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Lara Beach is one of Turkeys longest sandy beaches and probably its best known. It is home to many themed hotels, mostly in the Kundu area. Most of these are replicas of world famous buildings such as the Kremlin, The Eiffel Tower or Topkapi Palace. As a result, the area enjoys the nickname "Las Vegas in Turkey", although Lara is a significantly different experience from its American namesake.
Thousands of people from other parts of Turkey and from overseas flock to Lara Beach annually and it is no surprise because the area has much to offer everyone especially families with young children. The area is safe and swimming is excellent. Children enjoy playing on the beaches and adults can relax whilst enjoying the sights and sounds of the locals going about their daily business.
Families will find everything they need at Lara Beach. There is no shortage of places to eat and drink and evening entertainment is lively. There are quiet, hidden places in Turkey but Lara is definitely the place to come if you enjoy a vibrant, energetic holiday atmosphere.
Lara is in the region of Antalya where the economy depends on a mixture of agriculture, commerce and tourism together with some light industry. Citrus fruits grow here as does cotton. Oliver, bananas and cut flowers all help to create a thriving local economy. In fact the area proudly claims to produce over sixty per cent of Turkey's demands for fresh fruit and vegetables.
The local produce helps to create some superb cuisine. The area's signature dishes include Piyaz which is made from walnuts, garlic, tahini and boiled beans. There are also spicy hibes with tahini, cumin, sis kofte, domates, and tandir kebap as well as cold Mediterranean dishes in olive oil. Boiled lupin seeds, tirmis, are eaten as a snack. Grida is a common fish in these parts and is very popular.
Antalya's weather is hot and dry in summer and warm and wet in the winter. The Mediterranean Sea lies just to the south and the Taurus Mountains are to the north. The geography is consequently narrow coastal plains which are surrounded by the sea on one side and mountains on the other three sides. On some parts of the glorious coastline, mountains plunge into the sea and form natural peninsulas and bays.
The Taurus Mountains help shield the area from any cold northerly winds in winter. As a result, there are over 300 days of sunshine every year. The sea temperature can range from around fifteen degrees to twenty eight degrees centigrade. In summer, air temperature can be as high as forty degrees centigrade in July and August. However, the breeze from the Meditteranean Sea can help to bring the temperatures down to a more enjoyable level.
The area has many sights of outstanding natural beauty as well as incredible historical ruins. If you walk behind the cascade of the Upper Duden Waterfalls on the way to Lara Beach, you can experience the thrill of the sight and sound of the water as it plunges to the sea. There is a nearby rest area with a superb view of the falls. If you take a boat trip, the view from the sea is even more exciting. Nilufer Lake and Kursunlu Waterfalls are two more places of natural beauty which are not far from Lara and definitely worth a visit.
The area in and around Lara is incredibly varied. There is such a diverse range of attractions and micro climates in one small area. On the slopes of Bakirli Mountain is Saklikent, a winter sports resort. After skiing in the morning, you can enjoy a delicious fresh fish lunch at Antalya's marina and then you can sunbathe in the afternoon on Lara Beach.
If you tire of the beach, a short distance away there is another world entirely. The mountain goats and deer in the mountains to the north of the region are protected under a government conservation programme. There is a 115 metre deep canyon at Guyer and the Karain Cave is the site of the oldest settlement in the country, dating back to around 50,000BC. There is a museum at the entrance with some finds from the site although many others are located at different museums throughout Turkey.
Considering the range of attractions in this area it is no wonder that many people from overseas have chosen to move here permanently. Lured here by the wonderful climate and relaxed way of life, the area around Lara has become home to many British and German expats who now call it home.