Picnic at Pinara – Turquoise Coast, Turkey

Started the morning with breakfast in the lovely front garden of Owlsland B&B. Our Scottish-born hostess Paulina kept us in stitches as we gobbled down local delights, several kinds of cheese (goat and cow), yogurt, homemade jams, honey, sliced strawberries, hard boiled eggs and olives.

Pinara Take Two

With more time and a picnic packed we take the trail through the ruins of this ancient city.

There is no map and the trail can be hard to follow at times, but it’s a pretty, somewhat shaded hike through the ruins. From the parking lot take the trail to the left marked by arrow. The trail first climbs a little and then descends to a creek crossing, and climbs a bit on the other side. Here you reach a marked T junction and the start of the loop trail around the ruins up and across the plateau. To avoid back tracking to visit the theater at the end of the visit, it is best to take the trail to the left. Before doing so, however, head a short ways down to the right to see the Royal Tomb.

Back track back to the T junction and continue on following the trail as it climbs the canyon past more cliff tombs.

Around the bend and up the creek bed look for a steep trail up the right side of the canyon to the plateau. (Note that the trail is a bit hard to follow through this section with trails on both sides of the canyon and numerous cliff tombs on the right side.)

Once up on the plateau the trail wanders through the main area of the ruins. High above on the left hand side is the often photographed honeycomb looking cliffs with myriad tombs. 

Once across the plateau a trail branches to the right leading to a tomb whose entrance is capped with carved bull horns.

Note that from here there is a trail that heads to the right completing the original loop, or to view the theater on the return to the parking area, jog left here following the trail along the edge of the plateau with views of the theater below.

The trail eventually descends back down to a road with access to the theater. After visiting the theater you can follow this road back to the parking area.

The best picnic spots are at the top of the plateau just beyond the bullhorn tomb with views of the theater or under the shade tree atop theater itself with views of the plateau and cliff of tombs above.

Along the road between Pinara and Tlos.


Tlos (a half an hour drive from Pinara, off the main road (D400) heading north) is a mish mash of various architectural styles that span the centuries if not millenniums.

Unlike lush Pinara the ruins are bare of vegetation but the setting itself is spectacular on a clear day with valley and mountain views. Trails through the site wander up to the fortress above and down to the tombs on the north side you can reach the roman baths by walking to the far end of the arches and taking the steep trail up to the baths.

From here the dilapidated theater, closed to visitors for obvious reasons, is just across the road.

Dinner at Owlsland

Dinner back out at Owlsland – chickpea and apple salad this time with the addition of peas; yogurt with purslane; potatoes and Turkish mousaka, a stewish version with pepper, eggplant and ground meat but no béchamel as is found in the Greek version.

May 3, 2012

For links to all the posts in this series see the Turkey page.

3 thoughts

  1. OMG! Food, ruins, views! Boiled eggs and olives for breakfast (you know you’re in a foreign country when…) It doesn’t doesn’t get any better than this! – Renee

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