FETHIYE

The popular resort Fethiye, 135 km southeast of Marmaris, boasts an important marina at the head of a beautiful bay strewn with islands. A hill crowned by the ruins of the crusader fortress built by the Knights of Rhodes overlooks the little port. Above the town, (called Telmessos in antiquity), numerous Lycian rock tombs, reproducing the facades of ancient buildings, were cut into the cliff face. The Tomb of Amyntas, which probably dates from the fourth century B.C. is the most remarkable.

Swimmers head for the popular Calis Beach, four kilometres west of town, or to Şövalye Island, opposite the harbour, which blazes with flowers in the spring.

The road to Belcegiz Bay takes you through the mountains where cozy guest houses cater to those seeking mountain scenery. Ocakkoy is the mountain village that is a must see, stay in one of the lovely guest houses, and enjoy the numerous trekking possibilities. Hisarönü, also in the mountains, has very nice hotels. 4 km from Hisarönü, Kayaköy is a picturesque ghost town of old houses and churches - all empty. Explore the bay and the beautiful Blue Lagoon, Ölü Deniz, where the calm, crystal clear water is ideal for swimming and other water sports. The Blue Lagoon is one of the best places in the world to do absolutely nothing except soak up the sun amid stunning natural surroundings. At Mt. Baba (1,969 m), you can paraglide into the Blue Lagoon. For those who' prefer accommodation facilities, Belcegiz beach is recommended. Intoxicating scenery surrounds Kıdırak's beach and shady park. On Gemiler Island (St Nicholas's Island), Byzantine ruins lie tucked among the pines. South of Kıdırak beach, Koturumsu Bay is reachable only by boat. Beyond the idyllic beach, a forest, waterfalls and a valley filled with hundreds of varieties of butterflies await the explorer. High in the mountains above Fethiye rushing torrents cut a narrow gorge through the mountains, creating Saklıkent (Hidden City). A cool refuge on hot summer days, Saklıkent is a favourite picnic spot, with rustic restaurants serving delectable fresh trout. 36 km south of Fethiye, Yakakoy (Tlos) is the Oldest city in the Lycian region. The home of the Lycian Hero Bellerophon, visitors can see the remains of a castle, agora, necropolis, theatre, Roman baths and a good view of Esen Valley. 2 km east of the villages is Tlos Park, ideal for picnicking. Pınara, 49 km south of Fethiye, is another ancient mountain city; it is ideal for trekking and visitors can see the remains of a theatre, agora, rock tomb, baths and ancient brothels.

About 65 km from Fethiye, to the southeast, near Kınık, are the ruins of Xanthos, an important Lycian capital in a splendid natural setting. Letoon, nearby, was formerly an important religious cult center where three temples dedicated to Leto, Artemis and Apollo stood in ancient times.