Sailing Routes and Cruising Areas
Cruising Alexander's Path Along The Coast Of Turkey
(Links in Underlined Blue Text)
Kalkan. Twenty-seven miles from Gemiler Island (see Lycian Sailing Holiday) and Greek-populated until 1923, Kalkan is sun-washed, quaint, and hub for tours to ancient Letoon, Patara, and Xanthos, the latter Lycia's most prominent city, the former Lycia's principal place of worship, and Patara Lycia's major seaport. Good silver shopping. An excellent restaurant (Trio, at the harbor's edge; try the tropical chicken topped with pineapple and fried bananas). A picnic lunch on Patara beach can also be memorable, not because Patara was the port from which forty Lycian triremes under Xerxes sailed to an unfortunate end at Salamis in 480 BC, but because the sea at Patara is such an extraordinary color.
Kas. Fifteen miles from Kalkan, Kas teems with off-beats and expatriates frequenting chic shops and cafes. All-night drinking spas trumpet music from the past. The finest French restaurant in Turkey (Chez Evy), rack of lamb the specialty. Beaches. Inscribed sarcophagus in the middle of the principal shopping street. Greek theater. Minibus to ancient Phellos and Cyaneai.
Kastellorizon. Four miles from Kas. Idyllic Greek island locale for 1991's Academy Award (best foreign film) winning Mediterraneo and for some of 1961's The Guns Of Navarone which depicted the medieval castle of the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem. Photographs from Doric acropolis initially fortified in the 9th century BC. Blue grotto rivaling that at Capri. Fun kayaking (the TGE carries two kayaks, a twin and a single). And taverna dining in the Greek flavor.
Aperlae. Twelve miles from Kastellorizon, this ancient double-walled city and port may be seen both above and, with mask, under water, the underwater ruins comprising a mooring quay and the foundations of several harbor structures. Exquisite setting at the head of a long triangular bay. An easy sail in, something of a challenge on the way out. Great swimming and kayaking.
Kale. Six miles from Aperlae, Kale is a potpourri of the ages. Here Lycian tombs surround a Byzantine castle which crowns an ancient acropolis from which there are spectacular views of medieval Kekova Island. Within the castle are traces of ancient Simena, including an odion and several statue pedestals. Immediately outside the castle walls are additional ruins of the ancient town, including dressed blocks from a stoa and temple. Roman baths at the water's edge dedicated to Emperor Titus (AD 79-81). Memorable dining at Hassan Deniz Restaurant adjacent to the baths. And swimming among above-water portions of underwater structures.
Ucagiz. A stone's throw from Kale, Ucagiz is a rustic village with considerable charm abutting and blending with ancient Teimiussa. For many years this town was otherwise distinguished by the absence of palatable cuisine, a circumstance remedied by Onur's well-appointed restaurant on the waterfront. Teimiussa, meanwhile, has extensive ruins well worth exploration.
Andriake. Three miles from Ucagiz and port for ancient Myra (following entry) at which Saint Paul transshipped in AD 60 a prisoner en route to Rome. While the ancient port has silted, there is still much to be seen, including a 2nd century AD granary (depicted at left in 1792 and herewith in 2006) dedicated to the emperor Hadrian, a cavernous cistern depicted at the same time, aqueducts, baths, monumental tomb, and Jewish temple uncovered in 2009. A short distance inland the ruins of ancient Sura may be found, principally a temple once featuring fish oracles.
Myra. Actually, the yacht moors at Ucagiz or anchors in the silt off Andriake from where we taxi to Myra, which was the bishopric of Saint Nicholas before (according to some accounts) he relocated to Lebissos (now Gemiler Island). Of the several Saints Nicholas, this one is the patron of sailors and thieves, sometimes called Santa Claus. Myra's most striking feature, however, is not his basilica but rather the conjunction of Lycian and Roman architecture. Here the Lycian rock tombs (do not, as most do, miss the eastern tombs) feature elaborate friezes wishing those souls once within Godspeed in their trip by winged angel, while the impressive Roman theater seating 12,000 is undergoing careful restoration.
