Few ruined cities can challenge Phaselis in its location. A forested peninsula with three bays that once were natural harbours, now attractive beaches.
Phaselis rests on the very border between Lycia and Pamphylia, and its allegiance would shift back and forth. The ancient town thrived from trade, locals travelled as far as Egypt. Stories tell that citizenship was sold for 100 drachmas, making Phaselis the home of scoundrels from far and near.
Phaselis was apparently founded by colonists from Rhodes, and their independence would only last until the 6th century BCE, when occupied by the Persians. When liberated in the 5th century, it found itself part of the Athenian maritime confederacy, while it some 300 years later passed over to the Lycian Federation.
Among the most important exports of Phaselis were local timber and botanical oils.
Many structures were added to Phaselis in the 2nd century CE, following Roman Emperor Hadrian's visit. But already then, the wealth and importance of Phaselis was strongly reduced, as a matter of fact, Hadrian adorned a dying city.
The site is open 7.30-19.00 May-October, and 9.00-17.30 November-April, entrance fee is 10 lira.
There is one local hotel/camping, the moderately priced Sundance Nature Village (t. 821 4165) . It has bungalows and tree houses, a restaurant and horses for hire.
There is no normal public transport to Phaselis, coming here is done as part of an organized tour, with your own vehicle or by hiring a taxi from f.x. Antalya or Kemer.