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Kemer, Beldibi & Tekirova
Kemer is one of the earliest government-approved, and therefore carefully planned, tourist developments to have sprung up along the Turkish coast since the late 1980s. This narrow corridor of the land southwest of Antalya had never had a large natural population, but was ripe for tourist development. A great beach, pristine waters and a magnificent backdrop of pine-clad rocky peaks were the idyllic natural stage on which to build a resort. The resort itself, however, is not one of the most picturesque places- lots of functional, white-painted concrete – but what Kemer lacks in charm it makes up for in facilities, including an upmarket marina that attracts a wealthy international clientele. Everything for a fun beach holiday is here, plus classy shopping- although the nightlife is a little more laid-back than further east along the coast. Over time, development has expanded along the coast with other small resorts at Beldibi and Tekirova.These have a predominance of large, all-inclusive resort hotels, and Kemer is the lively heart of the‘strip’.
Kemer was the site of the ancient city of Idyros, or Likya, but nothing of this remains and little is known about it. By the early 20th century there was only a simple village on the site, but it suffered flooding from rain from the Olymbos Mountains.To counteract this,the local people built over 20 km |1| miles) of walls to protect the village. Kemer means ‘belt’ in Turkish – the name comes from these protective structures.
Kemer’s long but narrow pebble beach is jam-packed with loungers and umbrellas all summer. The only sandy beaches are found at Moonlight Park, in front of Yoriik Parki and next to the marina. Wooden jetties in front of each of the main hotels offer watersports and extra sunbathing space.
This is one of the finest modern marinas along the Turkish coast, with berths for 300 yachts and other boats. There are some extremely expensive craft here and it’s the perfect place to enjoy the maritime atmosphere and watch the activities of the crews and clients.
Moonlight Park Beach
Most of what Kemer has to offer in terms of what to do happens here. The long, sandy beach is a major draw, but add to this some good activities and a collection of restaurants, cafes and shops, and you have somewhere you can spend the whole day. The following sections are certainly worth a visit: Amphitheatre A 500-capacity, traditionally styled open-air venue that hosts cultural shows during the day and converts into a cinema in the evenings – this generally shows international films, but with Turkish subtitles. Mini-Club A programme specially designed for youngsters where they get to play games and enjoy arts and crafts, so parents can leave them knowing they are fully supervised. Swimming pool A large, freshwater pool for those who do not want to swim in the sea.
This offbeat theme park (and hotel accommodation) is unique in Turkey, and also offers thalassotherapy treatments and a traditional Chinese wellness centre with massage, acupuncture and medicinal treatments. Its main highlights are: Aquarium Park This is a combined aquarium and water park where you can watch the sea life of the Mediterranean in its salt-water home (the first of its kind in Turkey), and then enjoy an hour or so having fun on the water slides and in the freshwater pools, take diving lessons or simply enjoy the beach with its watersports. Country Park An ecological and folkloric reserve where the organic farming practices of old rural Turkey have been rekindled. At the cafes on site you can eat food made with the crops grown here. There are also colorful parades, magic shows and circus acts.