Route 3: South east - Lycian coast between Marmaris and Antalya

 

The Lycian coast is named after the many Lycian cities dotted along its shores. The stretch from Marmaris to Göçek and Fethiye forms the western part of the whole Lycian coast (Lycia in ancient times) that extends further east towards Antalya. The area which covers Fethiye, Kas, Antalya is known as the east Lycian coast The whole Lycian coast abounds with massive mountain ranges, above 3 km in the Akdag and Bey Dag peaks. Most of its wild and sequestered atmosphere can be explained by this rough geographic terrain.

 

Ekincik Twenty sailing miles east of Marmaris, Ekincik is like, well, a mountain lake plopped down with its own pine trees against the red buttes of Sedona, Arizona. And does it have a restaurant. Perhaps Turkey's best grilled octopus. River boat past beaches, over sandbars, and up narrow channels to ancient Caunos, once a maritime sea power separating Caria from Lycia. Particularly notable today for its classical-period walls with well-preserved battlements and towers and for its dramatic rock tombs and theatre Caunos should be on every sailor's itinerary.

Göcek. It is situated up against pined slopes of a national forest in the NW corner of the Gulf of Fethiye with its archipelago of islands and may be the site of ancient Hyparna, a fortified town defended by mercenaries which fell to Alexander during the winter of 334/333 BC. By the first century before the Christian era Gocek was called Callimache, a port the Roman Stadiasmus places 50 stade (about 5 nautical miles) each from Rhodian Daedala (Inlice) and Lycian Crya (Tomb Bay). Marinas and Gocek Town are twenty minutes from Dalaman International Airport. Today Gocek has an enviable charm as an emerging tourist destination and yacht haven. It is also the site of a rare temple tomb in the Doric order. From Göcek we often accompany guests by car to ancient Calynda and from there up into nearby hills to inspect temple tombs in the Ionic order at a site not yet identified but which may be ancient Telandros. In Gocek there are several good restaurants and six marinas ,with two of them ready in 2009.

Tomb Bay (Taskaya). Six miles from Gocek, Tomb Bay is delightful for dining, swimming, or boat drive-by below Carian and Lycian rock tombs (Ionic temple, house, and pigeon-hole tombs). Originally Carian and latterly Lycian, the ancient city of Crya is still evident among the olive trees and oleander, while its Carian acropolis is a short scramble above a seaside restaurant. Lycians, Herodotus asserted, were Minoans driven from Crete by Minos of Knossos. Carians, he believed, were native to Asia Minor.

Tersane Island. One mile from Tomb Bay. Perhaps once Telandria, a dues-paying member of Athens' Delian League. Ancient evidence, however, is limited to remains of what may be a watch tower now mostly watching the Simavi estate on Domuz Adasi, a substantial fortress-like structure the lower courses of which are isometric, and the remains of a handsome tomb in the Cadyanda order. There are in addition numerous ruins reminiscent of 1923 when the last Greek residents were forcibly deported. Yesim Acar, the local restaurateur and full-time goat herd/shepherd, serves a superior fare based on her pastures.

Cleopatra's Bay (Manastir). Three miles from Tersane. Another exquisite setting with thick pine to the water's edge. Monastery ruins half submerged testify to medieval presence of the Greek church. Also called Ruin Bay, a 55-minute hike takes the inquisitive to ancient Lydae. Off the beaten path and rarely visited, Lydae features mausolea, agora foundations, statue remnants, Corinthian column sections, and inscribed pedestals from the Roman and Byzantine periods. Cleopatra, by the way, was here twice, once in 46 BC and again in 32 BC honeymooning with Marc Antony. He, Antony, was en route to Actium. She, Cleopatra, was transporting the Egyptian treasury to fund his misadventures.

Wall Bay (Manastir). A quarter-mile from Cleopatra's Bay with as much Force 4-5 sailing en route as wished. Pine trees and crystal-clear water. Swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking (the TGE carries two kayaks, a single and a twin). Enough said except that Yuksel and Mehmet, the local restaurateurs, are not only fine cooks but offer an after-dinner camaraderie that cannot be duplicated. Neither can be their breakfast the following morning. The wall giving the bay its name crosses the Lydae peninsula and formed the defensive perimeter on the land side for both Lydae and its satellite Arymaxa

Gemiler (St. Nicholas) Island. Fifteen miles from Wall Bay.Once home to Lycian and Byzantine pirates, the remains of an entire village are there to be explored, from pirate-ship parking covered passage to basilica. A wonderful place to swim and snorkel, and an equally wonderful place to take in a hilltop sunset with a bottle of wine.

