A Journey to Kadir’s Treehouses: The Enchantment of Turkey

Kadir's Treehouses Experience

A Journey to Kadir’s Treehouses

Turkey in whole was a place full of love, magic, and a hint of mystery. At no other place was that more apparent than at Kadir’s Treehouses in Olympos, Turkey.

Journey into Kadir's Treehouses in Turkey

My spouse and I’s trip to Turkey was kind of a last minute decision to be honest. It was dedicated to exploring the country and celebrating a special birthday. The first week we spent visiting the Turkish saunas (Hamam); rafting at the “Turkish Grand Canyon”; feeding mountain goats; exploring different markets and restaurants; and even bungee jumping at the top of Olympos Mountain. Looking back, while that was all absolutely amazing, the highlight of our trip was definitely the time spent at Kadir’s. 

The Unique Charm of Kadir’s Treehouses

Kadir's Treehouse in Turkey

Kadir’s is a small treehouse climbing village located about an hour and a half from the local airport in a town known as Olympos. Olympos is an ancient Roman town that leads to a now popular, natural pebble beach. It’s nestled between the Beydaglari Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. We had accommodations scheduled prior, and so the plan was to climb one day during the trip. 

A Climbing Experience Like No Other

On the day of climbing, we had perfect conditions: sunny weather, all the gear we needed, and, naturally, some snacks. Our climbs that day ranged from 5.8-5.10, and were all on smooth, sometimes sharp, limestone. One route we climbed was centered by a crag with a large cave at the anchors. The juxtaposition between the sea, mountains, and cave was breathtaking. Any ascent can be emotionally impactful, but the only word I can use to describe it is awesome.

Rock Climbing Experience at Kadir's Treehouses

Living the Kadir’s Experience

Driving toward the village we saw a lot of things that were memorable. At every turn was a different version of the same view; majestic mountains and an ethereal sea. At one point we stopped to buy fresh pomegranates from a kind büyükanne. Near Kadir’s were a number of shops, corner stores, restaurants, and, of course, the beach. Approaching the site, the surroundings were serene. 

Upon entering, the environment was infectiously inviting with a rustic charm. We were greeted at the check in by a friendly cat and her kittens, who were perched on a bench next to her. I couldn’t help but notice the saying on the bench reading “I came, I saw, and I stayed and I stayed and I stayed.” 

kadir's treehouses kittens

Past the check-in was the main cafeteria. We were met by a large plaque of Mr. Kadir Kaya, hanging as if to welcome all. The food smelled amazing too. Kadir’s offers its visitors two hot (vegetarian) meals, and a super unique stay, for only $25 a day. For those on a budget, they host volunteer climbers to help guides set up gear when tourists come to town. 

We met a lot of interesting people during our trip. Lyosha was the volunteer who came with us climbing. He described his travels and experiences to escape from Russia this year. We also met Evgeniy, who was our climbing guide for the day. He gave us all kinds of useful information about climbing in the Antalya region. Evgeniy has been a climber since 2013, and is originally from Kiev. He says he loves what he does because of the love of the sport and the opportunity to meet new people. He says it’s a person’s soul that matters at the end of the day and it’s important to live right. 

Hiking up to Climb near Kadir's Treehouses

Others that made an impression were: a friendly Dutch slack-liner, a bubbly nomad from New Zealand, and other residents at the camp. 

The artwork at Kadir’s is particularly stunning. Many creatives visit Kadir’s just to leave their mark there. They also have a yoga room that looks onto one of Olymos’ most famous crags. As we’re finishing the tour of the treehouses, Evgeniy offers to introduce us to THE Kadir Kaya. At that moment, my jaw literally dropped, because for some reason in my head, this man was at least 200 years old. 

Mr. Kadir speaks a little English, so his son helped to translate. Even without knowing each other, and really without words, I felt like I knew him, maybe in a different life. His presence was powerful; his words very meaningful and subtle. 

He started out by telling us the history of Kadir’s Treehouses. Mr. Kadir himself started out as a French teacher. He switched careers 36 years ago when he opened the doors of his first restaurant. Turkey has a wide range of cuisine, but Kadir has always loved fishing, and rightfully specialized in seafood. 

Gradually word of the good food spread, business was booming, and a number of tree houses was built there shortly after. Kadir says that he has never really made money a priority. Instead he looks for the humanity in each person. With that in mind, he aimed to create an environment where people can stay and feel welcome.

Kadir's Penthouse Treehouses

17 years ago that all came to a halt when the campsite was engulfed in flames. Kadir said that the rebuilding of the treehouses and other structures was possible only thanks to dozens of volunteers who came from all over the world to help.

Today there’s no trace of the fire, but the soul of Kadir’s is deep and unconquerable. Kadir and his wife are the heartbeat and glue that hold the community together. They even offered us a free room to stay for the week.

Mr. Kadir himself had warm, healing energy that transferred not only to the atmosphere, but also to each person he touches.

Life presents so many beautiful moments and unexpected lessons. In Turkey, the experiences gained have made me truly richer, and hopefully a little wiser. They’re teaching me to be present, to believe in the unknown, to see humanity, and to be humanity; even when you’re not sure what’s going to happen next.

If you’re ever in Turkey, you’ll definitely want to check out the famous tourist spots and lively attractions. Turkey is a country that is full of history, and modern appeal. To see some real magic though, head over to Kadir’s Treehouses, nestled in the mountains, there you’ll find a little piece of paradise. 


Some Extra Resources if You're Interested in Kadir's Treehouses:





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