From spending lazy days on the beach to visiting some of the oldest known settlements in history, you’ll never find an empty day on your Lycian holiday itinerary. If you yearn some exercise and action in the most spectacular of scenery during your holiday in southern Turkey, a visit to the Saklikent Gorge will be an outing to remember.
Three reasons to visit the Lycian Coast and make it your 2012 holiday destination.
Turkey’s Lycian Coast boasts a diverse range of ancient villages, a stunning coastline with sheltered bays, and jagged mountains flanked by fertile forests and dramatically rising 2000 metres above rocky headlands.
Although despite its natural beauty, the Lycian Coast remains one of Turkey’s less developed stretches of coastline. With the onset of the cooler weather and the nights becoming considerably darker, autumn is a good time to start daydreaming about our holiday next year.
With such diverse natural beauty, delicious Turkish cuisine, year-round warm climate and more than reasonable prices, why not make Turkey’s Lycian Coast a contender for your 2012 holiday?
Take a look at three reasons to visit the Lycian Coast, this truly unspoilt stretch of coast
For the more adventurous of travellers, the Lycian Coast offers a wide range of white-knuckle, blood-pumping activities not for the faint hearted. The cobalt and cloudless skies that the Lycian Coast is usually blessed with are often accompanied with the gentle whirl of a paraglider gliding by. There are two paragliding centres on the Lycian coast, one in Oludeniz near Fethiye and one in Kas. Both sites offer courses, mountain transfers, as well as tandem paragliding above the most incredible of scenery.
Saklikent (Hidden City) Gorge
The Saklikent Gorge is the second largest gorge in Europe, which, being 20 kilometres long is the deepest gorge in Turkey. Only four kilometres of the gorge is walkable, but what is spectacular walk it is. Bars and restaurants are sporadically perched upon the gorge’s sculptured walls, providing a sensational place to enjoy a refreshing drink and take in the dramatic scenery.
Another exhilarating way to discover the Lycian Coast is by embarking on a Jeep safari. These Jeep Safari tours begin at Fethiye and take guests on a ride to remember through many of the Lycian Coast’s most memorable towns, sites and restaurants. The Jeep Safari’s include a stop off the mud baths of Dalyan, the Saklikent Gorge and the sensational Yakapark Restaurant.
Despite the Guardian likening Kalkan to “the Italian Riviera minus the poseurs”, the Turkish town possesses a rare resistance to mass tourism.
The historical Mediterranean harbour town of Kalkan remains a peaceful resort that is unblemished by the effects of tourism.
Although this said, Kalkan in providing for the more ‘sophisticated’ of traveller in Turkey, has the highest number of bars and restaurants per inhabitant on the Turkish coast, and is renowned for its roof-top restaurants.
Here’s our top three restaurants in Kalkan, on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast.
This small and unpretentious restaurant situated in the heart of Kalkan town, has a menu of more than 30 dishes, ranging from a simple yet delicious spaghetti bolognaise to beautifully cooked fish accompanied with an exotic Turkish sauce.
This friendly and ‘down-to-earth’ restaurant has all its seats outside, which afford fantastic views of the mountains surrounding Kalkan. If you are seeking great food for value for money and friendly service, a trip to Merkez should be part of your Kalkan culinary itinerary.
My Fish House
A trip to a Turkish harbour town on the Mediterranean would not be complete without sampling the delicious local seafood. My Fish House is so small in size that it is easy to miss. Situated along the Kalamar Road, the food at My Fish House is of excellent quality and the service is also impeccable. Unlike many of the seafood restaurants on the harbour in Kalkan, food and drinks at My Fish House are reasonably price.
If you are wanting to taste some truly delicious Turkish seafood in one of the most renowned seafood towns in Turkey, a meal at My Fish House is imperative.
If you are looking for a place to experience a great steak set within a fantastic ambience and some great late-night entertainment, then The Ivy restaurant in Kalkan is the perfect venue. The restaurant is particularly famous for its divine steaks and kebabs, although the menu extends much further than purely meat.
For those seeking a romantic evening, The Ivy, with its dreamy and atmospheric Sultan’s Corner where guests can enjoy a pre-dinner drink, never fails to create a romantic atmosphere.
Vintage Travel’s villas in Kalkan are as impressive as the restaurants above. For a luxury 3 bedroom villa in Kalkan, you should consider the wonderful Koknar Evi.
The peaceful and tranquil vibe that lulls over the southern Turkish region of Lycia is in contrast to its history of brutality over 2000 years ago.
Although the brutality may have vanquished from Lycian life, the people of Lycia remain staunchly independent, proudly guarding their unique archaeological sites and inimitable culture.
With such a vast array of archaeological sites on offer, knowing where to visit in Lycia can be a minefield.
To help you plan your ancient archaeological journey around Lycia, we have highlighted three of the region’s best ancient sites.
Being situated at the top of an extremely steep hillside road, the ancient city of Pinara is rarely heaving with tourists. On the contrary the mountain-top city, which is the home of many stunning cliff-face tombs, remains an unspoilt and tranquil site to soak up some of the region’s important history, whilst taking in the breath-taking views of the Xanthos valley below and beyond.
With an intact Roman theatre and a complex of tombs cut into the rocks, this sprawling archaeological site, despite being the location for on-going excavations, is definitely worthy of a visit. So important were the remains of this ancient city, is that not only has the site gained UNESCO heritage status, but also many of Xanthos’s originals inscriptions and sculptures are now on display at the British museum.
