Regular readers will know we have a bit of an obsession with the D400 road that runs along the length of the southern coast of Turkey (we have a post coming up soon dedicated to this lengthy stretch of tarmac) and anyone who has driven along it will know why. Mountains, Mediterranean, twists and turns, small villages and towns, Roman and Lycian archaeological sites galore…and fabulous bays like Kaputaş Beach.
Kaputaş Plajı (Kaputaş Beach)
As the driver passes above Kalkan and continues along the D400 towards Kaş, all powers of concentration need to be in operation to negotiate the road’s sharp bends – and this is not easy when sheer cliff faces rise to your left and plummet to your right where the Mediterranean stretches away towards the horizon. It’s a dramatic scene that forces you to stop the car (where possible) and take all in.
And the perfect, possible stopping point between Kalkan and Kaş is Kaputaş Beach. As the high road twists tightly around the cliff face on the right of this shot, the driver sees a deep gorge and passes over a bridge. A quick glance to the right (remember, you need to watch the road, too) reveals a breathtaking, stereotypical, idyllic Mediterranean scene down below (note the size of the people below for a bit of perspective).
This scene is Kaputaş Beach and, certainly online, it’s starting to rival photos of Ölüdeniz as the ‘Turkey-beach-shot.’ And why wouldn’t it? Azure waters, golden sands and the surprise factor. If you’re concentrating on the road the only clue to what lies below is a simple brown sign that reads ‘Kaputaş’ and a small parking bay to the right, complete with security box. In summer, cars arrive early to grab one of the few parking spots before the passengers begin the trek down the many steps to Kaputaş beach.
We’ve only ventured down these steps to Kaputaş Beach on one occasion. It was a few years ago on a sunny January day and we were the only people there. Bliss. And the fact that it was January made the hike back up the steps to the car slightly easier! These days, we prefer to admire from above and, as you can see in the photo, this year’s mild spring has meant early April is beach weather. There was someone coming out of the sea just as we arrived.
This beautiful Kaputaş section of the D400, (and therefore access to the beach by road) has not come without cost. Attached to the cliff faces either side of the gorge is a plaque commemorating four road workers who were tragically killed when detonating dynamite to blast away the cliff face to build the road. (We’d like to say thanks to a reader who told us about these plaques as we’d never noticed them, previously.)
And between these commemorative plaques is another board, this time providing information about the nature of the local area, labelled as the Five Wonders of Antalya Conservation Project.
This conservation project aims to prevent the extinction of endangered plants that grow only in the Antalya region of Turkey. Amazingly, there are 250 such plants and 44 of them are described as ‘critically endangered.’ Seeds from these plants are being collected and stored in Turkey’s Seed Gene Bank and local people are being trained in how to recognise each species and how to best protect them.
Our first thought was, well why is this board just stuck on the edge of a main road, easily missed by drivers and visitors to the beach. On reading the information, however, all became apparent. One of the endangered plant species is the Kaputaş Inula (the yellow flowering plant second to bottom) that grows only on Kaputaş Beach and around the immediate area.
According to the board, they bloom from June to August in rocky areas and are endangered purely because the range of their area of dispersion is so narrow. Keep an eye out for the Kaputaş Inula if you do visit this area, and here’s hoping the conservation project is successful in its aims.
Kaputaş Beach – Useful Information
- Kaputaş Beach is below the D400 road around 2 miles east of Kalkan, heading towards Kaş. (View the location on our map)
- Sunbeds and umbrellas are laid out in summer season but parking is limited to a few cars.
- Kaputaş Beach really is just a beach – and a conservation area. No toilets, no refreshments. Go prepared.
- The Fethiye-Antalya (sahilden) bus passes the beach after stopping in Kalkan. Tell the driver where you’re going and he’ll drop you off at the entrance. And of course, make sure you check the bus times to get back!
- If you’re driving from Fethiye, as we did, the journey time is approximately 60 minutes, allowing for getting stuck behind the odd tractor and lorry en route.