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Review: Kayakoy

Attraction - Ruins

Fethiye, Turkey

Ghostly atmosphere

  • By SilverTraveller coolonespa

    205 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon

  • 2014
  • Wife

23 people found this review helpful

As we were staying in Fethiye we took the Dolmush (Bus) the 30 mins or so to Kaya Village. A very reasonable 5 Turkish Lire per person each way (about £1:50). It's another 5TL to get into this fascinating living museum, often referred to as The Ghost Town. Occupied by the Anatolian Greeks and at one time called Levissi and/or Karmylassos, its Greek inhabitants returned to Greece in the population exchange treaty between Turkey and Greece signed in 1923.  So since then the hundreds of buildings have simply been the host to visitors wishing to see the ghost town. Whilst most of the houses are in ruins (most structures were badly damaged in the 1957 earthquake) you can see the basic layout of the town and the style of the houses, all stepped up the sides of this steep hillside to give each house an unobstructed view. One house is better preserved, so you can see what things were like, plus the churches are now being restored (which unfortunately meant that we weren't allowed in to see them). There is something distinctly eerie about this place. Even with the number of visitors to the ruins it is spookily quiet and at times all you can hear is the buzzing of flies. Trekking the ruins is hard work, steep and very uneven underfoot, it is not for anyone with mobility issues. Bring sensible footwear and plenty of water and it's a very interesting and rewarding experience. My trek up to the chapel, probably the highest point of the town, was not only rewarded by a look at the chapel, but magnificent views over the town and the Mediterranean Sea. Kayakoy is also thought to be the inspiration of the fictional town of Eskibahce, the focal point of Louis de Bernieres’ novel Birds Without Wings. This author is probably better known for Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, which was turned into a film with Nicholas Cage as the lead. For the suitably equipped and with the time and energy, you can also access the Lycian Way here, a 500Km plus walk along this beautiful coastline. This section will take you to Oludeniz and is said to be the "easiest" section of the walk. For the rest of us it's a cool drink in the Kaya Garden (there's a pool there if you brought your cossie) and a ride on the next Dolmush back to Fethiye.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 2 Comment(s)

  • coolonespa
    over 5 years ago
    I'd like to go back & see them post restoration. When I cover this on the Forum I'll try and find links to any pictures there are of the churches and and them to the post.
  • ESW
    over 5 years ago
    There is definitely something eerie about ghost towns. It's good to hear the churches are being restored.