Similar to Xanthos, Letoon is also protected by UNESCO heritage status. Comprising of a Hellenistic theatre, a water-logged nymphaeum, which dates back to Hadrian, and many impressive ancient Lycian inscriptions, the small site of Letoon proves to be an archaeology-enthusiasts’ or history-lovers’ dream. This sacred site is dedicated to Apollo, Artemis and Leto, and is most certainly worthy of a visit.
Possibly the best 3 bedroom Villa in Lycia, ‘Badem’ (pictured) complete with spacious terrace and pool area and stunning views, would be the perfect base to explore Lycia.
The stunning ‘Ayva’ villa – Just one of the Lycian coast’s many, many charms.
“Take a blind man to Lycia, and he’ll immediately know from the smell of the air exactly where he is. The acrid perfume of lavender, the pungent fragrance of wild mint and thyme, will tell him.” Cevat Sakir, author of “Fisherman of Halicarnassus”
Turkey’s Lycian coast has a unique beauty, unrivalled by anywhere in Europe. Its unspoiled lands, boasting breathtaking views, are scattered by ancient remains, lovingly maintained by the warm and friendly Lycian people.
Approximately 20 major Lycian sites of unusual funerary architecture remain today, including Xanthos, which was the capital city of ancient Lycia, and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The site of Tlos, which is best known for its fortress topped acropolis, with its tombs cut out of rock and its 360 degree panoramic views of the stunning scenery that surrounds the site, provides unique insight into the enigmatic people of ancient Lycia.
Even if ancient architecture and history is not a priority of your holiday, Lycia’s magnificent landscapes, beautiful climate, friendly and relaxed atmosphere and great value for money, may be enough to finalise your point of destination this summer. Now all you have left to decide is your accommodation.
Well why not let Vintage Travel do the hard work for you? The stunning property of Ayva really does the Lycian coast the justice it deserves. This stylish three bedroom, four bathroom villa sleeps six and provides stunning views of the nearby town of Kalkan and its picturesque bay.
Spending a lot of time outside, soaking up some of the Lycian sun, is a priority of many holidaymakers and Ayva is certainly geared up for some outdoor living.
Not only does the property have its own beautiful private pool, but it also has a barbeque area where guests can decide whether they want to deepen their tan on the open terrace, or seek some much needed shade under the covered terrace.
There is also a swimming platform just 100 metres away from the house, which provides easy access to swim and snorkel in the crystal clear waters of the “Turquoise Coast”.
A week’s rental of Ayva starts from £450 in May, rising to £1295 in peak season.
Lycia, an expanse of ancient cities on the southern coast of Turkey, a region occupied with intensely independent people, a scenic isthmus brimming with beauty, history and culture and home of Father Christmas.Statue of St Nicholas in Myra
Whilst the latter statement may shatter the illusion we have held since we were barely out of nappies, of Father Christmas being a plump, cheerful, white-bearded man from the North Pole, living there with the elves who help him make and wrap the toys and his faithful reindeer Rudolph, the original depiction of Father Christmas is infinitely different.
It may sound quite morbid and slightly creepy, going on holiday to visit funerary architecture, but in Lycia, on the southern coast of Turkey, witnessing the tombs of this culturally distinct land full of inscrutable people still gripping to an ancient past, really can be considered as being one a ‘far-out’ travel experience.The infamous Lycian Tombs
The most noticeable difference about the tombs of Lycia compared to ancient sepulchres in other countries and even other areas of Turkey, is that Lycian tombs are often integrated in the middle of cites, built on the coastline and on the top of cliffs. Compared to the usual more discreet locations of burial architecture on the outskirts of towns and cities, tombs in Lycia play centre-stage in the urban landscape, evidence of the Lycian people’s pious devotion to the belief of afterlife, ancestor worship, and demonstrating their ties with eastern traditions.
The crystal clear azure waters around Turkey’s sandy Mediterranean coastline stays as warm in the autumn as it is in high summer. What does usually change is less people tend to flock to these beautiful beaches in the months of September and October. And without the crowds but still with the sunshine, this time of year is the best time to take advantage of the many adrenaline-inducing activities by hitting one of the world’s most inclusive water sports playground, which runs along this stretch of coastline.
Here is a snippet of the some of the most thrilling, invigorating and terrifying water sports available in this particularly beautiful part of Turkey.
Freediving in Kas
As the name suggests, freediving is deep sea diving without the aid of any oxygen. Crazy? Perhaps. Although this sport predates scuba diving by several centuries and for the many who practice it, diving with just ‘one breath of air’, is a highly exhilarating experience. The town of Kas, on the southern bulge of the Mediterranean coastline in Turkey, abodes one of the few freediving centres on the Med. Although despite its devotion to showing of its wonderful aquatic life, Kas remains a relatively unspoiled tourist town.
For more information or to embark on a freediving course in Kas visit www.mavidiving.com
Whilst almost 2.5 millions Britons will travel to Turkey this year, with its Aegean, Mediterranean and Black Sea coastlines, much of this diversely fascinating country remains undiscovered, providing a tranquil paradise for the ‘off the beaten track’ traveller. Take a look at three of the Turkey’s lesser known places of paradise.
When you visit Kas (KAHSH) it’s easy to see why it draws so many people to its unspoilt shores. Once a quaint fishing village, Kas has grown into a bustling seaside town on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. There’s a certain elegance and charm to this town, similar to that of Essaouira in Morocco… it’s incredibly laid back and has a dramatic setting at the foot of a wall of mountains.