13 independent reviews for Cirali villa vacation in Turkey4 star rating

These full and frank independent reviews are from travelers who have booked directly through responsibletravel.com. They are not edited by us or any of the companies we work with. Find the real story, from real travelers below.

Holly Roberts review 3 Jan 20144 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The beautiful and serene location. Perfect for relaxing all week long!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


It's a really long way from the airport, so factor in the cab cost to your
booking. Our host made arranging transport very easy, it was much appreciated.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, apart from the long taxi journey in the car. The owner of our accommodation
was obviously very respectful of the environment. It was great to see recycling
for all our waste - including compost!

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Really lovely, the accommodation was brilliant. It would have been amazing if the
weather was better... but not so bad considering it was the end of November!

Beth Taplin review 10 Sep 20135 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


It is hard to pick a single highlight. The spikes in the experience (like
seeing baby turtles emerging from their nests and struggling down to the water,
or sitting quietly & alone with our daughters on a cool beach with the sun
coming up watching an adult turtle lay a very late nest of eggs, or toasting
marshmallows on the Chimera's breath as the sun sets, or wandering through the
majestically broken ruins of Olimpos) tend to leap out first. But really, it
was the relaxed, welcoming, helpful, family-feeling and family-friendly,
courteous, fun and unflappable time with Serpil, Kudret and the team at Akdeniz
Bahcesi that enabled all of the rest of it, and which gave us the solid base to
build on.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


A short stay would be lovely, but if you really want to relax, plan for a longer
time and give yourself the luxury of not having to try and cram masses in - just
enjoy doing some crafting, reading in the hammock, eating some lovely home-cooked meals, lounging on the beach and swimming in the beautifully warm sea.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Definitely. Commitment to conservation, local livelihoods, and the environment
was clear all around. From the segmented waste bins & recycling, to the local
food, to the active support and volunteering in the turtle conservation (which
brought with it a wealth of knowledge from Kudret for the guests, and advice on
how best to responsibly enjoy or support the turtle hatching), and on to the
clear participation in the local community development, and the competing
pressures of traditional lifestyles, sensitive tourism development, and local
agriculture.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Wonderful. I'd have no hesitation in recommending it to anybody. Its a
beautiful part of the world, full of astounding wonders, and accommodation is
the best way to enjoy all of them - we looked in to some other accomodations
when getting snacks or drinks out, and none of them can compare with the space,
the safety for children running free in the orchards, the quality of the food,
the serenity, and the peaceful seclusion - but still the calm and virtually empty beach is only a two minute walk away.

chitra nagarajaiah review 21 Apr 20135 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


It's not many places you go to and it feels like home. This accommodation is one of them. We had 3 children under 6 and they loved every bit of the stay. We all were made to feel so welcome and Serpil and her family are so warm and lovely. The orange blossom fragrance, the walks to the beach and ruins and the home cooked meals - lots of special memories!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Can get chilly in the evenings in April- pack a jumper.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes- the food was locally sourced and organic ( and yummy!) . All the attractions are within walking distance.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent - we will be returning (on children's insistence as well!) .Thank you Serpil, Kudret and the whole family:)

Melanie Steele review 9 Aug 20134 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The mpst memorable is the beautiful and sometimes dramatic landscape and ruins of this part of Turkey-too many to mention individually; the most exciting was seeing two baby turtles (rescued from a nest) and an adult turtle swimming
in the sea alongside the boat we were in.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Make sure you take some Turkish lire to pay the tax on arrival at Antalya Airport. Otherwise, be prepared for the heat in summer and talk to people if you meet them. Turkey is fascinating, and undergoing much change at the moment. Don't
worry about paying for things when you speak no Turkish-shopkeepers are extremely courteous and helpful, despite the language barrier (and many speak a little English).

