When you want to discover the local culture or how the locals live, work or eat, the first thing that you need to do when you live in a foreign country is to meet the locals, find their stories, see how people act or behave in specific circumstances. What I enjoyed about local culture while living and working in Antalya was the warm respect and heart of the simple people, locals living and working their whole life in the same place.
I will give you some tips about how you can experience the simple life and what you can do when you spend a holiday in Antalya and you don’t want to align yourself with the mass market or simply you don’t want to buy a trip and you want to discover walking, the surroundings.
1. Experience the traditional köy kahvaltısı (village breakfast)
The villages outside Antalya are in a big contrast with the luxurious resorts and all inclusive packages where Romanians and all other nationalities around the world pay thousands of euros for a holiday. Here life runs smoothly and quietly, far away from luxury. One of these villages is Çakırlar.
For a few hours, you get to know the quietness of the area, and the small places decorated everywhere with peaceful vegetation invite you to take a seat to one of the local traditional restaurants, where you don’t specifically eat to a table. Pasa Kir BAHCESI is one of the small traditional restaurants in Çakırlar.
What it is so specific here? Serving breakfast outside, first of all, surrounded by ducks, birds, palm trees and exotic plants. That’s one of the things. Of course, they have wood tables as any restaurant that has a garden, but the specific of the place is to eat laying down on many pillows and mattresses, on small tables where a full breakfast means everything that you can eat.
Any restaurant in Çakırlar serves up the traditional köy kahvaltısı (village breakfast) that will pretty much keep you full for the rest of the day. Cheeses, olives, marmalades, fresh tomatoes and peppers or gözleme (pan fried thin dough with various fillings) are served in a rustic village garden. You should definitely try Menemen – a traditional Turkish dish, which includes eggs, onion, tomato, green peppers, and spices such as ground black pepper, ground red pepper, salt and oregano.
Well, and after all these goodies that you can spend a few hours to eat together with a group of friends, you can lay down on those small mattresses and feel the warm summer sun surrounded by the sound of birds, water and ducks. That’s all you need to charge your batteries, trust me. 🙂 Turkish culture surprises you at every step. And a breakfast like this is closing only with a Turkish coffee or Turkish tea, your choice.
You get to Çakırlar by bus (asking the locals about bus number), driving yourself if you rent a car or with your own car if you went in your holiday by car.
2. Take a walking tour in SIDE old town
After a traditional breakfast, a short walk to discover local flavors will make you enjoy the towns on the Mediterranean coast. I recommend you to rent a car, you will visit many places on the list in just one day.
One of the best places to go to the beach, get to know the local history and also have a walk through the local flavors is SIDE. The center of the town looks lovely and there is a mixture between old and new.
The small alleys will guide you to the center of the town and from one step to the other you will stop to admire the local crafts sold by merchants. The souvenir shops have everything: from local traditional Turkish delights, to Lokum, traditional clothes or flavors. A world full of smells and tastes.
If you follow the main road, after the shops you will get to the old cliff and Apollo temple, a beautiful walking area where you can admire the view, stay for a couple of hours to the beach, discover the history of the place or simply admiring the ruins of the old town.
I hope I convinced you to discover a little bit the local culture if you want a ride all by yourself in Antalya. And if you want to finish a long day trip, here is what you can do in the evening.
3. Admire ALANYA by night, from the TOP
You will need at least half of your day to visit Alanya Castle, no matter if you go to Alanya by car or by public transport. You won’t have enough time to spend for visiting the castle in just one evening, so if you are by car, drive away from SIDE to Alanya and relax admiring the view of the town from the top. The locals have built right on the top of the castle small traditional wood tables that look like rustic restaurants with a view.
A trip on your own will end with this beautiful view of Alanya Kalesi (Alanya Castle) and Alanya town from the top. The locals serve traditional Turkish wine, while admiring this beautiful view. These are just a few tips on how you can discover the traditional culture on your own, tasting in the same time the local dishes and drinks.
Iyi Akșamlar as Turkish people say when they meet up or in other words, I wish you a beautiful evening, till next time. 🙂