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October 1, 2019 Lutfi Han0

Muğla offers an intimate atmosphere where you will hear the antique whispers in the wonderful destinations of seasand- sun tourism.

The province of Muğla accommodates the popular holiday cities of Bodrum, Marmaris, Datça, Köyceğiz and Fethiye. Beautiful resorts, comfortable hotels and motels, cosy guest houses, impressive ruins of past civilizations and magnificent landscapes offer holiday-makers plenty of choice.

Not far from the towns, you can swim in crystal clear, tideless, warm seas. Underwater divers will especially want to explore the numerous reefs, caves and majestic rock formations there. The waters offer up multicoloured sponges of all shapes and sizes and an immense variety of other aquatic life, including octopus.

Xanthos-Letoon

Xanthos was a city in ancient Lycia, and the site of present day Kınık, although in early sources Xanthos is used synonymously for Lycia as a whole. The archaeological site of Letoon is located between the towns of Kaş and Fethiye, approximately 4km south of Xanthos along the river. These sites illustrate the blending of Lycian traditions and ancient Greek influence, especially in their funerary art. Archaeological experts and linguists agree that the epigraphic inscriptions are crucial for our understanding of the history of the Lycian people and their Indo- European language.

Awaken to the Wonder of the Ancient World

Bodrum and its hinterland is particularly attractive for its relaxed ambiance, historical architecture and its proximity to a vast array of fantastic beaches, fishing villages and trendy nightclubs. With its picturesque shoplined streets, restaurants, discos, sophisticated bars and cafes for all ages and tastes, the county is always lively whatever the season. Its delightful charm remains unspoilt with palm-lined streets and whitewashed, flat-roofed houses dotted across the terraced hillsides.

Bodrum is the ancient Halicarnassus, the birthplace of the famous historian Herodotus, and a place known in antiquity for being the site of one of the Seven Wonders of the World – the Mausoleum, a gigantic tomb erected for King Mausolus in the fourth century BC. Destroyed by successive earthquakes, the stones of the Mausoleum were then used by the Knights of St John to build their castle nearby.

Antalya / Bodrum - Photo: Orhan ÖzgülbaşAntalya / Bodrum – Photo: Orhan Özgülbaş

Gümbet offers a long, sandy beach lined with hotels and pensions. Gümüşlük is a very pleasant place to stay, with unspoilt scenery, a long sandy and gravel beach, where you can swim very close to ruins of ancient Myndos. Turgutreis boasts a sophisticated marina complete with exclusive cafes, restaurants and boutiques, as well as a host of new bars and discos. Yalıkavak has an enjoyable and relaxing atmosphere for visitors. Göltürkbükü is famous for its array of exclusive hotels, excellent seafront restaurants and trendy bars. Bitez, a popular place for windsurfing and sailing, attracts an upmarket crowd.

A shining destination on Turquoise Coast

Marmaris is a very popular summer resort for both domestic tourists and foreign visitors, and the region has developed enormously over the years. Boats are available at the old harbour for visits to the islands and bays around its coast. An ancient castle, now a museum, overlooks the area around the harbour and offers a taste of the old town’s character. In the small shopping centre, upmarket boutiques and intimate restaurants are a pleasant contrast with the traditional bazaar area, where hundreds of small shops offer the usual Turkish wares – clothing, leather, jewellery and handicrafts. In Marmaris Bay, large and modern marinas provide excellent services to luxury yachts.

İçmeler is one of the most popular touristic sites with facilities and entertainment areas. Turunç has high quality motels and restaurants, too. Kumlubük is a very popular beach with thick sands.

Sedir Island is famous for its excellent beaches. A legend says, the sands were brought especially for Cleopatra, the famous Egyptian queen, and she swam here with her lover Anthony.

Where Aegean meets Mediterranean

Datça is situated at the far end of the Aegean coast on the end of a peninsula that stretches out to the west. The Aegean meets the Mediterranean at this point and it is a popular stopping-point for gulets taking a “blue cruise” from Bodrum or Marmaris. Datça is also an ideal place for fishing and diving, and its winds make it popular with surfers. The most important historical site in the area is Knidos, famous in antiquity for its many great amphitheatres. It is also the site of the Temple of Aphrodite, which housed a beautiful statue of the goddess sculpted by Praxiteles, one of the most celebrated artists of antiquity.

A Sanctuary for Caretta Carettas

Lake Köyceğiz and its surrounding is an attraction for both nature lovers and history fans. You can jump into its clear waters from the beautiful coves and then, enjoy visiting the nearby ruins of the ancient city of Kaunos. The town of Köyceğiz lies at the northern end of this lake and is joined to the Mediterranean by a natural channel. This unique environment is being preserved as a nature and wildlife sanctuary. A road leads to village of Dalyan on the inland waterway. The maze of channel is easily explored by boat as you immerse yourself in this tranquil dream world. The Dalyan Delta, with the long, golden, sandy İztuzu Beach at its mouth, is a natural sensation and a refuge for sea turtles (Caretta Caretta) and blue crabs.

