Today you will visit Demre and the nearby church of St Nicholas of Mira. Continue to Kas for your overnight stay.
The region of Demre had a large Greek population until the 1923 agreement between Greece and Turkey in which Greeks migrated to Greece. Many Greek-style houses remain as a reminder of this time. Ruins in the area betray Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman influences.
Day 6 - This morning you will have free time to enjoy the sun and seaside. In the afternoon you will visit the ancient ruins of Patara, as well the UNESCO heritage site of Xantos Letoon. Return to Kas and stayovernight.
Xanthos Letoon was best known in ancient times for its innovative funerary art. Previously the capital of Lycia, the city blended Lycian and Hellenistic art and architectural styles. Excavations have unearthed a wealth of bilingual ancient texts in both Greek and Lycian, which have helped scholars gain a better understanding of Lycian. Indeed one of the Xanthian Obelisks contains a tri-lingual inscription of Greek, Lycian and a 3rd Anatolian language, ‘Milyn’. The site was awarded UNESCO heritage status as far back as 1988.
Patara was once an important Lycian port and is known as the birthplace of St Nicholas. It was said to have been founded by a son of Apollo. Its long, uncrowded beach along the Mediterranean coast is a protected site because of the ancient ruins laying just inland from the beach. The ruins consist of a sand-swept theatre, a ruined basilica, and a necropolis with Lycian tombs.
St Nicholas of Myra was a bishop from the 4th century AD, who became the inspiration for Santa Claus, after his legendary habit of secret gift-giving. He was born in Patara and after his death became the patron saint of bakers, sailors and pawnbrokers. In the 6th century, a Byzantian Church was built on top of his tomb in Demre. The St Nicholas Church is a museum today.