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Blue Voyage :: Ölüdeniz


Once you sufficiently explored Fethiye you may then go out on day long excursions to such ancient cities as Pinara at Minare village, Tlos at Doger, and Sidyma at Dodurga returning to Fethiye in the evening. There are also other ancient sites like Kadyanda in rather inaccessible places. One day excursions are also possible to the ancient cities of Xanthos, Letoon, and Patara in the vicinity of Fethiye. If we continue on our Blue Voyage after Fethiye, with its numerous Lycian rock tombs, we pass the Capes of Camliburun, Sahinburun, and Iblis Burnu, and arrive at the Karacaoren Islands where there are the ruins of late period structures. The island has a restaurant and a pier onto which yachts may tie up. From here, one proceeds to Gemiler Island, which is a good anchorage.

Gemiler Island is filled with ruins. Among the medieval buildings on the island is a church and on the hill are the ruins of a palace decorated with mosaics. There are cisterns and wells on the island too. On the northern side are the remains of a quay and warehouse that are now partially submerged. The side of the island facing the mainland is suitable as an anchorage. Immediately opposite this is a restaurant and places where one may find accommodation. This place is also accessible by highway from Fethiye. Inland was the ancient city of Carmylessus. Between here and Fethiye is the village of Kaya. Formerly inhabited by Greeks, the village was abandoned during the population exchanges that took place in 1922 and is now empty. There are plans to turn it into a holiday village.

From Gemiler Island one reaches Bestas Harbor. Rounding Yogan Cape from here one enters the gulf of Belcegiz. Olu Deniz, a beautiful inland bay that stretches behind the cape, is now closed to yachts. The reason this heavenly place is called Olu Deniz ("Sea of the Dead") is attributed to the following legend. Once a father and son were caught in a storm here and were in danger of sinking. The son claimed that if they approached the rocks ashore they could take shelter in a cove. The father on the other hand asserted that their ship would be driven onto the rocks and break up and that there were no coves around here anyway. In his terror of running around on the rocks, the father knocked his son (who was at the helm) into the sea with an oar and took over the helm himself. Just as the ship was about to hit the rocks on the cape, she turned into this calm, smooth watered bay. This is the reason they say the bay is called the Sea of the Dead, whereas what with the pine clad sandy beach stretched out like a tongue, the name "Paradise Bay" would be more fitting. Vessels are not allowed inside the bay to prevent its pollution. There is a good motel here and there are also many hotels, motels, and restaurants on the Belcegiz gulf side of Olu Deniz. Leaving Belcegiz gulf, we must sail past the high and bold capes of Yedi Burunlar ("Seven Capes")-Kotu, Sancak, Inkahlik, Yassi, Kilic, and Zeytin, which have a nasty reputation for contrary winds and confused seas. Once past them one arrives at a beach, whose dunes with every passing day engulf a little bit more of the nearby ancient city of Patara which awaits the day when archaeologists shovels will free it of the sands. Rather than stay here however it is better to come overland from Kalkan, passing Letoon and Xanthos on the way. Before one reaches Kalkan there is another harbor called Yesilkoy in which yachts can take shelter. Kalkan is an important port of call on the Blue Voyage from which one may visit the surrounding ancient sites and also stock up on whatever provisions one may require. One of the most beautiful ports on the Blue Voyage is Kas and one may linger on here for a long time. The town is located on the site of ancient Antiphellos, whose well preserved theater may be visited today.

Ancient sarcophagi lie scattered about and there are numerous Lycian rock tombs in the cliffs. Rather than stay at Kas however, it is better for yachts to anchor at Bayindir 1.5 km away. After leaving Kas, one sails for well known Kekova where one may visit the ruins of Aperlai at the jetty on Sicak Peninsula, Tersane Bay on Kekova Island, the sunken city, and the ruins on the island as well as the ruins of Simena at Kalekoy. The best anchorage for yachts is Ucagiz where one finds the ruins of the ancient city of Theimussa. The place is a spot of beauty where nature and history have merged. Kekova can also be reached in small rented boats from Kas and from Cayagzi at Demre. After leaving Kekova, one passes Gokkaya Harbor and arrives at Cayagzi at Demre. Here one may visit Myra and the Church of St. Nicholas by car and then proceed on to Finike.


Above text and pictures are from the book titled "A Blue Romance".

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