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The southern coast of Turkey is one of the world's most beautiful regions: sandy beaches offering eight months of swimming, magnificent landscapes and a multitude of historic sites.
The region, which unfolds along a belt 100-200 kilometers wide between the Taurus mountains and the sea, has been a focal point of interaction, commercial relations and political confrontations throughout history. Since early times, this region has seen the founding of heavily populated cities and the area as a whole became rich and prosperous. A period of decline set in due to the decreasing importance of the Mediterranean in world trade, the devastation caused by earthquakes, the deterioration of waterways and the spreading of malaria. The fertile plains were abandoned and became little more than winter quarters for nomads. In recent decades, this region has regained its former importance with the development of commercial agriculture and tourism.

Adana, the metropolis of the eastern Mediterranean coast of Turkey, Mersin, Tarsus, Iskenderun and Antalya have all developed and expanded rapidly. The peaks of the magnificent Taurus mountain range, covered with snow in summer as well as in winter, form the southern border of Central Anatolia and extend towards the east, hugging the shores of the Mediterranean itself. To the south of these mountains, the long white sandy beaches, the bays and coves surrounded by pine forests and the turquoise colored sea make this one of the most prominent tourism resorts of Turkey. But tourism is not its sole economic activity. Thanks to its temperate Mediterranean climate, the region has a rich and abundant agriculture and produces citrus fruits, bananas, avocados, cotton, vegetables and flowers.

Patara, Xanthos, Letoon

These three Lycian cities are found where the Mediterranean meets the Aegean. Patara, renowned in ancient times for its fortune-telling Oracle, was the principal port of Lycia. The theatre, the Temple of Athena, the triumphant arch and the bath houses still stand in all their majesty. Patara is the birthplace and home of St. Nicholas. Today, its 18-kilometer sandy beach is under environmental protection to safeguard the native sea turtles. Xanthos was also the capitol of Lycia. Here you can visit the monument of the Nereids, whose magnificent friezes have found their way to England, an acropolis, tombs carved in rocks, a well preserved theatre and a large basilica. The third antique Lycian city is Letoon.
According to legend, after the Goddess Leto had given birth to two children, fathered by Zeus, she wanted to bathe them in the thermal waters of Letoon. When the local people tried to stop her, she turned them into frogs.
Thousands of years later, Letoon is still under water and hundreds of frogs live all over the vicinity. In the center of the city are the ruins of three temples dedicated respectively to Leto, Artemis and Apollo.

Kekova

Tourism is a relatively recent industry in Kekova, a town accessible only by sea for centuries. Today it is a meeting place for cruise boats and yachts. Through the crystal clear waters you can see the traces of a sunken antique city.
Kekova's history dates back to the first millennium BC. The Lycians had developed an original civilization here, a civilization which was later enriched through interaction with the Hellenic culture and way of life.

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