Nearby places of interest…
Each of the locations below has been created to give a flavour of some of the many places of interest, both ancient and modern, that surround Sakli Vadi.
This amazing mountain-top city complex is just under an hour’s drive from the cottages. Leave Fethiye and head for the town of Uzumlu. Go into the town centre and then bear left from the main square, following the signs. About three kilometres out of the town turn right and ascend the gravel track towards the summit; it’s about 5 kilometres to the top. Once you arrive at the car park, follow the signs that take you round a track through the city. The city is mainly Roman and includes a necropolis with tombs, and an agora from where you can see Fethiye, on a clear day.
At the very top of the site is the stadium and a flat expanse with two deep water cisterns. The route around the city takes a leisurely 45 minutes to walk, if only to take in the breathtaking views and to ponder on how the Roman engineers moved the massive stones that make up the city, to this eyrie.
Sandy & Jon have two cottages in the village of Nif-Arpacik, which are truly luxury mountain retreats. The cottages are 20 minutes from Kadyanda. The cottages are called Injir & Tas Evi and if you click on Sakli Bahce on our home page, it gives detailed information about them.
This village is the centre for yachting and gullets in the area. Many of the flotilla companies are based here and the waterfront is very pretty, with lots of bars and restaurants. Leave Fethiye and head along the main road towards Dalaman. Gocek takes between forty five and fifty five minutes to reach. There are lots of nice boutique shops and souvenir kiosks in the village. It’s a pretty drive out for lunch, looking over the blue sea of the Gulf Of Fethiye.
This picturesque town is home to mud baths and loggerback turtles. Leave Fethiye on Highway 400 heading west through Gocek and Dalaman. Dalyan is well signposted and takes about one and a half hours comfortably.
The town centre is very quaint with lots of shops and bars. The water taxis will take you to the many beaches, Iztuzu being the most famous. All the beaches are declared as sanctuaries for the turtles. No-Go areas are pegged off close to where the turtles lay their eggs. The beaches are only open during the hours of daylight. Take a river taxi to Koycegis Lake and try the thermal baths. The ruins at Kaunos are not spectacular but the site swarms with wildlife and is an easy walking tour. Kaunos was first excavated in 1967 and is a Carian foundation from the ninth century BC. It has many Lycian rock tombs and was closely linked with the principal city of the area in ancient times, Xanthos.
Although the economy of the town is now firmly entrenched in tourism, Fethiye still retains the atmosphere of a lively, Turkish market town, which has been lost by places such as Bodrum, Marmaris and Kusudasi. The town is protected by steep cliffs into which Lycians cut their distinctive rock tombs. Known as Telmessos in ancient times, the town boasts a beautiful amphitheatre and the remains of a Crusader castle.
The town has many good European style supermarkets as well as the traditional small independent traders. Other than in the supermarkets, friendly bargaining on prices is a way of life and is carried on in a lively and enthusiastic way ! There is a central fish and vegetable market that is open everyday. Here you can buy your fresh fish and have it cooked in front of you at one of the many restaurants in the market square. Along the waterfront the gullets moor and there are many restaurants and bars. There is a busy area of streets just back from the quay side called Passpatout. Here you can find all the tourist souvenir shops, restaurants, bars, hamams (Turkish baths), banks and nightclubs.
East of the marina, which accommodates over 2,000 yachts, if you follow the coast road you will in a few minutes reach the boat builders yards. Here wooden vessels of all sizes are still built by hand ; worth having a look. Every Tuesday, the traveling market comes to Fethiye. This is a must. It is a lively and friendly place covering both sides of the river, with 250 or more stalls. Good bargains can be found here.
This village is in the centre of the Kaya Valley, where our cottages are located. The main interest in this quaint village is the ruined Greek town of over 2,000 houses. The town has been called both Levissi and Karmylassos in ancient times. The town was populated by mainly Ottaman Christian Greeks, who were evicted and re-patriated after WW1 and the Turkish war of independence. The houses were never occupied again by the locals, as they were thought to have been cursed by the out going Greek Christians. The town gradually deteriorated and is now in ruins. In the 1980’s, to stop the town being bought and turned into a tourist village, the Ministry Of Culture declared the area of architectural interest and so prevented any development. The old town is fascinating and the two churches worth a visit. There are lots of restaurants and bars in the village.
This beautiful bay with it’s half moon pebble beach lies at the very western end of the Kaya Valley. Head west out of Kay Koy along the windy road through the fields, passing through the village of Kinali (where the Sakli Vadi cottages are located), you will see the forest tree line in the distance. As you enter the trees the road meanders steeply down the cliffs for about three kilometres onto the shoreline. The beach has small bars and restaurants that will rent you sun beds. It’s worth getting one of the local boats to ferry you over to the island (Aya Nikola). On the island stand the remains of several civilisations. There are naturally Lycian rock tombs, but also a Byzantine Monastery and a later ruined hamlet complete with a nineteenth century church.
These two towns lie due south from Kaya Koy over a range of wooded hills. The two towns come alive for the six summer months and then become deserted. They unfortunately epitomise the most unflattering aspect of modern tourism, with noisy disco bars and cheap souvenir stores.
Oludeniz is however worth a visit to see the lagoon and crescent beach. If you are interested in trying paragliding off Baba Dag mountain, then this is the place to sign up. It’s a very spectacular flight from a little over 9,000 feet from the mountain top to a five foot square landing point on the beach!
