The Best Of Bodrum
A lovely portrait of Asli and John smiling in front of a tree-covered hill on a sunny day at the Valley of Breath.

Building a Paradise: The Valley of Breath

The Valley of Breath, or Nefes Vadisi in Turkish, is an incredible project that was started by a remarkable couple whom I met in Bodrum many years ago. Asli and John Kent, the owners of this project, began working on it right at the beginning of the global pandemic and have been putting their hearts and souls into it ever since.

Asli is originally from Bodrum and John is from the UK. We all met through our mutual friend, Dilek, back in 2011. Even back then, Asli and John were already a married couple who split their time between Bali and California. They were also traveling to visit their families in Turkey and the UK whenever they could. Their out-of-the-box life choices have always been admirable to me, although I must admit they sparked some envy. That’s why I decided to post an article about them in my Bodrum Blog.

The Valley of Breath, surrounded by forested hills and olive groves, is a sustainable retreat centre dedicated to providing a peaceful and rejuvenating experience. Just 40 minutes from Bodrum-Milas airport, this sanctuary is situated 350m above sea level and offers a serene setting for various styles of retreats and events, including yoga, meditation, dance, permaculture, and cooking workshops.

Location and Contact Information

Address: Ciftlik Mahallesi, Sirca Sokak, Ciftlikkoy, Milas, Mugla, 48200 Turkiye

John’s Phone: +90 (530) 911 58 79



The photos displayed on this page were captured in March 2023, when construction activities and the cultivation of herbs and vegetables throughout the valley were still in progress. If you share my curiosity about how the valley looks in its final form, I suggest visiting their website.

From Checking on Parents to Creating a Haven

Asli’s parents still live in Bodrum. When the global pandemic hit us all hard in 2020, Asli and John became worried about their well-being. They decided to go to Bodrum to check on them, but due to the Covid-19 travel restrictions, they ended up having to stay there.

John, Asli, and our mutual friend Dilek captured in a photo during a hiking activity, with trees and rocks in the background.
Meeting Asli and John during a hiking activity in Bodrum years ago.

Clearly, the Kent Family isn’t one to relax and enjoy a mandatory vacation. As they waited for the pandemic to disappear, they came up with an incredible idea – a special place where they could fully express and embrace their chosen lifestyle and share it with others. They decided to create their own little paradise, where they could grow their own food, generate their own electricity, and spend time meditating. They wanted it to be self-sustaining and truly their own haven. And so, the Valley of Breath was born.

When I found out that Asli and John had moved to Bodrum and began transforming the land they bought a year ago into a retreat centre, we were enjoying a lovely dinner on a beautiful Bodrum evening with my friends. It had been a while since I had seen them, so I was eager to hear about their new adventures and what they were hoping to achieve. Thus, when a friend asked if I wanted to visit them at the Valley of Breath, I happily agreed.

A Road Trip Through Aegean Villages

The drive from Bodrum took around 45 minutes, with the last 10 minutes taking place on a bumpy and narrow dirt road. As we made our way, I thought that this area was perfect for anyone wanting to create a peaceful retreat away from external distractions and focus on exploring and discovering their inner selves.

A photo taken from a car window showing a deserted road with trees on both sides, under a sunset sky with orange clouds.
Sunset view on the deserted road back to Bodrum from The Valley of Breath.

The journey itself was a cultural experience. We passed through small, non-touristy villages in the countryside, giving us a glimpse of how people actually live just a few kilometres away from the luxurious atmosphere of one of Turkey’s most popular destinations.

Our road trip came to an end when we reached the main gates of the Valley of Breath. From a distance, I could see Asli and John waiting for us in front of their stone house, wearing big smiles on their faces. It was exactly how I remembered them from the day we first met years ago.

A photo of the stone house at The Valley of Breath, serving as the kitchen and living room, with wooden tables and chairs on the patio.
The stone house at The Valley of Breath, where Asli and John live.

We sat outside on the patio, chatting about everything that has happened over the years. Even though it was 3pm, they waited for us to have lunch together. That was how I discovered something new about Asli – she’s not only an amazing entrepreneur but also a fascinating cook! She made these incredible dishes using herbs and veggies they grew in their own valley. They were all delicious and totally new to me!

Asli and John’s Valley of Breath

During the cheerful conversation at lunch, we talked about what we had been up to since we last met. Naturally, the conversation eventually turned to the Valley of Breath. Asli and John told us how this project came about, what they had accomplished so far, and what they were planning to do in the future. Following that, they suggested showing us around the valley.

