Hidden Gems

Explore spectacular Lycian sites when you sail Turkey

By Jenny Wilson
on  April 20, 2015

Turkey is a country with a rich and fascinating history. Empires have risen and fallen, leaving behind a wealth of stunning architecture, art and culture. One of the most important cities in the Lycian Federation was Telmessos, now the site of modern-day Fethiye. Make sure to stop off here when you sail Turkey to discover the wonder of this ancient civilisation.

Sail Turkey - exploring village life

The Tomb of Amyntas is one of Fethiye’s most iconic sights, a breathtaking temple faced carved right into the side of a sheer rock, best appreciated at sunset. The town also features several Lycian sarcophagi and the remains of a partially excavated Roman theatre.

When you’ve had your fill of history, there are plenty of other things to do in Fethiye. Browse the bustling bazaar to pick up some fabulous bargains before stopping for a meal of delicious seafood in one of the many restaurants. And if you are worn out from all that activity, try the traditional Turkish bathing experience, a hamam. Perfect for leaving you relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated.

Between Fethiye and Kalkan is one of the most important archaeological sites in the region, Xanthos. This UNESCO World Heritage Site dates back at least as far as the 8th century BC. The Harpy Tomb is an unusual structure, featuring a square pillar topped by a grave chamber and decorated with elaborate reliefs. The Pillar Tomb and Xanthian Obelisk are real highlights, as is the amphitheatre, which is astonishing well-preserved. Other excavations include a street, two acropolises and a basilica decorated with mosaics.

Just 10km away from Xanthos is Letoon, Lycia’s spiritual centre. The site features the remains of temples devoted to the three local deities, Leto, Apollo and Artemis. In addition to a basilica and an amphitheatre, this most sacred of sanctuaries also has a nymphaeum. Most likely used for religious immersion ceremonies, this pool is connected to the sacred springs and is a stunning oasis of tranquillity.

Sail Turkey and discover some of the world’s most incredible archaeological finds for yourself.

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