Hidden behind a small enchanted forest: Pinara!

It’s strange how one of the six principal cities from Lycia can be almost invisible, while in plain sight. Still, that is the case with Pinara (or Pınara in Turkish). Perched high up on a mountain, you won’t easily spot the city from a distance. And despite its size, the entrance is hidden behind the most enchanting little forest, making it all the more magical to explore this beautiful Lycian site. Words that come to mind when visiting Pinara are untouched, undiscovered, mystical and tranquil. Another off the beaten path destination often overlooked by people when traveling to Turkey, and visiting nearby Xanthos.

Pınara - Pinara

Pınara - Pinara

Looking down over Xanthos Valley

After driving up the twisting road to Pinara, the discrete signs opposite the parking lot are the only indication that something might be worth seeing. A small walking path takes you to the entrance of the cities’ necropolis, hidden behind a forest that could easily compete with an Alice in Wonderland set. What follows is a sequence of magnificent views, profound impressions, and continued surprises as we work our way up the mountain. Pinara combines breathtaking panoramas over Xanthos valley with the remains of temples, a theater and hundreds of tombs. The setting is stunning; with wildflowers, ancient olive and fig trees, and pines filling the air with their fragrance.

Pınara - Pinara

Pınara - Pinara

Discovering Pinara: a cultural hike!

Visiting Pinara is the perfect combination of a pleasant walk (some might call it a mildly challenging hike) and an immersion into ancient times. It makes it a satisfying and digestible experience, even if you are on the verge of an ‘old stones’ overload after visiting too many sites in Turkey. As Pinara is overlooked by most tourists, you’ll have a fair chance of having the complete city to yourself. Its whole atmosphere is humbling and leaves you completely relaxed by the end of your visit.

Pınara - Pinara

Pınara - Pinara

Pınara - Pinara

Pinara deserves at least half a day of your time. It is a site well worth visiting when you are in the Fethiye-Kaş area. It may be less well known, but this should be all the more reason to give it the credit it deserves. Pinara is easily reached from the D400 road between Fethiye and Kalkan. And if you have some more time to spare, why not take the scenic route to Sidyma as well? You could even plan a stop there. One can never absorb too much beauty if you ask us!

Practical information

Would you like to read what visitors have to say before you go? Read these reviews of Pınara to get an even better picture. If you are looking for a reliable guide for the area, we can recommend this paperback that covers the broader Antalya area.

Are you keen on spending more time in this area? Then have a look at this rural escape that is bound to fit your needs. If you prefer a hotel and you like to stay in something different, then the ‘pods with sea view’ at Seaview Faralya may be what you’re looking for!

The nearest airports are Dalaman and Antalya, both of which have easy connections with Istanbul airports if required. You’ll find cheap flight options here.

Pinara is not gated. Therefore you have access at all times. We wouldn’t recommend visiting after dark for security reasons.

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All pictures © @Aegean.Images

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