Termessos

Overview

Introduction

The ancient town of Termessos, Turkey, 22 mi/35 km north of Antalya, is mentioned in the Iliad, in the story of Bellerophon. It's locally famous as being the only town in the area that Alexander the Great didn't conquer.

The ruins, located high in the mountains on a dead-end road and surrounded by stone walls, are a long half-day excursion from Antalya, but we think it's worth the effort to visit.

Ruins of agoras (markets) and theaters abound, but most interesting is the vast necropolis of stone sarcophagi. The trip isn't for the out-of-shape—visitors must walk almost 2 mi/3 km up a steep valley along a rocky path to reach the necropolis (be sure to take good walking shoes and your own drinking water). Although the walk can be tiring, the scenery is beautiful.

Consider combining your visit with a day trip to Karain Cave, a Paleolithic archaeological site about 12 mi/19 km east, before heading back toward Antalya.

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