Culture and food
One of the great things about Turkey holidays, and it can’t be underestimated, is the food on offer, and particularly seafood plucked directly from the sea. The fantastic Dolma, a variety of stuffed vegetable dishes, need to be tasted to be believed.
Tourists are probably most familiar with vine leaves that are stuffed with with rice, pine nuts, currants and spices, while vegetables and meat are usually served with yoghurt or a tomato sauce, all with a good smattering of sweet spice Sumac – red berries which are ground into a powder and can be added to nearly everything you eat – including your eggs at breakfast.
And of course Turkish coffee is a must when you’re here. For a great coffee and fantastic views over Kemer and the Taurus Mountains visit Kemer Tower Cafe & Bistro, which is easy to find thanks to its impressive steeple.
Nature and history
Kemer is a fantastic base from which you can explore the extensive pine, cedar and Juniper trees that are among the 1,000 plants that make up the forests of the Olympos National Park. Enjoy an unforgettable walk from the seashore towards the slope of the mountain or take the cable car to the top of Tahtali Mountain – from here you can observe the beauty of this park in its entirety.
Within the park sits some of the area’s most interesting sights, such as the Folkloric Nomad Park, which is just three kilometres from Kemer, and this tent city gives of taste of what life was like for Nomadic Turks.
The ancient city of Phaselis also lies within the park and is surrounded by three romantic bays. Once a thriving port town, the remains include a long harbour way, Roman aqueduct and baths, an Agora – ancient Greek area for gathering – and a beautiful theatre, or odeon, literally meaning ‘singing place’, and where our use of the word comes from. Phaselis and other ancient towns that lie along the coast can be accessed thanks to daily yacht tours.
Many of the hotels provide entertainment as part of their Turkey holiday packages, but there are plenty of other local attractions to enjoy, both during the day and at night. In the city centre, you’ll discover Aqua World Water Park divided into themed areas so that you can enjoy it with or without kids. If you’re feeling adventurous you can go river rafting or canoeing at the National Park, with daily tours organised to take you from Kemer to River Koprulu.
The EcoFun Park located on the tour route of Goynuk Canyon is a must! This enormous area located in the National Park offers you the chance to experience canyoning and ziplines. There are buses that will take you to the Phaselis Art and Culture Festival, which is set among the old ruins, featuring art exhibitions and traditional musical entertainment.
Pleasant winters means Turkey is a great destination all year around – so this might be a good time to take an organised day trip to what is sometimes referred to as the eighth wonder of the world, Pamukkale hot springs. Containing minerals, they are considered good to bathe in, while the rocky terraces created by the carbonate minerals left by the flowing water create an impressive view. A day trip will also take you to the ancient Roman city of Hierapolis where you can enjoy a traditional Turkish dinner.