At this year’s holiday we were on many excursions. A lot actually. One of them however, I had particularly been looking forward to, since I had heard so much good about the place. We were off on a little exhausting day trip to Adrasan Beach ( Here you can read about Adrasan) and did a stop in Ulupinar on the way home. The town is known for the many unique floating cafes, restaurants and tea-houses, located in a large riverbed. And what an experience!
Maybe it was because of the exhausting, hot day or the incredibly bumpy drive along the coast, but when we were on the way back (at a large, fine, non-bumpy road) finally came to Ulupinar, it was like bumping in an oasis in the desert. Yes, this is how I can best describe it. We had temperatures of +42° C and had stayed in the sun most of the day. So when we drove down the mountain and halfway down reached the restaurant surrounded by the cool, rippling spring water, it was a real balm for the soul. Really !!
What do you eat?
There are many restaurants to choose from and everyone has its own charm This year, we reached two restaurants and they were both really lovely. Botanic Restaurant was really nice with a relaxed atmosphere, good surroundings and above all REALLY nice food. We should not have dinner – just a rather late lunch so it was not a big meal. We saw some who got the big seafood plate – and that was overwhelming. Oh my – truly. This is what we go for the next time – without any doubt. I am sure that their fish is really good, so it is also worth considering. We got several small meze dishes and then köfte and Adana kebap with rice and salad – really delicious and fresh. I could well imagine only getting meze one day, because their menu was both large and varied – there was plenty to choose from. As always, we finish with a good cup of Turkish tea and some fruit – just what you need in order to lean back in the sofa, suck the last out of the cool surroundings and enjoy the moment.
The cafes here in the riverbed is a little funny and unconventional. The seats are positioned on small raised wooden terraces with walkways between, out in the middle of an old river bed, with more or less water in. If the water is something, that runs by itself, or whether it is pumped up artificially, I can not completely lurk. There are in several places created small waterfalls and different levels, pools, etc., so it gets a little divided. In the ponds are carps and rainbow trouts and ducks swimming around and willingly letting us are feed them with bread. A huge hit with my kids. In Botanic restaurant you can choose to sit at a regular high table with chairs or small low tables with matching pillows like the old Ottomans / Middle East-style. We always sit at one of these low tables, because it is so cozy and different, than what we normally do. Since sitting out in the middle of the riverbed with the water gurgling around you, you’re close to the water, so the waiting time for the food (which was not long) went to look at the fish and find the greatest one.
Don’t be afraid
There are really clean and nicely everywhere and the hygiene was in top, so do not be nervous to eat here. In contrast to several other places, there were also almost filled up here with locals and tourists, so I think that the place must have a good reputation in the area. There were also a few roofed houses with opportunities to have a party if this should be of any interest.
But Botanic Restaurant is not only a restaurant, it is possible to do several things. Further into the area, there was a path down to a really nice beach and a small pool. We unfortunately first saw it, when we were on the way to our car. But another time we shall certainly explore it. I could well imagine spending a whole afternoon here at the baths etc. and then eat delicious dinner later in the day. Yes – the idea is sold. It must surely be next time. Could also be quite amazing to invite our parents and some of our guests, that we often invite to Turkey.
Spend a whole day
For younger children, there was also a small playground and some cages, where there were animals – peacocks, goats and chickens, so there is something to look at. According to Restaurant Botanic’s website, they should also have fishing opportunities and mud-baths, so one must say, that there is something for everyone and options for spending the day. Fishing would be a huge hit with us. We certainly intend to get back soon spend most of the day there.
It takes a good hour to drive to Ulupinar (which is aprox. 72 km) from Antalya. But it’s a really good road and the view is awesome most of the way, so do not let yourself be intimidated by the car-ride. You may want to spend a whole day in the café or combine the trip with a trip to Adrasan Beach or see the remains of the ancient city of Olympos and bathe in the sea below. Both places are really great and certainly worth a drive.
If you know more unusual restaurants in Antalya area, feel free to write to me.