History of Phaselis
In- the Beldibi cave, a pre-historic dwelling, we can trace the city of Phaselis as far as the 7th century B.C.
When it was founded by the Rhodians. Its harbour location made it an important centre of commerce between Greece, Asia, Egypt, and Phoenicia. The city was first conquered by the Persians and later captured by Alexander the Great. Before his move to east, Alexander the Great has stayed a winter period like 3 months in Phaselis.
After the death of Alexander, the city remained under Egypt's control from 209 B.C. to 197 B.C., under the dynasty of Ptolomaios. The Apamea treaty ceded Phaselis back to the Kingdom of Rhodes in 190 B.C. In 160 B.C. it was absorbed into the Lycian confederacy under Roman rule. Phaselis was under constant threat of pirates in the 1st century B.C., and twas taken over by the pirate Zekenites until his defeat by the Romans in 42 B.C. , when Brutus took the city under the control of Rome.
During the Byzantine period the city became a bishopric and was totally impoverished by the 11th century. With the Seljuks concentrating on the ports of Alanya and Antalya, Phaselis lost its importance.
Two thousand years ago this was a thriving Roman port town shipping rose oil and timber. The brush has been cleared away to make clear paths through the ruins of the ancient city. Maps are posted around the area, showing Harbor Street, the Roman baths, an aqueduct, an agora, and the Theater of Phaselis.
On the road facing the southern harbor is a gateway built in the second century, during the reign of Hadrian. On the sides of the road are the remains of several shops. To the south of this road is the commercial agora, the Domitian agora. The acropolis was surrounded with walls and the theater was situated on the north-western slopes. The necropolis was situated at the end of the road, stretching past the aqueduct over the slopes behind the harbor.
There's a per-person admission fee to the national park, which is open from 7:30 am to 7 pm in summer. There are no restaurants at the site, so you are advised to pack a lunch. Drinks, candy bars and toilet facilities are located in the building housing the small museum. This is your last chance to stock up on water and use a changing room. Picnicking is theoretically prohibited, but as there are no restaurants in the area you won't be disturbed if you clean up responsibly.
The first beaches you come to are those at the northern harbor, but the better ones, with softer sand, are at the southern harbor. Walk along Harbor Street to reach it.