Lyrbe & its jaw-dropping Agora in the Taurus Mountains

Have you heard of Lyrbe? If not, then maybe Seleukeia, as Lyrbe was originally wrongfully identified as Seleukeia in older publications. Still, you may not know either one of those names, but you should. At least if you’re into spectacular settings and virtually untouched ancient sites. Because that is what you will find when visiting Lyrbe: a magnificent Agora set in a pine-scented forest up in the Taurus Mountains. If you haven’t been yet, check out this post!

Welcome, This Is Lyrbe

Welcome, This Is Lyrbe

Lyrbe? Or Seleukeia? The history behind it.

The consensus today is that the ancient site perched in the mountains above Manavgat and Side is most probably Lyrbe. Most probably? Yes. Previously wrongly identified as Seleukeia, the earliest archaeological finds at Lyrbe are much older, and from the Classical Period. Seleukeia was founded in the Hellenistic Period and had a harbor. It is assumed that this city was probably somewhere along the coast west of Side. The visible remains today, date back to Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine times.

Two Story Shop Wall At The Agora

Two Story Shop Wall At The Agora

Other than that, little is known about this somewhat forgotten city, as archaeological research only took place from 1972 to 1979 by Professor Jale Inan, who had previously led excavations in Side and Perge. The sculptures and mosaics found during those works are now exhibited at the Antalya Archaeological Museum. Later ‘accidental’ finds went to the nearby Side Archaeological Museum. Inscriptions in Side language found at the site suggest that Lyrbe was settled in antiquity by the same people as the founders and citizens of Side.

When A Tree Wants To Be An Arch

When A Tree Wants To Be An Arch

The two-story Agora

The Agora at Lyrbe is without a doubt the most impressive structure still standing. In fact, it is most probably the best-preserved Agora in the entire area. The Agora complex, the trade and government center of the city, was built in the 2nd century BC during the Hellenistic Era. During the Roman Period and in the 4-5th century, more buildings and structures were added.

Play Of Light And Shadow At Lyrbe's Agora

Play Of Light And Shadow At Lyrbe’s Agora

The rectangularly shaped Agora had six entrance gates. It was surrounded by two-storied buildings and colonnaded galleries of Doric and Ionic order on all sides. It had a library and an exedra on the north side, and a semi-circular odeon with wooden seats and shops on the east side. You can also still see the footprint of an early Christian chapel on the northwest side of the Agora.

The Agora's North Gate And The Exedra

The Agora’s North Gate And The Exedra

At The Back Of The Semi Circular Odeon

At The Back Of The Semi Circular Odeon

The gallery floors had mosaic tiles as had some of the other rooms. The mosaics that remained in place are now covered up. Others, such as the one of Orpheus and another depicting the Seven Sages of Antiquity are currently on display at the Antalya Archaeological Museum.

The Stunning Agora At Lyrbe

The Stunning Agora At Lyrbe

The Shopping Side Of The Agora

The Shopping Side Of The Agora

Below the second gallery, was a storage space which can be accessed from the forest side. You’ll notice that entire slabs of mosaic-floor are still on-site today. It gives this beautiful ancient site a touch of magic, as it is truly still waiting to be discovered.

Beautiful Chaos At The Storage Room

Beautiful Chaos At The Storage Room

Just Above The Storage Room, This Is The View

Just Above The Storage Room, This Is The View

Click here for an aerial photo of Lyrbe

Lyrbe beyond the Agora

While the Agora is the absolute eye-catching feature of the site, there’s more to see in Lyrbe. This is a great hiking spot, offering lush green forest scenes and a distant sea view. Take a walk around the site and explore the city walls, the remains of two temples, a few cisterns, a hammam, and other houses and structures. Not all buildings were equally well-preserved, but somehow this doesn’t matter in these settings.

The Ufo Has Landed?

The Ufo Has Landed?

 
Inside A Temple

Inside A Temple

In short, Lyrbe deserves a visit. In fact, we fell totally in love with this site. It has the perfect combination of green, silence (if you time your visit right), and a healthy dose of majestic structures. While Lyrbe has largely managed to remain under the radar, a growing amount of jeep safari tours put it on their itinerary. To experience this beautiful spot at its best, visit out of season, or at least go early or go late in the day.

At The Center Of The Agora Stands This Tree

At The Center Of The Agora Stands This Tree

Also, make sure to look out for the remains of aqueducts and an ancient bridge while you drive up to the site. And since some of the artifacts found in Lyrbe are on display at the museum in Side. We wholeheartedly recommend visiting Side as well.

