A honeymoon is a special time for any young couple – made even more memorable with a paradise location like Physkos in Turkey.
For my daughter Fiona and her new husband Neil Cremen, their honeymoon will never be forgotten – as they took me, my wife Jill, our son Robert, his partner Lisa and two children Jack, four and Ella, two with them!
When it was booked, there were no signs of any wedding bells for Fiona and Neil, but a couple of months later they decided to get married, just two days before we all jetted out. It may not have been the most romantic honeymoon but it is probably one of the best holidays we have all ever had.
Arriving at the Physkos complex, site manager Korhan Demiroz made us very welcome, especially with the bottle of champagne and heart shaped chocolates for the newlyweds in our sprawling four bedroom villa with its own private pool. Although each of the villas has its own pool, there is a much larger communal pool, to suit more serious swimmers.
But at nights the temperature drops to a pleasant level, which made eating al fresco – every mealtime – a delight.
There are many jewels in the HPB crown, but Physkos has to be a huge shining diamond. The site is based in the small, unspoilt village with only two access points, the sea and a twisty mountain road from Marmaris.
However, once you have Turunç in your sights, the view is quite breathtaking – both from the top of the mountain and approaching by boat. It is set in a wide bay with a clean, safe sea with towering mountains standing sentry and protected by dense pine forests. The sea and scenery are exceptional. One of the many plus points of Physkos is that you do not need a car; it is within easy walking distance of the beach and the village. It maintains an authentic Turkish character and charm and the village offers bars, shops and restaurants to cater for most tastes.
Korhan told us at the Bondholders’ meeting how the village had an astonishing 25 restaurants – we did our best to try as many as we could but unfortunately our weeklong visit allowed us only to scratch the surface of the eating facilities.
All the shopkeepers, as well as waiters in the restaurants, are warm and friendly and there is no hassle as you walk by. Yes, they are happy to try to entice you into their premises, but there is no pressure.
However we preferred to stay in our own pool because the two small and energetic children enjoyed playing with their inflatable toys. And by the end of the week, Jack had got on so well with his swimming he managed to dispense with his arm bands, under the watchful eyes of the adults. Temperatures nudged 32°C – that’s 90°F in old money. And to borrow an old tabloid newspaper headline – Phew! What a Scorcher!
The many organised trips available include an overnight visit to Ephesus, with a visit to the house where tradition says the Virgin Mary lived after the Crucifixion. There were also boat trips including sailing on a gulet, a traditional 70ft Turkish boat, or a private charter on a traditional lifeboat.
There is a variety of excellent restaurants near by. I promise you, you will make a second visit to many of them.
Our last night was spent at the Bondholders’ barbeque, a pleasant open-air affair where you could listen to your fellow holidaymakers’ experiences of other HPB sites around the world. But all too soon it was over and time to start back to Dalaman airport to catch our flight home. I was impressed that waving us off at that time in the morning was the man who made us most welcome on our arrival – Korhan.
You can also charter a boat for reasonable rates. We settled on a private charter with a captain called Osman. We had a 50ft motor cruiser with plenty of shade as well as sunbathing space for the whole day. We sailed around the coast, with a few swimming stops included on what was to be a very easy day and the highlight of the holiday. A barbecue lunch on board included chicken, sea bass and meatballs, pasta and salad.
And so the honeymoon is over and it’s back to reality – but what memories we all have of idyllic Physkos. We will be back!
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