In Patara (also known as Gelemis), life slows to a different pace-
This small village, untouched by mass tourism is set in the foothills of the mountains, next to a wonderful 18km sandy beach, regularly featured as one of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful and un spoilt beaches.
Much of life here is geared around agriculture. Most of the locals have olive groves and fruit orchards, green houses filled with tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines and peppers and small plots of land on which they grow seasonal vegetables including beans, chillis, sweet corn, and sesame.
Clusters of traditional beehives can be found in the hills around the village, used for the production of delicious local honey.
A stay in Patara will give you chance to meet local people, listen to their stories and learn about their customs. You are encouraged to celebrate local culture and traditions, including weddings, engagements and festivals You will learn a little about the way of life as it has been in rural Turkey for many years.
The village is situated in Patara National Park, therefore building is severely restricted. It is a short but very pleasant walk to the beach, however most accommodations offer complimentary transport and there is a local mini bus service running from the centre of the village. The village is in a wooded valley, surrounded by open countryside.
In the centre of the village is the ‘cay’ (tea) garden where the locals meet to put the world to rights. There is the mosque, from which the evocative sound of the call to prayer can be heard several times a day. There are a few small shops, a post office, a couple of barbers and a handful of restaurants and lokantas in which to enjoy simple, but delicious meals. Visitors will delight in the variety of fresh local produce. Fresh herbs, such as wild thyme, oregano, fennel and sage, flourish in the mountains. The traditional local cuisine makes full use of the abundant fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs grown locally. The village is quiet and evenings can be spent enjoying a meal at one of the restaurants, followed by a drink or a ‘cay’ (tea) and an ice cream, chatting with the locals in the village tea garden, before returning to your chosen accommodation and relaxing with your hosts and fellow guests.
On the evenings when a little more sophistication is desired, Kalkan with its abundance of rooftop and harbour side restaurants and its warren of narrow streets filled with small boutiques and gift shops, is only a short drive away.