In more detail -
Excursions, Places of interest, Things to do around Owlsland
Owlsland is an excellent centre for visiting the surrounding area, lots of interesting places are within easy reach.
To see a summary of places to go & things to do, click on :
- KALKAN : For some biz and bustle (but not too much!), 20 minutes' drive away is the Mediterranean coastal resort of Kalkan. Once it was a fishing village, with the wood-and-stone houses of its former Greek inhabitants straggling down the steep slopes leading to its pretty little harbour. Now, these houses have been restored, the Greek church is a mosque, and tourists wander its narrow streets. The views over the sea are spectacular, the sunsets breathtaking, and there are lots of shops & restaurants
- BEZIRGAN : Have a close look at a real, working Turkish farm village, where farmers grow and harvest their crops much as did their fathers and grandfathers before them. Depending (of course!) on the season, see ploughing and sowing, cutting and harvesting, drying and storing of wheat, chickpeas, sesame, almonds, figs. Visit the graveyard of the ancient Lycian city of Pirha, walks up to the ruins of the city itself, high on the mountain.
- BOAT TRIPS : Indulge yourself ! Lots of boat trips leave from Kalkan every day. Sail round Snake Island or Mouse Island, or see the Blue Cave. The sea is an amazingly clear blue, perfect for swimming. Excellent value at around £10 sterling a head, including lunch.
- PATARA : Turkey's largest beach, with 17km of sands, is just 45 minutes' drive from Owlsland. Famous as a nesting site for turtles, development on the beach is severely restricted. The very extensive Lycian & Roman ruins of the city of Patara (birthplace of St. Nicholas, best known to us as Santa Claus) are scattered over a large site on the way to the beach, and well worth taking the time to investigate.
- ELMALI : The real Turkey! The ancient Ottoman town of Elmali is a very pleasant 50 miles' drive through the pines along a mountain road. Its mudbrick traditional houses with their distinctive Ottoman rooftiles cling to the slopes of the cobbled streets at the foot of Elmadag, (Apple Mountain)
In the back streets are small artisans' shops, where you can watch local craftsmen (no, not costumed volunteers, the real thing!) make, repair and sell such varied wares as quilts, copper jugs, peppermills, axes, hinges, treadle sewing machines and leblebi , the crunchy chickpeas for which Elmali is famous. Monday is market day, and the streets are crammed with scores of stalls, selling everything a village farmer and his wife could want, from bolts of cloth to goat bells, wheat measures to medicinal oils.
- ARCHAEOLOGY & HISTORICAL SITES : XANTHOS, LETOON, MYRA, ARYKANDA ETC : As a centre for keen explorers of Roman, Greek and Lycian archaeological sites, ruined cities, tombs, remains of temples, inscriptions, graveyards and other sundry reminders of the huge part played in history by Asia Minor, Owlsland is ideal. Many sites are within easy reach, and the best way to see them is to go yourself and explore! The four above are probably the best known and most extensive of those closest to us, but there are LOADS, many of which aren't even in the guide books, and seldom visited by other than goatherds. (You can even see one from our terrace, the remains of a Lycian city built about 3000 years ago!)
- TLOS & SAKLIKENT : Go to one, see the other, they're close together. Tlos is the site of a former brigand's castle, dating from the 17th century, but surrounded by an astonishing mixter-maxter of Lycian tombs, Roman baths, Byzantine churches and Turkish farms. Saklikent is a hidden gorge formed where a fast flowing river has carved deep into the rocks over millenia. You can walk upriver through much of the gorge, and it's a good place to visit in the heat of summer, because the sun really never penetrates the steep sides of the gorge, and the water is freezing!
- FETHIYE : For some hustle & bustle, as a change from the peace and quiet,
90 minutes' drive away is the biggest town in this area, with lots of shops and restaurants. Fethiye has a major yacht harbour in a very pretty setting. There's a big market on a Tuesday (very much geared for tourists), but if you crave copy clothes, handbags, watches, perfumes and the like, this is the place for you!