In the heart of Antalya lies a history lovers paradise – Phaselis. Founded in the 7th century by colonists from Rhodes, the port city of Phaselis has a rich history.
Here you can meander down a perfectly preserved high street that is over a millennia-old and explore ancient baths, markets and amphitheatres like a true Lycian.
Phaselis is also surrounded by natural wonders to making it the perfect place to escape the rush of the modern world. It is a must-see whilst visiting Kemer, Antalya.
Step Back in Time
Marvel at the sights of an early world in Phaselis. An essential part of the Lycian civilisation, the city of Phaselis is one of the most intact examples of Lycian ruins in the world. The Lycians were ancient people with a small mountainous territory situated between modern-day Antalya and Fethiye.
The Romans were responsible for the revival of the city and maintained its success for over 300 years. It was then abandoned during the 13th century before being unearthed by archaeologists and becoming a jewel in the history of ancient Turkey.
Surrounded by three bays, which were once the three major ports of the city, and a ruined aqueduct to the foreground, Phaselis serves as a reminder of this once-prosperous civilisation that was strong on both land and sea.
As you wander around the site you will notice that much of the ancient city remains buried under thick brush so there is always something new to explore. Let your sense of adventure take over as you navigate the site –maybe you’ll uncover previously undiscovered ruins.
If you enjoy hiking Phaselis is the ideal location to do so whilst journeying through the ancient ruins. Climbing to the clifftop to overlook the South Harbour provides an impressive view of the area which is worth the effort. Be mindful of unmarked cisterns and cliff edges that are hidden by overgrown shrubbery though.
If hiking isn’t your forte, you can still soak in the adventure of exploring this ancient civilisation at your own leisurely pace. Luckily you don’t need a guide to see the ruins as you are provided with detailed background information when arriving at major points in Phaselis.
Take A Walk on the Wild Side
Phaselis is situated within the grounds of a national park and is idyllically located on a peninsula where it is surrounded by three beautiful bays. Here you will find the turquoise blue sea, leafy mountainous landscapes, and exquisite pine forests. Why not enjoy a coastal walk, breathe in the fresh pine air or lounge on the golden sandy beaches? Relaxation and adventure are intertwined here.
Phaselis beaches are a serene place to relax and unwind. You can soak up the crystal-clear waters of the three bays and rest in the hot Turkish sunshine after navigating the ruins in the morning. The three-bay areas surrounding the peninsula – North Harbour, Central Harbour and South Harbour – feature breathtakingly beautiful sandy beaches and azure blue waters.
The mountainous landscape with its lush green coastline provides a background to some of the best beaches the Mediterranean has to offer. If you enjoy boating, there are plenty of great locations to anchor within the South Harbour.
Don’t forget to pack your swimming costume, a towel, and a snorkel so you can enjoy the picturesque landscape and meet some of the underwater residents. The ground here is very stony so take care to ensure your feet do not get cut when entering the water.
If you enjoy exploring life beneath the waves or want to give it a go, the beautiful bays of Kemer feature the largest number of diving schools in Turkey. You can experience an abundance of marine life including shoals of large stingrays, tuna, and barracuda. If you’re lucky, you may encounter a critically endangered Mediterranean monk seal.
Getting to Phaselis
Phaselis is located between the Antalya regions of the Bey Mountains and the forests of the Olympos National Park. It is a short drive off the scenic D400 and is less than an hour away from the city of Antalya, so it is a popular destination for day-trippers. Arriving early in the day you can miss afternoon heat and the crowds that arrive from Antalya and Kemer.
Phaselis can also be reached using public transport along the Antalya coastal highway by stopping between the resorts of Cirali and Kemer. Minibuses depart from Anatalya’s Otogar or from the bus stop on Dumlupinar Bulvari (D400) near the Antalya Aquarium. Don’t forget that once you are at your destination, you’ll need to walk for roughly 1km before reaching the entrance of Phaselis.
Alternatively, there are also many boat trips to the ancient city which dock into the bay for a couple of hours which gives you sufficient time to wander around the ruins and soak in the Turkish sunshine on the surrounding golden sands.
Phaselis Top Tips
- Admission to Phaselis is 20 TL per person and visiting hours are: summer 08:30-19;30 (15 April – 2 Oct); winter 08:30 – 17:30 (Oct 3 – April 14); public holidays the site closes at noon
- Admission to the Beydağları Coastal National Park is 8 TL per person and the park is open from 07:30 to 19:00 in the summer (15 April – 2 Oct).
- Drinks, snacks, and toilet facilities are available at the small museum located on the Phaselis site. If you are planning on hiking and enjoying the local beaches, it’s advised to bring plenty of water and small snacks along with you.
- Bring your swimming costume and water shoes. Phaselis is one of only a few ancient cities which is located on the water’s edge.
Continue the Adventure
Learn More – Kemer, Turkey: A Compact Destination Guide
Staying in Kemer? Here are Top 3 Things To Do in Kemer
Why not also visit the Termessos Ancient City in the Taurus Mountains?
City Lights: Antalya – A Turkish City Full of History and Culture