Finike

The county of Finike contains a 35km segment of the Lycian Way, which is part of the Via Eurasia in Turkey. The route within the county was first waymarked and signposted in 1998 and includes 3 days of trekking on footpaths and forestry tracks.

Finike Today

Finike is one of the 19 counties in Antalya and has a population of 65,000 people.  The local economy depends on agriculture, particularly oranges and other citrus fruits. This is supplemented by income from tourism in the summertime, although because of the lucrative orange production and the distance from Antalya, Finike has not seen the large-scale tourism boom that has so radically changed the other coastal districts of Antalya.

Finike is a quiet district where people buzz around on mopeds going about their daily lives. Indeed, many of the visitors that Finike does attract are retired people in search of relaxation. That’s mostly because of the construction policy of 1980. That policy made the land more suitable for investment in agriculture rather than in hotels, luxury apartments and other tourist attractions.

The port of Finike is now a yacht marina, and has a small fishing fleet. The coast is rich in marine life, including sea turtles, and fish, including local specialties red porgy (Sparidae) and grouper (Epinephelus); other fish found along the coast include leerfish (Carangidae) and the more widespread Mediterranean varieties such as bluefish, sea bream, sea bass, with swordfish, sardines and others found further out to sea. However, the coast suffers from overfishing, and many varieties, including the porgy, are in decline.

The beaches of Finike are an important nesting ground for Caretta caretta sea turtles, and the rocky parts of the coast are used by the rare Mediterranean monk seal.

History of Finike

Finike, once called Phoinikus and named after the Phoenicians, was the port of Limyra, a major ancient city on the edge of the highlands to the NE. It was an important shipbuilding centre and exported cedar and other timber from both Arycanda (30km up-river) and the hills through you will walk. It must have been very wealthy in Roman times, but many ancient buildings probably lie under alluvium. Remains of a fortification and shipyards still exist close to the river-mouth. In 655, a huge naval battle took place between Byzantine and Arab forces in the bay in front of Finike. For many years after that, the coast was raided frequently and most of the population moved inland. In the 13th C, Selçuk Turks occupied the town and were succeeded by the Ottomans. There are some examples of older houses in the town, especially on the inland side.

Stages

Finike to Belen, Belos, Alakilise, Zeytin, Beloren and Myra 34.6 km

This multi-day section of the Lycian Way takes you from sea level to 1,800 metres and back in 3 days. There are no supplies or pensions so you should take camping gear and 3 days’ worth of food. The route takes you up wooded valleys to the ruins of Belos and the headland above Finike. The route circles and continues its ascent to the highpoint of the route at 1800m, just below the summit of Karlioz Tepesi. A steep descent takes you past Alakilise, a ruined Byzantine church, and to the village of Zeytin.

Transport

There is easy main road access from Antalya, Kemer, Kumluca, Demre and Kaş to Finike town. There is no public transport to the villages on this long section.

Accommodation

The only accommodation along the route is at the start, Finike, and the end, Demre.

Interesting Places in Finike

Limyra

Limyra was a small city in Lycia built by the springs that are the source of Limyrus River, twenty stadia from the mouth of that river. It was a prosperous city, and one of the oldest cities in Lycia. The ruins consist of a theatre, tombs, sarcophagi, bas-reliefs, Greek and Lycian inscriptions etc. There is a monument to Gaius Caesar, grandson of Emperor Augustus and brother of the Emperor Claudius, who died there on his way by sea from Syria to Rome. About 3 km east of the site is the Roman Bridge at Limyra, one of the oldest segmental arch bridges of the world.

 

Pericles Heroon

Above Limyra is an old road leading to a Heroon or grave monument which was dedicated to Pericles, one of the  earliest Lychiarks (Ruler) of an united Lycia. The Heroon had a battle scene around the base and above that a temple structure with a row of caryatids supporting the porch at either end.  Only the base is now visible; the other parts have been removed, but the view is amazing and around the .

 

ARYCANDA

Arykanda or Arycanda is an Ancient Lycian city to the north of Finike. The city was built upon five large terraces ascending a mountain slope, located near the small village of Aykiriçay, on the Elmalı-Finike road. The acropolis houses Hellenistic and older remains of the site which include the temple of Helios, bouleterion, prytaneion, upper agora with its shops, and several excavated houses. The lower city houses most of the Roman and Byzantine remains.

 

Alacadağ Nature Reserve Area

This reserve area is situated in Finike, south of Elmalı, and covers an area of 427 hectares. There are more than twenty tree species in the Reserve, making it an important ecosystem, with unspoiled vegetation and protected monument trees. The slopes of Alacadağ have one of the most striking views of the bay of Finike-Kumluca; unfortunately a quarry has been opened on the fringe of the park.

Suluin Cave

Suluin Cave, also called İncirli or Gök Cave, is considered to be the deepest underwater cave in Asia. Divers from the Underwater Group of Akdeniz University found remains of bones and pottery at a depth of 45 metres. In 1995 the American diver Jarros Jablonski reached a depth of 122 metres; this was not the bottom.

BELOS

Belos used to be a secluded city but now shepherds have moved into the west area. The city must be fairly early but was probably reconstructed in Byzantine times as a refuge from pirates. It is linked to Finike by a mostly well-preserved old road. The ruins include a Hellenistic tower, cisterns, wine presses, necropolis and remains of a Byzantine church. The views from Belos are both west over the lagoon and islands beyond and east towards Cape Gelidonia.

                        


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