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LYCIA AND LYCIANS

Lycia

Lycia was a geopolitical region in Anatolia in what are now the provinces of Antalya and MuÄŸla on the southern coast of Turkey, and Burdur Province inland. Known to history since the records of ancient Egypt and the Hittite Empire in the Late Bronze Age, it was populated by speakers of the Luwian language group. Written records began to be inscribed in stone in the Lycian language (a later form of Luwian) after Lycia's involuntary incorporation into the Achaemenid Empire in the Iron Age. At that time (546 BC) the Luwian speakers were decimated, and Lycia received an influx of Persian speakers.

Lycia fought for the Persians in the Persian Wars, but on the defeat of the Achaemenid Empire by the Greeks, it became intermittently a free agent. After a brief membership in the Athenian Empire, it seceded and became independent (its treaty with Athens had omitted the usual non-secession clause), was under the Persians again, revolted again, was conquered by Mausolus of Caria, returned to the Persians, and went under Macedonian hegemony at the defeat of the Persians by Alexander the Great. Due to the influx of Greek speakers and the sparsity of the remaining Lycian speakers, Lycia was totally Hellenized under the Macedonians. The Lycian language disappeared from inscriptions and coinage.

On defeating Antiochus III in 188 the Romans gave Lycia to Rhodes for 20 years, taking it back in 168 BC. In these latter stages of the Roman republic Lycia came to enjoy freedom as part of the Roman protectorate. The Romans validated home rule officially under the Lycian League in 168 BC. This native government was an early federation with republican principles; these later came to the attention of the framers of the United States Constitution, influencing their thoughts.

Despite home rule under republican principles Lycia was not a sovereign state and had not been since its defeat by the Carians. In 43 AD the Roman emperor Claudius dissolved the league. Lycia was incorporated into the Roman Empire with a provincial status. It became an eparchy of the Eastern, or Byzantine Empire, continuing to speak Greek even after being joined by communities of Turkish language speakers in the early 2nd millennium. After the fall of the Byzantine Empire in the 15th century, Lycia was under the Ottoman Empire, and was inherited by the Turkish Republic on the fall of that empire. The Greeks were withdrawn when the border between Greece and Turkey was negotiated in 1923.

Lycians

The Lycians were an Anatolian people living in Lycia.

Historical Accounts
According to Herodotus, the Lycians originally came from Crete and were the followers of Sarpedon. They were expelled by Minos and ultimately settled in territories belonging to the Solymoi (or Milyans) of Milyas in Asia Minor. The Lycians were originally known as Termilae before being named after Lycus who was the son of Pandion. Their customs are partly from Crete and partly from Caria. Herodotus mentions a particular custom where the Lycians name themselves after their mothers instead of their fathers. Strabo, on the other hand, mentions "Trojan Lycians" and suspects them to be different from the Termilae already mentioned by Herodotu

Archaeology
Throughout the 1950s, P. Demargne and H. Metzger meticulously explored the site of Xanthos in Lycia, which included an acropolis. Metzger reported the discovery of Geometric pottery dating the occupation of the citadel to the 8th century BC. J.M. Cook concluded that these discoveries constituted the earliest form of material culture in Lycia since the region was uninhabited throughout prehistoric times. The Lycians may ultimately have been nomadic settlers that descended into the southwestern areas of Asia Minor only during the 8th century BC.

Lycian Way

The Lycian Way is a long-distance footpath in Turkey around part of the coast of ancient Lycia. It is approximately 540 km long and stretches from Ölüdeniz, near Fethiye, to Geyikbayırı, about 20 kilometers from Antalya. It is waymarked with red and white stripes, the Grande Randonnee convention. The Sunday Times has listed it as one of the world's top ten walks.

It takes its name from the ancient civilisation, which once ruled the area. The route is graded medium to hard; it is not level walking, but has many ascents and descents as it approaches and veers away from the sea. The footpath is easier at the start near Fethiye, and gets more difficult as it progresses. It is recommended that you walk the route in spring or autumn, in February–May, or in September–November. Summer in Lycia is hot, although you could walk short, shady sections. The route is mainly over footpaths and mule trails; mostly limestone and often hard and stony underfoot.

Partial list of places on the trail
Ölüdeniz, Faralya, Kabak, detour to Sidyma, Bel, Gavurağılı, Letoon, Kınık (Xanthos), Akbel, Gelemiş village and ruins of Patara), Kalkan, Sarıbelen, Gökçeören, Kaş (Antiphellos), Üçağız, Kale, Demre (Myra), Kumluca, Belören, Zeytin and Alakilise. Here the trail reaches a height of 1811 meters at İncegeriş T.. It continues to Belos, Finike, Kumluca, Mavikent, Karaöz, the southernmost point of Lycia at the lighthouse of Cape Gelidonya. Here it turns north to Adrasan, Olympos, and Çıralı. Here the trail splits into:

Coastal route: Tekirova, Phaselis, Asagikuzdere, Goynuk Yaylasi, Hısarçandır, Çitdibi, Geyikbayırı.

Inland route: Ulupınar, Beycik, Yukari Beycik, pass over Mt Olympost at 1800m, Yayla Kuzdere, Gedelme, Goynuk Yaylasi, where it joins the coastal trail

Ultramarathon
Since 2010, an international multiday trail running ultramarathon, called Lycian Way Ultramarathon, is held on the historical way. The event runs eastwards on a route of around 220–240 km (140–150 mi) from Ölüdeniz to Antalya in six days.
 

PHOTOS

Inscribed Xanthian
Sarkophag in Kas
Lycian Kings Tombs
Myra
Lycian inscription at Xanthos
Licia
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