Turquoise Coast

Sharing a place with the Lycian capital Xanthos on Unesco's World Heritage list since 1988, Letoön is home to some of the finest ruins on the Lycian Way.

Letoön is a religious sanctuary dedicated to Leto who, according to legend, was Zeus' lover and bore him Apollo and Artemis. Unimpressed, Zeus' wife Hera commanded that Leto spend eternity wandering from country to country. According to local folklore, she passed much time in Lycia and became the national deity.

The core of Letoön's ruins consists of three temples standing side by side and dedicated to Apollo (the Doric one on the left), Artemis (the Ionian in the middle) and Leto (the Ionian on the right and now partially reconstructed). On the floor in the middle of the Apollo temple is a mosaic (a replica; the original is in Fethiye Museum) showing a lyre, a bow and arrow and a floral centre.

The permanently flooded nymphaeum (ornamental fountain with statues) is inhabited by frogs, which, in folklore, are said to be the shepherds who refused Leto a drink from the fountain and were punished for their lack of hospitality. The atmospheric structure is appropriate, as worship of Leto was associated with water.

Just to the north of the main temple complex is a large Hellenistic theatre dating from the 2nd century BC.

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