The ghost village: Kayakoy

The village of Kayakoy is 8 km south of Fethiye and near Ölüdeniz in Turkey. Hundreds of rundown Greek-style stone houses and churches cover a small mountainside. This fascinating village has a unique history and now is a truistic attraction.

Originally known as Livissi, Kayakoy was from the 18th century and was home for Byzantine Levissos (Greek Christians). They moved here to protect themselves from the pirates. At its peak the town had a population of 6,500 with churches, schools, pharmacies and workshops. Moreover, they even had a printing house for the Karya newspaper. Drinking water was supplied by two public fountains and each house had a cellar and a cistern to collect rain water.

Up until 1923, Greeks and Turks lived in harmony under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. However, at the end of the Greco-Turkish War the two made an agreement for exchanging the population. Therefore, the Greeks had to go back to Greece and the Turks to Turkey. Subsequently, Kayakoy was completely abandoned. In addition, many of the buildings were damaged in the 1957 Fethiye earthquake.

Today  it became a UNESCO World Friendship and Peace Village as a symbol of peace between Turkey and Greece. Above all, it is an archeological site under the protection of the Turkish government.

Travellers can visit Kayakoy taking a dolmuş (minibus) from Fethiye or Ölüdeniz. After arriving here, it is nice to walk the narrow streets of the village, enjoying the mysterious silence and peace. Here there are some souvenir shops, selling  handmade products and rural-style restaurants. They have traditional Ottoman-style seating areas and serve Turkish cuisine like a selection of meats and mezes with a barbecue for each table.

Info: – Ticket: 8 TL

Photo Credit: ©somewhere-unique