Why Kemer is the Turkish Riviera’s Best-Kept Secret
If you asked those in the know to describe Kemer, they’d probably tell you it was one of Mediterranean Turkey’s best-kept secrets.
When the country’s tourism industry took off in the early 1980s, the most popular resorts were Bodrum and Marmaris – a touch closer to Istanbul and a short hop from the Greek islands.
However, after the city’s airport opened in the late 1990s, Antalya quickly developed as Turkey’s second most popular destination. More recently, Kas and Kalkan have become firm favourites, especially among visitors looking for quieter, more authentic escapes.
But, while it’s by no means lacking in either attractions or amenities, Kemer hasn’t yet developed a similar high profile on the international stage. And, for those who have chosen to invest in property there, that suits them just fine.
Of course, there are still plenty of summer visitors. The town is popular among those from various European countries. Many return year after year to enjoy the beaches, bars, restaurants and local attractions both along the sea front and in the nearby Taurus Mountains.
But it hasn’t always been that way, and perhaps Kemer’s past still plays a part in its present.
A little bit of history
Back in the 1960s, the town was hard to reach. The landscape meant access was mostly by boat while localised flooding was a major issue after winter rains. However, the problem was largely solved by the construction of retaining walls, diverting flood waters away from the town. A new road followed in the 1980s and, suddenly, Kemer was in the game.
Since then, the town has developed into four municipalities – Beldibi, Çamyuva, Göynük and Tekirova. As well as thriving on the summer tourism trade, they are known for growing fruit including oranges, lemons, tangerines and pomegranates.
But, perhaps because of its former reputation as being somewhat remote and inaccessible, the area is just that little bit lower profile. That means competitive property prices in Kemer and a slightly lower cost of living than some of the better-known tourism hotspots. For example, a luxury villa with its own pool and grounds is still possible with a budget of EUR 350k to EUR 500k.
A fantastic location
One of the greenest resorts on the Turkish Riviera, the town is surrounded by pine forests with the Taurus Mountains providing a spectacular backdrop.
Antalya and its international airport are only around 30 miles up the coast, an easy journey along the D400, while local amenities include a modern state hospital, a 300-berth marina, luxury hotels, a busy bus terminal and numerous historical sites.
The town also boasts a thriving shopping precinct while restaurant, bars, clubs, coffee shops and cafes cater for tourists and locals alike.
A life of leisure
Now very much a summer resort, the area also offers plenty in the way of entertainment, hosting art exhibitions, pop concerts, a stage of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey, the World Rally Championship, some of Turkey’s own motocross competitions and a number of sailing regattas.
Activities include white-water rafting, mountain biking and hiking, water sports at the beach clubs and at the water parks.
Kemer is also home to a fascinating museum dedicated to the Yörük nomads and their way of life. And no visit to the area would be complete without a trip to the Mount Olympos National Park and a ride to the top on the cable car, calling in at the ruins of the Lycian city of Phaselis, or seeing the eternal flames among the rocks at Chimaera.
Of course, Antalya itself is also within easy reach, offering a host of long sandy beaches, the delightful old town and a number of retail parks and malls boasting well-known brands and high street names.
Buying property in Kemer
So, if all this sounds tempting, what sort of properties in Kemer might be right for you?
As ever – it depends. But, with so much history in the area, traditional Ottoman-style villas in need of renovation often come onto the market. There are also plenty of modern homes in Kemer too, thanks to the development that has been going on since the 1980s.
For those on a tighter budget, apartments and condominiums with shared gardens and pools are also popular, particularly among buy-to-let investors with an eye on a return. Indeed, rental yields can be as good as between 7% and 9% per annum with the potential for more should Kemer’s tourism become a year-round industry.
Kemer’s topography does mean a sea view isn’t guaranteed so, if you prefer to be closer to the ocean, hunt for properties in Göynük, which is close to one of the best beaches in the region. Beldibi is closer to Antalya but less developed than Kemer itself, while Kiriş is one of the coastline’s livelier locations and home to the Dolusu Water Park.
How can we help?
If you think Kemer might be the ideal spot to buy your dream home in Turkey, we’d love to help. If you’d like to know more, feel free to contact us or browse our blog for additional information. You can also see our full portfolio of homes in and around Antalya on our website.