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Karataş Beach, Fethiye – A Beach For All Seasons

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Nothing stays still for long in the Fethiye area. That includes Karataş Beach.

At the moment, the coastline of Çiftlik and beyond, further west from Çalış Beach, is seeing much development by way of the construction of huge hotel complexes.

We’re not fans of those, preferring instead the slower, more low key, more compact way of life.

Waves lap the shores of Karataş Beach, Fethiye. Mountain backdrop and blue skies.
Views back to Fethiye from Karataş Beach

So, with that in mind, let’s stay around that area and concentrate on one of the local, small bays there; Karataş Beach.

Karataş Beach, Fethiye

Karataş Beach has always been known to us since we first started coming to Turkey.

It was a tiny bay in the middle of nowhere (to us) and we would drive there with friends out of season for sunny winter beach barbecues.

No roads like there are today. Just rubble tracks and, for one stretch, a drive along the compacted pebbles of the beach.

Park the car up and get the barbecue, chicken wings and köfte out. Happy days!

Unfortunately, as the years progressed, Karataş Beach gained infamy rather than adulation. Many were the visitors and much was the debris that was constantly left behind.

We hadn’t spent any time on the beach in years – it’s not very local to us and why make a special effort to go somewhere that you know is going to be full of litter?

No sooner had volunteers done a litter-pick than all the litter was back again.

A ‘New’ Karataş Beach

And then, at the beginning of the 2021 summer season, a boardwalk appeared across the beach.

Wooden entrance sign to Karataş Beach
Karataş Beach entrance

People on social media were rightly angry at the thought that yet another of Fethiye’s public bays was going to become private.

As it turned out, the work was being done by MUÇEV (Muğla Environmental Protection Foundation).

We went along that season and liked what we saw.

And then, in the winter of 2022-23, more change…

Wooden Stage Pub – that had been entertaining people like us in their setting opposite the Çalış water taxi office – upped sticks and took over the running of the beach.

Karataş Beach – Wooden Stage Pub

And that is no big disaster. We love Wooden Stage Pub.

There is no entrance fee to the beach, still. So, there’s no exclusivity.

If you want to go there just for a swim with your own deck chairs or whatever, you can do.

You are, however, requested by a sign at the entrance gate not to bring your own food and drink into the area.

A Beach Pub

These days, we think of Karataş Beach as being more like a beach pub.

If you want to go to the pub and sit in a beach setting, this is your place.

People sit at picnic tables on Karataş Beach. The tables are shaded by red umbrellas. Potted plants are in the foreground.
We always sit at the tables

You can sit down at the picnic tables on the sand and order bar food and drinks. The Adana Kebap dürüm (wrap) is great, by the way – we were so hungry, I forgot to take photographs!

The table set up is perfect for us. We’re not sunbathers so it’s just not worth us paying for a sun lounger and umbrella.

On our most recent day there with friends, we had a table where we could sit together and chat and eat and drink. And when we got too hot, a quick dip in the sea for a cool down.

Sunbathers

Karataş Beach sunbeds and umbrellas
You can rent sunbeds and umbrellas at Karataş Beach

If you are sunbathers and you like the comfort of a bed and umbrella, two beds with one umbrella will cost you a fee for the day.

A short walk from your bed to the sea for a dip and you can rinse off all the salty water afterwards in the showers.

And what we love about Karataş is it’s a lovely mixture of both sand and shingle. Getting in and out of the water is easy!

A fishing boat on the seashore at Karataş Beach
Early spring at Karataş Beach – compact sand and calm sea

And because it’s a sheltered bay, more often than not, the water is clear and calm.

Live Music

But we did say Wooden Stage Pub was famous for its live music when they were based in the main part of the resort of Çalış.

That is still the case after their move – and that’s why we now think of Karataş as a ‘beach pub.’

High season has been mainly about DJs and the odd theme night such as ‘White Night.’

And, out of season, the beach is still a great place to go.

People sit at wooden tables and chairs at Karataş Beach
The crowds soon started to arrive for Wooden Fest

Wooden Fest – a day-long music festival featuring Fethiye’s local bands and musicians – takes place occasionally and we went along to one in early spring.