Muğla / Dalyan / İztuzu Beach - Photo: Orhan ÖzgülbaşMuğla / Dalyan / İztuzu Beach – Photo: Orhan Özgülbaş

Past and present interwoven in Fethiye

The popular resort of Fethiye, 135km southeast of Marmaris, has an important marina at the head of a beautiful bay strewn with islands.

A hill crowned by the ruins of a crusader fortress built by the Knights of Rhodes overlooks the little port. Above the county numerous Lycian rock tombs reproducing the facades of ancient buildings were cut into the cliff face. The Tomb of Amyntas which probably dates from the fourth century BC is the most remarkable one. The surrounding area is rich in beautiful coves and valleys; places not to be missed are Butterfly Valley, home to thousands of butterflies, and Saklıkent which is accessible only by wading through the ice-cold waters coming straight from the mountains. Ölüdeniz, or the Dead Sea, takes its name from the still waters which separate the lagoon from the sea itself. The calm blue waters and rugged mountains make Ölüdeniz one of Turkey’s most beautiful regions.

The road to Belceğiz Bay takes you through the mountains where cozy guest houses cater for those seeking mountain scenery. Ocakköy is a mountain village that is a must-see. Stay in one of the lovely guest houses and enjoy the numerous hiking opportunities! Hisarönü, also a mountain village, has very nice hotels. Göcek, a large and secluded bay located in the nortwestern part of Fethiye, serves yachts with its significant marinas. It is a peaceful tourism area with accommodation facilities, shopping areas, restaurants and bars.

Kayaköy, 4km from Hisarönü, is a picturesque abandoned town with old houses and churches. Explore the bay and the beautiful Blue Lagoon (Mavi Göl) where the calm, crystal-clear water is ideal for swimming and other water sports! The Blue Lagoon is one of the best places in the world to do absolutely nothing but soak up the sun amid stunning natural surroundings. From Babadağ Mountain (1969m) you can even paraglide into the Blue Lagoon. For those seeking accommodation, Belceğiz Beach is highly recommended. Intoxicating scenery surrounds the beach and shady park at Kıdırak. On Gemile Island (St Nicholas Island), Byzantine ruins lie tucked amid the pines. In the south of Kıdırak beach, Kötürümsü Bay is accessible by boat only. A forest, waterfalls and a valley filled with hundreds of varieties of butterflies await the intrepid explorer beyond the idyllic beach. Yakaköy (Tlos), 36km south of Fethiye, is the oldest city of the Lycian region and the home of the Lycian hero Bellerophon. Visitors can see the remains of a castle, agora, necropolis, theatre and Roman baths as well as enjoy a good view of Eşen Valley in Yakaköy. Two kilometres to the east is Tlos Park, an ideal picnic place. Pınara, 49km south of Fethiye, is another ancient mountain city and it is ideal for hiking and visitors can see the remains of a theatre, agora, rock tomb and baths there.


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September 11, 2019 Lutfi Han0

The Lycian Way represents one of the best hiking spots in the world, with stunning vistas and endless history accompanying travelers across hundreds of kilometers. Whether you’re doing all of it or just so of it, you’re going to need to know what it is you’re hiking! Here are some quick facts to get you started.

What is Lycia?

Lycia means the “Land of Light,” and it dates back to the 13th century BC. The Lycian Federation was formed of 77 ancient cities, including Olympos, Xanthos, Patara, Antiphellos, Phaselis, Aperlae, Andriake, Myra and Apollonia. Lycia was known in particular for its fierce stance on freedom and indpendence.

How did it form?

The hiking route known today as the Lycian Way from Fethiye to Antalya is a marked pathway that passes through the mountains, a distance of around 540 kilometers. In fact, the track is a combination of a number of independent paths which were combined for the first time in the Roman period, creating the network of paths that became the Lycian Way.

Which ancient cities are there?

This is one of the 10 longest hiking trails in the world, and the natural scenery you’ll pass by is truly breathtaking. Of course, the ancient cities are pretty spectacular too, as you’ll pass by the ancient cities of Sdyma, Pyndai, Phellos, Apelia, Theimussa, Letoon, Xanthos, Patara, Antiphellos, Apollonia, Idyros, Simena, Myra, Limyra, Gagae, Olympos, Sura, Belos and Phaselis.

Do I really need to do all of it?

Obviously not everyone can carry around 10-15 kilos in their backpack and hike all of 535 kilometers, but if you’re ready and able then absolutely it will be one of the greatest experiences of your life!

Do I have to do it all alone?

