Kemer and Cirali - worlds apart

Kemer Travel Blog

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By car it takes you approximately 40 minutes to drive between Kemer and Cirali, south of Antalya. But in terms of holiday experiences these two places could not be further apart from each other.

Kemer was once a small fisihing village but has now been transformed into another of those holiday resort spots that has all but lot any of it's original charm and local authenticity. Yet these are the places holiday makers from the rest of Europe flock to. Still, I wanted to see it for myself and 2 days there was more than enough for me. The beach is so tightly packed with sun umbrellas and deckchairs that you can hardly move to the water! One tip, Kemer has 2 main beaches - when walking toward the Marina, the one to the right hand side near the Moonlight Beach is slightly less crowded. The promenade to the left side is lined with hotels blasting out ridiculously loud music as Russian teenage girls stroll up and down looking like they are trying to win a place on the books of some model agency. Locals are trying to pull you into every bar and restaurant, offering nothing in the way of a relaxing holiday in my opinion. However if you do find yourself here and want a slightly more Turkish feel to your stop than is likely to be offered by one of the big hotels I can recommend the Cigdemhan Pension www.cigdemhan.com with friendly service and a great location. I can also NOT recommend a boat trip with the Jet Sinbad line. What I was looking for was a nice day on the water admiring the gorgeous Turkish coastline and mountains. These guys were more intent on showing off their dancing skills, blasting loud music at everyone on the boat while they performed their "show time" complete with dry ice and foam. It maybe nice at midnight somewhere but not on a sunny day where people prefer to enjoy the sights and the sea. They also came along at the start of the cruise and removed bottles of water that their "guestes" had taken on board. No one mentioned when booking that this was not allowed. Of course I understand they want to sell things from their bar and this is fine for beer, coke or wine maybe but to stop people bringing their own water when you will be sitting on a boat all day is ridiculous. No points for you Jet Sinbad!

Farewell Kemer, hello Cirali. This is a smallish village nestled in a pine tree covered cove with quite a few small penions and small hotels but not a single high rise in sight!!! The beach is a long stretch of  sand and pebbles with a few sunchairs and umbrellas scattered along it's length. You can find plenty of small local restaurants and you are in close proximity to both the ruins of ancient Olympos (at the far end of the beach from Cirali) and also the eternal flames of the Chiamera (3kms). I can recommend www.arcadiaholiday.com for good accommodation and service or if you want something less expensive the Jasmin Pension also looked good or just search fro Cirali pensions online. Also big thumbs up to the Star Bar/Restaurant close to the beach for wonderful food and friendly service. Cirali is a place to escape the masses, enjoy a book or some walks or cycling and relax! No nightlife so if that is what you are looking for stay clear :-)
dahling says:
I remember first time I went to Chiamera, there was only one farm house out there. The farmer had to lead us through some woods to even find it. And thought us being stupid to crawl up a mountain, just because some old ruins. It was nice there, no people at all, except for the farmer and his wife.Wish I could find another place like it.
Posted on: Sep 26, 2007
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photo by: incha