here is a plan of the Villa with an artists impression and a couple of pictures to show progress.
Other useful stuff is that the nearest airport Dalaman is 3 1/2 hours flight time from Bristol or Birmingham airport. It had a brand new international terminal and is, in turn, only 35 minutes away from Dalyan. Oruc organise all transport to and from the Villa.
So is it going to be fabulous success or have we overdone the gullible tourist bit? Updates will be forthcoming.