Cold Water Bay One mile from Gemiler Island, Cold Water Bay derives its name from a pair of fresh water springs rising beneath its sea and, perhaps, from its site under hills which block the sun during late afternoon. The ghost-town of Kaya emptied by the Turkish-Greek population swap of 1923 begins at the crest of those hills about twenty minutes distant. A century ago Kaya was known as Levisse, a prosperous Greek town, and Fethiye (see below), then Macry, was no more than Levisse's port. Careful examination of the ghost town reveals an occasional ancient block. These mark the only remains of Lycian Cissidae. Ali Tuna, the accommodating restaurateur at Cold Water Bay, is a genial host who entertains with campfire and conversation.

Olu Deniz. Two miles from Cold Water Bay, Olu Deniz (meaning Dead Sea) is the most photographed and picture-postcarded of any beach in the Eastern Mediterranean. Photos are best taken during a 30-minute paraglide down from Baba Dag (Father Mountain). The lagoon at Olu Deniz in 67 BC harbored the Roman galleys of Pompey the Great, there to eject Lycian pirates from Gemiler Island.

Butterfly Valley. Two miles from Olu Deniz and inaccessible except by sea, this striking spot is backed by almost sheer mountain from which waterfalls. Even the beach is bounded left and right by vertical rock promoting a unique privacy for more than one hundred varieties of butterfly, both lepidoptera and mammal.

Sarsala Bay. Sixteen miles from Butterfly Valley, Sarsala is yet another striking pine-surrounded bay in which to swim and kayak. It is also a convenient starting point for a ninety minute hike to ancient Lissa, notable for inscribed walls dating from the 3rd century BC rule of two of Cleopatra's Ptolemy forebears and for the majestic positioning of its acropolis above a fresh-water lake. The restaurant at Sarsala is above average.

Kappi Creek (Goben Iskelesi). Two miles from Sarsala Bay, Kappi Creek is an idyllic all-weather anchorage surrounded by pine and olive trees. It features ruins of uncertain vintage, swimming alternatives, and, serving a superior fare, the oldest of the bay restaurants. A pleasant stroll through olive groves followed by a short climb takes the venturesome to ancient Arymaxa, a deme of Lydae. Arymaxa features a Roman mausoleum inscribed in Greek on the land side, a Byzantine cistern, and numerous ruins of speculative origin.

Fethiye. Twelve miles from Kappi Creek, Fethiye is ancient Telmessos and site of several of the finer rock tombs in Lycia, some featuring Ionic porticoes. Once home to Alexander's seer, Aristander, there remains a part of a Roman theater as well as a fortress built by the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem atop an ancient acropolis. Fethiye is proximate to the heart of ancient Lycia, and from there excursions to Cadyanda Tlos, Pinara, and other Lycian settlements are rewarding. In Fethiye there are covered markets and lots of other shopping, particularly on Tuesdays. There is also an excellent restaurant offering a splendid hors d'oeuvre of artichoke heart and tuna, as well as another featuring fine Turkish cuisine. Bougainvillea abounds. And a truly exhilarating sail in and out of port

Kalkan. Twenty-seven miles from Gemiler Island and Greek until 1923, Kalkan is sun-washed, quaint, and hub for tours to ancient Letoon, Patara, and Xanthos, the latter Lycia's most prominent city, the former Lycia's principal place of worship and Patara Lycia's major seaport., Good silver shopping. An excellent restaurant (Aubergine, at the harbor's edge). Picnic lunch on Patara beach and dunes can also be memorable, not because Patara was the port from which forty Lycian triremes under Xerxes sailed to an unfortunate end at Salamis in 480 BC, but because the sea at Patara.is such an extraordinary colour

Kas. Fifteen miles from Kalkan, Kas teems with off-beats and expatriates frequenting chic shops and cafes. All-night drinking spas trumpet music from the past. The finest French restaurant in Turkey (Chez Evy), rack of lamb the specialty. Inscribed sarcophagus in the middle of the principal shopping street. Roman theater. Kastellorizon,Greece. Four miles from Kas. Idyllic Greek island locale for 1991's Academy Award (best foreign film) winning Mediterraneo (Castelrosso at the time depicted, the island was Italian from 1921 to 1943) and for some of 1961's The Guns Of Navarone which depicted the medieval castle of the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem. Photographs from Doric acropolis initially fortified in the 9th century BC. Blue grotto rivaling that at Capri And taverna dining in the Greek flavor.

