A short, steep and bendy drive off the D-400 will take you up to the sleepy village of Beycik, nestled near in the foothills of Turkey’s Mount Olympus. Here you’ll find the Olympos Mountain Lodge, a spot where many who come to walk the Lycian Way begin their journey.
After negotiating the slightly terrifying winding country roads up to the lodge, avoiding guard dogs and a goat-related traffic jam, we drove through the gated entrance to the Olympos Mountain Lodge, parked up and pushed open its grand wooden doors.
Inside we were greeted by the owners Hakan and Yasmin, who were called in to introduce themselves and take us to our room.
Olympos Mountain Lodge – A Relaxed Retreat
Straight away we were taken in by the lodge’s relaxed vibe – you feel more like visiting friends than hotel guests, and after being shown to our room we were left to our own devices. We weren’t given any info on meal times or amenities etc – something we discovered is the norm in the region. We also found that there was sadly no kettle in the room, another norm in Turkey, and one that made the tea-addicted Brit sad. Still, Hakkan and Yasmin’s small team was always happy to make and bring tea to your room, and in the mornings, I asked them to pop a pot on the table of our balcony, where I would enjoy my morning cuppa looking out over the amazing views down to the sea.
It doesn’t take you long to begin unwinding at the lodge, which I think is added to by the fact it only has six rooms, making it a truly peaceful retreat. Unsurprisingly the rooms are very spacious. Visiting in May, we found the mountains slightly cooler than the coastal villages we stayed in, but however hot or cold it was outside the room temperature stayed the same, which was perfect for me – the person that feels the cold, and for Justin, who’s always runs hot. I also loved the large bed, as it came with two separate duvets, meaning I could wrap myself up without being accused of hogging the blanket!
Thanks to its skylight the spacious bathroom was always bright, and it had the most wonderfully powerful shower, which was bliss. Most of our time however, was spent outside by the pool or exploring the grounds.
Exploring the grounds
The lodge is very secluded, and there’s not a lot to do here apart from head off on walking adventures. Sadly, with my condition the terrain was too steep for me to walk far, but for the more healthy people out there, there’s the option to head off and explore the ruins of Laodikeia for a few hours or even make the 10 hour hike to Mt Olympos and back!
I wasn’t too bothered though, as we’d packed Kindles and board games so whiled away the days reading, swimming and playing games. There were cute little swings and chairs scattered around the grounds, so we would find a new pretty spot to pop ourselves. Lunch would be a picnic in the rocky olive grove below Mt Olympos, then we’d read and snooze until it was time to head back in for dinner.
As the sun begins to lower its fun to watch the goats head down from the mountaintop. Behind the lodge, looking up towards Mt Olympos, is a steep rocky area where some kind of work was taking place. In the evenings it was like a waterfall of goats flowing down the rocky slope, but during the day we would, white-knuckled, watch dumper trucks drive up and down precarious ‘roads’ on the edge of the mountain as they moved the rocks. You had to have some balls to make that drive!
After a day spent relaxing, the evenings were all about food. Yasmin is renowned for her amazing cooking, and every night guests are treated to a truly slap up dining event. Many guests actually return just for her cooking, so that gives you an idea how delicious the food was.
The dining and lounge area is next to the open plan kitchen, and you simply walk on over and pick your table when you’re ready to eat, dinner is usually ready to go from 7.30. If the weather is cool you’ll eat in here – I could picture the open fire roaring in winter, but on the warmer evenings, you can enjoy your meal on the wooden porch. When the sun went in they even gave me a lovely blanket to keep cosy.
On the table will be your menu for the evening, which will include a starter, second course(s), main and dessert. This changes every day and they’ll also cater to special requests, with as many of the ingredients freshly sourced from the lodge’s grounds.
I’m quite a picky eater, but almost everything we were served went down a treat. On the first night we had sea bass, which was perfectly cooked, followed by a local chicken dish the next day, which was served with a tasty mustard-based sauce. I got to try lots of local specialities, including green beans in a tomato sauce and boiled pumpkin with cinnamon, but my highlight was actually the breakfast dishes – fried halloumi and the most tasty omelettes I’ve ever eaten!
We really loved our time at the Olympos Mountain Lodge, it was easy to see why it gets a five star rating on TripAdvisor. Everyone there is so welcoming, and the place is just a lovely spot to escape to. In the evenings, at the end of dinner, Hakan would invite us to join him for a little glass of raki, a local aniseed-based spirit, and would always love to hang around for a chat.
We were actually quite sad to leave as we were so comfortable there and could have easily stayed longer. Still, we had more amazing adventures ahead of us. However, as Hakan waved us off, I could totally understand why so many of their customers are return guests…
Olympos Mountain Lodge – Pros and Cons to consider
I would definitely recommend a stay at the ‘lodge, but as with every hotel, whether it’s right for you depends on your likes and dislikes. With this in mind I wrote a list of pros and cons to consider…
Spacious rooms with beautiful views
The secluded location was bliss, and as there’s only 7 rooms, it often feels like you’ve got the place all to yourself!
Amazing evening meals, freshly made in front of you using locally sourced ingredients
Very welcoming hosts and staff
Wildlife – there’s a cute cat wondering around, and wildlife lovers will love all the creatures you can spot, from mountain goats and frogs through to colourful butterflies and beautiful birds.
Some people may not like the seclusion of the location, as it is remote and there aren’t many places you can reach by foot.
Mosquitoes – during our stay in May there were lots of mosquitoes, so repellent is a must.
Wildlife – watch where you walk. As you’re out in the country you’ll need to be careful for snakes and scorpions. One of the guests found a scorpion in her bin!
You aren’t allowed to bring your own food and drink to the ‘lodge. So, as there is nowhere close to eat, you’re confined to the choices, and prices, they offer.
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