No! There are guides at almost all the villages you pass who are happy to show you the path, teach you tips and tricks and explain the history to you for very reasonable fees.

How long does it take to do whole thing?

535 Kilometers takes around 20 to 40 days, depending on how fast you go.

How do I know I haven’t lost the trail?

The path is labeled in red and white markets, so follow the paint tracks all along the trail. As you approach the main roads, there are signposts showing you how far to the next stop you are.

What time of year should I do it?

Spring and Fall are the best seasons, as it can get fairly hot in the summer. If you ARE traveling in the summer, make sure to take plenty of water with you because it is HOT out there and there may not be a market anywhere close by.

We’re in the 21st century. Surely there’s an app for it?

Yep! Download the Lycian Way app, which shows you the whole map and also has ideas on where to stay. It actually even has ideas for adventurous hikers who want to leave the path and wander off elsewhere. But it’s got info on all the villages, camp grounds, and places to stay and all the logistical things you’ll want to know.

Is it really secluded? Should I be worried about wild animals etc?

Every May, Kate Clow and her crew, along with sponsors and volunteers walk the Way in its entirety. It’s kept clean all through the season and officials make sure the signposts aren’t vandalized. Many paths are added and cleared out, including the newish paths of Hoyran, Çıtdibi and Geyikbayırı,which have been formed specifically for tourist purposes to go through villages (and therefore provide access to guides and markets. And places to eat local food and spend the night, of course)! So basically it’s really well-kempt and safe.

I can’t do it all. If I do ONE bit, which bit should that be?

To each their own of course, but the best views are probably from Gelidonya Lighthouse, which was chosen as the best view in all of Turkey in 2007. Otherwise, the view over Ölüdeniz is, of course, breathtaking.

How difficult is it?

It’s not very challenging, the path is clearly marked and there’s no rock climbing or anything. It’s a great path for anyone excited about history and nature, so come discover the magic of the Lycian Way!


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September 3, 2019 Lutfi Han0

 

TURKEY’S 9 BIODIVERSITY HOTSPOTS
Kure Mountains, Yenice Forests, Istanbul’s Forests, Firtina Valley, Karcal Mountains, Amanos Mountains, Ibradi-Akseki Forests, Mount Babadag and Datca Bozburun Peninsula are among the 9 forest hotspots selected by the World Wildlife Fund.

9 ENVIRONMENTAL HOTSPOTS

Turkey has 9 environmental hotspots selected by the World Wildlife Fund and Ministry of Environment Forestry as critical to ensure a sustainable ecological footprint. Explore each of the nine forest hotspots and their distinctive characteristics, immerse yourself in nature. Take a walk through the four seasons in Turkey’s forests.

MEDITERRANEAN REGION

Ibradi-Akseki Forests: Ibradi-Akseki Forests in southern coast of Turkey have a large number of endemic plant species. The area is highly valued for the maturity of its trees. It also includes the Altinbesik Cave well known with its deep lake.

Amanos Mountains: Amanos Mountains, one of the most pristine regions of Turkey. The area has the typical flora of the Mediterranean region and is also considered one of the biodiversity hotspots in the world.

ISTANBUL

Istanbul’s Forests: With the Belgrade Forest through the north of the city’s European side, which offers main recreational areas for Istanbul, forests on both continents of Istanbul are the oxygen source of the city.

AEGEAN REGION

Mount Babadag: Located around Fethiye, Babadag is nearly 2000 m high and has a rich flora around its famous Butterfly Valley. It also features Oludeniz, Kabak Cove and the Lycian Way.

Datca Bozburun Peninsula: Located in the southwestern Turkey, Datca Peninsula is a green-blue paradise where the Mediterranean and the Aegean meet. It features sandy beaches, many natural beauties, ancient cities and wild life.

BLACK SEA REGION

Kure Mountains: Kure Mountains are famous with their natural beauties. Deep canyons, endless caves and waterfalls are among the many natural sites of these mountains, which comprise 120 villages in their surroundings.

Yenice Forests: Located in the Black Sea region of Turkey, Yenice Forests is an an emerald green paradise with its untouched, wide and natural old forests, monumental trees, deep valleys, rivers and rich wildlife.

Firtina Valley: Located near the Kackar Mountains, Firtina Valley is a hidden paradise in the eastern Black Sea region, well known for its natural old forests, fiery Firtina River, Avusor Glacier Lake and Palovit Waterfall.

Karcal Mountains: Karcal, the mysterious corner of the Caucasus, located in northeastern Turkey. It is time to discover the Karcal Mountains for its endemic plant species, untouched green forests, glacier lakes and unique beauties.


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September 3, 2019 Lutfi Han0

The Turquoise Riviera (also known as the Turkish Riviera or the Turquoise Coast) is the name generally given to the stretch of beautiful waters encompassing the provinces of Antalya, Muğla and the southern Aegean of Izmir.