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


In our first accommodation (Akdeniz Bahcesi) we were hosted by a Turkish mother and her adult son, and apart from running the vacation houses they manage a fruit orchard which is a traditional use of land in that area. They are farming organically too, so obviously this minimises impact.
We ate at the place quite a lot ie did not drive anywhere, and did things nearby (not needing to go further).
In our second accommodation (Demre) we were brought bread every day, so we did not have to get in the car. We spent all our money in Turkish run shops etc (not difficult as nearly everything was run by locals!)We did not have, and did not need, a swimming pool as the sea swimming was so lovely-which must be good for the environment.
Conservation-personally we wondered if, when we stayed at Cirali, some thought should be given to asking for a small donation to keep the turtle conservation work going as apparently state funding has been withdrawn.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


I did not know Turkey at all, and my husband had not visited for twenty plus years. It was wonderful to see so many beautiful places literally steeped in history, and to swim on near perfect beaches in a sea full of fish to look at. The food was delicious (though you do need to enjoy fruit and vegetables) and the culture fascinating (with lots to think about...) Our hosts (and fellow guests) at Cirali took time to talk to us about Turkey and lots of other things, which added a special personal dimension to our stay. We felt relieved to visit an area in which there was no mass tourism (apart from the St Nicholas shrine at Demre)-hope it
stays that way.

Deborah Sigsgaard Fruchter review 1 Sep 20124 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The highlight of our vacation was the spacious and very comfortable two bedroom traditional stone house where we stayed with its elegant and tasteful decor. The house is set in a beautiful garden with all kinds of citrus and fruit trees and an array of chickens, chicks and cockerels running about freely to our two year old sonís delight. He was equally enchanted with the toys, the play area and paddling pool. Serpil and her son Kudret take very good care of their hosts and Serpilís cooking is excellent. We dined their almost every night! Also great is the short walk to the lovely peaceful beach set in a very picturesque bay.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


This is an ideal vacation for families with babies, toddlers or small children as the garden is secure, there are high chairs, beds and toys for kids of all ages. Couples and individuals looking for a peaceful and relaxing vacation may also enjoy this location. You can rent bicycles for 10 Turkish Lira a day (be sure to negotiate as they will try and increase the price for tourists) to see the local environs: Olympus ruins, the Chimearas in the mountains nearby. If you wish to do more sightseeing renting a car would be a good option.

We were a little disappointed with the quality of the restaurants in the local village of Cirali. The pizza restaurant and the fish restaurant Azzur on the beachfront offered good quality and good service. We also bought good borek and excellent carrot cake in the local patisserie. However, Serpil's cooking is by far the best which is why we often opted for dinner in the garden!

We recommend the trip to the food market in a nearby town. It was very interesting to see a Turkish market and visit a working town. Food here was much better and cheaper. Serpil kindly organised this for us.

We went on this vacation in August, it was very hot but we enjoyed getting up early watching the sunrise on the beach, seeing the baby turtles hatching and later being lizards in the sun and resting during the hottest hours.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


All waste is sorted in different bins in our house and everywhere on the site. We purchased all our food locally. Serpil purchases her produce locally, in the village or neighbouring town. The family runs an organic fruit and vegetable business and as much as possible their own produce is used for the guests. We did not need to use a car to get around locally.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent! It was wonderful place to relax, rest and read. We enjoyed not having to cook. Serpil and Kudret were fantastic hosts, ready to help with everything. They regularly cleaned the house we were staying in and offered us clean sheets and towels. They are very friendly, authentic and lovely people, and it made such a difference to us to have a personalised and warm welcome and stay. They were also very attentive to our 2 year old son's needs which was very touching.

Karan Chadha review 17 Aug 20124 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Laying in my hammock in the gardens. It was a great place to stay. The accommodation was superb. It was all very very pleasant. We had cherry schnapps made from dark cherries picked from the garden. Lemonade made with fresh lemons from the tree. The food was very good. A lovely location.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


The stone house is spacious enough for a family of 5. This place is also a great location for friends/couples looking for a quiet laid back place to chill.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


9/10, I would have given a 10 save for the cockerels who kept me awake through the night (the only downside of having fresh eggs in the morning).

Wendy Alveranga review 29 Jun 20124 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The accomodation is and the gardens its which it's situated is beautiful, but it
is the wonderful Serpin (I hope that's how you spell it) that makes this place so
special.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


The area is very quiet and geared up specifically for tourists, so pretty pricey
compared to other places in Turkey. The food on offer is pretty poor and not a
good representation of Turkish food so it's worth making the trip to one of the
bigger towns to pick up food to cook in your accomodation.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


You are advised to recycle bottles, plastic etc. Most of the food served in the
accomodation's small restaurant is from local markets, with all the eggs and
fruit from right there at the orchard, which is pretty lovely. The children can
even help out collecting the eggs. Although be warned, the roosters are pretty
noisy first thing in the morning!

