An hour’s drive out of Antalya lies a small village next to the sea called Cirali. After sunbathing in the early afternoon sun and a refreshing swim we sat in the shade with a cold beer wondering where in this small village we would eat dinner. We asked at the pensyion where he could recommend eating. “What do you like?” he replied, I said fish, Jimi said Kofte. “OK come back at 7pm and it will be ready”.
He then set off in his little boat along the coast with us wondering why he left in such a hurry. 7pm arrives and we apprehensively approached the cushioned area at the front of the Pension. (It was out of season so not set up for a restaurant.) To our great surprise Cemil laid out a wonder of treats before us. Meze to start with Babaganoush style dip, fresh Turkish warm breads, a tatzijki sort dip and fresh rough looking pitted olives. The main was just as I asked, freshly caught fish to order just hours old and home-made sizzling koftas with a delicious fresh mouthwatering local salad. We ate our feast to the sun setting, looking out to the sea and delightful Turkish music playing in the background. We were offered cold beers or Raki and water (a traditional Turkish combo). I would never have imagined that a small pension in the middle of nowhere could have produced us such a wonderful meal in such a picturesque and idyllic setting. I would recommend Cemils Pension in Cirali as a relaxed and beautiful place to eat a delicious and memorable meal.
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Cirali is a picture perfect place to holiday - with stunning scenery, scrumptious food to suit all tastes, the best water I've swum in the Med. Almost want to keep it to myself, but that would be selfish.
The sort of holiday to suit all sorts of people. Lots of activities, whether you want to snorkel off a yacht, visit the fire breathing mountain at night or wander the beachside ruin complex at Olimpos by day.
A great range of accomodation too - we stayed in three places - the family friendly Hotel Canada with welcome pool, the more romantic cabins of Arcadia with private hammocks for all in orange groves on the beach serving breakfast any time you want. All pensions seem to offer bikes free to guests so you can cycle around the very very quiet roads stopping off for a fresh pomegranate juice from a roadside stall or some baklava or cakes from the bakery.
Food is delicious wherever you eat - fish, kebabs, Turkish pizza, amazing flatbreads and mezze. Places range from a string of bars and restaurants on the beach, to some more sheltered ones with cushioned seating in the village. And everyone should eat cheaply and very well at Lemon Restaurant or in a slightly more upmarket fashion at Oldeander Restaurant which also has some lovely pension rooms.
All in all I couldn't imagine a better spot to kick back and relax this summer.
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