Today we reach the beautiful Turkey, which is a natural bridge between East and West and has a long history, from the Hittites to the Ottomans. We go up to the south-west of the country, where incredible and pristine beaches, lively towns and impressive monuments await us.

Ancient rock Lycian Tombes, Turkey
Ancient rock Lycian Tombes, photo by miquitos via Flickr

Ready? We leave together for an unforgettable travel in Turkey, between seaside resorts where in summer tourists flock, rural locations where you can enjoy nature and authenticity, and amazing food everywhere you turn. Our destination is Kaya Valley and the nearby coast, also known as the Turkish Riviera.

To get there, the easiest way is certainly to arrive at Dalaman airport, not far from the villages of the area and the sea. Things to do, live and experience are many and it is not easy to tell about them: walking among the scents and colors of the bazaars, being amazed by the view of the islands of Fethiye, seeing the ghost town of Kayaköy, walking in nature that hides ancient tombs, dive into the blue sea. This area of ​​Turkey is sure to get exciting, but let’s go with order and discover some of the things not to be missed.

The villages, the authentic Turkey

Here you can feel the essence of local life of these areas; they are small villages surrounded by mountains and greenery where life proceeds at a slow pace, in a relaxed atmosphere. But in Kaya, Hisaronu, and in the other towns there is still a large number of restaurants and bars, where you can taste local delicacies and watch the world goes by.

The ghost town of Kayaköy, Turkey
The ghost town of Kayaköy. Photo by Panegyrics of Granovetter via Flickr

The beaches, pristine blue

Again, the choices are many, and it depends on personal taste: those who prefer more secluded beaches will find heaven in Gemiler, a set of marvelous bays and coves where there are also interesting archaeological finds; those who enjoy more the beach life, will choose the Fethiye Bay from which you also admire twelve beautiful islands. But how not to mention the Patara beach, south of Fethiye, with its 18 kilometers of beach and the chance to see loggerhead turtles, and of course the most photographed beach in Turkey, the one of Oludeniz, the Blue Lagoon.

Fethiye, tourism, and archaeological sites

With its 147,000 inhabitants, it is the largest city in the area. It is located in the ancient Telmessos and is one of the most popular tourist centers in Turkey. My advice is to spend a day or two to visit the city, but never in August when tourists rush here. Although far from the authenticity of the inland villages, the city offers precious glimpses. Among the many restaurants and clubs, there is a lively and wonderful weekly market that retains its turkish character. Besides the aforementioned beaches and islands, Fethiye offers historical evidence that worth visiting, from the Telmessos rock tombs, the theater and the remains of the fortress built by the Knights of Rhodes.

Fethiye, Turkey
Photo by Oceanwide Properties via Flickr

The Lycian Way

One of the best ways to discover the area is walking along this trek, one of the most popular in the world. It is 540 km route, very challenging in some points, that goes from the sea to the mountain, representing a portal to the past. In the journey from Oludeniz to Antalya there are many ancient buildings, rock Tombs, and archaeological ruins dating back to the period of the Lycian people.

Along the Lycian Way, Turkey
Along the Lycian Way. Photo by Warren Talbot via Flickr

Where to stay in this unspoiled corner of Turkey

In the village of Kaya, not far from Fethiye and the Blue Lagoon, you can stay in a beautiful eco-sustainable accommodation. The Fig Garden offers travelers 2 beautiful and rustic cottages surrounded by a garden of fruit trees. You will be welcomed with a basket of local products and this is the perfect place for spending some relaxing days, without any stress. The cottages, which are equipped with solar panels and low-energy light bulbs, can be rented together or separately. Both have beautiful private terraces with a barbecue and they share a pool.

Cover photo by Chris_Parfitt via Flickr