Throughout ancient history, the Lycians had always held a distinctive place among the various races of Anatolia. Locked away in their mountainous country, they had a fierce love of freedom and independence
With its historical artifacts sheltered within, Lycia is practically an open-air museum and is Anatolia’s most mysterious region, a place where green forests surround lacy coves and shade the deep blue water.
Just as many places that are found in the Lycian region are accessible over land as they are by boat. For instance, the Fethiye bays, as well as Kekova, which are full of historical artifacts, present blue voyagers with incomparable beauty.
In addition, just as those yachts arriving in Fethiye are able to cruise the bays in the Fethiye Gulf, boats dropping anchor off Kalkan or Kas have the possibility to make day trips to any number of ancient cities such as Patara, Letoon, and Xanthos. Thus, history becomes intertwined with the sea.
Driving around the Lycian region over roads shaded by pine trees is your other, quite pleasant, option.
Though we might not be able to date Lycian cities prior to the 7th century B.C., we know that Lycians joined the Hittites to fight in the Kadesh War, whereby Lycians under the command of King Sarpedon went to the assistance of the Trojans. Even if the ancient writer Herodotus had written that the Lycians had come from Crete, this is an incorrect statement. The latest evidence we have gathered from excavations carried out in the region is that these people known by the Hittites as ‘Lukkas’ were natives of Anatolia, that they had been living in this region for many years, and that they called themselves ‘Termilae’.
Plinius the historian said that there were once 70 Lycian settlements in the region, but that by his time, this number had dropped to 36.
Our book, which starts from the western end of the region, will introduce to you all of the Lycian cities whose names and locations are definitively known. Whereas we shall try to present you a fascinating and detailed glimpse into the Lycian’s thoroughly original civilization as well as their mysterious world.