"Looking back over twenty-five years of exploration in Anatolia, I remember with most pleasure my journeys in Lycia... the country has, at least for me, a fascination not equaled elsewhere. The scenery is impressive, often spectacular, and seen by moonlight is out of this world; and the ancient monuments, especially of course the tombs, have a quality of their own."
George Bean, Lycian Turkey
The steep geography of Lycia sharply divides the land into river valleys, coastal plains and several upland basin-shaped valleys (characteristic throughout the Taurus mountain range) which offer good pasture for sheep.
Lycia has only two rivers of note: the Xanthos River and the Limyrus, which enters the sea near Limyra. At the mouths of these rivers are alluvial plains, the only level ground in Lycia.
The Xanthos River was the longest and largest river in Lycia and the main water supply for many of the Lycian cities. It begins about 25 miles inland and empties into the sea at beautiful Patara beach.
In Lycian times, like today, the river provided the people of the Xanthos Valley with rich, fertile soil for planting as well as plenty of wildlife. Today wheat, cotton, tobacco, sesame, corn, aniseed, citrus fruits, pomegranates and grapes are grown in valley, as well as tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and cucumbers in the many greenhouses seen throughout.
The borders of Lycia varied over time but at its center was the Teke peninsula in south-western Turkey. From Dalaman Stream in the west to Konyaaltı, just outside Antalya to the east.
Situated on the slopes of Mendos Mountain, Fethiye was established on top of ancient Telmessos on the shore of Fethiye Gulf. For this reason, the majority of the ruins have remained under this quaint district. Fethiye, which is located 50 Kilometres from Dalaman Airport, can be reached by highway from Mugla, Denizli and Antalya and can also be reached by sea.