PATARA

The beach

18km of wondrous sand backed by dunes and the Taurus mountains. Patara's white golden sands have been voted amongst the world's best beaches. Not a single building is to be seen, the reason being twofold. The beach is one of the few beaches left in the world where the loggerhead turtle lays her eggs and is therefore fully protected under conservation laws and ii) the ancient Lycian city of Patara is being excavated and lies between the beach and the village. So no building is permitted.

Reached by either dolmus or taxi (or for the more energetic a beautiful 20 minute walk passing through over 2000 years of history.) Many hotels and Pensions also provide their own beach service. There is a daily charge of  approx. 80 pence sterling per adult and this small toll is contributed to the conservation and archaeological funds

Once you reach the beach the only decision to be made is whether to rent an umberella and a sunbed near the beach restaurant (which has toilet and shower facilities), is never crowded and has been designed to fit in with the natural environment. or perhaps you will prefer to go off and find your own private  piece of beach. But remember to take some form of shade with you, especially in the height of summer when it can get very hot!

The beach is very suitable for  all ages. For families it is also great as the sand shelves very slowly and so it is shallow water for a long way out. Sometimes there can be quite large waves which make it great fun for body surfing.

There must be very few places left in the world where you can lie on a beautiful beach surrounded only by sea, dunes, forests and mountains.

The village

Situated 2km inland due to the conservation laws, Patara is a small rustic village. Small family run hotels and pensions mingle with restaurants, a few shops and a couple fo bars. It has never been aloud to develop into more due to strict building rules. Since 1992 it has been forbidden to build anything in the village.

Evenings can be spent chatting with the locals over a tea, enjoying a drink whilst listening to local music ( or for a fantastic selection of world music - Pamir's Medusa bar in the centreof the village) or simply having a leisurely meal at one of the restaurants. Sophisticated it is not, but if you want to experience real Turkey, and true turkish hospitality, then you will not be disappointed. The locals are all originally 'nomadic' peoples who take great pride in their roots. The food provided in the restaurants is all freshly cooked and full use is made of  the local produce grown in the area. The most delicious selection of vegetarian dishes and mezes is available in most restaurants as is freshly barbecued meat and fish. After your meal you will be offered plates of freshly picked fruit as gifts(most of the locals have farmland and greenhouses in the region and fruit orchards in the mountains.

The hospitality is genuine. There is never any hassle and as so many people who have fallen in love with the village and return time and time again will say ' you arrive as a guest and leave as a friend'

For those people wishing to escape the fast pace and stresses of life for a few days or a couple of weeks, Patara is perfect.It offers peace, tranquility, boasts an 18km beach and is close to the sea, , mountains,  gorges, forests and many  of the country's most fascinating archaeological sites, therefore maling it an ideal base from which to explore this beautiful part of Turkey. It is a beach lover's paradise, a walker's haven and an archaeological treasure.

Accomodation

There are several small hotels and pensions in Patara. Currently no tour company works in Patara, but it is very easy to put togehter your own 'package' by contacting the hotel or pension of your choice (most are listed in guide books and many have their own websites), buying your 'flight only' ticket to Dalaman and then arranging for an airport transfer either through the hotel or pension or by taking a taxi once you get to the airport. Confirm the price before departure). For daytime arrivals it is also possible to travel to Patara by bus. You will need to take a taxi from the airport to the bus station in Dalaman town (a 10 min ride) and then taking a bus to Fethiye (approx 1.5 hours). In Fethiye you change to the Kas bus and ask to disembark at Patara junction, where the main road joins the lane into the village. From here you can take a mini bus or a taxi ride the 4 km into the village.

By booking your holiday this way all business goes directly to the local people and not to the large tour operators.