Trip Start Jun 01, 2006
Trip End Jun 09, 2006

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Flag of Turkey  ,
Saturday, July 8, 2006

Discovering the best beaches of Mediterranean Sea and having a unforgettable holiday while sealing through untouched coves.

Between blue's and green's, you will swim at the cove where Cleopatra has had a bath. After that cooking fresh fishes and tasting your drink while looking moon light.

That is Blue Cruises... By the coast you can see historical places and archaic cities like Knidos, Loryma, Kaunos, Xantos, Patara, Myra, Olympus, Phaselis and others. Everyone has a unique color...

This most popular of sea adventures began quite by mistake when a few years after the foundation of the Turkish Republic, a political writer, Cevat Sakir Kabaagaçli, was exiled to Bodrum for publishing a story about army fugitives.

Cruise will start from Marmaris and goes on with Tersane Island, Cleopatra Cove, Ekincik, Dalyan. If you wish you can go Gemiler Cove, St. Nicholas, Ölüdeniz, Kalkan, Kas, Kekova too.

Ölüdeniz - Gemile - Kalkan (Patara - Xantos - Letoon) - Çayagzi (Myra - St. Nicholas) - Gökkaya - Kaleköy - Kas - Bayindir - Karacaören - Göçek - Kizil Ada - Fethiye.

The Gulf of Kekova is one of the most picturesque stretches of the coast and has several bays and villages to explore. The charming village of Üçagiz (literally 'three mouths') has a few remains of the Lycian village of Teimiussa. On Kekova, there is no trace of the city which once dominated the island - its ruins and foundations can now only be seen under the surface of the clear water on the northern side of the island. On land, there's nearby Kale, a village on a steep hillside leading up to the medieval fortress and theater of ancient Simena. The local landscape is dotted with the ruins of Lycian tombs, forts and Greek settlements.

Kekova Island
The Gulf of Kekova covers a large area. Settlement areas such as Kekova Island, Kaleköy and Üçagiz are all within this region. It has some of the best diving and yachting spots in Turkey. Kekova Island gave its name to the region. Even in rough weather this is a calm spot as it is cut off from open sea by Kekova Island. Its name in ancient times was Simena, the ruins of which are scattered from the port up to the hills and even in the sea. Those who walk up the hill to the theater on top of the hill are met with a picturesque scene. There is no better spot to take a photo. Opposite to you there is Kekova Island and on your right Üçagiz. There are Lycian rock tombs everywhere on the hill.

Theimussa (Üçagiz)
Sixteen kilometers after Kas is the turn for Üçagiz. Nine kilometers after the intersection is the village of Kiliçli and a further 1.5 kilometers from the village is the ancient city of Apollonia. If you have the time, it would be worthwhile taking a look. Üçagiz is a fishing village on the shores of the Gulf of Kekova, six kilometers from Kılıçlı and 31 kilometers from Kas. Boats going on tours in the gulf use the wharf at Üçagiz. The wharf has small pensions and some fine restaurants with the freshest fish direct from the region. The village was built on the remains of the ancient city of Theimiussa. To get to Kaleköy (Simena) boats operate from this wharf or boats from Demre-Çayagzi. Larger boats operate daylong cruises from the Demre-Çayagzi wharf..

In the entrance of the wide Kalkan Cove there are the islands of Yilan (Snake) and Siçan (Rat) forming the Islands of Çatal (Fork). Yılan Island drops into the sea with great steep rocks, while Siçan is more suitable for anchoring and swimming. The daily boat tours from Kalkan stop here either on the way from Kalkan or on the return to Patara.

Patara Beach
It is a seven kilometers long beach. Both the beach and the bottom of the sea are of very white sand. Around the center of the beach the Esen Steam flows into the sea. The beach is an egg-laying ground for the Caretta Caretta sea turtles. This area is covered by an environmental protection order. You can visit the ancient cities of Letoon and Patara right behind the beach. It is pleasant to have a horse-ride on the beach. Four kilometers inland there is the village of Gelemiş where you would have plenty of options of pensions, restaurants and shops.

The historian Herodotus, in reference to war in 545 BC against the invading Persians, wrote, "When the Persian army came onto the Xanthos plain under the rule of their commander, although they were very few in numbers against the unending large numbers of the Persians, the people of Xanthos kept fighting. They gained a reputation for their heroism but they have lost the war against them. They placed all the women, children, treasures and slaves into the castle. Then they set it on fire. Such was the fire that has destroyed everything. It was after that they took a binding oath and began fighting the enemy. All died in the fighting."

