In the Heart of the Lycian Way – Kaş, Turkey

Lycian Way ancient rock tombs near Kaş, Turkey

Lycian Way ancient rock tombs

“The Lycians were an ancient people who inhabited the area of present day Turkey between the bays of Antalya and Fethiye, a compact, mountainous territory. ” (Who Were the Lycians?)

“Alexander the Great was here, and so was Saint Paul, on his way to Ephesus.” NY Times, 19/09/05

The Lycian League is famous in both legend and in more recent modern history. It was history’s earliest example of a form of republican government. The founders of the American Republic discussed Ancient Lycia as a model for the United States. According to the Federalist Papers, the Lycian League was a source of inspiration to Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, founders of the American Republic. The Lycian League was mentioned three times in the Federalist Papers, twice by Alexander Hamilton and once by James Madison. Therein they found the seeds of their as yet unfounded Republic. Federalist No. 9, Federalist No. 16, and Federalist No. 45 specifically mention Lycia or the Lycian League.

The texts of Homer, Herodotus, Plutarch and Pliny the Elder tell of the legends and history of the Lycians…Despite the recent interest in Lycia, many Lycian sites remain virtually untouched and no one really knows what is buried under their ground. It may be much – the Turkish archeologist Cevdet Bayburtluoglu has begun uncovering the formerly obscure Arycanda which may prove to be one of the most spectacular ruin sites in all of Turkey. Work is also ongoing at Patara, where an extensive city is being unearthed from the sand.(From: The Discovery of Lycia and Current Research)

Bougainville Office in Kaş, Turkey

Bougainville Office in Kaş, Turkey

Bougainville Travel and Diving (aka BT) can help you have an adrenalin-filled holiday should you choose to stay in Kaş and experience its casual but elegant atmosphere. See Bougainville Travel for adventure activities, accommodation, transfers and anything else that excites your interests on the Lycian Coast of Turkey.

Excerpts below from Lycia and the Lycians

Ancient Anatolian Regions Map

Map of Ancient Anatolian Regions

“The Lycians enjoyed a reputation for independence and fought for it often to the last man, woman and child. This happened on at least two separate occasions in Xanthos; in 546 BC against the Persians and 500 years later against the Romans. They were the last region to be incorporated into the Roman provinces in Asia Minor…They adopted the name Lycian when Lycus, the son of King Pandion was expelled from Athens and came to the region. Egyptian records mention a people called the Lukki living here, a people feared as sea-raiders. This latter reference makes a good deal of sense on later evidence.

Theatre at Xanthos, ancient Lycian city near Kas, Turkey

Theatre at Xanthos, a Lycian city

The sites of over forty cities have been found and much remains to identify the culture of the Lycians. The most obvious features of the Lycian landscape are the tombs and sarcophagi left behind. They are everywhere and it is difficult not to believe of the region as a vast necropolis peopled with the shadowy figures of Lycian nobles and warriors. Five distinct types of tomb can be distinguished: pillar-tombs, temple-tombs, house-tombs, pigeon-hole tombs, and the ubiquitous sarcophagi.

 

 

Some books about the Lycian Way:

Dean Livesley author and tour guide

Dean Livesley author and tour guide

Turkish Coast: Antalya to Demre: Sunflower Complete Guide
AND
Turkish Coast: Bodrum to Marmaris: Sunflower Complete Guide
by Michael Bussmann, Gabriele Tröger, Brian and Eileen Anderson, Dean Livesley

Dean Livesley was one of the original developers of the famous Lycian Way and is a permanent resident of Turkey. Visit Dean in Kayaköy and have an “Adventure All Year Round.”

This Thorntree Forum discussion has detailed route suggestions, and a contributor called stratophile made daily postings along the way.

The Lycian Way Book

The Lycian Way Book

No discussion of Ancient Lycia would be complete without a mention of Kate Clow who published a guide book called The Lycian Way which was first published in 2000. Publication of this book enabled the route to quickly became famous as one of the “world’s best long distance walks”. In 1998 Kate Clow won a Garanti Bank competition to link up all the old trails and treks along the way. The Bank obtained way-marking permission from the government and paid for the way-marking and signposts. Workers and volunteers created the roughly 500 km walking route from Fethiye to Antalya. From Sponsors: Trekking in Turkey

Articles About Ancient Lycia and The Lycian Way:

This story, Adventure seekers find paradise while trekking Lycian Way, is about the Lycian Way with additional links and video discussions of trekkers along the way. (Monday, August 2, 2010 by Luis Gallo – Lycian Way, Turkey – Hürriyet Daily News)
“The iconic Lycian Way, popular among globe-trotting hikers, draws travelers who prefer an alternative, off-the-beaten-path getaway experience. The straight-out-of-a-storybook landscapes around the villages on the 509-kilometer-long trail attract backpackers, nature lovers and the occasional meditating hippie”

Paddling around Kekova by Terry Richardson by Terry Richardson 04 August 2010 Sunday’s Zaman
The silky smooth, crystal clear and majestically blue ribbon of Mediterranean Sea, lying between the sleepy village of Üçağız and the long, narrow outcrop of sun-bleached limestone that is Kekova Island, on Turkey’s sublimely beautiful Lycian coast…

Ten years on The Lycian Way 10 March 2010, Wednesday / Terry Richardson, Antalya
It’s no exaggeration to say that over the last decade the walking scene in Turkey has been transformed thanks to the Lycian Way…

Turkey’s Lycian Way: Walking on the trail of ghosts Sunday, 07 August, 2011 UK Telegraph Travel

Nigel Richardson tackles the long-distance Lycian Way, and encounters ancient civilisations, sublime scenery – and a challenge that takes him by surprise.

Historical Lycia

Ancient Parliament building restoration Patara, Turkey

Ancient Parliament building restoration

Congress, Buried in Turkey’s Sand September 19, 2005, By Richard Bernstein New York Times International
PATARA, Turkey – “Alexander the Great was here, and so was Saint Paul, on his way to Ephesus…liberated from the many hundreds of truckloads of sand that covered it, is the actual parliament building where the elected representatives of the Lycian League met.”

Excerpt from Lycian and the Lycians

The Lycians enjoyed a reputation for independence and fought for it often to the last man, woman and child. This happened on at least two separate occasions in Xanthos; in 546 BC against the Persians and 500 years later against the Romans. They were the last region to be incorporated into the Roman provinces in Asia Minor.
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