The last leg of the coastal highway from Antalya to Cayagzi was narrow with sharp curves hugging a mountain cliff on the right side and with the Mediterrean on the left. Our gulet, Holiday 10, was a large, two-masted wooden vessel in the bay. Two sailors in a dingy transported our luggage before taking our group of fourteen, four at a time. Once aboard we were welcomed with a champagne toast and the ripest strawberries I’ve ever seen. We spent a quiet evening exploring the boat and enjoying a fine meal featuring baked sea bass. This gulet has ten rooms. We were assigned room 10 at the back of the ship with three port windows and a long, narrow rear window.

Gulet at Simena

Gulet at Simena

The next morning we took a short cruise to Simena, which is in the Kekova region, and only accessible by water. We hiked to the Lycian acropolis and necropolis. Women vendors selling scarves followed us up the hill from their village. We passed olive trees that are said to be more than 1,000 years old. There is a small Roman theatre. One of the richest men in Turkey, Koç, owns a villa and has a heliport to transport VIP guests. Back on the gulet we toured the partly sunken ruins of an ancient town destroyed by an earthquake during the 2nd century.

Kas

Kas

We visited Kas which is a tourist town located on a hill running down to the sea. The Calamar Restaurant and Café, located near the central square just off the water, offered pizza baked in a wood oven.

We docked at Kalkan in order to have an expedition to Xanthos which has Lycian, Greek and Roman ruins all in one site. According to Herodotus, the Lycians destroyed their city, killed their wives, children and slaves and then proceeded to a suicidal attack against the Persians. A Roman amphitheater can be found. The Xanthos River overlooks the Turkish village of Kınık. The remains of a Byzantine church are being excavated on the opposite side of this site. Xanthos is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Abandoned Greek Homes

Abandoned Greek Homes

After lunch at Muzzy’s Place, which caters to English tourists, we walked through the ruins of an abandoned city near Kayakoy where Greeks lived before being forced to evacuate to Greece during an exchange after the Republic of Turkey won its independence.

Cistern

Cistern

Another interesting hike took place when the gulet let us off in a cove and then we hiked to another cove, Lyda. Along the way we saw some Roman ruins atop a hill. We looked outside and inside a large, stone cistern. Several nomads inhabit this remote area. We savored sage tea at one nomad’s home where he has installed a solar panel for power and has a satellite dish. They carve olive wood utensils, weave wool to hold bells, craft jewelry, and sell honey.

In addition to eating lots of great food aboard the gulet, I went snorkeling in the Mediterranean on three separate occasions and kayaking once. On our final night a boat that was used in the filming of the recent James Bond Skyfall anchored near us. We departed from Gőcek, a popular yachting town. Our experience on the Turquoise Coast was terrific.

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