The Kemer area of Antalya, Turkey is your typical beachside destination. Sporting large, all-inclusive hotels, small pensions and 52 kilometres of stunning beaches, every year, it hosts thousands of foreigners looking for a perfect two-week break full of sunshine. Upon first arriving, visitors see a clean and uniformed town that is well organised with a host of shops, bars, and restaurants to cater for every holidaymaker’s whim.
It also has stunning scenery as seen in the blue Mediterranean Sea and backing green Taurus mountain range. Sitting 43 kilometres, west of the main Antalya city centre, Kemer is all about rest and relaxation. Hence , daytime focuses on beaches and water sports. However, should you want to get active and explore sites and main tourist attractions, they are all accessible within a short drive, and there are plenty to keep going for weeks.
History of Kemer
Before the Turkish War of Independence, Kemer’s name was Eski Koy, which translates into old village. In stark contrast to its current-day appearance, streams coming down from the Taurus mountain range flooded the village so locals built a wall hence its current day name. Life for many decades was uneventful, with locals relying on fishing for a livelihood, but once mainstream tourism came to Turkey, they spotted opportunities and tourism changed their lives forever. These days, a population of 40,000 people spread across 4 main districts and 4 villages enjoy a Turkish lifestyle. The districts include central Kemer, Beldibi, Beycik, Camyuva, Goynuk, Tekirova, Kuzdere, Ovacik, and Ulupinar.
Guide to the Kemer Area of Antalya
How to Get to Kemer?
The easiest way is via Antalya Airport, a state-of-the-art travel hub with year-round flights to destinations around the world. From the airport, it is just an hours drive into central Kemer. Those entering by sea use the 320 berth Turkiz marina, but if you are catching a bus from other parts of Turkey, go first to Antalya otogar and from there, catch a connecting bus. If driving, you are in for a treat because Kemer sits off the main D400 highway running from east to west of Turkey and it is a scenic road trip.
Eating Out and Nightlife
Once the sun sets, Kemer gears up to a different vibe by offering a wide choice of eating and partying options. Eat your way around the world with the large choices of menus offered by various restaurants. Trip Advisor rates Panorama, Leon, and Captain Pirate as the three best and between them, their menus are endless including Turkish, seafood, French, steak, pasta, pizzas, Vegetarian and Vegan options. Otherwise, to let your hair down, the intensity of nightclubs and bars will satisfy all hardcore party goers.
When is the Best Time to Visit?
From November to April, the tourism season scales down, and January and February can be rainy, but otherwise, the best time to visit depends on what you want to do. If your idea of fun is lying around on the beach all day, any month from May to October will do, but the hottest temperatures for a golden sun-kissed sun tan occur from July to September. If you want to get active by exploring, pick cooler months like May, June, and October.
Prominent Resorts of the Kemer area
Peaceful Cirali: The busiest part of Kemer is the town centre but if you want peace, do not write off it off because the Cirali neighbourhood is all about nature, and a quiet lifestyle. The focus, a 3.5-kilometre beach that it shares with Olympus, and where Caretta turtles lay their eggs in the sand is a perfect place to enjoy the Mediterranean Sea. Whether walking the surrounding hills, chilling out on the beach, or hiring a bike to explore on wheels, there is nothing busy about this small village.
Rustic Olympus: Sitting next to Cirali, Olympos is a popular holiday resort, for backpackers on round the world trips. The quirky aspect is treehouse hostels, rooms, and suites, that also suit budget travellers thanks to their low cost. Even if you do not stay there, the ancient ruins sitting in the heart of the forest are a surreal sight and worth seeing. Old churches, restored houses, a temple, and sarcophagus are just a few of the landmark buildings on show.
Goynuk: Sitting in between Antalya city centre and Kemer centre, Goynuk is growing in popularity every year. Two reasons are scenic views, and top-quality hotels but the 2.9-kilometre-long beach also offers many water sports including para-gliding and jet skis that add to those summer vibes. Most hotels in Goynuk that sit on the coastline have their own stretch of beach and are a good choice if you want to wake up to a Mediterranean Sea view.
