Patara is a sprawling village, with a natural harbour, formerly a maritime and commercial city in the Lycian times. It is thought that the village was founded by Patarus, the son of Apollo. It offers a splendour of beaches, ranging from 50 metres to 20 kilometres long. Patara is also the birthplace of Saint Nicholas, the 4th century Byzantine bishop, who later passed into legend as Santa Claus. He lived his wife in the nearby town of Myra, the ancient city is now part of the tomato growing town of Demre. Patara was also famous for its temple and oracle of Apollo, second only to the one in Delphi. Little remains of this oracle but at you can still find Patara; a triple-arched triumphal gate, necropolis, Lycian tombs, baths, Basilica, the foundation remains of a Temple of Athena, an unusual circular cistern, a Corinthian temple and two other temples.
Patara beach is one of Turkey’s most beautiful beaches. It is the longest in its region, stretching 18 kilometres in length, sometimes reaching 200 – 300 metres in depth. The beach is under protection since it is used by Loggerhead turtles to lay their eggs. The beach is covered in soft sand and at the easternmost point, there is a rocky outcrop, which overlooks a spectacular cove.