Historical Site
Kayaköy ‘Ghost Town’
In Kayaköy

Ruins of a Greek village on the steep hillside overlooking Kayaköy, known as Levissi (also as Karmylassos) to the Greeks.


The village was abandoned as part of the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1923, when the two countries agreed to ‘swap’ their respective ethnic peoples. Many Turks moved from Greece and even more Greeks moved from Turkey. This village has since fallen into disarray. While most roofs have collapsed, walls, wells, and so on are all still standing. You can explore most buildings, though some have been closed for safety reasons or for restoration.


Although abandoned in 1923, the village is still alive with history. The village dates back to the 13th century.


It is fascinating to walk the streets and explore the buildings of the village. The Upper Church (also shown on some signage as the High Church, or, in Turkish, as Yukarı Kilise) is a particular highlight. It doesn’t look overly impressive from the exterior, but inside are mosaics, carvings, and interesting design styles – have your camera handy. It’s located partway up the hillside, slightly to the west of the main path. It’s the biggest structure in the ruins.


Kayaköy is presumed to be the inspiration behind “Eskibahçe”, the imaginary village chosen by Louis de Bernières as the setting of his 2004 novel Birds Without Wings.


In 2014, Kayaköy also took centre stage in the closing scenes of Russell Crowe’s film The Water Diviner.


If you are not hiking the section from Fethiye to Ovacık via Kayaköy, then this is a worthwhile day excursion from Fethiye, Ovacık, or Ölüdeniz. You can catch a dolmuş here easily from any of those places. The dolmuş stop is directly in front of the entrance.


The Lycian Way passes directly through the ruins. There’s an admission fee required.

The above content includes and/or adapts material from the linked Wikipedia article.

Pretty Pictures

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All photos are copyright by their respective owners and are used with permission.
  • View of Kayaköy's 'ghost town'
    View of Kayaköy’s ‘ghost town’
    Photo by 
    Darren Moens
    Fall 2022
  • Kayaköy's ghost town.
    Kayaköy’s ghost town
    Photo by 
    Darren Moens
    Fall 2022
  • Kayaköy's ghost town seen from a distance on the approach from Fethiye
    Kayaköy’s ghost town seen from a distance on the approach from Fethiye
    Photo by 
    The Trekopedia Team

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