After nearly running into a passing car on a narrow bridge, we continued on a rough “village” road filled with potholes and bumps.
Grandpa kept asking where we were taking them. He thought we were in the middle of nowhere in Turkey. We were only 30 km outside of Fethiye.
“Don’t worry, grandpa. We’ve driven on roads here that are a lot worse. One time, Jason almost drove into a herd of sheep crossing the road in the middle of the night,” I told him.
My response was not reassuring as we continued on the hole riddled road.
When we drove past the ruins of Tlos perched on a hill, all I could say was “amazing.” For a moment, I gazed at the Lycian tombs carved in the rock in the hillside. I couldn’t look long because I was driving.
|On the left-hand side, you can see some of the Lycian tombs at Tlos, Turkey.|
“We’re going to go hiking up that hill and explore Tlos while you and grandma rest at a nice park,” I told grandpa.
Jason and I could tell the grandparents still didn’t know what to think of the situation.
After passing olive, pine and pomegranate trees, we finally found and stopped at the Orjinal Tlos Yakapark Restaurant. I had read about this green park on Turkey’s For Life blog and thought it would be a pleasant place for the grandparents to relax while we explored nearby Tlos. At 89 and 83 years old, respectively, hiking is not something they want to do anymore.
|The Orjinal Tlos Yakapark Restaurant near the ruins of Tlos, Turkey.|
We walked by the manmade waterfalls in the restaurant, saw the trout swimming at the bar and found a comfortable place for them to sit. I spoke to a server in Turkish and explained the situation, asking him to take care of our “büyükanne ve büyükbaba.”
|We all took turns petting or tickling the trout that swam in the middle of the bar at Yakapark Restaurant.|
|Relaxing huts and manmade waterfalls at Yakapark Restaurant.|
Grandma and grandpa urged us to go. They were fine. Jason and I trekked off to Tlos for about 90 minutes.
When we returned from Tlos, the grandparents were having a good time. They liked the shaded hut where they were sitting, listening to the water and watching the people come and go.
“I have to tell you I didn’t know where you were just leaving us, but this has been really nice,” grandpa quipped.
|Jason and me with our grandparents at Yakapark Restaurant.|
Yakapark is a lovely shaded park and restaurant where you cannot help but relax. It also reminded me of a similar restaurant we went to near Olympos two years ago. At both, you can order the restaurant’s trout for lunch.
We ordered a few drinks and snacks instead of the trout as we weren’t that hungry. Grandpa liked drinking Turkish Efes beer. So do we.
|Snacks - French fries and sigara böreği, a Turkish fried pastry filled with|
cheese and herbs.
All in all, we spent about 3 hours at Yakapark, but I could have stayed even longer. In fact, I thought the huts or the hammock would be a fantastic place for a little afternoon nap.
The roads may be a little rough to get to Yakapark, but the drive is definitely worth it.
|How could you not want to take a little nap in the hammock by the water here at Yakapark?|
How to get there:
From Fethiye, follow the Antalya-Fethiye Yolu (D400) road for about 20 km, turn right when you see the brown sign for Tlos. Once you pass the ruins on your right-hand side, you have about 6 more km to go before you reach Yakapark.
Beware of the Yakapark imposters because two other restaurants have copied the name and you will see the signs for all three. Turn left and follow the road past a cemetery. Then, you will see a large “Hoşgeldiniz” sign and a parking lot.
Approximate GPS coordinates: 36.571372, 29.441275