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


I wouldn't choose Cirali again however I would definitely, definitely recommend
this accomodation to any families who plan on staying there. It's the first
vacation my husband and I have found time to relax together knowing our toddler
was safe to run around the garden.

Anna Lock review 19 Apr 20124 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The delight on our 2 children's faces (aged 4 & 6) every morning when they rushed out to play with the little dogs, chase chickens and pick oranges from the trees in the garden.
Climbing through Roman ruins in the morning, spending the afternoon building stone castles on the local beach before dashing into the sea for a swim.
Our six year old also decided to start eating aubergine, spinach, peppers, tomatoes, feta.....miracles will never cease.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Hiring bikes locally was a great way to get around on little trips. It's also easy to hire a car for the day to visit a local cove with spectacular Roman ruins.
Eating in the evenings at the house is a really good option as Serpil is a brilliant cook and means that babysitting isn't a problem. Although the local fish restaurants are also fabulous.
Spring was a lovely time to go, not too hot, really peaceful and beautiful flowers.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Our breakfast were made up of home made marmalades and pomegranate conserves, freshly squeezed orange juice with locally made bread, cheese and olives, as well as eggs from the house's hens were delicious as well as exceedingly low food miles!
Having so much close by meant that for our 10 day vacation we only drove for one day.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


It was a really lovely a great place to kick back for 10 days and relax. Our hosts were really hospitable, thoughtful and there when we needed them but also gave us plenty of privacy.

Karen Hardman review 23 Sep 20115 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


We had many fabulous experiences, but there is one that stands out above all the rest - I will never forget the rare opportunity we had to see the Loggerhead Sea Turtle hatchlings making their way down the beach at dawn after emerging from their nests.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Spend as much time talking to Serpil and Kudret as you can. They are a wealth of information on the local area, local specialities, Turkey generally, and their own organic orchard. Don't miss the chance to see Serpil's weaving studio, either. She is very talented and happy to show you her work. Serpil is also a wonderful cook, though we only ate the treats that she brought to our house some afternoons - we never ate at the property in the evenings. I think dinner at the accommodation is likely to be very good, and is something we will definitely indulge in if we stay there again (which I really hope we do).

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Broadly speaking, yes. This accommodation is one of the establishments that impact least on the delicate Cirali environment. It is run as an organic establishment, the owners take recycling and minimising energy usage seriously, the property is well back from the beach, has no loud music of any kind and it is a small family run establishment. Sadly any increase in tourism to this area carries risk to the environment, however.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


This is genuinely the best vacation I have ever had. We were made so welcome, our children could play safely in a relaxed environment, we were only 50m from a stunning beach - yet there were plenty of more active pursuits just a short drive away in the car if we wanted them. Cirali isn't yet spoiled by tourism, and is mainly visited by family groups and independent travelers. (Though Olympos at the other end of the beach is a different story...)

The accommodation was just perfect for us Ė it was of a very high standard and our hosts couldn't do enough to make us comfortable. I was very sad to come home!

Maria Kharchenko review 30 Aug 20115 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The unspoiled environment, nature beauty, warm transparent sea and friendly
hosts. All-natural, as if we went back to some olden times on the Mediterranean
seashore.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Prepare for retreat from globalisation with all its TVs etc and for enjoying
natural food in a hidden place amidst ancient Lycian landscape.May be a bit too
hot in August, but accomodation compensates it. Children would love it.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


We strongly hope so.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent. Much tribute should also be paid to wonderful hospitality extended to
us by the hosts. Probably one of the best value for money we have ever got for a
seaside vacation.

Andrew Giles review 14 Aug 20115 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Cirali is a good choice for those wishing to stay on the Turkish Mediterranean coast away from the large hotel complexes. We have just returned from 8 days at this accommodation with our 3 children (12 year old twins and a 10 year old), where we stayed in the largest of 3 houses, set in a beautiful garden filled with fruit trees and natural life. The house is just a few minutesí walk from the quietest end of a lovely beach, which is great for swimming and snorkeling.

The beach is surrounded by mountains with no high rise buildings in sight and no hassle either. Probably one of the most special moments was getting up to see the newly hatched baby turtles in their first early morning scramble to the sea. A night time trip to the eternal flames at Chimaera was also great as were the ancient ruins of Olympos at the far end of the beach.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


August is pretty hot and it important to realize that early morning and late afternoon/evening are the best times to go out and about. In the middle of the day we mostly liked to relax in the garden or sit on our large verandah. Serpil is a great cook and it is certainly worth trying her delicious home cooked meals as well as sampling the village restaurants (of which Simge was our favourite).

