It’s no secret that the beaches in Antalya are big and popular, in their own individual way. Some are with stones, some with sand and others are kind of a blend. Most of the beaches has some kind of facilities ex. with cafes, various activities, water sports, showers (for rinsing the salty Mediterranean Sea), good toilet facilities, lockers etc. Above all, there are more beaches to choose from such as Konyaalti beach and Lara beach – also even if you are completely close to the city. I have previously written about the Konyaalti beach, located just west of Antalya city and the little Mermerli beach in the city center.
Lara beach is a large beach, located east of the city – towards the airport and the small towns of Belek, Side and the slightly larger Alanya city. Lara beach is not one big beach, as it is actually divided into two – Lara Beach and Lara Kundu Beach. Lara is known as the city’s largest sandy beach and is characterized by a slightly lower depth of water, than the beaches west of Antalya (so the beaches here are a bit more child-friendly) and with fine golden sands (few places with small stones all the way out to water edge) and with clear blue water.
Of course, the Lara beach has the internationally known blue flag which ensures proper water quality and bathing conditions.
The beaches have slightly different experiences in choice of activities, restaurants and facilities. What separates them apart from each other (besides a river) is, that although both on paper are public beaches, the Lara Kundu beach is mostly for those, who live in one of the big 5 star resorts, that are located directly to the beach. Here you have unobstructed access to all facilities if you have the wristband from one of the hotels. But if you are just a regular visitor you have very limited access to the shower, toilets, restaurants and bars.
The more popular Lara beach is easily accessible and offers a bunch of activities. Of course there are plenty of beach clubs, where you can rent sunbeds, umbrellas, beach pavilions, and places where you can picnic and sit a little in the shade and enjoy your food. But there are also a multitude of activities such as beach volleyball, beach-soccer, cycling and jogging, jet skiing, banana boats, para-sailing, kite surfing, etc.
At most Beach Clubs there are possibilities to flush the salty Mediterranean Sea off from some of the many free-standing showers (something that you may not think is necessary, before you’ve tried it). There are often good toilet facilities (and hurra – the number of so-called “Oriental toilets” AKA toilets a la hole in the ground has fallen drastically over the last 20 years) and many places also offer changing rooms and lockers to lock your things in . Really, really cool and something I’ve learned to appreciated more and more over the years (although a spontaneous trip on the beach with a towel and a water bottle also has its great charm).
Many beach clubs also have a small playground with tilts, slides and swings to the smallest. Something my children were almost ecstatic with as they were smaller.
There is also an ocean of cafes, restaurants and beach bars, that offer everything from ordinary fast-food beach food to the more exclusive cuisine combined with colorful drinks and exquisite cocktails. Many places can even be served at your sun bed (often against a little more payment). And that’s not bad right?
As said, Lara Kundu beach can be the same, but here’s a bit more up on the exclusivity (people pay an expensive amount to stay at the 5 star hotels) and it’s more or less closed to many activities and facilities, unless you belong to and stay at one of the hotels. For many of the hotels there are huge pools, water park and tivoli and of course you can not access this, unless you live there.
However, common to the Lara beach area is, that it is a very popular area with a lot of visitors and thus a little higher level of noise, hustle and bustle. The fact that the airport is close by does not bother me, but there may be a bit of noise from here – especially in high season, when there are many planes. We experience (a little) more peace and quiet at Konyaalti beach. But that’s just my personal opinion.
Along the beach there is a long road, Eski Lara Yolu it’s called, which reminds me most of all of the Las Vegas Strip in the United States. Here you can find many really good restaurants and cafes – some of the best in Antalya. You can get EVERYTHING here I think – both local food, steaks, burgers, italian, chinese, sushi etc etc from here and all the way into Antalya city (a journey of aprox. 6-10 km). Of course you will also find many bars and nightclubs here. But it is the place to go if you want to find a really good restaurant. We have visited My Steakhouse and Big Chefs which I have been very excited about. The road lies between the actual Lara beach and the city, but is a really nice trip and worth a visit, even if you aren’t going to visit a restaurant. You have the most beautiful view over Antalya city and the mountains from one of the parks.
Another thing that makes this road between the city and Lara beach smell a bit of The Strip, is also the many illuminated hotels in all shades. Many have more or less light shows, which is quite fascinating (at least for my children who live so far far away from a big city, that the colored neon lights and laser shows are a an attraction within themselves).