Kayakoy – The Ghost Village is situated just a short distance from the bustling resorts of Hisaronu and Fethiye. It has been described as “A place where time stopped” where the ruined city stands today as a poignant reminder that war has enduring consequences. With its heartbreaking history, and evocative emptiness, Kayakoy is a must see attraction for anyone visiting or living in the area.
Kayakoy, originally known as Livissi is a place where Anatolian Greeks lived until approximately 1922. The loss of the First World War, and at the end of the Ottoman Empire a Treaty was signed called ‘The Turkish Greek Population Exchange’ whereby 2000 of the Christian Greek inhabitants were expelled from their homes in Kayakoy and sent back to Greece. The returning Muslim Turks did not want to settle in Kayakoy and consequently the city was left abandoned.
These days Kayakoy serves as a historical museum where around 500 houses and two Greek Orthodox Churches remain as ruins. The area is under the protection of the Turkish Government and adopted by Unesco as a World Friendship and Peace Village.
A visit to Kayakoy and to wander around the deserted streets and buildings can be a very humbling and overwhelming experience. Make it to the top where the Greek Christian Chapel stands and you will find wonderful views over the Kaya valley on one side and the Mediterranean Sea on the other.
Kayakoy Village itself is well worth a visit with several restaurants, tea houses and shops. It typifies bygone Turkey and the villagers that live there are most welcoming and hospitable.