What and Where Is Kabak?
Kabak is a tiny village at the very end of the dolmus (local minibus) line (and the end of the road) from Fethiye, the main resort town of Mugla Province on Turkey's Western Mediterranean. Village is actually a slight exaggeration - it consists of a shop ("Denis Market") and a restaurant (fittingly called "The End of the Road Cafe") overlooking a valley and various "camps" spread out across the side and bottom of the valley, which ends in a white sand beach. Strictly speaking, the land at the bottom of the valley (by the beach) is under a protection order so all structures there are supposedly temporary, with the result that accommodation is generally in tents, although most camps allow you to bring your own as well. Most camps are open between May or June and early October and the sea is warm enough to swim in for this entire period. Hiking is most pleasant after September, although it can even be uncomfortably hot outside of the shade in October.
Activities in Kabak: When I asked Omer, my otherwise courteous landlord in Fethiye, to reserve a cabin for me for 3 nights at Kabak's Olive Garden he responded that "It's just a beach and some mountains, what could you possibly want to spend more than a day doing there?" This is a slight exaggeration: the mountains include several enjoyable hiking trails of varying degrees of difficulty, you can take boat trips from the beach to the two nearest bays, and there are also yoga and holistic healing classes by the beach at the Shanti Garden Camp. Their website also contains a useful list of activities, although Oludeniz is much further away than the 20 minutes they advertise!
Getting to Kabak: By far the easiest way to get to Kabak is by dolmus from Fethiye – the dolmuses leave from the minibus station and pass the main otogar (main bus station). At the moment, these buses run at 7 am, 11 am, and 5 pm from Fethiye, with additional departures at 1 pm and 3 pm in the summer, although these timetables tend to be subject to variation. You can also drive to Kabak along the coastal road, which winds around mountainsides and sometimes only has one working lane (total, not in each direction!) If you’re driving, keep in mind that there’s no parking at most of the camps in the bottom of the valley. You could also walk the Lycian Way from Fethiye or Faralya, although it’s a more enjoyable walk coming from Kabak (or Alinca).
Practicalities: As small as Kabak is, bear in mind that it has two parts. Deniz Market, The End of the Road Café, The Olive Garden (which has both a restaurant and cabins) and Mama’s Restaurant (which also has rooms) are at the top of the Kabak Valley. The other camps are at the bottom of the Kabak Valley. To get between them you can either take the shortcut that goes from behind Mama’s Restaurant and the Olive Garden (about 10 minutes down and 20 minutes up) or the one-way private road (foot only) which takes two to three times as long (and has very little shade). While the beach is obviously at the bottom of the Valley, Deniz Market is at the top of the Valley. All the camps offer inexpensive half-board and most offer rather more expensive lunches. As you might expect, prices at Deniz Market for non-locally produced items, such as bottled water, are much higher than in Fethiye. Locally produced bread, cheese, butter, jam, honey, fruit, and olive oil are quite inexpensive, however, which is handy if you'd like to take a picnic.