Patara-Four Reasons Why I Will Not Go Back

Here is the thing about Patara. I actually liked this small quaint village that is part of the Lycian way trekking route but a series of events forced me to wonder if Patara did not want me on its doorstep.

I am a great believer in the sixth sense, paying heed to our intuition and after a disastrous three days in the small village, I really did wonder if a supernatural force was trying to tell me that I was not welcome.

A series of events forced me to make the promise that I won’t ever return.

Soaked on Patara Beach

It all started two hours after I had arrived and dumped my bags at the hotel. I found my way to the famous Patara beach which is 18km of sand, listed as one of the best beaches in Turkey and is a protected area for the Caretta Caretta turtle.

While I was enthralled in the moment and taking pictures from all angles, the heavens opened and gale force winds caused loose grain of sands to fly into my hair, into my camera lens and also hamper my vision as to where to seek cover.

Eventually I made it to a small hut restaurant, but I was soaked right through. My top and trousers were clinging to me. My hair was dripping wet and sticking fast to my face. Head down with embarrassment, I walked into the restaurant and past people who were staring while leaving a trail of water and sand behind me.

My visit to Patara beach had not gone as planned.

Patara Beach

 The Ancient Ruins were not Kind to Me Either

The next thing to do on my bucket list was to see the ancient ruins of Patara. They are listed as one of the recommended historical sites on the Lycian way trek. The problem was that I could not find them.

I was looking for one massive historical site that could be seen for miles but it transpired that the ruins are scattered all over the countryside. That is why you are giving a map when you pay your entrance fee! (I had just shoved the map in my bag without even looking at it)

Lycian Way Ruins

Anyway, I was quite thrilled to be slowly making my way around the Angora, theatre and market street. Unfortunately previous rain fall had turned the path slippery and muddy so getting around was proving to be an ordeal.

I should have realized that at some point, I was bound to end up slipping, landing on my rear end with dented pride and a great fear that I had bruised my coxic bone.

Walking away in pain, I figured that bad luck always comes in a batch of three so that was two down, one to go.

Patara Lycian League City

Food poisoning was next

I assumed that the disaster at Patara Beach and the ruins were the reasons why I was feeling very lethargic when night time came. I went to bed early however it turned out to be something more than lethargy.

Around 1am in the morning, I woke up drenched in sweat and with an urgent need to throw up. For the next 24 hours, I was confined to my hotel room with violent sickness from both ends and a strong belief that I was on deaths doorstep!

Without the hotel manager bringing me tea and offering to buy any medicines I needed, I could have quite easily given up at that point. I ended up on the phone, crying to my friend about my sickness which I strongly suspected to be food poisoning.

Let’s not forget about mosquitoes!

Living in Turkey, I am no stranger to mosquitoes but the size and persistence of the mosquitoes in Patara made me believe they were genetically modified!

Despite covering myself in cream and spraying the room to the point of choking, I still woke up in the morning with a face that resembled Frankenstein due to the mosquitoes.

The heavy rainfall in previous days and the large lake in Patara had forced the mosquitoes out in droves to suck blood from any innocent soul.

Patara Lake

Did Anything Good Happen?

Well, yes. Despite setbacks, I found Patara beach to be beautiful and the ruins to be magnificent. Out of all the historical ruins listed on the Lycian way trek, Patara is a must-see as it was one of the ancient cities of the Lycian league and I am proud to say that I have been there

Let’s not forget about the hotel manager who insisted that I had just came at the wrong time of year and told me that August is the best time to visit. He was also very helpful in my time of sickness and with giving me local information.

There was also the crazy Italian who was part owner of the hotel and called Luca.  His expressions and the way he spoke English with an Italian accent just brightened up my disastrous days and made me laugh.

Patara

My Departure from Patara

As I was leaving Patara to continue the route of the Lycian way trek, I had an overwhelming feeling of relief. Despite its appealing rustic and laid back vibes, the combination of bad events have left me with memories that I have no wish to recall in a hurry.

Patara marble arch

Would I Recommend Patara for a Holiday?

Yes, if you do not want luxury.

Independent back packers use it as a stopover point on their way to Olympos and elderly couples use it as a base to explore the area by car. There are of course, the trekkers who are following the route of the Lycian way.

Locals told me that at one point; it was a very popular holiday destination however the massive holiday companies withdrawing it from their books soon meant that fewer people visit it every year.

However, I won’t be returning to Patara in this lifetime as I just got the feeling that a supernatural force was telling me I was not welcome.

