Patara beach is stunning and makes an enjoyable visit as well as the nearby ancient site of Patara, with its gorgeous landscape and great swimming. Part of a national park, it is a key biodiversity area, rich in birdlife and the breeding ground of the endangered loggerhead turtle (caretta caretta). Luckily the beach has been declared off-limits for development because of the turtles, they are nearing extinction and protection of their nesting sites on the Turkish coast is very important. The beach is closed after sunset from May to October to give the turtles peace in which to lay their eggs as it is the second most important turtle nesting beach in Turkey.
The beach is an 12 kilometer-long strip of sand bordered on its ends by mountains and along its length by sand dunes and the large marshy area which once was the harbour of Patara. Voted as one of the top beaches in the world by Times Online, Best of 2005 and known as the "widest beach of the northern Mediterranean. Only about a 15 minute stroll from some of the major ruins, even in the height of summer it is never crowded. The absence of development and no water sports means that it is always peaceful. There is only one café near the end of the path to the beach, it also rents out sunbeds and umbrellas.
|Café's menu, click to enlarge|
Visit this page to see some of the Lycian remains you'll see from the road leading to the beach.
This year (2006) the government decided to issue single-entry tickets (rather than week-long ones) that cost 2 TL (1.50 USD, .85 GBP, 1.23 Euros). They give one access to the entire national park - the ruins and the beach.
The nearest resort area (besides the village of Patara) is Kalkan and during the tourist season dolmuşes (shared mini-buses, tickets are cheap) make daily, frequent trips to Patara, stopping near the beach. I'm not sure if dolmuşes run to Patara from Kaş, but they do run from Kaş to Kalkan and you could connect there.
Click photo above for a panoramic view of
|You can find plenty of solitude if you walk a bit down the beach|