Eğirdir & Sagalassos

We found ourselves in the lovely small town of Eğirdir, a town surrounded by a large beautiful crystal blue lake. Our timing was seemingly perfect, the weather still wonderfully warm and the tourist population at zero. It was the exact relaxation we were looking for, quiet, peaceful and calm. We rented bikes from our hotel and took a ride along the shoreline, taking in the sights. As we parked to take this photo, the Mayor of the town came up to us and welcomed us to Turkey. He asked us questions of where we were from and was genuinely happy that Americans were in his town. Not many, if any travel here.

When we got back to our hotel, we learned that all of the water in the town was shut off because they were doing pipe work. Our hosts welcomed us to come hangout in their community room, to drink wine, relax, catch the sunset. We were not bothered by the lack of water because we are used to living simply off the grid back home in Colorado. The sunset over the lake was one of the most beautiful we had seen.

The next morning, we made our way to the ancient ruins of Sagalassos, located within the Taurus Mountains. Human settlement in this region goes back to 8,000 BCE. Sagalassos was one of the wealthiest cities in this region during the Persian period. There is a small entry fee you must pay to explore, but it is well worth it.

There are quite a few main attractions in Sagalassos where the excavated ruins are so beautifully preserved. The main fountain in the center, used to be a part of a mansion. The floors were made of marble, carved marble pillars accentuate it with statues of nymphs and deities on either side. Water still flows from the fountain to give visitors the feel of what it was like to live there so many years ago. We stood by the fountain in silence listening to the soft trickle of water as the desert heat weighed down upon us, it was quite refreshing to stand in its cool mist.

We walked through archways still standing, everything else crumbled all around it in giant rock debris. Wondering at how they lifted these massive chunks of rock to create such masterpieces.

The location setting for this ancient civilization was so dreamy. We’ve noticed most ruins we have visited have always been located on top of mountains, with views extending far over the valleys below. Just thinking of a time without roads and how much perseverance it must have took to bring resources let alone build in some of these locations is mind blowing.

The theatre/colosseum was built even higher than the other attractions, with a full view over the city and valley with panoramic mountain views.

We are definitely glad that we took the time to see Sagalassos on our trip, it was a great ruin to explore, we spent about two and a half hours walking around and hardly saw anyone else the entire time. The paths are quite easy to follow and there are information plaques lining the way so you can read about the history and learn about the ruins.So if you are looking to get away from the crowds in Southwest Turkey, definitely check it out!

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