You will leave early in the morning travelling by a convoy of open top jeeps to explore ancient cultures, unspolit villages and beautiful countryside.
The jeep safari is a well-known attraction in Turkey and on any given day there can be many jeeps setting off on this great day out. The jeep safari company usually collects you from your accomodation (check with your tour operator when booking).You can be a driver or non-driver (some guests wish to drive themselves and their families, while others are more than happy to sit back and enjoy the ride, with someone else driving).
The convoy drives up into the mountains where you can overlook some spectacular rock tombs in the ancient city of Tlos, the Yakapark Trout Farm, or Bolok farm. Bolok is the Turkish name for fish.
Next stop is Saklikent which means “hidden valley” in Turkish.This gorge is the third longest gorge in Europe at 18 km long. It was formed after an earthquake and is so steep and narrow in some places that the sun does not penetrate the water, which is absolutely freezing as a result, even in high temperatures. There are several restaurant areas suspended above the water (river) and the whole area, although somewhat commercialized, still remains quaint and pretty.
You are able to walk into the gorge along the 150 meters of wooden walkway, the water is quite shallow in places and there is a safety rope to hold onto while crossing. Lunch is usually served here at one of the restaurants.
From Saklikent it's off to the mudflats for the eagerly-awaited mud bath, which is then washed off in the freezing river that runs down from the gorge.
Next it's off to the ancient Lycian city of Xanthos (pronounced Santos). This was once the site of the capital city of Lycia and dates back to at least the 8th Century BC. The amphitheater, pillar tombs and even the mosaics left from the Byzantine period are an amazing site. Xanthos was made famous to the Western world in the 19th century by its British discoverer Charles Fellows, and some parts of the tombs have been removed to the British Museum in London. The city stands atop an elevated area of the Xanthos valley where the Esen (pronounced Eshen) river flows below. The surrounding area is simply spectacular.
After Xanthos you head off to Patara beach. Patara is the longest beach on Turkey’s coast, around 20 km, and there is not a single building on the entire stretch of beach. This beach is good for swimming and even those who were not confident in the water are able to paddle as there is a huge sand shelf under the water.
Last stop is a rest stop before the long drive back . It is also the place where the jeeps are washed after a day in the dust and open air. You will be able to swim at this stop.
After roughly 8 hours in an open jeep you will be rather wind-blown but exhilarated after your day’s adventure, which will be memorable and you will want to repeat!!
Kaya Koy, originally called Levissi, was a Greek town with more than 12,000 people before the war of Independence in 1923. An old deserted Greek village situated 7km south of Fethiye, Kaya Koyu was abandoned when its Greek inhabitants were expelled in 1923 after The War of Independence. On January 30 1923, there was a population exchange agreement between governments. According to this agreement, the Greek people living in Turkey would be sent to Greece and the Turkish people in Greece would be sent to Turkey. The Greek people here, by this agreement, went back to Greece; but the Turkish people living in Greece didn't want to come back to Turkey.The village was left deserted in anticipation of the return of it's former inhabitants. It is quite an amazing place, with the feel of a ghost town.
Beautiful stone houses, now in ruins, cover the hillsides. You can clamber amongst the streets & houses to the churches where you can still see traces of wall paintings & mosaic floors. Whilst you explore the old ruins you might want to take time out and visit one of the small typical Turkish cafes where you are sure of a lovely welcome. Sit and enjoy one of the many Gözleme (Traditional Turkish Pancakes) on offer with an ice cold Elma Çay (Apple Tea). The village is unique and well worth a visit.
Ephesus & Pamukkale
As you approach the site of Pamukkale a long white smudge along the hills to the north suggests a landslide or open cast mine. Getting closer, this resolves into the edge of a plateau, more than 100m higher than the level of the river valley and absolutely smothered in white travertine terraces.
Pamukkale is one of the most extraordinary natural wonders in Turkey. Dozens of coaches daily make the long excursion, but if you can, stay over-night to enjoy its tranquillity early in the morning or in the evening.
The big attraction is a vast white cliff side with scallop-shaped basins of water and frozen waterfalls. It looks as if it's made out of snow or cloud or balls of cotton.
The hot thermal springs pouring down the hillside deposit calcium carbonate, which solidifies as travertine. If you take off your shoes, you can gingerly roam the terraces or paddle in the pools of hot mineral waters leaving you feeling refreshed. The Turks have dubbed this geological fairyland Pamukkale, or "cotton castle".
Here, in a landscape fascinating in its own right, the action of various mineral springs which contain calcium oxides has left fantastic concretions on the travertine structures. The resulting effect is spectacular: these mineral-rich waters have dripped down over a series of terraced levels designing bizarre solidified cascades, dazzling in their radiance and changing their color according to how the sunlight strikes them.
The continuous dynamics of erosion and transformation of the natural landscape has resulted in an ambiance unequaled elsewhere and which constitutes one of the most unique phenomena to be found in nature.
Ephesus, once the most important commercial centre of western Anatolia , is one of the highlights of Turkey that awaits exploring tourists. The city was established as a port on the mouth of the river Cayster and was one of the foremost cities of the world for its being on a strategic trade route in Anatolia.
The city itself and the ruins are all on the sides of a fertile valley. The extensive ruins including the theatre, library or gymnasium create the special atmosphere of Ephesus, and appeal to all visitors.
Once a trade center of the ancient world , a religious center of the early Christianity and today, a unique tourism center proving all its perfectas to visitors throughout the world.
There is as yet no definite knowledge about the exact date of the foundation of Ephesus, but famous historians such as Strabon and Pausanias, agreed in the idea that Ephesus was founded by Amazons, and inhabited by the oldest settlers of Anatolia-Lelegians and Carians, as early as 3000 BC.
The Turkish Hamam or Turkish Bath is the direct successor to the Roman bath and has had a special place in Turkish tradition for hundreds of years. Traditionally the Hamam has a domed roof with thick bottle-glass lights set into the dome that concentrate the sunlight. Lying on the hot marble slabs it is easy to image yourself transported back to the time of the Saracens.
It is a place where you can rejuvenate both body and mind. After changing into the traditional 'Pestemal' a type of sarong, and wooden shoes called 'Takunya', your body is acclimatized with warm water, then scrubbed with 'loaf', to remove the top layers of dead skin cells and ingrained dirt.
The soap massage that follows is pure melting pleasure, leaving your skin refreshed, tingling and your whole body rejuvenated. A warm dry towel, a place to relax and a taste of Turkish delight ends the session, unless of course you want to go the whole way and take a sauna or Turkish massage.
No holiday in Turkey is complete without a visit to the Turkish Bath. Most public baths segregate the sexes, though nowadays there are many Turkish Baths, especially in the larger hotels, where mixed sessions are normal.
About an hour away from Hisaronu is the small fishing town of Dalyan. A cruise down the Dalyan Delta will take you through the reed beds and past the eerie Lycian rock tombs, carved out of the cliff-face high above you. At the natural sulphur mud baths you can cover yourself from head to toe in mud and enjoy this therapeutic beauty treatment. You can enjoy a riverside lunch before discovering the beautiful Iztuzu beach, home to the famous loggerhead turtles. A magical day that will stay with you for many years to come.
If you would prefer a more energetic approach you may like to try scuba diving, paragliding to name but a few or for those who like to relax why not take a cruise around the twelve islands in your own gulet.....
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