Finike. Fourteen miles east and north of Andriake, Finike is a palm-fronded beach city and safe harbor from which to visit ancient Arykanda (forty-five minutes distant by taxi) and ancient Limyra (ten minutes distant). Arykanda is today a Roman city with theater, stadium, baths, and much more situated among pine and cedar above a river valley. The road from Finike to Arykanda passes beneath the house tombs at Turuncova, among the more striking in Lycia. Limyra, with spring water now coursing down its principal marble street, is a waypoint from which Rhodian Romans under Eudamus proceeded in 190 BC to reverse Syrian adventurism under Hannibal (he of the Punic Wars; Carthage had succumbed, but not Hannibal) in a naval battle of six and seven-banked galleys. Eight and one-half centuries later the waters off Finike (in AD 655) bore witness to a trouncing of the Imperial (Byzantine) Navy by an Arab fleet. Not long afterward the Arab fleet anchored in Constantinople's Golden Horn.
Cavus. Thirty miles from Finike, Cavus is an anchorage for Mount Olympos, home both of an eternal flame and of the Lycian pirate Zeniketes, until 78 BC when the latter was extinguished by a young Julius Caesar. Zeniketes hid his vessel not here, however, but in an ancient harbor at Phaselis which has since silted. Cavus itself is a lovely spot from which to visit the eternal flame and Olympos lair of the Chimaera, lion in front, serpent behind, and goat in between. And at which to be thankful to its slayer Bellerophon.
Olympos. Five miles north of Cavus, the ancient city of Olympos (not to be confused with Mount Olympos) lies behind an open roadstead and magnificent sand beach, "richly furnished in every way," according to Cicero. The rich furnishings are apparent at the seaside gateway where a pirate sarcophagus is carved in handsome relief. There are also caique moorings, theater, aqueduct, temple gate, and a Venetian acropolis fortification overlooking the beach. And then there is the beach itself!
Phaselis. Ten miles north of Olympos, Phaselis was the terminus for Freya Stark's 1952 sail along The Lycian Shore and a respite for Alexander as he left Lycia behind. Sometimes Lycian but mostly not, Phaselis was founded by Rhodians in 690 BC, and for much of its history was a maritime waypoint on trade routes to and from Phoenicia. Local coinage, in fact, was distinguished by a ship's prow on one side and a stern on the other. There is much to be seen by the patient, and great swimming for the impatient.
Antalya. Twenty miles north of Phaselis and a major international gateway, Antalya is a convenient base from which to visit ancient Aspendos, Perge, Side, and Termessos, each featuring extensive evidence of early civilization. Once a major port for Byzantine dromons and, later, the Ottoman fleets of Barbarossa and Piri Reis, Antalya's harbor area has been beautifully restored, most notably including hundreds of nineteenth century Ottoman houses and gardens. During June and early July Antalya annually hosts an Opera and Ballet Festival in the theater at Aspendos. An experience to be cherished! (The Festival opens in 2013 on 2 June this year featuring two four-act operas, Giuseppe Verdi's Aida commencing on 12 June and Georges Bizet's Carmen commencing on 22 June.)
