The Ancient City of Xanthos at sunset The Ancient City of Xanthos tombs at sunsetXanthos is 21km from Kalkan. It's the oldest and largest city of the mountain province of Lycia, settled in the valley of the Xanthos River in Mediterranean Turkey. Until the Persian invasion it was an independent state. When the people of Xanthos, who had bravely tried to defend their city, realised that they could not stop the invasion, they first killed their women and then committed mass suicide by throwing themselves into the flames. About 80 surviving families and people who immigrated there rebuilt the city, but it was raised to the ground by another fire 100 years later. In spite of this, the city was again rebuilt and as a result of establishing good relations with the west, was considered an important centre. However, Xanthos met again with an unfortunate end. As a result of resisting the taxes the Athenians wanted to impose on them in 429 B.C., the city was largely destroyed and the inhabitants were drawn into a war. And thus Xanthos became "a city of disasters".

The city itself consists of the Lycian acropolis and parts remaining outside it, as well as a Roman acropolis. The most interesting building is the Roman theatre and the edifices on the theatre's western shoreline. Of these the most famous is the Harpy Tomb (above right) c.480–470 BC, which may be the sarcophagus of a one-time king. There are even some ancient Roman baths to be seen here.  Xanthos and Letoon are considered a double site as Letoon is around 10k down the road from Xanthos. When you think of all of the many and varied sites to visit in Lycia, it's little wonder that visitors return to holiday in Kalkan Turkey time after time. Xanthos is less than an hour away from Kalkan.

To see more of the area and relax, perhaps enjoy a day canoeing down the Xanthos river to the coast. Places of interest to visit from Kalkan Villas - Turquoise Coast Map

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