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Xanthos-A Road Trip


Xanthos- A road trip

If you are looking to make a road trip this year, I can really recommend the Alanya/ Antalya D400 road to Kas. This road is amazingly well-maintained and a joy to drive along. Once you pass Antalya, the scenery dramatically changes. You can still see the Taurus mountains dominate the skyline like an angry giant but the road now hugs the coastline and the beautiful bays and inlets become visible. It really is breathtaking but also a bit scary as the road twists and turns, dips and rises dramatically. Also, the wildlife doesn't respect the road mountain boundary and you often have to squeeze past a flock of sheep or goats, prancing around the cars and lorries.  

All along this road are various brown signs indicating areas of interest. One of which we decided to investigate was in a place called Kinik or in its original name Xanthos.  Xanthos was the original capital of ancient Lycia. It was given protection in 1988 when it became a World Heritage site and protected by UNESCO.  

The road leading to Xanthos could rightly be described as a track with a multitude of greenhouses on either side. Antalya region is known as Turkey's vegetable and fruit bowl, so these greenhouses are evident wherever you drive! However, nothing can prepare you for the sight that greets you as you drive over the hill. It is absolutely breathtaking! Ruins of an old amphitheatre and funerary towers known as sarcophagi lay strewn about-evidence of this area's violent past.  

We walked around this area for around two hours, marvelling at the ingenuity of long-ago people. The tombs were high and required some energetic climbing! But it was well worth it! The views across the valley were mesmerising and you could imagine what this place looked like when the ancient civilisations of Anatolia, Greek, Roman and Byzantine lived here.  

There is so much to see here with a Roman Agora alongside Hellenistic Acropolises. We felt like we only scratched the surface of this beautiful area and have resolved to revisit but this time to visit Xanthos's neighbour Letoon, which is in Mugla province.