Steeped in history offers an unforgettable experience
A cruise that has relaxation, outstanding weather and interesting historical landmarks from start to finish.
Turkey is a mountainous country that has been populated throughout history by many of different cultures. Cultures have been recorded to setting up population centres as far as they can be read, however one of the most famous is the Lycians. This culture-built cities and towns all across Asia minor, which is now the Anatolian region within Turkey. The Lycian culture was held in high esteem by building in areas that were difficult to settle in, while also maintaining the surrounding beauty.
All across the Turquoise coast Lycian ruins are easy to find, often mixed with Greek and a little of other cultures additions. similar to modern times the Lycians in this region were often the crossover towns for trades and migrations of people between the east and west without the need to head to the cold north.
During ancient times these cities were abandoned due to earthquakes, wars or piracy. Today these ruins remain as a testament to their ingenuity. Most of these ruins are able to be visited, often accessible via road but some of them require a boat to be able to access and enjoy their splendour first hand.
A way to travel this beautiful coastline and experience these historical marvels while relaxing is to take one of the gulet cruises. These boat tours take place along the Turquoise coast, usually offering destinations that are filled with history. One tour that has history at both start and end is the Fethiye to Olympos. While the harbour town of Fethiye is a has much diversity there is much history to be found, such as the Lycian tombs that remain even with new roads and housing being built all the time. The local government aims to keep these windows to the past protected where they were built, if possible.
Above the town centre is the ruins of a fort that once stood to warn and protect from threats that came from the sea. While this fort is in ruins it is still used during an Islamic national holiday. When the festival of Ramadan is being celebrated, a cannon blast is set off to signal to those following the hours of fasting that they are able to eat and drink.
When taking the cruise to Olympos there are many ruins to visit that are interesting to see and learn about but one that surprises most westerners is the island of St. Nicholas and its origin story. This island was built on by St. Nicholas for himself and other religious believers to visit. The part that isn’t as common to know is that St. Nicholas came from the town of Demre where he was also made bishop. This religious man is also believed to be where the stories of Santa Claus came from as he was famed for his generosity but mostly toward children who he would gift toys during the year.
The town of Demre is the final port for the cruise before heading to Olympos. While this town is predominantly Muslim they have kept the church and allowed statues of the saint to be placed as he is a respected person of history. In the town there have been four different depictions of him, the Christian bishop, the western traditional red suit, stood on the world in Christian vestments and, the newest showing him with children with more Turkish features.
The journey from Fethiye to Olympos is a relaxing time spent in the warm Turkish sun, sailing on the crystal clear turquoise waters visiting amazing locations that now are beautiful ruins but held important roles in history. Some of these locations span history from the bronze age to WWII.