Kemer is a seaside resort and district of Antalya Province on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, 40 km (25 mi) west of the city of Antalya, on the Turkish Riviera.
Kemer is on the Gulf of Antalya, 53 km (33 mi) of sea coast with the skirts of the western Taurus Mountains behind. The coast has the typical Mediterranean hot, dry weather and warm sea. Until the early 1980s this was a quiet rural district but today the town of Kemer and coastal villages in the district play a very important part in tourism in Turkey.
Kemer was the ancient Greek city of Idyros, member of the Lycian League, which after the Ottoman era was called Eski Köy (Old Village) until a 23 km (14 mi) long stone wall was built in 1916 - 1917 to channel the mountain stream water and protect the town from flooding, which until then had been a persistent problem. The name Kemer refers to those walls.
Until the 1960s there was no road connection and the district was accessible only by boat. Then a road was built and from the 1980s onwards this was followed by a great investment in infrastructure, planned by the state and funded by the World Bank, aimed at developing a large tourist industry.
The district has a population of 36,010 according to the 2010 census. The town itself has 20,785 inhabitants. Kemer has 4 municipalities (Beldibi, Çamyuva, Göynük, Tekirova) and 4 villages.
The population of the towns and villages (municipality names are embolded) are shown in the table below:
Tourism in Kemer
One of the major attractions of Kemer is its natural environment; including the sea, mountains and pine forests. The shore from Beldibi to Tekirova consists of a number of beaches in bays of various sizes, mostly stoney rather than sand. Supported by transport and communication links, and related municipal services, Kemer has a large proportion of the hotel bed capacity of the Antalya region, and attracts visitors from countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, and in recent years families from Russia. Many of the visitors come as part of low-cost all-inclusive package deals but tourism is still the mainstay of the local economy. There are so many visitors that most shops in Kemer are set up to sell things like leather jackets to overseas visitors and trade in the euro as well as the Turkish lira.
Kemer's 320 berth marina offers several restaurants for the tourists as well as being a wintering-over marina for liveaboard sailors from the USA, England and parts of Europe.
Göynük (Goynuk) Canyon, Ulupınar, Olympos, Chimaera, Phaselis, Three Islands and Eco Park are the touristic sites of the Kemer area.
The town of Kemer has a number of clubs, bars and restaurants, blue flag beaches and a 320 capacity yacht marina. Coastal villages include Beldibi, Kiriş, Çayova, Aslanbucak, Kuzdere, Beycik, Çamyuva, Göynük, and Çıralı.
Annual events in the area include art exhibitions in Phaselis, boat races, WRC (World Rally Championship), Turkey Offshore Championship, Turkey Motocross Championship, Phaselis Art Festival, and Kemer Carnival. International pop stars and Djs, such as Tarkan and DJ Tiesto, give summer concerts on this coast.
The Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey (Turkish: Cumhurbaşkanlığı Bisiklet Turu) is a professional road bicycle racing stage race held each spring.
In the last years there is rising number of outdoor enthusiasts visiting Kemer for trekking the Lycian Way and for mountainbiking.
Kemer has a hot Mediterranean climate with very hot, long and dry summers with cool, rainy winters. In the height of summer temperatures frequently exceed 40 °C (104 °F).
Places of interest
- Adrasan Bay - 2 kilometres of beach.
- The Çıralı village and 4 km (2 mi) beach. Used for nature walks and sections of the Lycian Way.
- Üç Adalar (Three Islands) - visited by scuba divers.
- Göynük Canyon
- İkiz Kayalar (Twin Rocks)
- The village of Ulupınar, with its mountain spring water.
- There are a number of caves including Beldibi, and the Molla hole in the east face of Tahtalı mountain.
- And the Taurus Mountains offering hiking or tours with SUVs.
- Chimaera - the natural burning rock of Greek mythology.
- The ancient cities of Phaselis and Olympos.
- The town of Kemer itself has some remains of antique Idryos, a Byzantine church and a Seljuk Turkish hunting lodge.
Kemer hosted the 2007 World Youth Chess Championship
Kemer is twinned with
- [[INLINE_IMAGE|//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/ba/Flag_of_Germany.svg/20px-Flag_of_Germany.svg.png|//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/ba/Flag_of_Germany.svg/30px-Flag_of_Germany.svg.png 1.5x, //upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/ba/Flag_of_Germany.svg/40px-Flag_of_Germany.svg.png 2x|Flag of Germany.svg|h12|w20|flagicon-img]] Schwabach, Germany (since 1998)
- [[INLINE_IMAGE|//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1e/Flag_of_the_Turkish_Republic_of_Northern_Cyprus.svg/20px-Flag_of_the_Turkish_Republic_of_Northern_Cyprus.svg.png|//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1e/Flag_of_the_Turkish_Republic_of_Northern_Cyprus.svg/30px-Flag_of_the_Turkish_Republic_of_Northern_Cyprus.svg.png 1.5x, //upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1e/Flag_of_the_Turkish_Republic_of_Northern_Cyprus.svg/40px-Flag_of_the_Turkish_Republic_of_Northern_Cyprus.svg.png 2x|Flag of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.svg|h13|w20|flagicon-img]] Lapithos, Northern Cyprus (since 2012)