Buying property in Kayakoy
A KHI guide
Although it’s a small community of no more than a few hundred, if you’re considering buying property in Kayakoy, you will soon discover the village perfectly sums up Turkey’s reputation as a nation of fascinating contrasts and contradictions.
For a start, nestling in a verdant valley just a few miles south of Fethiye, it’s almost entirely surrounded by pine forests.
However, as Kayakoy is in the centre of a narrow peninsula, the surrounding Mediterranean is also never more than kilometre or two away.
The slopes on the south side of the valley are also home to the famous ruins of the “ghost town” abandoned a century ago. However, a hundred years later, the village is now witnessing an influx of new residents.
COVID19 has been driving significant demand for country homes. As a result, Kayakoy – once left destitute by an exodus – has once again become one of the most sought-after property locations in the Mugla region.
So what does that mean for the local market and for those considering buying property in Kayakoy? If you read on, we hope you’ll be as well-informed as you can be:
Although people refer to Kayakoy (Kaya for short) as a single village, it’s actually made up of a number of smaller hamlets. Kayakoy is the central hub where you will find most of the local amenities. The “suburbs” of Keciler, Belen and Kinali still have their own identity and their own sense of community.
Also – although the tranquil surroundings sometimes make it easy to forget – the popular summer resort of Hisaronu is only 3kms away. The famous beach and Blue Lagoon at Oludeniz and the fast-growing settlement of Ovacik are not much further. Fethiye is also around 5km away via the twisty but recently upgraded mountain road.
Kayakoy is well-served by the local dolmus (minibus) service. Connections run every half hour during the summer season to Fethiye via Hisaronu and Ovacik. A separate service also goes less frequently over the mountain road direct to Fethiye – with both routes reduced in the winter.
The village has its own taxi rank in the summer, with handy summon buttons installed on lampposts at strategic points around the village. Out of season, most of the drivers relocate to the larger centres.
Landmarks and attractions
The village is famed around the world for its ghost town – even making a brief appearance in Hollywood’s version of The Water Diviner, starring Russell Crowe. It’s also the inspiration for the community in Louis de Berniere’s book, Birds Without Wings.
However, the best-known chapters in its story relate to the years immediately after the First World War. You can read more about the Greco/Turk war and the subsequent population exchange here.
But, even before that, the village was a thriving town known by its Greek name Karmylassos and later as Levissi. It was then much larger than Fethiye but changed little until tourism took a firm hold. For example, mains electricity only arrived in the village in the early 1980s.
Leisure and nightlife
Many who live or stay in Kayakoy will head for Hisaronu or Fethiye for their nightlife. However, the village does have a good selection of bars and restaurants catering for most budgets and tastes.
Like most communities in Turkey, Kakakoy also has its own tearooms. The outlying communities of Kinali, Keciler and Belen also have their own eateries, well worth discovering if you prefer authenticity.
If you’re considering buying property in Kayakoy, be aware most bars and restaurants are open day and night through the summer. However, only some operate all year round.
If you enjoy cycling, walking or jogging, there are plenty of tracks to explore in the surrounding forests.
Fethiye is also home to the modern Erasta retail and leisure centre, which includes a cinema. The town’s famous Kordon promenade is lined with even more restaurants and bars with more to be found among the narrow alleys of the Paspatur (old town). It’s also possible to enjoy summer trips on the day boats from both Fethiye or Oludeniz.
In many ways Kayakoy is still an authentic Turkish village and therefore closer to nature than other communities nearby. That means wildlife encounters are more likely.
You need to be aware walks in the forest can sometimes include close encounters with wild boar, snakes and scorpions. Although not common as they prefer to avoid contact with humans, the Ottoman viper is really the only one which presents a significant health risk. The rest can still sting or bite but rarely pack enough venom to be of serious concern.
European bee eaters and hoopoes are colourful seasonal visitors. Local bird life also includes species familiar to Europe, including the ubiquitous jays as well as blackbirds, robins, sparrows, chaffinches and goldfinches.
Kayakoy’s position on a peninsula surrounded by the sea means it enjoys cooler temperatures in both summer and winter. Weather conditions are also ideal for growing colourful plants and flowers including buddleia, bougainvillea and oleander.
If you’re considering buying property in Turkey, you will probably find it’s cheaper than most of Europe. So are utilities such as water and electricity. Fuel is also cheaper – although the purchase price of a car is likely to be a bit of a shock.
Feeding a family will also cost less and the bill for a meal out can also be a pleasant surprise. Just like anywhere else in the world though, the popular restaurants in the tourist traps will charge more. The back-street lokantas offer tasty and traditional dishes for a fraction of the price.
But, although buying property in Turkey can be a sound investment, remember Kayakoy is one of the hotspots where prices have risen dramatically. The hike in asking prices reflects the recent increase in demand for country homes close to the Mediterranean and within easy reach of decent amenities. In many cases, rental prices have also more than doubled since 2019.
That said, asking prices may still seem reasonable to those more familiar with, say, London or Lisbon. For a more detailed list of properties available right now, you can view our current portfolio here.
How can we help?
If you’re considering buying property in Turkey and you’d like some hints and tips, feel free to give us a call. We’re also here if you’d like a heads-up on how to plan or even just a no-obligation chat about the pros and cons of investing in property in Turkey.
We would also be happy to help with logistics, paperwork and advice before, during and after your move so feel free to get in touch.
Alternatively, feel free to browse our blog for previous posts you may find useful. If you’d like to check out our full portfolio, you can find details of properties currently on our books right here. You can also keep up to date with our Facebook page here.