Cirali, Turkey: A cabin in the woods

Cirali, Turkey: A cabin in the woods

I’ve moved on to Cirali, Turkey, where I’m staying in a lovely cabin in the woods.

Cirali, Turkey
My office this afternoon. As you can see, I’m doing actual work, my coffee cup is empty, and I can’t reach my cat/secretary for snuggling. Such hardship.

I am traveling solo again. Antalya — at least the part we were in — reminded me of Florida. Lots of high-rise concrete buildings, no charm. Now I’m in Cirali (pronounced CHEER-uh-lee), in a cabin in the woods. Cirali is a wild and romantic village on the beach, full of hippie-energy. Organic food, fresh herbs, yoga retreats and Thai massage abound. It reminds me of the Sacred Valley in Peru, and I love it.

Cirali, Turkey
My delicious little cabin. I have a cozy bed, a place to hang clothes, and an outdoor dining area. There’s a hot shower & two toilets (flush toilet & Turkish toilet) next door.

My landlady built my cabin. Diana is a stunningly beautiful Greek-German woman who has lived alone in the woods here for several years. She moved to this property when there was nothing on it at all, and has built up cabins out of things like discarded doors. There’s even a yurt (Oriental tent). The property, like the woman, is rugged, wild, full of spirit, and totally connected to nature.  I’ve only been here one night, but I am absolutely in love with it.

Cirali Turkey
Diana’s friend Yasha cooks the most delicious meals and serves them to us at this outdoor table.
The property is home to three cats (who have a dramatic love triangle), a dozen or so chickens, and two ducks. The cats are quite friendly, especially this beautiful green-eyed girl.
Twice a day or so, the chickens lay fresh eggs. There’s lots of squawking and hubbub, and the rooster cheers them on. I think he’s saying: “You go, ladies. Make those eggs. You rock. YEAH!” But maybe he’s doing Lamaze coaching.

I slept so well in my little cabin last night; better than I have in ages. It feels so good to connect with nature again. Today I walked into town. Diana recommended that I stop by the restaurant Merhaba, to see the view.

Cirali Turkey Merhaba Restaurant
I found the restaurant, and the view is glorious. I had a cup of coffee and enjoyed the peek at the beach.
Cirali beach, Turkey
The beach is gorgeous. Tomorrow I’ll bring my suit.
The romantic little town is full of woods and flowers. There are restaurants, cafes, massage spas, and a few tourist shops.


That’s my chicken shish kabob (tavuk sis) smoking under that pide bread. Yum!
A feast! With my journal. Because one of the best things about eating alone is that you don’t have to keep trying to make conversation with someone who doesn’t respond, or sit in silence WISHING you could read or write in your journal. You just do what you want!
If you’re a city kid like me, you might not realize that chickens sit in trees like other birds. In which case, this will look as hilarious to you as it does to me!
Part of Diana’s compound. Look closely and you’ll see the upstairs cabin is made of doors! I’m moving there in a few days when a family arrives to take my cabin.
The yurt. Diana gave me permission to hang out here until the family arrives (their kids will sleep in here, how cool is that?). I used it for my afternoon office when the sun got hot.
My sweet bed. Being inside the mosquito net is like being in a play pen. I sat in there last night drinking beer and Skyping with my daughter. The internet here is lightning fast, I love it!
The outdoor kitchen. I have full kitchen privileges, but so far Diana and Yasha have been feeding me (not part of our deal, they’re just awesome like that).

There are downsides to being in the woods, of course. This morning there was a big spider in the toilet! There are vipers here, I think, and scorpions. Last night I was sure I’d met a badger in the dark. I felt a little foolish when I learned this morning that the neighbor’s black and white dog makes night raids on the trash. But I still love it, and I can’t believe I have the good fortune of spending the month of June in the Cirali area. I move on the 15th to my first volunteer project for, but it’ll be nearby.

Published by Lauren

I'm a nomadic freelance writer, out enjoying the world!


  • Ruth

    June 3, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Sounds like a fantastic place!

  • Lauren

    June 3, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    For people who truly love nature and the woods, it’s a dream. There are lots of little B&Bs (Pansiyons) in Cirali that are less rugged, for those who prefer more comfort and security.

  • Charlotte Desorgher

    June 3, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear you finally split from Craig. But at least you know for sure now. And there are so many adventures to come your way!!!

  • Charlotte Desorgher

    June 3, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Oh and it’s wonderful to see your pictures of Cirali! We loved it there.

  • Lauren

    June 3, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Exactly, there’s a certain peace to it. Some grief still, but peace.

    And you were so right about Cirali. I’m glad I came early!

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