Things to Do in Kemer and Surrounding Areas
When it comes to things to do, Kemer delivers in bucket loads. As well as beaches, shopping, night-life, and water sports, local excursions and places of interest delights young and old alike. Tour shops sell daily boat cruises around the coastline which are a great way to top up your tan. The story says one day on a boat is worth three on a beach.
For adventure, sign up for jeep safaris, horse riding tours, or quad biking experience. Scuba diving is big business, even with people who have never done it before because, after a health check and safety briefing, beginners start off with a try dive at the beach. If you like it, explore the underwater life even further by signing up for more lessons and even completing your PADI certificate. Otherwise, what are the main sites to see?
Beachy and Historical Phaselis: Sitting just 11 kilometres from Kemer town centre, the ancient Lycian city of Phaselis in Tekirova district is a must-see, even for non-history lovers because two stunning beaches surrounding the ruins are worthy of gracing any travel brochure. Most daily boat trips leaving from Kalkan harbour visit there, or you can reach it by road. Founded in the 7th century, the ruins, and beaches also surround the Mediterranean Sea, and in the background views of the Taurus mountains make this a scenic place. Abandoned in the 13th century, historical remains to see now include the harbour street, theatre, acropolis, Byzantine basilica, aqueduct, and two baths.
Mount Tahtali Cable Car: Get ready for a spectacular view over the Mediterranean coastline from Mount Tahtali viewpoint standing at over 2000 metres high. Using the slogan from sea to sky, the attraction is one of the most popular in Antalya and once you experience it for yourself, you will understand why. A short ten-minute cable car ride takes passengers to the top and a 360 panoramic view including the Taurus mountain range. Have dinner, relax, descend back down in the cable car or for a daredevil ride, paraglide down.
Chimaera Burning Flames: Called Yanartas in Turkish, the best time to see the flames is at night. Sitting in Cirali district, for many decades, the flames were a mythological myth and ships used them to avoid the coastline. However, science explains their existence since natural gases oozing out of small rocks, burn 24 hours s day seven days a week. It is a long walk uphill to reach them and not for anyone with walking difficulties, but for those who reach it, take a flask and marshmallows for a surreal night under the stars.
Goynuk Canyon and Eco Fun Adventure Park: This day is all about getting active with nature. The natural Goynuk Canyon rarely features in mainstream magazines yet do not underestimate its beauty. Local shops sell canyoning tours that include the gear and give safety briefings, while kids and adults alike will enjoy the Eco Fun Adventure Park hosting 40-metre-high zip wires. Goynuk is also home to Dinopark with its high models of dinosaurs that are an enjoyable way to educate kids.
Antalya City Centre: Last on our list of things to do in the Kemer area of Antalya is to go further afield. Catch a bus and head for a day out in Antalya city centre. Delights to see include Hadrian’s gate that is the entrance to Kaleici, the old part of town. Wonder the narrow, cobbled streets to admire the original Ottoman architecture, window-shop in small boutiques and seek well-known landmarks like the clock tower and mosque. A great place to have lunch is down by the harbour by otherwise, additional places to see include Antalya aquarium, Antalya Museum, Duden waterfalls and the famous Konyaalti beach, one of the best in Turkey as rated by Trip Advisor users.
Buying Property in Kemer
Many foreign property buyers and Turks choose Kemer because it offers their idea of a perfect lifestyle, and is also close to the main Antalya city, should they want to step it up a notch. The real estate market offers much future potential for capital appreciation and is ever-revolving with apartments and villas bought and sold every month. If you are looking at buying property in Turkey, see what is for sale in here, or contact us to find out more information about the resort and arrange a time and date for viewing.
Also, of Interest
Kemer belongs to the large Antalya region, covering a large section of Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. Our Antalya information guide talks more about things to do, why the region is famous, each individual district and what makes it stand out, and living here.
Guide to the Turkish Riviera: As one of the Turkish Riviera’s main hubs, Antalya enjoys much success in the sailing world. Unlike counterparts in other countries, you also do not have to be rich to sail it. This article talks more about gulet cruises, what to pack, why sail in Turkey and experiences to treasure for a lifetime.
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