Dalyan is the select little riverside town with the mud baths, Lycian rock tombs and Kaunos ancient city’s remains. It’s very genuinely a relaxing resort town. Caunos was an important Carian city in the 4th century BC. Kaunos is the border line between Caria and Lycia. Today’s Caunos’ Byzantine basilica, her massive ruins of the Roman baths and its ancient theater are awaiting for the discovery. Dalyan’s famous Istuzu sandy beach is the natural breeding habitat grounds for the loggerhead turtles which come ashore to lay their eggs in the sand.
Simena and Kekova are among the most enchanting coastline in Turkey. There are plenty of Lycian tombs, a tiny Greek theater, and the medieval castle in Simena. Olympos and Chimera are unique for their natural beauty and ancient ruins. The mythical Chimaera was a fire-breathing monster with the body of a goat, the head of a lion, and the tail of a serpent. Flames can still be seen rising from cracks in the rock during day and night. Phaselis is majestically located at the the edge of three small bays at the skirts of Tahtali mountain. The ruins of the ancient port city of Phaselis are worth to visit along the Lycian coast.
Mountains cradle Tlos’s Roman theater, stadium, basilica, agora, and bath. From its acropolis, you can glimpse the lush Xanthos Valley to the west. Recent excavations have revealed three temples in Letoon. The first one was dedicated to Leto, the second one to Apollo and the last one to Artemis. There’s also a well-preserved Roman theater. Xanthos, perhaps the greatest city of ancient Lycia. She also earned the region a reputation for fierceness in battle.
Gocek is in prime Blue Cruise territory across the Lycian Coast. Fethiye is important port city and is a great base for exploring the ruins of ancient Lycia in the mountains in the east.
Busy Antalya, 50 km east of Phaselis, was one of the major cities of ancient Pamphylia, settled more than a thousand years before the Christian era by Greek refugees fleeing from the sack of Troy. Antalya and its now-ruined, neighboring Pamphylian cities of Perge, Aspendos, and Side then passed through the hands of the Persians and Alexander the Great before becoming a sleepy backwater of the Roman Empire.
What will strike you first about Antalya is not its past but its heady involvement with the here and now. Turkey’s fastest growing city is spreading in pell mell fashion over a plateau beneath the Taurus mountain range. However, it’s Kaleici, the old town surrounding the harbor, that will be of most interest to visitors.
The Antalya Museum is at the western edge of the central city center and houses an outstanding collection of archeological artifacts. Many of the holdings are from the ruins at nearby Perge and range from a game board to statuary to a pantheon, reassembled here in its entirety. Other curiosities of local origin include Lycian coins from the seventh century B.C., some of the first coinage to ever be minted, and bones said to be those of Saint Nicholas, (Santa Claus). More skeletal remains (of a prehistoric man), recline poetically in a broken funeral.
Patara was the capital city of the Lycian League. It’s referred as Patar in the Hittite inscriptions of 13th century BC. It’s well preserved and survived ancient city to present times because of being only reachable from the sea in the Xanthos Valley. The city has a great significance for earlier Christianity. Saint Nicholas known as Santa Claus was born here in the 4th century AD. Also thought that St Paul took the boat from Patara to Rome. Back in the Roman period, Patara was a famous port city for the grains shipment from interior Anatolia to the imperial Rome. During the Seleukos kingdom in the 2nd century BC, Patara was accepted as the capital of all Lycia. In the 1st century AD, along with Pamphylian region, Patara became a province of Roman Empire. It had a great reputation for being prophecy center of Apollo after Rome and later became very important Christian center which sent a delegate who was called Eudemos as the Bishop of Patara for the First Nicaea Christian Council led by Emperor Constantine the Great in 325. Top monumental buildings in Patara are the huge Granarium which was built by Emperor Hadrian and his wife, Sabina, and the Lycian League Parliament building, where It hosted many meetings as a capital city for Lycian delegates. Plus its ancient amphitheater worths to be visited, since it’s very well preserved.
The most popular destination in the Lycian coast line is Kekova Island. Nearby at Simena, there are many stone cottages intermingled with Lycian and Roman sarcophagi nestling below a hilltop medieval small castle. By a glass bottomed boat from Kale to Kekova Island, it allows you view the submerged the ancient wall remains, stone stairways, and the harbor mole of a sunken city at the Kekova’s rocky beaches.
In ancient Myra, the best lasting buildings are the Father Christmas’ church and the Lycian rock-cut tombs at the adjacent to its Roman theater. Cut very neatly above and next to one another like multi-story blocks of flats, they closely resemble the wooden houses the Lycians lived in, with windows, doors and lintels, some bearing detailed carvings. Alongside, the splendid Roman theater has the unique vaulted passageways underneath the seats and a pair of carved marble made theater masks nearby there.