Aperlae. Twelve miles from Kastellorizon, this ancient double-walled city and port may be seen both above and, with mask, under water, the underwater ruins comprising a mooring quay and the outlines of several harbor structures. Exquisite setting at the head of a long triangular bay. Great swimming and kayaking.

Kale. Six miles from Aperlae, Kale is a potpourri of the ages. Here Lycian tombs surround a Byzantine castle which crowns an ancient acropolis from which there are spectacular views of medieval Kekova Island. Within the castle are traces of ancient Simena, including a small theater and several statue pedestals. Immediately outside the castle walls are additional ruins of the ancient town, including dressed blocks from a stoa and temple. Roman baths at the water's edge dedicated to the Emperopr Titus (A.D.79-81). Memorable dining at Hassan Deniz Restaurant adjacent to the baths

Ucagiz. A stone's throw from Kale, Ucagiz is a rustic village with considerable charm abutting and blending with ancient Teimiussa. For many years this town has otherwise been distinguished for the absence of palatable cuisine, a circumstance remedied with the opening of Onur's well-appointed restaurant on the waterfront. Temiussa, meanwhile, has extensive ruins well worth exploration.

Myra. Actually, the boat moors at Kas or anchors at Gokkaya (three miles from Kale) from which we taxi to Myra, which was the bishopric of Saint Nicholas before (according to some accounts) he relocated to Lebissos (now Gemiler Island). Of the several Saints Nicholas, this one is the patron of sailors and thieves, sometimes called Santa Claus. Myra's most striking feature, however, is not his basilica but rather the conjunction of Lycian and Roman architecture. Here the Lycian rock tombs (do not, as most do, miss the eastern tombs) feature elaborate friezes wishing those souls once within Godspeed in their trip by winged angel, while the large and impressive Roman theatre is undergoing careful restoration.

Finike. Seventeen miles ENE of Kale, Finike is a palm-fronded beach city and safe harbor from which to visit ancient Limyra (ten minutes distant by taxi) and ancient Arycanda (forty-five minutes distant). Limyra, with spring water now coursing down its marble street is the vantage point from which Rhodian Romans under Eudamus were observed reversing Syrian adventurism under Hannibal (he of the Punic Wars; Carthage had succumbed, but not Hannibal) in a naval battle of six and seven-banked galleys. The waters off Finike in 655 AD bore witness to a trouncing of the Imperial (Byzantine) Navy by Arabs of the Caliph Othman. Not long afterward the Arab fleet anchored in Constantinople's Golden Horn.

Ceneviz. Thirty miles from Finike, Ceneviz is an anchorage for ancient Olympos, home both of an eternal flame and of the Lycian pirate Zeniketes, until 78 BC when the latter was extinguished by a young Julius Caesar. Zeniketes hid his vessel not here, however, but in an ancient harbor at Phaselis which has since silted. Ceneviz itself is a lovely spot from which to visit the Olympos lair of the Chimaera lion in front, serpent behind, and goat in between. And at which to be thankful to its slayer Bellerophon.

Phaselis. Ten miles north of Ceneviz, Phaselis was the terminus for Freya Stark's 1952 sail along The Lycian Shore and a respite for Alexander as he left Lycia behind. Sometimes Lycian but mostly not, Phaselis was founded by Rhodians in 690 BC, and for much of its history was a maritime waypoint on trade routes to and from Phoenicia. Local coinage, in fact, was distinguished by a ship's prow on one side and a stern on the other. There is much to be seen by the patient, and great swimming for the impatient.

Antalya. Twenty miles south of Phaselis and a major international gateway, Antalya is a convenient base from which to visit ancient Aspendos, Perge, Side, and Termessos, each featuring extensive evidence of early civilization. Once a major base for Byzantine dromons and, later, the Ottoman fleets of Barbarossa and Piri Reis, Antalya's harbour area has been beautifully restored, most notably including hundreds of nineteenth century Ottoman houses and gardens. During late June and early July Antalya annually hosts an Opera and Ballet Festival in the theatre of Aspendos one of best coserved all over Turkey- An experience to be treasured.

 

 

Croatia Sailing Holidays


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Croatia Sailing Holidays


  Miminac 6, 22000 Šibenik, Croatia

  +385 (0)98 706 308

  info@croatia-sailingholidays.com

  booking@croatia-sailingholidays.com

  Mon - Fri: 08-22h / Sat: 08-15 h

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