"All of the comments in the guest book really say the same thing ‘there just aren’t enough superlatives’ to adequately describe the wonderful Villa Nurtan, so for something a bit different I thought I would make a few comments on the abundance of wildlife that can be seen around the villa, and especially up in the forests and mountains close by.
In the olive groves and trees around the villa there is an amazing variety of birds, not just swallows, swifts and sparrows. There are lots wagtails, tits, warblers, linnets, jays, woodpeckers and blackbirds, sometimes similar to the ones at home, but much more colourful. At night you can hear the owls. If you are quick you can spot lizards and if really lucky a chameleon, but often they run off before you see the them. There are squirrels (red and grey) fairly close, along with tortoises and tree frogs down in the gulley beyond the garden. The butterflies love the flowers in the garden, especially in late spring and early summer, lots of swallowtails and the elusive clouded yellow, very rare.
Away from the villa on the edge of the pine forests, about a thirty minute walk, a much greater variety of birds can be observed including the tiny and minute bee eater. You really need to get up early, find yourself a convenient tree to sit under, sit down, and after just a few minutes everything will start happening!
Further up into the mountains, about a 60 to 90 minute walk, are some most interesting creatures including wild boar, pine martins, porcupines and the elusive ‘racoon dog’. None of these creatures, plus a lot more, come down into the valley, so you need to get up early and walk up one of the tracks behind kekibuku (if you can tear yourself away from the luxury of the villa)to get a chance of observing the wildlife.
After coming to Orhaniye for 15 years, this year (and for the first time) I was so lucky to see a fully grown male wild boar, two piglets, and a golden eagle on three successive days, all within a 60 minute walk of Villa Nurtan. You can’t mistake the Golden Eagles, they are the biggest birds around. They nested this year in the valley at the back of Orhaniye village and have raised two chicks. The parents can often be seen soaring above the peaks quite close by.
If you plan on going up into the mountains: stick to the well marked tracks, wear stout shoes or boots, take some water and enjoy the glorious scenery and wildlife (but don’t blame me if you don’t see a golden eagle!)” Thanks to Mike Baxter, Villa Nurtan Guest