Fethiye: rest on beach and not only
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) --
UzDaily internet edition is planning to publish a series of materials on tourism potential of Turkey. Within the project, the edition plans to publish materials about tourism sights of such cities as Fethiye, Marmaris, Izmir and Istanbul. The first article will be dedicated to Fethiye.
Fethiye is a resort city and district, located near mountains in southern-western Turkey, covered with pine and cedar forests. The city is home to over 60,000 people.
It is assumed that Fethiye, often reffered to as “the untouched virgin of the Land of Lights," was established in the 5th century B.C. The city which was formerly known as Telmessos used to be one of the most important residential areas of Lycia.
Large number of tourists from Western Europe can be met in Fethiye. Tourists are interested both in beaches of Oludeniz and sights of Fethiye such as Kayakoy, Tomb of Amyntas, Saklikent Gorge and Xanthos.
Let’s start with Oludeniz beaches. Oludeniz (literally Dead Sea) is a small village and beach resort in the Fethiye district, at the conjunction point of the Aegean and Mediterranean seas or 15 km from Fethiye city.
The beaches are pebble beaches. The resort is surrounded on three sides by green rocky mountains and the highest of them is Babadag, which means “Father Mountain”. Oludeniz beach is called “Cleopatra’s beach” or “Turtle Island”. The last name of the resort was given and you can see turtles, basking in the sun. The Blue Lagoon – a national park in Turkey – is also located here.
Oludeniz is also famous for its paragliding opportunities. It is regarded as one of the best places in the world to paraglide due to its unique panoramic views, and Mount Babadag’s exceptional height. Paragliding is the simplest form of flight. It is necessary to find a good elevation and parachute, run, jump and fly, controlling wing-parachute and own body you can enjoy the flight.
There are three fields at Babadag mountain for paragliding, where the tourists can fly with help of skilled instructor.
Many athletes from Europe and other continents arrive here for paragliding. A colorful aerial acrobatics event is held here in October each year, which attracts a large number of participants and spectators. Local do not live in the village, but come here to work.
Central city of Oludeniz with the length of 300 meters have many shops, cafes and bars, where tourists can purchase food, clothes, footwear, exchange money and purchase excursions.
It is worth to mention that main part of tourists here arrive from Germany, England, Ireland and other countries. It is attractive place for beach and active tourism.
Greek ghost town - Kayakoy or Levissi
Kayakoy or Levissi is a quite a popular sight of Fethiye. The city was founded by Greeks in 1400 BC on one sources and 11th century on other sources. It is located 8 km away from Fethiye.
After Turkey became the Republic, Greece and Turkey started to exchange emigrants. In 1923, the citizens of the city were sent to Greece, and Turks left Greece for Turkey. But the city declined. Local Turks did not want to live in such cities as Kayakoy and did not colonize them, leaving them devastated and doomed. So, one of many ghost cities of Turkey appeared. So far, there are over 3,000 buildings and several churches in Kayakoy.
The city became museum. One of the main sights of the city is the church Panayia Pyrgiotissa. Currently, the church is close for reconstruction till 1 May 2014 and the tourists will have to be content with only outside view.
There are several large cafes and attractions. The tourists can ride a camel or mini-terrain vehicles and view the sides of the ghost city.
Tomb of Amyntas
Another sight of the city is Tomb of Amyntas, carved directly into the rock. Ancient Lycian tombs are dated back to the IV century BC. The tomb actually became a symbol of Fethiye.
The tomb is a monument of Lycian civilization. The tomb is in the form of the temple in the style of Jonah. It is a field with four steps leading to it with the adjacent pillars on both sides. In the middle of the leftmost column is engraved “Amynthas: son Hermapias”. There are several tombs near the tomb and some of them have sarcophagi.
Saklikent National Park
National Park or canyon Saklikent is the most longest and deepest canyon of Turkey and the second longest in Europe. Its length is 18 km and the height – 300 meters.
The canyon has fascinating rocks, some indescribably beautiful waterfalls and caves 16. Saklikent Canyon is a pristine beauty with the pine forest around it. There is a river, which originates from springs and springs, in turn, originates from the mountains and the water remains cold even in summer as ice. High cliffs of the canyon do not allow the sun’s rays to warm the icy water.
The parking sight was constructed near the the entrance to the gorge. There are are toilets, restaurants and shops. The entry to the gorge is paid. After entering, the tourists pass along the walls of the gorge and across the bridge to get inside the canyon.
Inside the canyon there are benches and cafes. There you can warm up with hot tea or quench your thirst with a cool drink, and have snacks.
It is worth to mention that the bravest tourists, who want to reach the end of the canyon, should have carry special equipment.
Ancient Xanthos is another place, which attracts tourists to Fethiye. The ruins of the mountain city of Xanthos are located 65 km away from Fethiye, and the city itself was founded in the XII century BC. The city for its long history was repeatedly destroyed and rose from the ashes, and the courage of its defenders was hailed both by the Persians and the Romans.
Arab raids in the VII century BC. forced the inhabitants to leave this ancient capital of Lycia. Much later, in the XIX century, many historical relics of this ancient city were taken to the UK (the famous sculpture of Nereid of the IV century BC., for example, is now in the British Museum, along with many other monuments and statues).
Still, there are many interesting here such as the monumental arch of Vespasian and adjacent gate of the Greek period, inscription on which says that Antiochus the Great devoted city to the Leto, Apollo and Artemis.
Here tourists can also see a plaque on the site of the Nereid Temple, the acropolis, the royal palace, the agora and the Roman theater, so-called tomb of the Harpies and the Lycian sarcophagus (dated III century BC. E.), Xanthos obelisk, etc.
The article was written at assistance of Halit Gafar and the Department of Culture and Tourism of the Embassy of Turkey in Uzbekistan.