Oludeniz (Blue Lagoon)
A favorite excursion out of Ölüdeniz is a boat trip to the surrounding bays ... Five stones ... Camel Beach ... The cold Springs and St. Nicholas Island, with its Paleochristian churches. From the summit of the island there is a marvellous view over the crenelating local coastline, which provides fine anchorages for smaller boats. And indeed, in early Christian times, this part of the coast was a trading stop- off for pilgrims, eager to visit St. Nicholas on their way to the Holy land. Remains of small settlemets and cisterns cover the surrounding hills.
Oludeniz bay itself possesed five churches, Gidrak beach had a fine mosaic churc-floor till 10 years ago. From Gemile Bay's Monastery, an open water-channel ran six kilometres down to the sea, to carry water to passing ships. The locals may even elaborate and mistakenly place Cleopatra in a Byzantine Bath! They might have their dates wrong but a beautiful woman is always admired in Turkey.
Early Christianity hugged the coastline of Asia Minor (Turkey), but when raiding Arab pirates plundered their sanctuaries, the Christians moved inland... today you can visit one such settlement 5 km. from Ölüdeniz, Kaya village, the Lycian "Karmylasson", later re- inhabited by their Christian descendants as Byzantines, and called "Levisii". Here Greek and Turk lived side by side in hormany, each practicing his own religon, until 1922, when the exchange of peoples between the two countries brought Thracian Turks here and transported the local Greeks to Thessalonika.
Hopefully the old understanding will return and Greek and Turk will again be seen side by side in Kaya... A Peace Village.