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Patara is a small village set in the foothills of mountains on the southern side of Turkey and it has the most amazing beach. There are 18 kilometres of golden sands which, during the months of May through October, are nesting grounds for the Loggerhead Turtle.
The beach itself is just a twenty minute walk from the village although there are mini buses available. The golden sands seem to go on and on as there are no buildings of any description at the beach other than one official bar / restaurant which has sun beds and umbrellas to hire. Showers are also situated by the bar which provides employment for the youngsters of Patara and all profits are ploughed back into the village. The local school has benefited greatly from these funds. You can wander as far as you wish along the beach and do not have to stay within the bounds of the bar, however, do be careful when you are near the turtle eggs. It is a fascinating sight when these tiny creatures break free of their shells and head straight for the clear blue sea.
The village of Patara itself is nestled in the foothills of mountains and it abounds with olive groves, fruit orchards and greenhouses full of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. There are groups of traditional beehives dotted around the village and these produce the wonderful local honey. Patara really does represent rural Turkey and the locals are extremely friendly. If your holiday should coincide with a local wedding in the village you will be welcome to join in the happy event. There is a local mosque and you will hear the villagers being called to prayer on several occasions. When visiting mosques in Turkey, make sure you adhere to the traditions and remember to keep your arms and legs covered.
This area of Turkey lies within the heart of ancient Lycia and there are lots of archaeological sites to visit including the Lycian ancient tombs. Other interesting sites reasonably close to Patara are Pinara, Xanthos and Kekova Island whilst places such as Olympos and Aspendos are a little further away. Excavation is ongoing in this area and amongst the discoveries are a theatre, baths and one of the world's oldest lighthouses at the harbour entrance. The mountainous scenery is ideal for exploring on horseback and paragliding is a popular activity in this area as well. There are many boat trips taking you to unspoilt bays where you will have the opportunity to swim in the crystal clear water and enjoy a barbecue on one of the beaches.
There are several bars and restaurants in Patara where good meals may be taken with a glass of wine enjoyed whilst chatting to the locals, however, tourists usually head back to their hotel for a nightcap. Nightlife in the nearby Kalkan is far livelier than that in Patara and here you will find rooftop bars and harbour side restaurants.
The nearest airport to Patara is Dalaman Airport which is about an hour and thirty minutes drive away through some superb pine clad mountainous scenery. A range of different airlines fly to Dalaman from the UK, some of which include Thomas Cook, BA and Turkish Airlines. Flying time from the UK to Dalaman varies between four and five hours and depends on your airport of departure. A UK passport valid for three months is required to enter Turkey. Package holidays to this area of Turkey are very popular but the independent traveller will be able to find budget flights if they peruse the internet. Transfer from the airport to your final destination will be made by coach in the case of the package holidaymaker, however, there are numerous taxis outside the airport.
As it is a small village, there are no shops in Patara, however, the excellent town of Fethiye is just a dolmus ride away. The dolmus is the equivalent of a taxi minibus. The driver will stop for you wherever you are you just raise an arm and away you go. Fethiye is a shopper's paradise with numerous souvenir shops, boutiques selling designer clothing and jewellery outlets galore. The gold jewellery is not only very attractively and unusually designed but represents good value. To be a good shopper in Turkey you must practice the art of haggling which is not only expected by the traders in both shops and the weekly held market but also enjoyed by all those taking part in the bargaining as well as those onlookers in the immediate area. The weekly market is well worth a visit and is quite a large and popular affair. Fethiye itself is a pleasant place to visit with a superb harbour with several bars and restaurants alongside it.
To experience the traditional Turkish way of life, chill out on an excellent sandy beach and visit interesting archaeological sites, Patara is the ideal base for your holiday.