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lycian turkey

This region is blessed with a superb climate, stunning scenery, intriguing history, and a distinctive ambience and rhythm of life.

Lycia ("Likya" if you're Turkish) is the ancient name for the rugged coastal region of south west Turkey. It is bound by an imaginary line between Antalya to the east and Dalaman to the west.

The Lycian federation was a pre-Greco/Roman civilisation of city-states, mentioned in ancient Greek writings by Homer and Herodotus as well as by the Roman historian Pliny the Elder.

An extraordinary number of these settlements are still evident; city walls visible, temple columns erect and amphitheatres even now in occasional use. Some, like Patara, are on the coast; most like Xanthos and Pinara are in the verdant valleys of the hinterland. St Nicolas (Santa Claus) was born in Patara and became bishop of Myra in 4th century Byzantine Lycia.

Everywhere you stumble across the unique gothic-looking Lycian tombs. Visitors with a taste for history and ancient artefacts will go home intoxicated.

The sun shines for ten months of the year in Lycian Turkey, illuminating a landscape of towering mountains, aromatic pine forests, lush groves of citrus, and age-old olive terraces. This "coast-of-light", where the Aegean and Mediterranean meet is outstandingly beautiful. Scrub-oak covers mountainsides sloping steeply down to the rocky shoreline. The expanse of vivid aquamarine and turquoise sea is broken by wooded bays and creeks, and is punctuated with peninsulas and islands.

For these reasons and others, the recently waymarked Lycian Way www.lycianway.com has recently been included in the "World's Top Ten Walks" by the Sunday Times, and is rapidly becoming a magnet for trekkers, birders and botany enthusiasts.

At intervals along the shoreline are sweeping beaches of pristine sand backed by wild dunes and salt marshes. Carreta carreta sea-turtles come at night to nest in season, and are protected by the Turkish government who forbid entry after dusk.

Sailing and cruising folk love this coast, for the meltem afternoon breeze and for the many isolated and atmospheric anchorages.

For those wishing to learn more about Lycia before visiting, the following links books and resources are recommended: www.lycianturkey.com/index.htm

 

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