Sakli Kent

One reaches Sakli Kent by exiting the Fethiye- Antalya Highway after Kemer, where the signpost indicates the road to Sakli Kent. Driving down this road for 21 kilometers without turning off towards Tlos will lead you to Sakli Kent, which is located in a canyon on the slopes of Mt. Akdag, 50 kilometers outside Fethiye.

One arrives in the canyon by passing over a wooden foot bridge that has been fastened to the cliff with 100-meter long steel rods. Crossing the icy-cold raging rapids on foot using a rope for guidance is as fun as it is scary. A total of 16 caves have been discovered in the rocks, which rise to a height of up to 600 meters, whereas prehistoric man encountered this place and used it for shelter.

Mr. Ekrem Ucar, who discovered Sakli Kent while herding sheep years ago in the nearby village of Kayadibi, now provides services to arriving visitors through organizing the surroundings. In addition, he also conveniently puts up those who arrive too late in the afternoon at his hotel that he had built through his own initiative and financing. Getting out of Fethiye’s sweltering 40° C heat and into this very cool 18- kilometer long canyon and lunch on freshwater trout is bound to be one of the pleasures of a lifetime.

Eight kilometers into the canyon brings you to a small hill that the local villagers call Delikin. It is here, up above the canyon where one encounters the village of Arsakoy, which was established over the ancient city of Arsada. This means that the ancientname of Arsada has survived to our day as Arsa. of the town itself none of the buildings remain, but in and around the village are a number of Lycian tombs, mostly of ‘Gothic’ sarcophagus type, one of which has human heads represented on each of its short sides; but most of them are now overthrown. There is at least one rock-tomb of house-type, and many sculptured and inscribed blocks are lying around. The inscriptions are almost an epitaphs.

A little above the village, beside the path from the north, on an outcrop of rock about two and a half meters high, is a relief representing a horse and rider. The horse is prancing to the right, his right hand is raised behind him and carries an elongated object of uncertain character, and he seems to have had a sword slung over his left shoulder. This looks like one of the Anatolian horseman-deities; the best known of these is Kakasbos, who appears frequently in western and northern Lycia; but he is excluded here, since he never carries a sword but always a club and his horse always proceeds at a gentle walk.