I learned that the valley covers an area of 3 hectares in the countryside of the Milas District of Mugla Province. The locals refer to this area as Ciftlikkoy, which means “farm village” in English. It takes approximately 40 minutes by car to reach this location from both Bodrum town centre and Milas Bodrum Airport.

A photo of the guesthouses at The Valley of Breath, which are yurts, providing a unique retreat experience.
Yurt guesthouses at The Valley of Breath, providing a unique retreat experience.

While chatting and exploring the surroundings, I realized how big of a challenge this project was. Asli and John had worked tirelessly day and night to make their dreams come true. Rather than contracting others to transform the valley into a paradise, they had put their own effort into it. Their signature was on every stone.

As the project progressed, they applied to Workaway, an international cultural exchange program, to utilize the energy and creativity of the youth and provide them with an unforgettable experience. They were continuing the project with the help of the young people who came to assist them. As a result, the Valley of Breath was ready to welcome guests. However, there was still a lot of work to be done, especially in landscaping, such as planting more trees and creating walking paths. By the way, they have already planted more than 1,000 trees!

Accommodation at Nefes Vadisi

The Kent family can accommodate up to 25 people in their cozy Turkish-style natural yurts, which are made from natural fibres. I asked them if the yurts can keep us dry on rainy days, and they assured me that they are indeed water resistant. In fact, Asli and John have their own yurt for a good night’s sleep. They told me that these natural yurts are great at retaining heat while allowing fresh air to come in through the fibres.

A photo showing the interior of a yurt at The Valley of Breath, featuring a double bed, wooden furniture, and serene decorations.
Inside one of the yurts at The Valley of Breath, designed for relaxation and tranquillity.

They also built a stone house at the top of the hill for their personal use. This building serves as their sanctuary, housing their kitchen and living room. However, they go to their yurt at night because there is no bedroom in the stone house.

Upon arrival at the Valley of Breath, each guest will have their own yurt! There are two yurts with a 6m diameter, six yurts with a 5m diameter, and two yurts with a 4m diameter. Two of the 5m yurts and two of the 4m yurts are twin yurts that share a bathroom between them. The rest of the yurts have their own private bathrooms. The largest 6m yurts even have wood-burners to make the stay even more magical during the colder times of the year.

Eating and Drinking

The idea behind the Valley of Breath is to create a space where you can find solitude and sustain yourself in a natural setting. This is why you won’t find any typical bars or restaurants here.

A photo of the shared kitchen at The Valley of Breath, equipped with a counter, dishwasher, stove, and oven, housed in a wooden hut.
An inside look at the shared kitchen at The Valley of Breath.

However, Asli and John have built a cool wooden hut to serve as a shared kitchen. It’s a cozy space where all guests can prepare their meals. This kitchen is equipped with all the modern conveniences you might need, like a refrigerator, dishwasher, steel saucepans, tableware, and more. Additionally, they can provide three meals a day upon request, mostly vegan or vegetarian. Feel free to ask them how it works, and they’ll be happy to provide you with some options.

And here’s the best part; if you prefer to cook for yourself, you can bring your ingredients or gather fresh herbs and vegetables from the permaculture gardens, tropical greenhouse, and food forest on the premises. It’s like having your own little farm right here!

Bodrum Blog



Relaxing at the Valley of Breath

The natural swimming pool in the Valley of Breath is truly fascinating. While swimming, you can enjoy the stunning views of the valley and the forested hills. What makes it even more remarkable is that the pool has its own ecosystem. The plants and animals in and around the pool work together to keep the water clean without any chemicals.

There are various shaded areas for relaxation, a large yurt with a circular performance area for events like yoga classes. Additionally, there’s a rocket-stove sauna for chilly evenings, providing a peaceful retreat for individuals, couples, and families.

A dog walking near a self-cleaning pool with the activity centre in the background.
The natural, self-cleaning pool at The Valley of Breath with a friendly dog enjoying the surroundings.

Asli and John are passionate about nature and enjoy long walks in the great outdoors. John shared with me some wonderful hiking trails he found while exploring the area, and I’m certain they would be happy to help you discover new routes for leisurely walks or more challenging hikes.

From day one, the Kent family’s passion for sharing their knowledge and experience with others has caught my attention. They created the Valley of Breath as a place to relax and connect with nature, reflecting their own lifestyle. Now, they graciously open it to guests.

I’m eager to return and see what this remarkable couple has done since my last visit. If you’ve been there, I’d love to hear about your experience. Your insights will not only benefit us but also the Kents, who will appreciate hearing your thoughts.

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The Best of Bodrum

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My name is Akinsal, and I created The Best of Bodrum, a travel blog to help you to get most out of your time in Bodrum and the Aegean Region.

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