Patara: the shifting sands of an ancient Lycian civilisation


Stretching alongside eleven miles of shoreline, Patara Is Turkey’s longest seaside. Due to the placing Lycian ruins and the annual visits
of the endangered Loggerhead turtle, the placing expanse of sand Is protected, permitting the seaside and its surrounds to retain and
untouched really feel.

On the seaside’s south japanese finish you’ll be able to gaze upon the distant limestone mountains, which swoop all the way down to an expanse of fertile plain the place farmers have grown tomatoes, peppers and aubergines for generations. Between this farmland and Patara’s pine-edged, windswept dunes, there’s a collection of lagoons, the place wildlife similar to frogs, wading birds and turtles flourish.

To your proper, a mountain vary juts into the ocean, marking the tip of the Patara sands. Gazing out over the ocean you will discover the Greek island of Rhodes, fifty miles away. You may also discover that there is nothing a lot round right here to point the presence of people – besides in fact the small cafe.

lf you need to remain close by, you’ll be able to head to Gelemis, a low-key neighbourhood round a mile inland, With just some eating places, outlets and bars unfold over two streets, Gelemis is a qulet spot, however value a stroll and a meal in one of many very low cost however respectable native eateries, whose meals is generally produced regionally.

Stays of an historical metropolis

With its pure harbour, Patara was Lycian’s major seaport and one of many wealthiest cities of the traditional world, often called the
chosen metropolis, or the metropolis of the Lycian nation. Following its give up to Alexander the Nice’s forces, the town grew to become a vital naval base, incomes important income for the Macedonian kingdom. The town handed by the fingers of quite a few civilisations,

Together with the Romans and the Byzantines.

By the mid seventh century looting and piracy noticed the Lycian empire decline. Patara held on however was finally lowered to a small
port protected by partitions. By the fifteenth century Patara had been deserted to the weather.

Exploring the ruins

The ruins at Patara are a number of the most atmospheric in Turkey. Though there may be a lot to discover, an excellent portion of the town nonetheless stays interred beneath the shifting sands, together with the much-rumoured Temple of Apollo. Excavations are ongoing, with archaeologists patiently sifting by years of accrued sand to uncover depends from the previous.

Nevertheless, there may be nonetheless a lot to see. Head to the ocean shore, barely eastward of the Xanthus river, and look out for:

+ the stone-vaulted parliament constructing
+ Amonumental triumphal arch

+ Bathhouses

+ Colonnaded streets

+ a lighthouse thought to the oldest on the planet

+ Aruined temple and theatre on the hillside

+ The city partitions, with their open stone sarcophagi

+ A number of towers

+ Temples, altars, pedestals and sculpture fragments

Admission to the ruins is lower than £2, so it is effectively value a wander by this atmospheric spot. We suggest visiting within the late
afternoon, when the traditional stone is infused with a golden glow, and lengthy shadows add thriller to the atmospheric ruins.

Round Patara

As soon as you have explored the ruins and bored with the seaside, there are many native actions to maintain you occupied. Hen watching: keen-eyed birdwatchers can look out for bee eaters, black redstarts, crested larks, sandpipers, black-eared wheatears,
black-headed buntings, chiffchaffs and the widespread buzzard amongst many others on this protected space. Canoeing and rafting: head to the close by Dalaman river for adrenaline-packed thrills or a extra sedate exploration of the native waterways.

Horse using:

wind your means up hillsides and alongside riverbeds on horseback, or gallop alongside Patara Seashore. Mountain climbing: the Lycian Method stretches 300 miles from Antalya to Fethiye. When you don’t need to do all of it, it passes by

Patara so you’ll get a style of the enduring walkway.
Tlos: the Lycian hilltop citadel Tlos is at its most dramatic in Spring, with snow-capped mountains offering a placing backdrop to the
Lycian and Roman stays. Go to the stays of the massive church with its lovely mosaics.

Saklikent gorge: excessive within the mountains, the highly effective dashing river reduce a slim gorge by the rock, making a canyon three hundred metres deep and eighteen kilometres lengthy. Guests can discover the canyon, which Is a cool refuge even on the most popular, summer time’s day.

Jeep excursions: jeeps take guests excessive into the hills, exploring lovely mountain villages and taking within the gorgeous surroundings. Most journeys final all day and embrace lunch.

Xanthos: as soon as Lycia’s capital, Xanthos dates again no less than ten thousand years. Perched on a hillside overlooking the Xanthos Valley, it’s a placing and really attention-grabbing assortment of ruins for lovers of all issues historical past.


the beautiful hillside village of Kalkan is only a twenty minute drive from Patara Seashore. Right here you will discover advantageous eating, an attractive historical harbour, and beautiful whitewashed, bougainvillea-adorned villas unfold alongside the water’s edge.

Istamar: Ten minutes away from Kalkan, Islamar is a mountain retreat within the scenic Taurus mountains. The village accommodates just some houses, a mosque, a tea backyard and flour mill – the place flour continues to be floor the quaint means, with water. It is effectively value visiting this tranquil spot.

Kas: Just a little over an hour away, the emerald-green peninsula of Kas is an idyllic spot on the Mediterranean shoreline. Common with
hippies, artists and lovers of tranquility, Kas is effectively value a go to – or an extended keep.
Gombe and the Inexperienced Lake: the gorgeous Inexperienced Lake is round 6500 toes above sea degree and is known for its therapeutic waters, which are saved topped up by melted snow. Close to the lake Is the village of Gombe, a nomadic city with pleasant, hospitable individuals who promote their handicrafts to guests.

Easy methods to get to Patara Seashore

Buses run often between Fethiye and Antalya. Ensure you ask your driver if they will cease at Patara – some buses are categorical
companies. From the bus cease you will get an area dolmus into city, or stroll.