There has been a settlement on the site of Kirazli village ever since 1427, when three families of immigrant shepherds discovered that the lush, green area provided ideal pasture land for their sheep. And not much has changed in the meantime!

Over time, the land around the village was gradually developed for subsistence farming and, with its incredible fertility and perfect growing climate, it was eventually found to be perfect for the cultivation of fruit trees.

Nowadays, almost every variety of fruit tree can be seen in the fields surrounding the village, including cherry, sour-cherry, plum, apricot, fig, olive, pomegranate, quince, walnut, pine – for pine nuts – and grapevines. There is also plenty of space available for agricultural ‘cash’ crops of tobacco, sesame seeds, corn, chickpeas and beans, as well as stock farms that raise dairy and beef cattle, sheep and goats.

However, it was the size and importance of the local cherry and sour-cherry crops that led to the village being re-named Kirazli, which means ‘cherry land’ in Turkish.

In keeping with its name, Kirazli has held an annual ‘Cherry Festival’ every year since 1975, which has served to boost the local cherry production still further, due to the increasing interest in the village and its juicy output.

Kirazli – just 10km away from the centre of Kusadasi – is also quickly garnering a reputation as an idyllic tourist spot. It is, of course, a very pretty and tranquil place to visit and, as close as it is to one of Europe’s major tourist towns, it remains virtually unspoilt by the ravages of commercialism and still serves as a typical example of a traditional, rural Turkish village, with just a very few locally-run restaurants and café-bars serving tasty, home-cooked food.

More recently, Kirazli has not only attracted tourists but has also come to be called ‘home’ for a small number of intrepid foreigners. The newcomers who have bought or rented houses have no particular desire to see the village developed. Rather, they have settled into village life so as to be able to take full advantage of the wonderful scenery, the peaceful atmosphere and the excellent opportunities for outdoor pursuits – including some first class walking, hiking and caving – in the clean fresh air of this most beautiful region.

During your holiday at CLC Kusadasi Golf & Spa resort, why not get out and see a slice of the ‘real’ Turkey with a trip to Kirazli? It’s just a 30-minute drive from the resort via Kusadasi town centre, or you can ask about organised excursions, so you can simply sit back and enjoy the ride. And don’t forget to buy some delicious, locally-grown cherries!

© CLC World Resorts & Hotels