Seeing images of ghost towns around the world filled with abandoned buildings recently sparked a memory.
Last year, when we visited Fethiye, a popular resort city along Turkey’s Mediterranean Sea coast, we spent a few hours exploring the “rock village” of nearby Kayaköy. I promised to share more photos from our trek and I didn’t, but I am now.
Kayaköy, perched up in the hills outside of Fethiye, is filled with hundreds of abandoned stone houses, two churches and several chapels in what once was a thriving Greek village. The village’s roofless buildings stand quietly on the steep hillside, aging and crumbling, but open to those who like to explore.
In 1923, Kayaköy, known as Levissi in Greek, was abandoned because of the population exchange between Greece and Turkey. Today, several houses have been restored and are occupied by local residents.
|One of the restored village homes in Kayaköy.|
You’ll also find a few small cafes and restaurants in the area as well as a pansyion or two if you want to stay the night.
Exposed to the elements and the effects of the 1957 earthquake in the area means the buildings have fallen into ruin. Still, it’s possible to identify certain features such as staircases, the kitchen area, several chimneys and entryways of the stone houses.
|Former hearth and chimney at one of the homes in Kayaköy.|
|I think the sign was referring to the long hike down hill to Ölü Deniz seen at the bottom right.|
Although it saddens me to think about all the residents who were forced to leave here, Kayaköy is beautiful in its own way.
And it’s eerily silent if you can avoid the tourists.
We pretty much had the village to ourselves during our Sunday hike. When we returned to the otopark, there was a large group of tourists eating lunch at one of the cafes.
We sat down at a table and ordered two Efes beer and shared a gözleme. Not a bad way to end a wonderful morning together before we headed back to Istanbul.
|A Turkish woman rolling out fresh dough for our gözleme.|
Kayaköy Admission: 8 TL
Here’s the recent article about ghost towns that inspired today’s post: 28 Freaky Ghost Towns You Can Visit on Matador.
You can read more about Kayaköy on Turkey’s For Life, written by fellow Turkey bloggers Julia and Barry, who live in Fethiye.
|I've seen these in Greece too! Using old oil containers for flower planters.|