On a Heliotrope Yoga Holidays week how you spend your time out of the yoga classes is completely up to you - we don't want to dictate that. For some this time is a precious opportunity to do as little as possible away from the bustle and stress of life back home. Having said that you will be staying in close proximity to some beautiful places and fascinating sights. What we do is provide information and organisation so that, if you wish to, you can enjoy some of this part of Turkey inuring your stay with us.
Here are the activities that tend to take place during a week, depending on interest among the participants and availability:
This part of Mediterranean Turkey is known as the turquoise coast - the clear seas are stunning colours. Our boat tours stay near the rugged coastline which, for now at least, is almost completely undeveloped. Explore the beautiful coast with it’s hidden, turquoise bays, dramatic cliffs, and secret beache. Over the course of the day you will stop off several times to swim as well as receiving simple but delicious food and refreshments on the boat. This is the longest of the excursions we organise so on this day we don't have a yoga class in the evening.
Olympos was one of the great Lycian city sites and today it is obvious why they would have chosen such a spectacular location. A steep-sided valley leads down to the picturesque beach. Through the centre of the valley runs a river and to the sides of this are scattered parts of the ruined city that you walk through on your way to the beach.
In Turkish this unique place is called 'Yanartas' (translates as ‘burning stone’). It is a mountain with a rich mythological heritage. Half way up the mountain flames burst from the earth, a result of the escaping gases' reaction with the air. This is a particularly beautiful sight at night and so one evening we set out after dinner to experience one of the quirkiest natural phenomena you’ll ever see. Turkish people tend to bring wine and chat the night away sitting by the fires.
Adrasan is a sleepy spread-out village set next to a long, sweeping bay with a large sandy beach surrounded by evergreen-forested mountains. It is also home to the delightful river-cafe's - a series of cafes built on top of a wide, shallow river in such a way that you are sitting just above the water.
Pine forests and beautiful turquoise bays surround this well-preserved Lycian city. This is a truly peaceful place. Magnificent bays invite a cooling swim, and a clamber to the top of the amphitheatre offers great views. The area is under strict preservation restrictions to protect its clean, bright waters and invigorating air.
The nearby town of Kumluca is well worth visiting on market day – this is a fantastically fertile area for the growing of fresh produce (especially tomatoes, citrus fruits, olives, pomegranates, and a whole gamut of vegetables). On Fridays people come together to sell their produce and, as well as fruits and vegetables, one can find all sorts of locally produced honeys, nuts, tahini, etc.
When the season permits, there are a range of picturesque walks around the area. Local guides are available to take small groups on some of the more challenging ones, such as the mountainous walk from Olympos to Adrasan.
The now popular Lycian Way stretches 480km all the way from Antalya to Fethiye. It takes in the full range of the beauty of the Lycian region from secluded beaches to mountaintops, dramatic gorges to ancient sites. Its path goes right through the area.
A small, beautiful historical village sitting on a peninsula which juts out into the lake. Stone cottages surround the cobbled streets and an unusual church, built by the Knights Templars, overlooks them. Dornes is a five minute drive from Brejo Fundeiro
A charming and historical town on the banks of the Nabao river. Tomar is dominated by a 12th century Knights Templar castle which contains one of the country's most impressive monuments - the Convento do Cristo, which is a UNESCO world heritage site. It was established as the Templars' headquarters and it the largest and best preserved European settlement.
Just outside the town there is the 16th century Aqueduct of Pegoes - a 30 metre high structure of 180 arches that, if you have a head for heights, you can walk along. Tomar takes around half an hour to drive to from Brejo Fundeiro.
Portugal’s river beaches might come as a surprise to those who are new to this part of the world. Although the Atlantic ocean is a great place for surfers, as a place to swim in it can be far from ideal - strong currents, powerful waves and cold temperatures are not for everyone. However the river beach culture is a delight. With calm waters and no undercurrents they make a safer and easier (and also warmer) place for swimming. The waters are clean and the surrounding nature can be a delight.
Half an hour’s drive from Brejo Fundeiro is the river beach pictured above and below, called the Fragas de São Simão. There is also a much closer river beach at the Castelo de Bode.
One of Portugal's oldest cities and home to one of the world’s oldest universities. Coimbra was the capital of the country from 1139 to 1256 and the university was established in 1290. The university remains one of the most illustrious in the world to this day and is the heart of a small but attractive city of narrow streets and fine old churches. Coimbra takes around an hour to drive to from Brejo Fundeiro.
ALMOURAL CASTLE is a medieval castle located on a small island in the middle of the Tagus River and was part of the defensive line controlled by the Knights Templar. Although it is unclear when the actual castle was established, it is believed that it was constructed on the site of a primitive pre-Roman fortification that was later conquered by the Romans during the 1st century B.C. Stop over in Constância for a coffee by the river. It is about one hour's drive away.