Spend a week discovering the Southern Coast of Turkey from Marmaris to Fethiye by bike and on a luxurious Turkish gulet. This charming and stylish floating accommodation is built to the highest of standards. You will get to know the Turkish coast and back-country between Marmaris and Fethiye with the aid of a mountain bike.
Myra features some of the most impressive and well preserved Lycian monuments in the country. These include an excellent collection of rock tombs and an imposing 2nd century theater.
Many of the tombs have log cabin features carved into the rock, presumably reflecting the domestic architecture of the period. A few easily accessible ones have inscriptions in the Lycian language. Carvings above are mostly in poor repair but the overall effect of this jumble of the architecture of death is dramatic.
The theater, like many others in major Roman cities, was later converted into an arena for gladiator fights and wild animal shows. Many carvings and inscriptions in the theater are still visible, and cavernous tunnels and access ways to the side have been cleared. While much of the seating is intact, the stage building is partly collapsed. A macabre set of three carved masks, presumably from the frieze, lies among the jumble of remains in the approach to the theater.
Today Demre is an important agricultural town on the Mediterranean coast of Anatolia. Around Demre there are also ruins of Andriake on Çayagzi beach and Kekova, Simena and Teimussa which are accessible by a short boat ride or some car driving.
The ancient city of Aphrodisias, dedicated to the goddess of love Aphrodite, was a Hellenistic city which also flourished under Roman and Byzantine rule. Excavations in the 24-meter-high (78 ft) theater hill have revealed layers of settlement going back to the Bronze Age (c. 2800-2200 BC). It was founded in the 5th c. BC and flourished under the Roman Empire (1st c. BC-4th c. AD). Mark Antony recognized the autonomy of Aphrodisias in the 1st c. BC. In the Byzantine period it was first the seat of an archbishopric, then of the metropolitan of Caria. In the 6th c. AD the name of Aphrodisias was changed to Stavropolis, the city of the Cross, to erase the pagan goddess of love from peopleís minds. As the capital of Caria Aphrodisias was finally called Caria which then became Geyre in Turkish. Later in the 13th century it was abandoned. The city was buried by a series of earthquakes.
Aphrodisias was primarily known as a center for the arts, specifically sculpture. The Aphrodisias School of Sculpture had a distinctive style and was very well circulated throughout the Greek and Roman world. Statues with corresponding signatures were discovered from Spain to present day Germany and virtually everywhere in the Roman world. The existence of Aphrodisias was almost forgotten until a Turkish professor, Dr. Kenan Erim, of New York University received a grant from National Geographic to excavate the site in the 1960ís. His archaeological work revealed a city of vast importance.