Tekiroava, Kemer – Antalya – Turkey

GPS : 36°31’00.0″N 30°33’00.0″E / 36.516667, 30.550000

Tekirova Limanı lies between the long sandy shores of Çamyuva and Tekirova beaches where ancient Phaselis is located. Ancient Phaselis is located on the eastern side of the beach. Boats drop anchor in 3 – 6 meters off the beach by the point on the west. Isolated reefs run out from the point. Prevailing wind sends swell in. This bay is popular for excursion boats and is crowded by noon.

It is best to come early visit Phaselis before the excursion boats arrive. Ancient Phaselis is on the east of the beach. The port entrance is blocked by rocks. You can enter the inlet by dinghy. The inlet used to be the port of Phaselis. The isthmus on which the ancient Lycian/Roman town of Phaselis or Tekirova was built has anchorages on both the north and south side from which the ruins of Phaselis can be visited.

The anchorage on the north side has numerous dangers to the NE and the bottom is littered with large blocks of masonry to snag your anchor, so is little used by yachts. The ancient harbour immediately adjacent, while picturesque, is too shallow for yachts to use. Most yachts moor in the south anchorage, where shelter from the prevailing winds is good and the holding also good on sand. Some swell is experienced overnight, but usually it is not troublesome.

Care is needed on the approach and it is advisable to have someone on the bow conning you in on a first visit, in view of a dangerous sunken breakwater (partly visible above water) which extends from the eastern side of the cove just below a conspicuous ancient wall. The best approach is to aim for the centre of the bay on a course of 345°, giving the sunken breakwater at least 100 m clearance. Once in the cove, anchor in 6 m about 100 m off the beach.


GPS : 36°31’47.8″N 30°32’32.0″E / 36.529952, 30.542216

Phaselis was an ancient Greek and Roman city on the coast of Lycia. Its ruins are located north of the modern town Tekirova in the Kemer district of Antalya Province in Turkey. It lies between the Bey Mountains and the forests of Olympos National Park, 16 km west of the touristic town of Kemer and on the 57th kilometre of the Antalya – Kumluca highway. Phaselis and other ancient towns around the shore can also be accessed from the sea by daily yacht tours.

Ashore, the ruins of Phaselis or Tekirova are beautifully sited and atmospheric. The remains include city walls, several arches of a Roman aqueduct, ruined Roman baths and a rather intimate theatre with stunning views over the mountains to the north. Most of the remains are clustered around the ancient so-called Harbour Street, which crosses the isthmus between the north and south anchorages. If you can, visit in the afternoon or before 10.30 in the morning. Between 10:30 and early afternoon the cove fills with noisy gulets from Kemer and Antalya and you will get little peace.

The town was set up by the Rhodians in 700 BC. Because of its location on an isthmus separating two harbours, it became the most important harbour city of the western Lycia and an important centre of commerce between Greece, Asia, Egypt, and Phoenicia, although it did not belong to the Lycian League. The city was captured by Persians after they conquered Asia Minor, and was later captured by Alexander the Great.

After the death of Alexander, the city remained in Egyptian hands from 209 BC to 197 BC, under the dynasty of Ptolemaios, and with the conclusion of the Apamea treaty, was handed over to the Kingdom of Rhodes, together with the other cities of Lycia. From 190 BC to 160 BC it remained under Rhodeian hegemony, but after 160 BC it was absorbed into the Lycian confederacy under Roman rule. Phaselis, like Olympos, was under constant threat from pirates in the 1st century BC, and the city was even taken over by the pirate Zekenites for a period until his defeat by the Romans. In 42 BC Brutus had the city linked to Rome.

During the Byzantine period, the city became a bishopric, although in the 3rd century AD, its convenient harbor had fallen under the threat of pirates once again. So it began to lose importance, suffering further losses at the hands of Arab ships, until totally impoverished in the 11th century AD. There was a temple of Athene at Phaselis, where the lance of Achilles was exhibited. It was the birthplace of the poet and orator Theodectes. It was also renowned for its roses, from which the essence was extracted. When the Seljuqs began to concentrate on Alanya and Antalya as ports, Phaselis ceased to be a port of any note.

Phaselis has three harbours : the ‘Northern Harbour’, the ‘Battle Harbour’ and the ‘Protected (Sun) Harbour’, of which the last is the most important today. A 24-metre-wide ancient street runs through the middle of the city. The ‘Hadrian Waterway Gate’ is on the southern part of the street. There are ruins of shops and stores on the sides of the street and near these are ruins of public places such as Roman baths, agoras and theatres. These structures are dated to the 2nd century BC. There are water canals between the town centre and the 70 m plateau. There are also numerous sarcophagi.

Places of interest

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Tekirova, Tekirova Mahallesi, 07995 Kemer/Antalya, Turkey

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