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.
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.
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).
The jury may still be out for some people but when we made the long, gentle stroll down there to see what had become of Karataş Beach, we liked what we saw.
A Public Beach
First of all, and most importantly, Karataş Beach is still a public beach, meaning there is no entrance fee. 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.
And you can also use the loos, showers and changing cabins to boot! They’re public and free to use for anyone at the beach.
Karataş Beach Spends
Of course, there are opportunities for you to part with some of your Turkish Lira. But, because it is still a public beach, it’s not going to break the bank.
This is not a private beach where everything is all-singing, all-dancing. It’s basic yet looks the part – and we like it that way.
If you’re 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.
Diners & Drinkers
If you get hungry and thirsty, the staff can bring food and drink to your sun loungers.
Or you can go and sit in the shaded seating area or the separate shaded tables next to the dining area.
We’re not going gourmet here. And neither are we going top notch bar with full range of wines and spirits.
For now, at least, Karataş Beach is a bay offering practical, comfortable facilities, a simple food menu and a bar with a range of soft drinks and a few alcoholic drink options. All of which are very reasonably priced.
We had lunch and a couple of beers when we were there. Barry opted for the chicken wings whilst I ordered a chicken şiş.
A simple Turkish grill with the the traditional accompaniments: Grilled pepper and onion, lavaş bread and bulgur pilaf.
Nothing over the top and all perfectly satisfying. A lovely afternoon spent in old yet new surroundings.
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 weren’t carried back to those good old days of yore.
But that didn’t matter. To see the bay being used in this way was lovely.
It’s not a beach club that divides the haves and the have nots.
Some will argue there shouldn’t be a business there, at all. But for us, as long as it remains a public beach controlled by MUÇEV, it’s a good thing.
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 a public beach so that all of us can enjoy the sea and the views.
- Update for Summer 2022; there is a dolmuş service that now takes you all the way to Karataş Beach from Fethiye.
- 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.