This was our fourth visit to Villa Nova, which offers total seclusion, in the mountains, communing with nature, and fantastic views out to the coast. Every comfort is provided in this rustic villa, by the thoughtful owners, who have filled it with Turkish antiquities and all those little extras, such as a mobile phone, hairdryer, cool box, picnic bag, umbrella (not that we have ever needed it) mosquito machines/tablets, soap powder for the washing machine and a supply of candles, to ensure you have a perfect holiday.
The pool is delightful and I just love to bob around on my lilo reading a book. A swim at night with the bats dipping and diving across the pool, or just being able to gaze up at the stars is just divine. At night on your return from dinner you may even see wild boar in the forest. Often you see tortoises plodding along - just don't run over them!
On a hot day, the large terrace provides a welcome retreat, where you can sit and enjoy the views out to the sea, or listen to The Call to Prayer. You can lie on the lovely settee on the terrace made by a local carpenter, or retreat to the hammock amongst the trees.
Ali & Ulla, the owners of Terra Villas, Villa Nova being one of their four villas, which are equally beautiful, are passionate about respecting the environment and employ locals from the village of Ataköy, who take pride in their work, and will give you a wave as you go by. Both Ali & Ulla are at hand if you need them, or will leave you alone if that is what you choose.
Fresh bread, baked in the village bakery, in a wood burning oven, is delivered by the pool man each morning, (also called Ali) who ensures the pool is meticulously clean, quietly visiting twice a day. Ayisha, full of cheer, will visit each day to clean and change bed linen at regular intervals.
If you can tear yourself away from the villa there are lots of places to visit. The local markets are a must to visit, where you will find an abundance of fruit, vegetables, olive oil and honey, as well as lovely table cloths - there is a book in the Villa with information about places and markets to visit.
We have driven down the Bozborun Penninsula to Selimye and Sogut which are picturesque drives. Take a trip to Mugla and visit the Turkish Baths or go on a Thursday to the market. You can visit Aphrodisia, the only ruin I have ever appreciated, because it is set in a green glade. Alternatively take a drive to Bodrum where you can see Turkey meeting Greece in architecture. Boat trips are available from Akyaka (a 10 minute drive). There are several beaches within a short drive, including the beach on Cleopatra Island. Kite Sailing is available and invigorating to just go and watch - you can see the Kite Sailing from a distance from the villa. If you wish to do serious star gazing, apparently this is the place - my husband loves to go out into the mountains and has even stargazed with the locals despite the language barrier - I tell him he can simply look at me, but to no avail. There are stables at the bottom of the mountain if you wish to go horse riding. A visit to Dalyan is a must, with dinner opposite the Caunos caves and/or a visit to the mud baths. A drive around Lake Köyceğiz, amongst the orange and lemon groves is wonderful and Ali can tell you where to stop off to eat and advise you of typical Turkish delicacies to taste. Take a visit to Marmaris and benefit from Ali’s knowledge of Mamaris, as he is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, intent on changing Marmaris’ image. He can advise you where to go in Marmaris to appreciate its true beauty. We were amazed, because it was not a place we thought we would like. Ali can also arrange a private gullet day cruise from Marmaris.
Nothing is too much trouble for Ali and Ulla in making sure you have a wonderful holiday. On this trip I had a chest infection and retired to bed. Without asking Ayisha arrived to make up a bed for my husband, in the other bedroom. My husband was taken to the chemist for potions!
There are many choices of places to eat locally at reasonable prices. Cinar (meaning Heaven) Restaurant is one of my favourites, with the ducks clucking around your feet and many pools with fish swimming in them. There is another restaurant a little further down the road, where they run around with a wheelbarrow with burning turf in it, to banish the mosquitoes, which seems to work! The fish restaurants in Akyaka are famous and the setting is just lovely – they also serve meat! Be sure to ask Ali where the locals eat.
This year we booked through Exclusive Escapes, so I can't fill in all the optional boxes as they don't apply to this visit. Next year it will be possible to book direct with the owners throughout the year. The good news is that it will be better value booking direct. BA are about to launch a new flight from Gatwick to Dalaman at reasonable departure times and competitive prices. We have visited Villa Incognito (one of the other Terra Villas where we have stayed twice) a couple of years ago in November and booked direct, flying with Thomas Cook. Ali recommended a car hire company, which worked out perfectly. Ali & Ulla live nearby - they hear your car coming up the mountain, and race off to the villa, to be there before you arrive, always ensuring that you receive a warm welcome!
This property is not suitable for the infirm, due to the steps down to the property. Villa Punto and Villa Ultima are better for those who wish to avoid the steps. Due to the position of the terrace at Villa Nova, which overlooks the pool, this would make a perfect place to book with children old enough to splash around in the pool, with parental supervision. I probably wouldn't want the responsibility of a toddler as the pool is not gated. Larger groups could consider booking several of the villas.
Please don't book when we want to visit!
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