Turquoise Coast

This ancient Lycian capital is sited above the village of Kınık. From Kınık you pass the old city gates and the plinth where the fabulous Nereid Monument (now in London's British Museum) once stood.

Further up, opposite the car park, is the Roman theatre, agora, and the ticket office. Follow the colonnaded street to find some well-preserved mosaics, the Dancers' Sarcophagus and Lion Sarcophagus and some rock tombs.

For all its grandeur, Xanthos had a chequered history of wars and destruction. At least twice, when besieged by clearly superior enemy forces, the city's population committed mass suicide.

As many of the finest sculptures (eg the Harpies Monument) and inscriptions were carted off to London by Charles Fellows in 1842, most of the inscriptions and decorations you see today are copies of the originals.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Turquoise Coast attractions

1. Ancient Patara

6.33 MILES

Patara's grand monuments lie scattered along the road to the beach. The main section of ruins is dominated by the dilapidated 5000-seat theatre. Next door…

2. Patara Beach

6.88 MILES

Backed by large sand dunes, this splendid, 18km-long sandy beach is one of Turkey's best. Due to its length, you can find a quiet spot even in the height…

3. Letoon

7.71 MILES

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.

4. Mosque

8.07 MILES

Kalkan's mosque is located in the old-town district.

5. Lighthouse

8.16 MILES

Although Kalkan's waterfront is now mainly a hub for pleasure boats, the small lighthouse continues to guard the harbour.

7. Pinara

10.01 MILES

Some 46km southeast of Fethiye along the D400 is the turn-off for Pınara and its spectacular ruins. Pınara was one of the six highest-ranking cities in…

8. Kaputaş Beach

11.14 MILES

This perfectly formed little beach, 7km from town towards Kaş, often makes the cover of travel guides and magazines with its dazzling turquoise shallows…