Click here to read all about Side

Part Of The Aqueduct Near Lyrbe

Part Of The Aqueduct Near Lyrbe

For more practical information, such as how to get to Lyrbe (often referred to as Seleukeia), check out the tabs below.

✔️ Have you been to Lyrbe? Then please head over to our Turkey Trip Planner to leave a review. Alternatively, if you plan on visiting, you can add the site to your bucket list.
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Lyrbe is accessible free of charge. There are no facilities on-site, so make sure to carry enough water in hot weather. Try and avoid the jeep safari tours by visiting out of season, or early or late in the day.

We’re all different, so check these reviews on TripAdvisor to see what other have to say about this site. Questions? Feel free to ask. You can send us a message through our contact page, or join our closed Facebook group where other Turkey travelers and aficionados are ready and eager to help.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Visit other places in the area such as the beautiful (but very touristic) Manavgat waterfalls, Side, Aspendos, or even Kaleiçi.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

There are plenty of options in Manavgat or Side for all tastes and budgets. 

We still love to use Booking.com when searching for the perfect hotel or vacation rental in Turkey. Unfortunately, the website isn’t accessible from within Turkey without the use of a VPN. If you don’t have a VPN, and you’re already in Turkey, Hotels.com is a good alternative.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

The site isn’t well signposted, so we’d advise you to use a gps to find it. You’ll find the exact location on the map in this post, or you can get directions from your current location in our Trip Planner. If you are relying on public transport, you’ll have to do some walking. Take the dolmuş from Manavgat to Bucak Şeyhler village and walk the last 2,5 km up to the site. (not recommended in hot weather!)

Lyrbe is not too far from Antalya Airport. When searching for flights, we like to use Skyscanner. It’s easy to use, and reliable. Find the best flights to Turkey and domestic flights that will take you all around the country here.

Do you prefer some good old road tripping? Once you get used to the unconventional driving style in Turkey, you’ll love to hit the road. After all, it’s all about the journey, and you may expect some very scenic rides! Renting a car in Turkey is easy. If you’re looking for an established car rental company that allows pick-up and drop-off at different airports, check out Europcar. They have offices all over Turkey.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Lyrbe is accessible free of charge. There are no facilities on-site, so make sure to carry enough water in hot weather. Try and avoid the jeep safari tours by visiting out of season, or early or late in the day.

We’re all different, so check these reviews on TripAdvisor to see what other have to say about this site. Questions? Feel free to ask. You can send us a message through our contact page, or join our closed Facebook group where other Turkey travelers and aficionados are ready and eager to help.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Visit other places in the area such as the beautiful (but very touristic) Manavgat waterfalls, Side, Aspendos, or even Kaleiçi.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

There are plenty of options in Manavgat or Side for all tastes and budgets. 

We still love to use Booking.com when searching for the perfect hotel or vacation rental in Turkey. Unfortunately, the website isn’t accessible from within Turkey without the use of a VPN. If you don’t have a VPN, and you’re already in Turkey, Hotels.com is a good alternative.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

The site isn’t well signposted, so we’d advise you to use a gps to find it. You’ll find the exact location on the map in this post, or you can get directions from your current location in our Trip Planner. If you are relying on public transport, you’ll have to do some walking. Take the dolmuş from Manavgat to Bucak Şeyhler village and walk the last 2,5 km up to the site. (not recommended in hot weather!)

Lyrbe is not too far from Antalya Airport. When searching for flights, we like to use Skyscanner. It’s easy to use, and reliable. Find the best flights to Turkey and domestic flights that will take you all around the country here.

Do you prefer some good old road tripping? Once you get used to the unconventional driving style in Turkey, you’ll love to hit the road. After all, it’s all about the journey, and you may expect some very scenic rides! Renting a car in Turkey is easy. If you’re looking for an established car rental company that allows pick-up and drop-off at different airports, check out Europcar. They have offices all over Turkey.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

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Check the weather

Never wonder about the weather in Turkey again. The Turkish climate is as diverse as the country with significant differences between the regions.

This page contains the current weather and weather statistics for all regions in Turkey.

Prepare your trip

How to order a tourist visa for Turkey?

What about public transport?
Can you skip the line at Istanbul Airports?

General Turkey travel information, essential to help prepare your trip, on one page!

Work with us

Get direct access to your target audience with a proven interest in Turkey. People call us their Turkey Bible!

Contact us for a feature on our map, a destination guide, a photo shoot, or any form of professional Turkey-related content.

Ask a traveler

Are you unsure about a destination, activity or hotel? Why don’t you ask other travelers about their experience?

We have a closed Facebook group where you can ask all Turkey-related questions. You’ll get solid advice and travel inspiration.

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Lyrbe & its jaw-dropping Agora in the Taurus Mountains