Local History

Not too far away can be found the remains of Araxa now known better as Ören. Araxa was once a large city and part of the Lycian Federation. There is not much to see anymore except for a few open Lycian graves by the roadside. As with most archaeological sites in Turkey it has not been fully excavated or looked at properly. That being the case it is still it is illegal to use a metal detector or to take anything from these sites. 


The best and closest archaeological site with loads of history is Tlos. It is a multi-layered site covering Lycian, Roman and Ottoman. It is one of the few Lycian cities to continue its existence from the second century BCE through to the 19th century.  the view of the cliff face and fort on top is probably one of the most recognisable photographs taken by visitors. 

One of the legendary founders in Lycian and Greek mythology is Bellerophon, honoured at Tlos where his body was supposedly laid to rest. A tomb relief of Bellerophon on Pegasus dating c.350-320 BC can be seen there and it is assumed that there was a cult centre at Tlos.  Evidence of the Bellerophon myth is seen elsewhere in the city and most likely the first rulers of Tlos claimed that they descended from this mythical hero.  

Other Lycian city sites are also within short drive distance including Patara, Xanthos, Leeton and Pinara. Patara comes with its own beach. You have to pay to get in. But you get history and a suntan at the same time. In 190 BCE the Roman legions poured into Anatolia to do battle with King Antiochus III of Seleucia. They defeated him at Magnesia. They left the government of Anatolia (Turkey) in the hands of the now-powerful kings of Pergamum.