Treehouse Living on the Med: Olympos, Turkey
Thanks to a ban on concrete, the only development encroaching on this remote and ancient part of the Lycian Coast is a dozen or so ramshackle treehouse lodges and cabin-style guesthouses, all made of wood. And even those are set back a few hundred yards, tucked into the arid scrub and fruit trees.
There's so little development in Olympos that you rely on your guesthouse for pretty much everything, from meals to guides. A sense of camaraderie develops among your treehouse neighbors as you eat, drink, and hike with one another. But the thing to do in Olympos is venture beyond your own compound for a guesthouse crawl, to mingle with the backpackers at makeshift bars who come to sleep cheap, drink raki, and go bohemian. Spots like Turkmen and Bayrams liven up with DJs and drum circles, whereas the Saban guesthouse is a quiet retreat where meals are the entertainment: fresh herbs, pomegranates, mulberries, and plums are grown right on the property, picked fresh, and cooked into rich, imaginative casseroles and pastas.
Wherever you stay, all roads lead to Olympos beach, a pebbly half-moon surrounded by jutting rock and ancient Roman ruins. It all sits within a national park, so mountain biking, rock climbing, and rafting are rapidly developing in the area. But the most popular adventure is a night hike up to the Chimaera, a series of cracks along the flanks of Mount Olympos that shoot fire a few feet into the air.
More information: Fly to Antalya, Turkey. Drive one-and-a-half hours south. The Saban Tree Houses, located in Beydaglari National Park, feature views of the Taurus Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. Bungalows, treehouse-like cabins, and dormitory-style lodges are available at various rates, all under $30 per night (depending on the season). Local guidebooks describe the food served at Saban guesthouse as some of the best in Turkey.
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