Patara Beach on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast is a wonderful, untouched stretch of long sandy beach, perfect for fun in the sun at any time of year. Patara Beach, unlike the beaches to the east, is a sandy stretch of beach, continuing uninterrupted for 12 km.
Located close to the starting point of Turkey’s Lycian Way hiking trail, one of the oldest and most well-trodden paths in Turkey, Patara is a delight for travellers of all ages. Beyond the fascinating history of the area, layered with Ptolemaic, Roman and Persian influences, Patara is an important natural area, full of biodiversity.
The ruins of the ancient city back onto the hills and valleys lined with fir trees and wildflowers, while the sea is host to an ever-changing population of fish, turtles, plankton and more. The sea can be seen from the ancient city, which was once perched on the sea-side. Patara’s formerly natural harbour, long ago silted up to become more of a marshland, full of grasses and birdsong. The sea, crashing onto the sandy beach, is sparkling clean, allowing for spectacular clarity when diving or snorkelling.
What you’ll see:
Caretta caretta or loggerhead turtles use Patara Beach as a nesting site from May to September. Turtles play an active role in increasing biodiversity in the ocean. As they travel they help to move plankton and other miniscule particles that help to pollinate spores released by other animals or corals. As such, the turtles and their nesting sites must be protected. To that end, Patara Beach is closed in the evening from May to September, allowing the turtles to come ashore, build their nests and lay their eggs safely.
Depending on the season and the temperature of the water and currents moving through, there are a variety of fish species to keep your eyes open for just off the shores of Patara Beach. Sea Bream, Sunfish and even Tuna swim in the Mediterranean. Which fish can you spot?
3. Sea Urchins
Sea urchins are found typically in deeper water or close to the shoreline, attached to rocks. Divers setting off for Patara are likely to see them on their expeditions further afield, with the sea at Patara a little wavy, sea urchins have a hard time staying put!
Because Patara is a protected marine park, sea sports activities that attract large groups, create loud noises or give off fumes are not allowed in the park. This makes Patara a more relaxed place to enjoy the sea and sun on the Turkish coast. Walking along the endless sandy shore, stopping for swimming or sun breaks and watching the boats sailing past from shore are top Patara Beach pastimes.