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This page last updated on 03/09/2013
Dear Homo Sapiens, There is no need to continue reading this page. What follows is intended for search engine robots and spiders and possibly for students of history. Further information concerning holiday cruises and vacation sailing in Turkey may be obtained by clicking on the blue links immediately above. Thank You. Are you searching for a holiday cruise in Turkey? Could you be thinking of a vacation sailing Lycian Turkey? A sail along the course of ancient history? By the river Xanthos? Home of Homer's "...great and glorious men who rule in Lycia...," Sarpedon, Asteropaeus, Glaucus, Epicles, and others chosen to lead all Trojan allies in defense of Troy. Homer of course recounted his history in Greek (Ionian Greek). So, too, did Menecrates of Xanthos in the 4th century BC, a Lycian historian writing of those same Lycian heroes. Writing in Greek when his native language was Lycian! Are you thinking of a honeymoon sail along the beaches of Lycia? With a stop in Greece? Paralleling Alexander's march along the Lycian Shore? Alexander paused on the Lycian Shore before continuing to the Middle East. After conquering Persia to its extremes he six years later, in 327 BC, reached Afghanistan and Tajikistan, then known as Bactria. It was in Tajikistan that he met Roxane, a Bactrian princess, marrying her upon return to Afghanistan not long afterward. There was no honeymoon then, and there is no honeymoon in Afghanistan now. Afghanistan is where, at Bagram, Gardez, and Kandahar, the U.S. has maintained secretive concentration camps, and where the International Committee of the Red Cross has been denied access. Roxane, sensitive as well as beautiful, would have been horrified. You should be horrified, too. In March of 2005, following nearly three years of denial, the Pentagon disclosed that it had investigated 308 cases of criminal misconduct involving "detainees" in Afghanistan and Iraq, including 79 deaths mostly in Afghanistan. International law requires the International Committee of the Red Cross conduct these investigations, not the Pentagon and the rest of the party of the first part. As a matter of ancient technology and not of crimes against humanity, Hannibal's six and seven-banked galleys cited above did not have six or seven levels of rowers as the term banked implies. Rather, his galleys had six or seven rowers to each vertical echelon of two or three levels. Would you rather honeymoon or holiday aboard a galley or a sailing yacht? Cruising these same waters off the southwest coast of Turkey? A sailing yacht is preferable. There is little or no pulling of oars. So honeymoon or holiday aboard a sailing yacht chartered in Turkey, and sail to Greece. As a matter of historical interest the Harpy Tomb depicted to the right under Xanthos here and above is now thought to be that of Kybernis, the satrap in command of the aforementioned Lycian triremes among the Persian few to distinguish themselves at Salamis. Also as a matter of historical interest, the young Julius Caesar referred to above was then in the service of Servilius Vatia, Roman governor of Cilicia. Wouldn't you like to charter a sailing yacht to sail Mediterranean history? Wouldn't you like to charter a sailing yacht to cruise the Mediterranean coast of Turkey? Rather than trudge overland as did Xenophon? Before Alexander. Are you searching for Gocek in Turkey? For Fethiye in Turkey? For a yacht charter in Turkey? For Kastellorizon in Greece? For a yacht charter in Greece? It was in Donald Rumsfeld's "Sunni Triangle" of Iraq that Xenophon's army 2400 years ago met with disaster. After trouncing the enemy on the battlefield! Yes, we can put you aboard a chartered sailing yacht for the holiday or honeymoon of a lifetime. It was in the Sunni Triangle that Xenophon's generals lost their heads, and it was in the Sunni Triangle that the Greek army began its painful withdrawal. It was also in the Sunni Triangle that the Roman Emperor Trajan in AD 114 saw his dream of an eastern empire disintegrate. Two and a half centuries later, in AD 363, another Roman army under Julian The Apostate in the same locale came to the same end, winning battles but losing the war. Those who fail to learn from history are destined to repeat it. Donald Rumsfeld used napalm in Iraq, a mixture of jet fuel and polystyrene that sticks to skin as it burns. Napalm was banned by Protocol 3 of the 1980 U.N. Convention on Inhumane Weapons, a convention observed by every civilized nation and, as far as we know, by every other uncivilized nation. Now we have rid ourselves of this evil egocentric. We have had this pompous peacock removed from his perch. But how long will it take to heal the wounds he has inflicted? How long will it take to put the survivors in Afghanistan and Iraq back on their feet? Decades? Or centuries!!! To discuss any or all of this contact us today at email@example.com