an ancient city ranged on a peninsula
surrounded by three
small, perfect bays,
now protected within the grounds
of a beautiful national park.
Located between Kemer and Olimpos, and
not all that far from Antalya (map),
it's a perfect spot for a quiet
rest and a splash
in the sea from one of the
small pebbly beaches.
Excursion boats and yachts often drop
anchor in the southern harbor for lunch,
a swim, and a stroll through the ruins.
There's a TL8
fee to the national park,
which is open from 07:30 am to 19:00
(7 pm) in summer. Drinks, snacks
and toilets are available in the
building housing the small museum.
Picnicking is prohibited anywhere
in the park, but if you are discreet
and pack out your trash it may be
possible to snack undisturbed.
Two millennia ago in Roman times
this was a thriving port town shipping
rose oil and the perfumes made
of it, as well as timber from
the surrounding forests.
Today the three bays and ruined aqueduct
of golden limestone shaded by fragrant
pines are a poignant reminder of once-prosperous
The ruins of the ancient
city have been mostly cleared of brush
and trees, so you can walk along the
grand Harbour Way past
the elaborate Roman baths, an Agora,
and the small but beautiful Theater (reached
by a flight of wooden stairs).
Harbour Way, the heart of Phaselis...
If you climb to the top row of seats
in the middle of the cavea (theater
seating) you will appreciate the ancients'
genius for siting their theaters: the
grand mountain vista above the scaena (stage
wall) would compensate for even the
The most obvious beaches are
those at the northern harbor, but the
better ones, with softer sand, are
at the southern harbor. Walk along
Harbour Way to reach it. There are
no changing or shower facilities at
In autumn (October—November),
wild cyclamen flower
beneath the copses of trees around
Phaselis, adding a welcom note of color
Minibuses for Kemer, Phaselis, Olimpos and Çıralı depart Antalya's Otogar, and also from the bus stop on Dumlupınar Bulvarı (D400) just north of the Antalya Aquarium on the western side of the city (map).
Distances & Travel Times
km (36 miles) NE, 1 hour
km (9 miles) N, 15 minutes
km (11 miles) S, 20 minutes
Tekirova: 5 km (3 miles) S,
—by Tom Brosnahan