Fortunately, we were there early enough to park ourselves at a table – they soon filled up.

Turkish people are experts in these situations, however. Just about everyone who arrived had their own deck chair bagged up across their back!

And that was it. Everything set up.

A male and female musician performing on stage at Wooden Fest
A perfect way to spend a spring day

Live music on stage. Kids playing football on the beach. People watching the bands and dancing or sitting and chatting. The bar in very full flow, barbecue on the go…

What a great way to spend a spring day!

Karataş Beach – In Summary

So, such a long time since we had been to spend any time on Karataş Beach and the changes made to the bay mean we were not carried back to those good old days of yore.

But that doesn’t matter. To see the bay being used in this way is lovely.

It’s not a beach club that that has any exclusivity aspirations.

Some will argue there shouldn’t be a business there, at all.

But, for us, the facilities, the rubbish bins and the supervising staff making sure the beach stays clean can’t be a bad thing.

Swathes of coastline along this area are, and will be, out of bounds to those not staying in the all-inclusive hotels.

Long may Karataş Beach remain accessible so that all of us can enjoy the sea and the views.

  • Update for Summer 2023; there is a dolmuş service that takes you all the way to Karataş Beach from Fethiye.
  • Alternatively, you can take the Fethiye-Çalış dolmuş to the last stop. From there, it’s around a 30 minute walk.
  • If you’re a beach person and love to visit different bays around the area, take a look at our Fethiye beaches page. There, you’ll find local (and slightly further afield) beaches along with an interactive map so you can find them easily.

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Trevor Montgomery

Monday 8th of August 2022

Hi we are going to visit tomorrow is there plenty of sunbeds ?? Also somewhere to eat etc is it best get down early? Thanks

Turkey's For Life

Tuesday 9th of August 2022

Hi, only just seen your comment, sorry. Yes, best to get to Karataş Beach early. There are plenty of beds but nice to have a choice. :) And yes, there is a place where you can eat. Have a great day.

Pat Curry

Friday 1st of July 2022

Went there today 1st July 2022. Did not want a sunbed as we were stopping to see how it had changed. Bought 2 bottles of water and sat on a bench. A member of staff said that we would have to pay 100 lira to stay on the bench for the day. We said we were not stopping. So free entry but you can't sit down

Turkey's For Life

Saturday 2nd of July 2022

Hi, thanks for your comment. :) Not sure which benches you mean as we haven't been there for a while. Beds and umbrellas are currently 100 TL for the day. But we do say in the article, you can sit on the beach without paying. Our friends were there a few days ago and spent the day there, doing just that. You can take your own deckchairs or whatever. They just lied on their towels. We didn't use the beach when we went; just the bar/restaurant area and didn't pay anything extra for that. We're hoping to get back there soon for the day.

Carol

Saturday 4th of September 2021

Will the dolmus take you that far ?

Turkey's For Life

Monday 6th of September 2021

Hi Carol, the Çiftlik dolmuş that leaves from Fethiye centre goes near Karataş Beach. Or, if you get on one of the Çalış dolmuşes and don't mind a walk it's about 40 minutes walk. A taxi wouldn't cost much, either.

Yasmine Oskay Scallan

Tuesday 17th of August 2021

As a Turkish woman living in San Francisco California, I look forward to your articles. Thank you! May you continue on good health! Çok teşekkürler ve seiamlar.

Turkey's For Life

Wednesday 18th of August 2021

Hi Yasmine, thanks a lot for your comment and glad you like the blog! :) Rica ederiz. :)

Gillian Tibbs

Tuesday 17th of August 2021

On our list for 2022 Is it within walking distance of Calis prom or would transport be better please? Have never walked past the end of the prom at that end.

Turkey's For Life

Wednesday 18th of August 2021

Hi Gillian, depends how far you like walking, we guess. :) We've now added a map to the post so you can see where Karataş Beach is. A taxi from Çalış Beach wouldn't cost much, either, if you don't want to walk too far.

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