Arykanda – a Lycian city in the mountais

“The residents of Arykanda must have been happy people”, it comes to my mind while I am standing in Arykanda high on the mountain in the old amphitheater and admire the view. I imagine how the spectators did not know around 2000 years ago, if they want to look at the spectacle or at the view – and at night the stars.

In general the remaining ruins of this Lycian city are not a sign of poverty. Town houses, a political and commercial Agora, spas, baths, a stadium etc. The residents of Arykanda should also have been extravagant, but it seems they were able to refill the city coffers with trading revenues.

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There’s not much left and some can only be guessed, and yet – or perhaps for this reason – the place radiates its very own magic. The very picturesque ruins, surrounded by overgrown trees and bushes, on a sunny western slope at lofty heights just before Elmali where the houses nestle along the slope upward. The breathtaking views – best from the theater (see above).


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Interesting which buildings are located at the top of the slope. Not only the previously mentioned amphitheater but also the shopping mile, twelve square scale businesses opening to a beautiful place with – of course – an amazing view. But why are these shops at the top?Isn’t it tedious to bring all the goods upon delivery all the way up. On the other hand, next to the shops, the Town Hall (the ancient Greeks said Bouleiterion) – is then also convenient for the business men, as they have a very short way to the meeting room, after having closed their shops.

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We spend several hours there on a November day and stroll through time – nothing disturbs the peace, and I take pictures with joy and passion … when I suddenly see three soldiers in full gear and with guns on the seats of the theater . Shortly my heart slips into my boots and I take the camera aside. But probably they just want to make a short break and enjoy the view, as they are leaving just a few minutes later. Then there is again silence, and this unique atmosphere – which is going to stay with me for a while.





  • Plan enough time: Especially here it would be a pity just to tick off the attractions. The view and enchanted site invite you just to follow you nose and or to stay somewhere for a short break.
  • Time of the day: During the hot season (ie mid-June to mid-September), the midday should be avoided. Too hot and the photos will not be pretty. Best in the late afternoon to come and don’t forget to enjoy the evening light.
  • Equipment:a bit firmer shoes (eg trekking sandals) increase the fun factor while climbing and straying significantly. Water and something to snack as well.
  • I say it reluctantly, but Lycia is generally best reached by car . According to my information there are Dolmus from Kumluca and Finike(dolmus to Elmali). From the turnoff to Arykanda there are just a few hundred meters to the excavations. There’s also a guesthouse at this junction, which from the outside looks very charming.
  • And last but not least : The small waterfall almost directly on the street, a few meters after the junction to Arykanda. Here there are not only tons of great-tasting spring water (take your bottles!), but also a small Lokanta with delicious food, fresh grilled corn to take away, and a small bazar with the savory aplles from Elmali – Do not miss .


    And here’s a little slideshow. with some more pictures Enjoy!



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