Although Xanthos was frequently destroyed by fires or wars every time it was rebuilt. The city was destroyed completely in the Roman era by Brutus and but was reconstructed by another Roman commander, Marc Antonius. In the Byzantine era Xanthos was a center of a bishopric, though it was finally abandoned after a series of Arab attacks. If you go to Xanthos through Kınık the first remains you encounter is a part of the Hellenistic gate on your right. To the left of the road there is an arch dedicated to the Roman emperor Vespasian, a gift in thanks for his great contributions to the city. The ruins you will see a bit further up on your right are what is left of the magnificent Nereids Monument, the most impressive pieces of which were taken to England by ship in 1841-1842.

Today these pieces have been restored and the monument is on display in the 7th hall of the British Museum. If you head to the left towards the acropolis past the walls you come to the theater. After this you will see the Lycian tombs that have become the symbol of Xanthos and the Harpies Monument above the tombs. Since the statues of the monument were taken to England, what you see today are plaster copies of the originals. The original Harpies Monument is also on exhibit in the British Museum. At the Lycian acropolis there are also the remains of the agora and a Byzantine basilica. Once you get to the acropolis take in the view. The hill that overlooks the plain is the site of the ruins of the ancient Lycian palace. On the right of the road in Xanthos and opposite the acropolis there is a Roman acropolis, where you can see a Byzantine basilica, rock tombs, the Pillar Monument and the ruins of a tomb with lion reliefs

On the Fethiye-Kalkan road, two kilometers before you come to Kinik, there is the signpost for the ancient city of Letoon. It is also 19 kilometers before Kalkan. Letoon is four kilometers further once you take the turn onto the road in the middle of the greenhouses. You can go to the entrance of the historical site by car. The traces of the settlement in the ancient city of Letoon have been dated to the 7th century BC. The ruins and the finds show that this was a political and religious site. Letoon was the joint temple of the Lycian Union.

There is a legend recalled by the poet Ovidius, which tells that the Goddess Leto, who was pregnant with twin gods Apollon and Artemis to the God Zeus gave birth to them in Delos. Then she went to the Xanthos River (now the Eşen Stream) and walked all the way to the mouth of the river. The Goddess wanted to wash her children in the mouth of the river but was prevented from doing so by the locals. She got furious at this and, by way of revenge, turned all the locals into frogs. This is why the temple of Leto is sited where the incident is supposed to have taken place. The other two temples in the ancient city were built for Artemis and Apollon.

However, today only the bases of all three temples remain. They are lying under the water that keeps seeping up and never seem to disappear. On the top of the columns of the temples frogs and the turtles lie sunbathing. Could they not be the descendants of the people the Goddess Leto turned into frogs?The Lycian city of Letoon was abandoned after the 7th century once it has lost its importance. To the south west of the temples there is a fountain and to the east a Byzantine church. To the north of the archaeological site is a stoa and at the backside of the city, partly leaning against the natural hill, is a Roman theater, which is in good condition.

Do not leave the site if you have the time go to the seaside. Just as in the case of Patara, Letoon suffers from sand-dune problems and, in order to prevent sand getting to the greenhouse areas, the two kilometers deep and eight kilometers long beach of Letoon has been planted with sand acacia and mimosa trees. The tree planting in the area began in the 1960s. Go through the trees and continue on the sand road that takes you to the sea. Letoon is a part of the 18 kilometers long Patara Beach. It has the same characteristics of Patara Beach. However, around it there is not one restaurant, café or pension. Be ready for this if you are going there for a picnic.

Myra (Demre)
The place where St. Nicholas, also known as Santa Claus, used to live. When he died in 343 AD he was buried in a sarcophagus and placed in a church built in his honor and bearing his name. This church is in the city center and should be seen. The city of Myra, which was an important center of the Lycian Union, is also located in the center of Demre. At the entrance to Myra there is a theater and behind it are many tombs carved into the cliffs. These are the finest examples of carved rock tombs of Lycia. Those who are confident in their fitness and balance can follow the pathway and climb to the acropolis.

St. Nicholas Church
If you want you can get to the port of Çayagzi (Andriake) in Demre. In ancient times Andriake was the port of the ancient city of Myra. From here you can get ashore and visit the historical sites of Myra and the Church of Saint Nicholas.

Marmaris - Ekincik - Kaunos - Fethiye - Turunç - Marmaris.