Donít forget to bring a torch as the nights are dark (it was fun for us all walking back from the village by starlight!) Also bring face goggles as the sea is wonderfully clear for underwater swimming.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Our gracious hosts Serpil, Ekrem and Kudret are fully committed to organic methods in cultivating their fruit and Serpil gave us a fascinating tour of the garden pointing out all the many varieties of fruits and other trees. The garden is a haven for natural wildlife and our children had fun exploring. There are also many free roaming chickens and whilst we were there a new litter of chicks were born (very cute).

Stone House where we stayed is simply but stylishly furnished with mainly locally produced textiles. Our youngest daughter enjoyed art and craft type activities in the garden using some local stones etc. We ate local food and used local businesses for transfer from the airport at Antalya (90 minute drive). Our waste was separated for recycling.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Overall it was a lovely vacation with a nice balance of relaxation and adventure. We combined the stay with a few days in Istanbul which made a good contrast. The whole family enjoyed the trip. Definitely recommended.

Claire Fradley review 27 May 20114 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Walking along the beach to visit the nearby ancient city of Olympos; such a beautiful peaceful cove full of history, turtles and tortoises! The garden at the acommodation is a lovely place to relax and think.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


An excellent place to stay, especially with children. Such a lovely garden for them to play in, so many things to explore... The delicious food prepared by Serpil is reason enough to visit!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes. We used a small local operator for our transfers and excursions, ate locally grown food and composted and recycled our waste.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent! We thoroughly enjoyed Serpil and her family's hospitality, the relaxing and welcoming environment that they have created, and the warmth of the Turkish people. Two weeks would've been preferable to one!

Rob Schaerlaeckens review 13 May 20105 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


We travel often to al kind of places all around the world. Varying from small islands to larger cities. We never experienced such a more intimate (family) and relaxing vacation as the one in Cirali at this house. Serpil and Ekran have created a truly authentic, genuine, natural and creative spirit in and around the house. Slowly but surely we all surrendered to this and ended up in a continuous state of relaxation doing whatever we wanted to do at any time: hiking, swimming, playing, reading, talking, listening etc.

As days passed by we let ourselves more and more being surprised and guided by what the day would bring. Both children (4 and 6 years) never felt bored (playing in the garden, painting, playing with the available toys, looking at the chickens or searching for land turtles etc). Cirali itself is a fantastic preserved (at this time of the year) place to be with deserted beaches, no noise, great see to swim and to snorkel. For us without any doubt the best (short) vacation we ever had. by the way the meals prepared by Serpil and Ekran are much better and far more authentic then all the restaurants we have visited in Cirali.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Hand yourself over to Serpil/Ekran (with their house, fantastic garden with tree's, flowers, birds, fruits and chickens) and Cirali (with the great beach, old cities and ruins). The house and surrounding offer everything a family needs. It's clean, informal, warm and everything you need is there. fruits and fresh orange's are stowed in your fridge for breakfast. Bread can be bought in markets 5-10" from the house. We very much appreciated the freedom of making your own breakfast, making up your own bed and which helps us to feel at home whilst staying in another place.

Be sensitive to the temperature as this can become pretty high in July and August. We stayed the first 10 days of may and the weather was just really great. We also think it's a great place for young families.


3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


The owners have a sincere spirit and act with integrity to ensure the environment is taking care of. They run their fruit garden in a ecological way (since 196 already!) and the jams they provide are just fantastic. I saw one of the owners
on a afternoon walking on he beach with a bag picking up plastics and other dirt.

They are working closely with the local community. One day a class of schoolchildren came enjoying a tour, workshop and some plays in the garden.

Waste was separated, water came from a well, left overs where eaten by the chickens or used as compost.

Absolutely left with a feeling that we lived in the best harmony possible with nature.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


As written above, we take every year 2 short breaks (1 week) and we do this many many years. This vacation was the best ever.

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Unedited reviews from other travelers

5 stars
I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
4 stars
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
3 stars
Very enjoyable
2 stars
It was OK
1 star
A bit disappointing really
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