South of the majestic Taurus Mountains, lie the
shores of the Mediterranean Sea with its beaches of fine sand, like
Ölü Deniz, its
vistas of uncommon beauty, its many ancient ruins, its hidden coves and
alluring vacation getaways like Fethiye,
Dalyan and Marmaris.
Here history and mythology are inseparably
intertwined and there are many legendary stories that prove this fact.
Let us briefly share two of them.
The monster Chimera, who spews fire out of his
mouth, is supposed to have lived in the mountains west of Antalya. The
Lydian hero, Bellerofontes, cut the monsters head off with his sword.
Today, the fire that rises out of the ground on the southeastern slopes
of Mount Olympus (Tahtali Dagi) is still said to be coming from the
mouth of Chimera.
The second legend is related to one of the unlucky love affairs of
Apollo, the god of all the fine arts. Apollo falls in love with a
beautiful girl named Daphne, but the girl is unresponsive to his
overtures. One day while chasing Daphne in an area close to Antakya,
Daphne's feet turn into tree roots and her hands and arms become
branches and limbs and she turns into a laurel tree, which is called
'defne' in Turkish.
Admire the famous graves of Caunos, which were cut
into the cliffs between 4 and 2 BC by the Lykian coastal inhabitants, or
let yourself be mesmerised by the breathtaking Sakklikent Canyon. Spend
your evenings in the deserted bays and let yourself be rocked to sleep
by the ocean or make the most of the pulsating night life in the port
cities and their many cafes and bars.