Ekincik is a small but very pretty bay lined with pine trees and is a popular stop with all boats doing the run from Marmaris to Göçek or Fethiye. There is a very good restaurant ashore here with a great view of the bay, opposite the village, and another one on the edge of the village which is a lot cheaper but still great fun. Ekincik is also the ideal place for those based on a yacht to visit Dalyan and the ruins of Caunos. The Dalyan river is too shallow to take a yacht, but there are plenty of shallow draft river craft to take you through the delta to the town or to the ancient Caryan ruins at Caunos, for a price...

Dalyan is ten minutes drive from the center of Çesme. It is the most popular place to be during those beautiful summer nights. Along the inlet there are seafood restaurants, meyhane's (taverns) pensions and hotels. Along the Aya Yorgi cove there is a beach, restaurants and pensions.

The ancient city of Kaunos, the mud baths at the side of the Dalyan channels and, even though the famed Kings Tombs of Kaunos are opposite in Dalyan, all are within the borders of Köyceğiz. One side of the channel is Köyceğiz and the other is Ortaca. In the travel book the details on the mud bath and Kaunos are also covered in the Dalyan section. In order to get to the mud baths and the ancient city of Kaunos you can either take a daily boat cruise leaving from Köyceğiz or travel by road by going to Ekincik and then following the road that winds around the lake from Sultaniye.

The ancient city of Kaunos
You can also go to Kaunos by boats leaving from Dalyan. From the wharf near the ruins reachable from Dalyan by boat it is just a 10 minutes walk to the remains of the ancient city of Kaunos. Those coming by yachts can drop anchor around Delikli Ada and go ashore by small boat. Kaunos was a significant trading port, though it lost its strategic importance as the alluvial sands filled the harbor. According to the father of history, Heredotos, the people of Kaunos were natives of Caria who considered themselves to be Cretans. The ancient geographer Strabon writes that Kaunos had ship building yards and a port that could be closed and opened according to need. Miletos's son Kaunos, exiled for having had an illicit relationship with his twin sister, founded the city. The rock tombs that can be seen from as far away as Dalyan were built in 4 BC and were also used during the Roman period later.

In Lycian type tombs the dead were placed on rock beds. Surrounding the tomb are two Ionic columns, which have a relief and pediment. On one of the pediments is an ornament depicting lions. The port of the city was what is now Lake Sülüklü down from the acropolis. In those times the sea reached as far as the Kaunos acropolis. When the Persians captured Anatolia the city came under the control of Mausolos. After Alexander the Great defeated the Persians in 334 BC the city was ruled by Princess Ada, then Antigonos and later Ptolemy. It was successively part of the Kingdoms of Rhodes, Bergama and then the Roman Empire. Kaunos lost its importance after its harbor was silted up. The acropolis was set on a hill at a height of 152 meters.

The city walls to the north are a remnant from the Middle Ages. The long city walls start from north of the harbor and go on till the steep cliffs past the village of Dalyan. The northern part of the city walls were constructed during the time of Mausolos while the walls to the north west were constructed during the Hellenistic era. Those towards the harbor are from the Archaic era. The city's theater is at the foot of the acropolis. It has 33 rows of seats. The remains of a building to the west of the theater are of a basilica type church.

The others are of a Roman bath and a temple. Further below is an incomplete circle construction with fluted columns and behind this is a podium with three steps. Here the remains of the temple can be seen. The nature of the circle shape structure is unknown. A stoa was unearthed during excavations to the north of the old port of Lake Sülüklü. Many statue pedestals were found around it but the statues were not recovered. The fountain near the stoa has been restored. To see the city walls and the towers a long tour of discovery should be carried out.

Those who wish can visit the old port area of Kaunos that is now Lake Sülüklü Lake by boat or go to the nearby village of Çandır. On the quay of the village of Çandır there is always a line of cruising boats. These boats provide services to the yachts that come to Istuzu Beach. They will take passengers of the yacht to Dalyan and the mud baths. When you get to the quay the large big holes carved into the stone hills will catch your attention. These use to serve as a form of lighthouse as giant fires was kept burning in these holes at night to guide the ships that were coming to the port of Kaunos.

Turunç is 20 km away from Marmaris. It is famous with its huge sandy beach. Turunç beach has a blue flag also.


These scripts and photographs are registered under © Copyright 2006, Omeraga Yacht / Fethiye - Mugla - Turkey. All Rights Reserved.
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