Aperlai, with its sarcophagi, sunken city, and
spectacular Mediterranean landscape, is a must stop
on a ‘blue cruise’.
The Lycian region, or ‘Land of Light’,
between Dalaman and Antalya is a virtual open-air
museum. Stubborn survivor of time’s depredations,
a fragment of a sarcophagus, building or ancient
city will suddenly appear before you when you are
least expecting it. A tiny cove you enter as you
sail the Bay of Inönü will greet you with
a view to vie with the famous landscape of Simena
with its sunken sarcophagus. This time it’s
a single, smaller sarcophagus, patiently resisting
time and the waves. Here, at the tip of Teke Peninsula,
lies the ancient city of Aperlai on another peninsula,
called Sicak, which projects into the Mediterranean
like a mushroom, or an upside-down ‘T’.
LYCIA’S NATURAL HARBOR
We know of the existence of Aperlai, whose name
according to Bilge Umar signifies ‘flowing
strait’, from the A.D. 5th century silver
coins that were minted in its name.