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Lycian Way: A Walk to Phaselis Ruins

Phaselis ruins are a former Roman city a short distance from Kemer. To get there you can take a boat tour from Kemer or Antalya, or you can walk along the famous Lycian Way walking trail.

To get to Phaselis we only walked a short bit of the Lycian Way that is 500 km long in all. We first took a dolmus bus at Kemer and walked to the ruins only from where the bus driver left us. After Phaselis we followed the Lycian Way to the next village, Tekirova and took a dolmus back to Kemer.

Phaselis Ruins, Turkey

We made a half day Phaselis trip but you can also bring your swimsuits and spend the whole day on the sunny beaches of Phaselis and Tekirova.

Phaselis Ruins on the Map

 

The map shows where Kemer, Phaselis ruins and Tekirova are and shows the Kemer to Phaselis and on to Tekirova itineray by car. The walking route is not exactly the same. The Lycian Way follows the sea shore.

Getting out of Kemer

Cyclists starting from Kemer

There was an unexpected delay so it took us some time to start our trip from Kemer.

There was an international bike competition going on and lots of photographs were taken before the cyclists set off. Today’s destination for them was Fethiye about 200 km away.

 

Reaching Phaselis Ruins

Olympos Mountain seen from Phaselis

Phaselis is a ruined city 16 km south of Kemer and some kilometers off the main coastal highway 400.

We tried to tell the bus driver to leave us where the Lycian Way crosses the highway as our plan was to see some of the pretty scenery from the path that was following the coast before reaching Phaselis ruins.

However, the bus driver wanted to be friendly and didn’t leave us where we wanted. Instead he brought us all the way to the park gate which meant we only had a short walk, about 1 km in the pine forest to the ancient city.

The Ancient city of Phaselis was founded in the 7th Century B.C. The city was one of the most important trading points in the area.

Famous people of those days like Emperor Hadrian visited Phaselis, and Alexander the Great stayed here for a whole winter.

The Necropolis

Phaselis Ruins, Turkey

Phaselis Necropolis is located in several places but the most impressive one is the one by the sea.

Parts of the ancient city of Phaselis are today under water. Here you can clearly see the ruins in the clean turquioise water.

The Aqueduct

Aqueduct and Olympos Mountain, Phaselis

The first thing you see when you come to the city of Phaselis are the ruins of an old aqueduct. That was used to supply the city with water from faraway places which was typical for the Roman Empire.

So Phaselis citizens got their water from the Olympos Mountain that you can see in the background.

 

 Phaselis Beach

Beach, Phaselis Ruins, Turkey

Phaselis was set on a wooded peninsula between three bays that were used as three harbors.

Nowadays these three bays make pretty beaches that are good for sunbathing and swimming.

 

 Phaselis Ruins

Theatre, Phaselis Ruins, Turkey

There has been a paved main avenue with Hadrian’s Gate, Roman baths and other town houses. Some of them still remain.

To reach this big theater that once held 1500 – 2000 spectators you have to climb stone steps from the main avenue.

 

The avenue is more than 100 m long and it connects two of the bays. You can still see the former main square in the middle of it. The ruins are mostly from the Roman time.

From Phaselis Ruins to Tekirova

Phaselis Beach from the Hill

From Phaselis ruins we followed the Lycian Way to Tekirova which is the next village. That was not a long walk, only a few kilometers.

We started at the end of the old main avenue and followed the beach. There was a pyramid-like hill in the middle of the beach that you couldn’t go round so we climbed up the hill and down on the other side. The view from the hill was great!

 

The Lycian Way is a (at least here not very well) marked walking trail that’s more than 500 km long. It starts from Fethiye in the west and follows the coast in a huge nature park. It brings you to small remote villages, ancient ruins and pretty beaches.

Lycian Way from Phaselis to Tekirova

Spring must be the best time to visit and walk here. Everything is still green after the wet winter months and the flowers are appearing.

 

There were lots of sheep and cows grazing on both sides of the path, and they were followed by an old friendly shepherd that we really couldn’t talk with.

 

I don’t know if we got lost before entering Tekirova since the path signs were sometimes hard to see.  Anyway, we had to pass this river before getting to the village where we found a dolmus in direction Kemer.

Crossing a River, Lycian Way

 

 

This was a nice day out and you really should have time for more walking-days in this beautiful area!

Other Things to See around Kemer

If you can spend more time in this area of Turkey you should also visit the ancient sites of Olympos, Cirali and Limyra that are further south. And all the pretty places that come after Limyra when you follow the coast. Or you can take the cableway to the snow-capped Olympos Mountain.

North of Kemer there’s the famous Göunyk Canyon with clear turquoise mountain water. Walking the narrow canyon with walls on your both sides must be a great experience.  … But they say you partly have to walk in mountain water that is extremely cold all times of the year.

 

My Other Posts on Turkey:

If you’re planning a trip to Turkey you might also be interested in these posts:

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