Kemer is typical of most of the coastal resorts in Turkey. It pampers to the needs of tourists with crowded beaches, masses of five star luxury hotels and enough shops to empty your purse in the flash of an eye.
However, I was not looking for the typical tourist experience. I wanted to find the face of Kemer that was not hungry for money and made it obvious at every opportunity. It was easy to realize that greed was seeping through the pores of many excursion touts, leather shops owners and desperation was obvious at every turn.
About Kemer in the Antalya Region of Turkey
Don’t get me wrong. Kemer is aesthetically pleasing on the eye. The town is very clean and uniformed. Surrounded by the Taurus Mountains; it is a pretty destination consisting of a harbor, posh marina and long beach front. Don’t forget about all the streets that look the same and the quirky taxi driver who thought it was rather funny that I was walking in completely the opposite direction to where I wanted to go.
However for all the maintenance and upkeep that goes into Kemer, there were no welcoming vibes and it was absent from any feel good factor. I headed to places out of town to experience a relaxed atmosphere and meet locals who did not try to sell me a leather jacket that is of no use to me in this blistering heat.
The same taxi driver that was laughing at me soon turned the conversation into a serious one and told me that many businesses are struggling. Apparently, Kemer used to be filled with Germans spending the Euro currency like there was no tomorrow. Now, he says the town is dominated by Russians who count every penny twice and refuse to move from their artificial havens of the all-inclusive hotels.
While the Aegean coast seems to be dominated by Brits, I struggled to meet any in this area. I overheard just two English accents. Now this does not bother me, because I was happy with my own company and did not need to make friends. What did bother me was the obsession with the Euro. This is Turkey and the currency is Turkish lira so why in the hell is everything priced up in Euros?
My budgeting for the first couple of days of the trip was gone because of the towns obsession with the Euro and the different currency exchange rates being used. I had lunch in a restaurant whose menu was advertised in Turkish lira, the bill arrived and it was in Euros!
Four days in Kemer was enough for me. Walking along the beach front was not a pleasant experience, when faced with numerous men who are past their sell-by-date wearing tight skin speedos. The town is fake but thanks to Ufuk Guven who is a passionate traveller and tourism expert from the Adventure Forest Park, I managed to get away from the main town of Kemer and discover some surrounding areas of pure beauty.
If you do come to Kemer, don’t assume that this is Turkey at its best. It is not. In my opinion, Kemer appeared tired and desperate , hence the result is a holiday resort that has no attraction. Hire a car or use local transport and head to the many hidden secrets surrounding the main town of Kemer. They are the destinations that will ensure you have a memorable holiday.