Beach at Patara

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Natalie

Hi. My name is Natalie Sayin and I am the author of The Turkish Travel Blog. I am an eccentric,Internet addict with a passion for history. I really shouldn't travel because I can not read maps and always lose my way! But hey, that never stops me and it is part of the fun! Leave a comment below to join the discussions.
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Comments

  1. Sabrina says

    Hello,
    I just wanted to say that I also got food poisoning after eating at the Patara beach ‘restaurant’. I wasn’t sure exactly why I was sick but after reading this, I’m really curious to know if you ate there before being sick.
    You were unlucky with the weather because Patara is really nice and rewarding when walking the Lycian way.

  2. says

    aww I’m sorry that you did not have a totally nice holiday! But yea… I totally get that whole “uhmmm not wanted!!” feeling. :P It’s happened to me before.

    But those photos look awesome. I wish I could visit places like that. Ruins and history are like a crack addiction to me :P I love them!! Can’t get enough~
    Jenny wrote about..Sponsor Feature: A’musing Blog & Design

  3. says

    J and I saw Patara about 20 years ago and prefer to keep our memories from that time (having heard what has transpired there in the intervening years). The withdrawal of holiday coys is no surprise considering the outrageous entrance fees being charged a few years back. Sorry to hear about your travails – hope you are all recovered. Plenty of more welcoming place to discover along life’s route.
    Alan wrote about..‘Jesus Wept!’

  4. says

    That sounds like a horrible couple of days!! I am no stranger to mosquitoes either, but the ones that made home in our Croatian apartment this week have a persistence and a superhuman ability to not die. The Lycian Way sounds so incredible, and I’ll try to look forward to Patara someday keeping this in mind!

  5. says

    Wow that was one tragedy after another! But I’m glad you were able to take something out of it.

    That food poisoning sounded pretty rough, thank god that as bad as it was it was not more serious.

    It sounds like Patara might be the place for a day trip or for one night but not to hang around too long.

    Here’s to the next stop on the journey!
    John Garrett wrote about..Monday Comics – Fantasy Comic THE EVER ZONE

  6. says

    Oh Natalie, it just didn’t happen did it? :) To be honest, I’m not big fan of Patara but it’s for memories of what’s happened there (like you). We don’t really do beaches and we got baked there once. No shade for miles around – and that’s my overriding memory. Sad, I know!
    Julia

  7. says

    I guess the cliche “you win some and you lose some” is appropriate here. Although your experience was not great, your photos tell a different story :-)

  8. Cynthia says

    Natalie, I think every one of us has got that place where EVERY thing goes wrong and the best thing to do is leave at once, however … I had such a lovely time in Patara! I was there for one idyllic and relaxing week. It is shame you won’t return – I stayed at Dardanos Hotel with Arif as my host and he made the entire visit extremely pleasant! He also put a mosquito repellant plug-in in the room to ensure comfort :) Happy travels!

  9. says

    Patara! I really wanted to go when I was in Turkey but didn’t end up making it there. I wonder if I’d have suffered the same fate with weather – it was either monstrously hot or pouring with rain when I was in nearby Fethiye.

    I think Gaziantep was the one place that told me I wasn’t welcome. The lack of ice pops pushed me over the edge.
    Tom @ Waegook Tom wrote about..Jeju Lava Tubes, Or Sign Karma

  10. Stu says

    Well we had a lovely three days at Patara in September and plan to walk there this Christmas.

    Must admit tho, the village is a bit creepy. …….

  11. Gail says

    I am reading all the posts and looking over at ‘my love’ – she is the little companion who has travelled with me for the past 7 years and she is Patara born and bred – my lovely dog Eve! I have been there many many times and it was on my 2nd visit that I rescued this little scrap of humanity from certain death. As I lived in Turkey it was not a problem to ‘take her’ although I had resisted the temptation to adopt an animal on a daily basis owing to me being consumed by running a business over there and it was the best thing I have ever done. It took me nearly a year to get her into the UK in 2012 and Patara will always be a very special place (although I was lost alone in the sand dunes for 3hrs once in August and was nearing expiry!) – I found the one-horse-street to be welcoming and frequently hung out in the Medusa Bar – so many happy memories for me…

  12. Jacqui's Watson says

    Have been going to Patara for approx 20 years now. Cost to get to the ruins and beach for one week is about £5 ~ really expensive isn’t it? The money goes to the up keep of the beach toilets, fabulously clean, changing room, shower and cafe, which we have eaten in on many occasions and never became ill . The village is small, very friendly and inexpensive. The mossier are a pain in May (not for me but for my partner who they love). Why have we been going for 20 years, because it is everything we want in a holiday, without any of that posie stuff, no “English breakfast served here” and authentic Turkish hospitality.

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