I feel truly lucky to not only live in one of the world’s most beautiful places in the world but also to live in a neighborhood with so many wonderful people. Lucky for us, our landlords, Samet and Deniz, have become our dear friends and we enjoy spending time with them often for afternoon drinks or walking the city and trying out different restaurants.
Cennet Koyu Beach
Deniz and I have talked many times over dinner about places we want to travel to throughout Turkey. So, one afternoon Deniz sent me a message asking if we would like to join them the following day for a picnic at a beach, not far from Antalya, called Cennet Koyu Plaji (Paradise Bay Beach). We planned to eat a late breakfast in Kemer, enjoy the beach, then eat an early dinner at one of her childhood favorite spots.
With our beach towels, snorkel gear, and umbrella packed in the car we all piled in for a day of relaxation at the beach.
Breakfast at Kemer Pastanesi
The first stop, Kemer Pastanesi, for a traditional Turkish breakfast. One thing I love about Turkey is their breakfast. Kemer Pastanesi has been in business since 1952 and is known for its decorative birthday cakes. The waitress brought cheese water borek (made by using phyllo dough and cheese, first it is boiled and then baked), cucumbers, tomatoes, sausage, dried apricots, watermelon, bread, eggs, olives, honey, cheeses, and various jams. We had so many different dishes it covered our entire table. I must say this has been one of the best Turkish breakfasts I have eaten since moving here.
Cennet Koyu Beach
With our bellies full, we jumped back in the car and continued down the road to Cennet Koyu Plaji. This small beach park is a bit tricky to find as it has a narrow entrance and it is not very well marked. However, thanks to Google Maps, we were able to find it. We found a shady spot to park and unpacked our things and began our day at the beach!
Having fun at the beach!
The water’s edge is rocky, so you would most definitely need your water shoes, but once out in the water, the bottom is sandy, and the water turns turquoise blue. We spotted small schools of fish along the rocks and were also able to dive down to collect seashells. Yachts and other tour boats from Kemer were anchored in this lagoon due to the calm waters and are a great place for their customers to take a dip or snorkel.
Cennet Koyu Beach
Today was extremely hot, reaching 100F, so we spent a lot of time jumping in the water to keep cool. Deniz and I swam out to the yachts and back a few times to get our exercise in for the day. Omar spent his time snorkeling and Samet enjoyed a good book. Being outdoors at the beach with good friends was a great way to spend our day.
After a full day of being in the sun and swimming, it was time for Deniz to guide us to one of her childhood favorite restaurants, Kayalar Restaurant. This roadside restaurant doesn’t look like much from the outside, but you could tell that many of the locals are regular customers here. Once inside, the restaurant, the hostess led us to a table on the terrace overlooking the freshwater spring below. It felt like we were in a treehouse. We were surrounded by tall trees and the sounds of water springs trickling below.
Deniz made the recommendation to order some of her favorite dishes which were the fresh grilled trout and the sac kavurma (this dish is similar to stew but using lamb). We started with a fresh salad made of cucumber, tomato, onion, pepper, and fresh herbs, hot flatbread, homemade butter, cheese, and yogurt. The meal was delicious, and the atmosphere was very relaxing after a day at the beach!
Enjoying a good book!
We had a wonderful day with our fabulous friends Samet and Deniz and we are looking forward to more road trips with them. We appreciate their friendship and kindness as they have been so generous to us with their time and helped us extensively with our move to Antalya and settling in our home.
Enjoy your travels! Please read my blogs about other exciting places around the world at Traveling Lens Photography.
Inshallah (God willing!)