Where is the 9 mile beach?


Running north-south through the province of ancient Lycia is the long, fast-flowing river called Esen Cayi. Between high, limestone mountains, its valley is flat, wide and fertile. The river slows to a trickle and meets the sea by crossing the longest beach in Turkey – the Patara beach..

It was thrown up by the sea when sea levels rose, probably in the 6th century AD, and formed a mighty barrier. It slowed the river, silted up the great harbour and strangled the great Roman city of Patara. Known to Alexander, Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great, the city was the birthplace of St. Nicholas circa 300 AD.

In 1811, Captain Beaufort of the Royal Navy anchored off the ruins in a deep bay at the mouth of the river and was pulled ashore with his officers in his own gig. They ran the surf, beached the boat, clambered over the burning sands and ruins like excited small boys, looking at friezes and statues not seen by any Europeans since the Crusaders.

When you visit Patara Beach you will relive their excitement.

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