Lycia is the historical name of the Tekke Peninsula, which juts into the Mediterranean on Turkey’s southern coast. The mountains rise steeply from the rocky coast, giving beautiful views and varied walking. Forestry predominates; pines are mixed with strawberry trees and carob, and give way to juniper and cedar at higher levels. Along with coastal tourism, high-intensity agriculture is crowded onto the deltas.
The Lycians were a democratic but independent people, with a developed art style and a high standard of living. Their strategic position gave them unique opportunities for sea-trade and (at times) for piracy. After Persian rule, the Lycians welcomed Alexander the Great and absorbed Greek culture. Later, Lycia became a province of the Roman Empire; as it crumbled; many Byzantine monasteries were founded in the Lycian hills. The Lycians graves and ruins abound on the peninsula and the Lycian Way passes many remote historical sites.
The Lycian Way The Lycian Way is a 509 km, 25-day way-marked footpath around the coast of Lycia in southern Turkey, from Fethiye to Antalya. Turkey’s first long-distance walking route, it was made in order to identify and protect some of Turkey’s old roads. Trekking is best in spring or autumn – February-May or September-November – summer in Lycia is too hot for long walks.
Pliny the Elder cited Ctesias and quoted Photius identifying the Chimera with an area of permanent gas vents which still can be found today by hikers on the Lycian Way in southwest Turkey. Called in Turkish Yanartaş (flaming rock), it consists of some two dozen vents in the ground, grouped in two patches on the hillside above the Temple of Hephaestus about 3 km north of Çıralı, near ancient Olympos, in Lycia. The vents emit burning methane thought to be of metamorphic origin, which in ancient times were landmarks by which sailors could navigate.
g2o Cultural Tip
Discover the amazing flora(some of them are endemic ones) grove up at the skirts of Toros Mountains, explore the glorious ancient cities which Lycians and Romans lived and built.
g2o Hot Table
Try the open-air restaurant named Muzo's on the path to beach, where you can have a cheese or spinach Turkish pancake (gözleme) while sitting on traditional Turkish lounges.