This was one of the most important cities of ancient Lycia. Head out of Fethiye towards Kas and Antalya along Highway 400. Follow the yellow road sign left off the highway for Saklikent and Kayadibi. Look for the yellow signs for Tlos. The city is set on top of a rocky promontory. There is a fortress acropolis and many rock tombs. The theatre is in excellent condition. There is a bas-relief of Bellerphon riding the winged horse Pegasus. Treat yourself to a meal of fresh trout in any of the restaurants close by to the site.
12 kilometres east of Tlos and roughly 40 minutes drive from Fethiye is this spectacular gorge, which is 18 kilometres long. It is steep sided and narrow, so little sun filters through to warm the icy water flooding down from Ak Dag mountain. It is worth wading across the river, hanging onto the rope and then continue up the gorge. It is great fun and includes scrambling up rocks, walking in the river and along the rock or sandy banks. You can hire rubber shoes at the beginning of the gorge. When you have got back from your walk, there are lots of restaurants built on stilts out from the river banks, where you eat your meal on wooden platforms over the swirling waters. Very Turkish!
Approximately 50 kilometres out of Fethiye lies the spectacular ruins of Pinara. Head out towards Kas on Highway 400. Look for the brown signs on the right hand side of the highway. Turn off the highway and drive through the fields to the village of Minara. The track to the ruins is marked to your left as you enter the village. This is an unmade road and it winds steeply up to the car park ; about three kilometres. When you get to the entrance, ask the guard if Fethi Parca is available. Fethi lives in the village below and is very knowledgeable about the site. He is a real character and brings the site to life in his somewhat pigeon English. It is courteous to offer him a small gratuity for his time at the end of his tour.
The ruined city was one of the most important to the ancient Lycians. The ruins are vast in area and much has yet to be excavated. However, Pinara has one of the best restored theatres in all of Turkey. The paths around the ruins are signposted. There are temples to Apollo, Aphrodite and Athena, which have heart shaped columns. The site is on a grand scale and it’s most impressive feature are the hundreds of rock tombs carved into the sheer cliff towering above the city. Given the age of the site, modern engineers are still baffled how the ancient Lycians carved these tombs.
In the ruined city are other tombs and the Royal or King’s Tomb has impressive fine relief’s carved into it. Very little is known about Pinara. It is said to have been founded originally to accommodate the overflow of people from Xanthos. Pinara means “something round” in the Lycian language. The city grew to be one of the largest in the Lycian Federation, being allowed to mint it’s own coins.
16 kilometres south of Pinara on Highway 400 towards Kas, is the site of the Letoon. Drive to the village of Kumluova and the site is signposted and only a short walk. The Letoon is the shrine of the goddess Leto. The ruins are extensive and reflect the respect the Lycians owed to this nymph. Leto gave birth to the divine twins Apollo and Artemis. A Christian church was built on the site but destroyed by Arab invaders in the seventh century. It is thought that the name Lycia was derived form the Greek word lykos meaning wolf.
This was reputedly the grandest city in all Lycia and it’s capital. The ruins lie astride the road from Saklikent to Kinik, just under an hours drive from Fethiye towards Kas, east along Highway 400. The site has been extensively excavated and is well worth a visit.
However, many of the best art work and artifacts can now be found in the British Museum, plundered by a gentleman called Charles Fellows in 1842 during a visit. Being deliberately built on a high and easy to defend outcrop, the views from the site are spectacular, particularly across the Xanthos (now Esen Cayi) River and across to the coast. The earliest historical record of Xanthos is in 540BC by the Persian general Harpagus. He laid siege to the city and the inhabitants reaction was a somewhat unusual one. They decided to destroy the city themselves and then commit mass suicide on huge funeral pyres ! This happened a number of times through history, the last time in 42BC when the Romans led by Brutus tried to take the city.
Head east towards Kas past Xanthos and after 7 kilometres turn off the main road, heading for the coast. The sites are along the southern end of Gelemis village.
Patara has two attractions. Firstly there are the ruins of the ancient principal port of Lycia and secondly one of the longest white sand beaches in Europe. Patara played a very important role in the history of Lycia and was it’s main naval base.
The city is well preserved in places but has never been fully excavated, which makes it look rather a mess. The city entrance is spectacular with it’s triple arched Roman gateway. The city is also said to have been the oracle of Apollo. The city silted up in the Middle Ages and was abandoned. The ancient city is now over 300 metres from the water’s edge ! The beach at Patara is worth a visit. It is over nine kilometres in length and consists of fine white sand, as opposed to the shingle beaches along most of this coastline.
Patara has one other claim to fame, as the birthplace of St. Nicholas. Born in the 4th century AD, he became the Bishop Of Myra and of course is better known as Santa Claus or Noel Baba in Turkish. The bishop became a legend because of his acts of kindness to local poor village girls who could not find the money for a dowry and could not be married. The Bishop would drop bags of money down the chimneys of the girls homes and this would allow them to wed. The bishop became the patron saint of virgins (not surprisingly !), sailors, children, pawnbrokers and many others. The church of St. Nicolas can be found in the village of Demre, about 40 kilometres east of Kas.
The village of Kalkan is 11 kilometres east of Patara, along Highway 400. This quaint fishing village is built on a steep hillside and was originally built by the Ottoman Greeks. In the past the locals made their living from the sea, olives and charcoal burning. The village is now completely turned over to tourism. If you walk the steep roads in and out of the village, they will soon have you fit and there are still some funky shops and boutiques to root around in.