Inheriting about 30% of tourist traffic in Turkey, one of the most popular areas of Turkish Riviera tempts the visitors with sandy beaches surrounded by the blue waters of Mediterranean sea in the shade of the neighbour mountains Taurus.
But besides the sun worshiping there is much more to see there. All the important ancient civilizations left their traces around, you can find here a Roman amphitheatre, columns of a Roman temple, the Greek sacred hill Olympos and the sarcophaguses created by Lycians, one of the most mysterious nations of the Mediterranean.
Lycians were staying in the area of mountain Taurus some 3,5 thousand years ago. although this small nation did not left much of evidence, it must have been of geat strength in the pas, as for over a thousand year they successfully resisted the invasions of Hittites, Greeks or Persians.
Their kingdom with the first democratic constitution in the world became finally the part of Roman Empire to late loose the power under Byzantine rule.
the popular tourist spot on the island Kekova features the astonishing blue water covering the remains of the Lycian city. Looking through the water one can see shapes of the columns, stairs and Lycian sarcophaguses.
Some more sarcophaguses made inside the mountain rocks are to see in the small town Myra, better known as the site of Byzantine bishop St. Nicholas, a protagonist of iconic figure of Santa Claus.
The main city in the area, a big transit point and the cargo port on the southern coast features the new residential area, and old town center with old surrounding streets too narrow too allow the car to move in. The Antalya Muzesi displays Greek and Roman artifacts found in Perge, and other ancient items from excavation works around Kalkan.
From the time when Perge consisted the most important Greek town on Anatolia coast there are numerous buildings with outlooks of the shops on the streets leading to Agora ( market square). The remains of a nearby stadium witnessed the gladiator fights during the times of Roman emperors.
The old capital of L , Xanthos with nearby Letoon joined the World Heritage list by UNESCO due to a vast number of buildings and artifacts of ancient Greek and Roman civilizations, some from 5th century B.C.
The old Lycian town survived the numerous attacks due to its position about 1000 m above the sea in Taurus mountains.
Another Lycian port covered by the rising waters of the Agean sea. Romans left here the acqueduct, amphitheatre, baths and Hadrian’s gate, built for the emperor’s visit of the Roman outpost in 130 AD.
This time the ancient port has been covered not by water, but the sand, which today forms the longest and one of the nicest beaches on the Southern coast.
[Photo courtesy of babeltravel]