Responsible tourism: Turkey villa holiday, near Patara Beach
Our Turkey villa, nr Kalkan and Patara Beach is nestled into a hillside hidden away from view and is intentionally designed to have a minimal visual impact on its surroundings.
As with most village houses solar energy is utilised for hot water. Our neighbour Hatice and her son are employed full time to maintain the house and its grounds.
The grape vines, olive, pomegranate and fig trees have been with them since childhood and we prefer their earthly touch in the gardens. Their cow is our source of milk, and their traditional outdoor oven is the source of our bread. Occasionally they may invite guests into their own home for dinner, a great opportunity for meeting local people and experiencing local customs and village food.
To stay at Papatya is to experience an authenticity rarely encountered in the built up resorts along the coast. The village has several fresh water springs. The drinking water at the house comes from these springs, reducing the consumption of plastic water bottles. Water is used consciously at Papatya. We do not have extensive lawns, and try to maintain an indigenous garden in order to reduce water consumption in the drier summer months. Most of the grounds are allowed to take their natural seasonal course.
We encourage guests to purchase local products such as honey, olive oil and tahini, and to shop in farmers markets and small grocers. In September when our grapes become ripe, guests are welcome to pick and enjoy them. No pesticides of any sort are used on the land.
Since our villa was built we have consistently worked with the local community, employing people from the village of Islamlar for most of the works and maintenance required, from builders to farmers, cooks and even artists.
Grounds managers and the villa caretakers are in fact our neighbours, a local family who have looked after this house for over 10 years. This is not a seasonal concern, the family are employed all year round and the earnings from tourism provide them with a good income.
We also aim to train people who work for us to better understand the needs of international guests and international tourism and health and safety standards but without compromising their local culture and traditions.
We also advise guests to try out our local restaurants in order to maintain some of the tourism income inside the village, helping the village to develop but hopefully in a sustainable way. Of particular note is the locally grown produce and products, excellent tahini for example, is produced right here in the village and we have supported such initiatives to become small independent brands in their own right.