Arykanda

Archaeological Site in Antalya & the Turquoise Coast

Built over five terraces, Arykanda is one of the most dramatically situated ruins in Turkey. The city's most outstanding feature is its 10m-tall two-storey baths complex, standing next to the gymnasium on the lowest terrace. Following a path to the next terrace you'll come to a large colonnaded agora. Its northern arches lead into an odeon. Above is a fine 2nd-century theatre and stadium. Another agora, a bouleuterion (council chamber) and cistern are found on the upper terraces.

One of the oldest sites on the Teke Peninsula, Arykanda was part of the Lycian League from its inception in the 2nd century BC, but was never a member of the 'Big Six' group of cities that commanded three votes each. This may have been due to its profligate and freewheeling ways as much as anything else. Arykanda was apparently the party town of Lycia and forever deeply in debt. Along with the rest of Lycia, it was annexed by Rome in AD 43 and survived as a Byzantine settlement until the 9th century, when it was abandoned.

If you're driving from the coast, there's an exit off the D400 at the unremarkable provincial centre of Finike, leading north for another 30km to Arykanda.

Dolmuşes headed for Elmalı (₺13) from Finike will drop you off at the foot of the hill leading to the site entrance, from where it's a steep 3km walk to the ruins. A taxi will cost about ₺125 from Demre, 29km southwest of Finike.


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