Kemer Turkey, Kemer Holidays Country
Kemer (population 15,000) is a burgeoning beach holiday resort with its face turned to the rough, rocky beaches of the Mediterranean and its back to the steep, pine-clad Beydağlan (Bey Mountains). it was de-signed as a holding tank for planeloads of sun-seeking charter and group tours, and built to a government master plan. For most nonpackage holidaymakers it has little to offer. Passing through, you can stop for a meal and a look at the Yörük Parkı, an outdoor ethnological exhibit. Accommodation is available in all price ranges, should you want to stay, but most of the bigger places will be block-booked to tour opera-tors throughout the summer.
Liman Caddesi, the main street, is a typical-ly narrow Turkish noise-canyon lined with white hotels, palm trees, banks and cafes, where you must run the gauntlet of a string of leather, jevvellery and carpet shops. At the end of Liman Caddesi to the north is the large yacht marina and dry-dock; to the south is a peaceful cove with a beautiful crescent of sand-and-pebble beach backed by emerald grass and fragrant pine trees. Stands here rent out equipment for parasailing, water-skiing and windsurfing. Motorboat excursions run from the beach as well.
The otogar is in the north-western part of town.
The Tourism Information Office (242-814 1537, fax 814 1536) is in the Belediye Binası (municipal building). Kemer's postal code is 07980.
On a promontory north of the cove beach is Kemer's Yörük Parkı, an ethnographic exhibit meant to introduce you to some of the mysteries of the region. Local yörüks (nom-ads) lived in these black camel-hair tents now furnished with carpets and grass mats. Typical nomad paraphemalia includes dis-taffs for spinning woollen yarn, looms on which Turkish carpets are being woven, musical instruments and churns for butter and ayran (yoghurt drink). Among the tents, in the shade of the pines, are little rustic tables with three-legged stools at which a 'nomad girl will serve you refreshments and snacks.
Keep vvalking through the park and you'll emerge above the cove to enjoy the view. At night, Antalya, to the north, is a long string of shore lights in the distance.
Adjoining the Yörük Parkı, the Moonlight Park, between the sea and the Özkaymak Hotel, has a beach and yacht marina.
Places to Stay, Kemer Hotels, Hotels İn Kemer
Kemer's lodgings mainly cater to the package-holiday trade but a few cheaper places stili manage to cling on. One of the longest established and most congenial of them is King's Garden Pension (242-814 1039, fax 814 5546, Yenimahalle, Atatürk Bulvarı 109), also called King Pension, located north-east of the otogar. The rooms, set around a garden, are fairly basic but comfortable enough; the location is quiet; and the owners (she's English, he's Turkish) very congenial. The popular res-taurant attached to the pension has now been supplemented by one on the beach itself. in high season, rates for double rooms with shower are US$60, breakfast and dinner included. Off-season you can get B&B for US$40. Camping costs US$10 in a double tent. To find King Pension, fınd the PTT, then head toward the beach, following the signs.
If the King's prices are too high, cross the channel outside and walk back towards the otogar. You'll come to Portakal Pansiyon (242-814 4701) where rooms are slightly cheaper.
Other cheap pensions and camping grounds abound in this neighbourhood, and Kındılçeşme Kamp Alanı, operated by the forestry service, is 3.5km north of Kemer centre along the old highway. Set amid fra-grant pines at the edge of the sea, it's of ten fully booked in summer.
Getting There & Away
Frequent dolmuşes run from Antalya to Tekirova and Phaselis along the highway ('Üst yoldan ekspres', which means they stop only on the highway, not at otogars). There are also dolmuşes to Kemer's otogar from Antalya otogar, some of which follow parts of the old highway via Göynük and Beldibi (see below).
Approaching Kemer from Fethiye, Kaş and Kalkan, you're likely to find yourself dropped off on the main highway, 2km from the otogar. A taxi fare, if you don't want to walk or wait for a dolmuş, will be about US$5.