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Cornucopia’s travel guide

Turkey’s western Med

“This is one of the most dramatic of coastlines,” wrote Barnaby Rogers in Cornucopia 10, off in search of the enchantment described in Freya Stark's Lycian Shore, “alternating between sandy beaches and hostile cliffs that have long been the terror of sailors.” Once the domain of the kings of Lydia, the exceptionally beautiful Turquoise Coast between Marmaris and Antalya is best appreciated by boat. To aid sailors, it was mapped two centuries ago in an epic survey that sparked a hunt for its wealth of ancient treasure, as Nicholas Courtney explains in Beaufort's Hunt Cornucopia 27. The 500km Lycian Way, Turkey's first long-distance footpath, follows the spectacular coast from Fethiye to Antalya, while the flora of Caria and Lycia were explored by Andrew Byfield in Cornucopia 55

What you will see

East of Fethiye are the translucent waters of Ölu Deniz, which have helped to give the Turquoise Coast its name. Behind it is Butterfly Valley, and beyond are the small ports of Kalkan, Kas and Myra (Demre). “Two fertile valleys that have traditionally supported their inhabitants are honeycombed with the ruins of a unique civilisation,” Barnaby Rogerson noted in his article on the coast. Xanthos and Tlos are the main sites among an astonishingly rich cluster of classical remains. Rock tombs are impressive at Myra, and stone sarcophagi seem to float in empty bays such as Aperlae. This is also place of idyllic hideaways, as Andrew Finkel discovered when he visited the spectacular home built for US Congressman Stephen Solarz and his wife Nina (Cornucopia 29)


Peace in high summer might be at a premium in the capital of the Mediterranean coast. Its population of around a million is the fastest growing in Turkey, and in 2011 10 million arrivals apparently made it the world's third most visited city.


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