Kayakoy Ghost Town Tour including Babadag Cable Car
- Explore the ghost town of Kayaköy, which was abandoned a century ago.
- Enjoy a cable car ride for at the top of Mount Babadağ, which is popular with paragliders
- Admire rugged coastal landscapes and drive through pine forests
- Expert local guide with an unrivalled knowledge of Turkey and its people
Kayakoy was abandoned by Greeks, fleeing war in the 1920s.
Kayaköy is an abandoned village in southwest Turkey. It was anciently known in Greek as Carmylessus (Ancient Greek: Καρμυλησσός), shortened to Lebessos (Ancient Greek: Λεβέσσος) and pronounced in Modern Greek as Leivissi (Greek: Λειβίσσι), lies 8 km south of Fethiye in southwestern Turkey in the old Lycia province. From Ancient Greek the town name shifted to Koine Greek by the Roman period, evolved into Byzantine Greek in the Middle Ages, and finally became the Modern Greek name still used by its townspeople before their final evacuation in 1923.
In late antiquity the inhabitants of the region had become Christian and, following the East-West Schism with the Catholic Church in 1054 AD, they came to be called Greek Orthodox Christian. These Greek-speaking Christian subjects, and their Turkish-speaking Ottoman rulers, lived in relative harmony from the end of the turbulent Ottoman conquest of the region in the 14th century until the early 20th century. Following the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922, and the subsequent Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, the town's Greek Orthodox residents were exiled from Livissi.
The massacres of Greeks and other Christian minorities in the Ottoman Empire during World War I (1914–1918) led to the almost total depopulation of the town's 6,500 Greek inhabitants by 1918. These former inhabitants were bereaved of their properties and became refugees in Greece, or they died in Ottoman forced labour battalions (cf. Number 31328, an autobiography by a Greek-speaking novelist from a similar coastal town in Turkey).
Following these events the Allied victors in World War I authorized the occupation of Smyrna, which still had many Greek inhabitants, by Greece in May 1919. This led to the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922, the subsequent defeat of Greece, and the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923. That treaty contained a protocol, the population exchange between Greece and Turkey, which barred permanently the return of any prior Greek Orthodox refugees to their homes in Turkey (including the previous Livissi refugees) and required that any remaining Orthodox Christian citizens of Turkey leave their homes for Greece (with an exception for Greeks living in Istanbul).
The treaty also required that Greece's Muslim citizens permanently leave Greece for Turkey (with an exception for Muslims living in Greek Thrace). Most of these Turks/Muslims from Greece were used by the Turkish state to settle its now empty Greek Christian towns, but Turks/Muslims from Greece did not wish to settle in Livissi due to rumors of ghosts of the Greeks killed there.[full citation needed]
The ghost town, now preserved as a museum village, consists of hundreds of rundown but still mostly standing Greek-style houses and churches which cover a small mountainside and serve as a stopping place for tourists visiting Fethiye and nearby Ölüdeniz.
The village is now empty except for tour groups and roadside vendors selling handmade goods. However, there is a selection of houses which have been restored, and are currently occupied.
And to round off the experience, we'll head to the base of Mount Babadağ to hop on a cable car to the top. Enjoy epic panoramic views over Fethiye and the coast below as you climb to near the summit – just in time for sunset. The top of the mountain is popular with paragliders, so there's a good chance you'll see them drifting in the skyline as the sun sets. It's a feast for the eyes.
- Entrance tickets to Kayakoy and cable car entrance tickets
We have private departures upon your inquiry in 12 months