Imagine a shabby yet chic cabin resort. And then imagine life in The Lord of the Flies — in the first part of the William Golding classic, that is, before things go horribly wrong. That’s the vibe guests get at the eclectic, colorful — and outrageously affordable — Kadir Yörük Top Tree House.
Kadir’s is set stunningly on a hill above a white sand beach in Olympos, Turkey. Do not confuse the location with Mount Olympus, which is located in Greece (Turkey’s rival). This Olympos is an hour’s drive west along the Mediterranean from the beach-oriented tourist center of Antalya.
The Olympos area is rich in ancient ruins to explore. There are natural wonders to behold, most prominent among them being the eternal fires of Yanartaş†. There are a plethora of places to scuba dive, mountain bike, fish, rock climb and, of course, lounge on a beach. And yet, even with all that, it is worth visiting Olympos for no other reason than the opportunity to experience Kadir’s.
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The community spirit that envelops the place is what really makes Kadir’s so special. Guests don’t spend their waking hours in their rooms. They socialize in the many hang-out areas and in the two bars on the premises. They chat around the nightly community bonfire and participate in impromptu music jam sessions. Spot Cool Stuff once spent an afternoon at Kadir’s dividing our time between a raucous debate about existentialism (over beers) and playing pickup volleyball games (over beers). The crowd skews young but there’s plenty of grey hair among the guests too. Solo travelers who arrive at Kadir’s tend not to find themselves alone for long.
All that social activity takes place in and among treehouses, cabins, decks and open structures built almost entirely of wood — though not necessarily by a master carpenter. Some floorboards have gaps between them. Some of the stairs are slanted. It all’s part of the charm.
Kadir’s offers a variety of accommodations, including a campground and bungalows (both air-conditioned and not). For a true Kadir’s experience we suggest a stay in one of the treehouses.
No matter what type of accommodations you choose you’ll get a bargain — nightly per person rates range from US$12 (dorm bed, low season) to $32 (a/c bungalow, high season), including quite a good buffet breakfast and dinner!
One note of warning: Kadir’s is very much the sort of place travelers end up staying for much longer than planned. For that eventuality, plan extra time in your itinerary. And hope that the vibe that this idyllic treehouse paradise never turns into one like the second half of The Lord of the Flies.
† At Yanartaş the flames come up from the ground, fueled by methane emissions (much like those our college room mate used to emit). Visit this area at night and it’s easy to see why the fires would spawn so many ancient myths.