Turkey // The Turquoise Coast //


The ruined mountain-top city of Kadyanda, less than an hour’s drive north of Fethiye, dates back at least 2500 years. The attractive village of Üzümlü, 16km north of Fethiye along a broad, well-marked road, makes little of its proximity to the site, other than a basic restaurant opposite the mosque and a low-key trade in its fine dastar cloth.

At the site itself, 9km further by road, an arrow points towards a self-guided loop walking trail. First bear south, past the vaulted tombs of the necropolis, then keep close to bits of the city wall on the left, followed by a climb to a false summit with a long, partly preserved agora, and views of Fethiye. The site’s highlight is at the true highest point: a long, narrow stadium, with seven rows of seats surviving. Steps in the seats climb to a huge jumble of masonry, all that’s left of a temple to an unknown deity. On the opposite side of the stadium stand substantial Roman baths, with their polygonal masonry and entry archway. At the northeast edge of the stadium, a flat expanse is pierced by the mouth of a deep cistern that supplied the city with water – one of many, so beware holes in the ground.

Finally the path angles south to the best-preserved stretch of city wall, punctuated by windows and affording fine views of distant ridges and forested valleys in between. Crossing the top of a square bastion, you look down into the theatre, which retains its rear-facing and stage wall, plus many of its seats – though like most of Kadyanda it’s only partly excavated. The descent to the road completes a leisurely 45-minute walk through superb mountain scenery – good reason enough for a visit.

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