Patara Beach in Turkey is located about 50 miles south of the city of Fethiye in an area known for its ancient ruins, including a Roman amphitheater, Lycian tombs, Roman gates and arches, ancient Turkish baths, and much more. As part of the powerful Lycian League, the area was important to the history of Turkey, Greece, and even to the United States, as the league was the first federation in the world based on democratic principles. The area is littered with archeological sites and ruins, and is part of the national parks system. The park is a protected loggerhead turtle nesting site, and the birdlife is rich and diverse. A vacation to Patara Beach gives you opportunity for four-wheel drive safaris, horseback riding, hiking, birding, and you can even volunteer to work with wildlife organizations.
Because of the wild nature of the national park and the fact that development around the coastal area is restricted to protect the sea turtles and ruins, Patara Beach is one of the most secluded and pristine beaches in the country. It is also one of the longest, stretching for almost ten miles and only about a ten-minute walk to the nearest major ruins. Patara Beach in Turkey is closed for the night after sunset from May to October so that the turtles are undisturbed while nesting and laying their eggs. Things to do here in addition to horseback riding and diving include sailing around the coast of the park.
On either side of Patara Beach are lovely dramatic mountains, and sand dunes line its length. The marshy area that is now a refuge for birdlife was once the important trade harbor of ancient Lycia. If you are looking for the nightlife, bars, and cafés that you find in other beach resorts like Marmaris and Antalya, you will be disappointed. The great appeal of Patara Beach in Turkey is its pristine condition, seclusion, and lack of crowds even during the height if the peak summer months. There are no water sports like paragliding or noisy banana boats, so it is always quiet. There are only a couple cafés near the end of the path to the beach. Here, you can rent out umbrellas and sun beds and pick up a snack. People come for a vacation to Patara Beach to enjoy its peace.
There are a few modest lodging choices in the little village of Patara, but the best hotels near Patara Beach will be found in the nearby town of Kalkan. Frequent dolmus (shared mini-bus taxi) trips are made between Kalkan and Patara Beach and they are quite inexpensive. Because of the paucity of services in Patara, you need to bring jst about everything you need for a day at the beach. Kalkan is a picturesque town with white washed houses festooned with bright bougainvillea spilling down to the sea and one of the most laid back of the country’s beach resorts. Most people enjoying a vacation to Patara Beach will stay in this town.