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ANDRİAKE (ÇAYAĞZI)

AndriakeSouth of Demre where the Androkos river emptied into the Mediterranean once stood the harbour town of Andriake, a hugely important trading centre. Today most people race past the ruins on the main road from Demre to Kaş with only a passing glance at the remains of a huge granary on the far side of the river.

Things may be about to change though as extensive excavations at the site have revealed a great deal more of it and all the signs suggest that there will soon be a concerted effort to attract more visitors.

It was the busy Emperor Hadrian who arranged for the building of the huge granary, constructed from grey stones laid out in neat rectangular lines on the front face but clumped together Cyclopean style at the back, between 119 and 139 AD.

Worn busts of the emperor and his wife Sabina sit above the central entrance and a Latin inscription runs along the roofline. The walls stand in most places to their original height making this a very impressive structure (there's another very like it further west along the coast at Patara).

Recent excavations have uncovered the remains of a street with shops running along it beside the river, and of an agora flagged with huge stones beneath which arched tunnels presumably formed part of the water distribution network.Andriake2

Elsewhere, the Corinthian columns around a small courtyard have been re-erected and form the approach to the remains of a vast basilica with a synthronon constructed using alternating black and white stones at the eastern end. 

Closer to the road a large bathhouse has also been uncovered. 

Suluklu1Beyond Andriake lies the swathe of sand and the harbour at Çayağzı whence cruises set sail for Simena (Kekova).

The road above the ruins continues to the more secluded beach at Sülüklü (Leech Beach) whose unsavoury name belies its tranquil beauty. This, however, is slated to be disturbed by the development of three new five-star hotels, a great shame when so little of the coast remains in its pristine state. 

Transport info

To reach the ruins you can take a dolmuş heading out of Demre towards Kaş and ask to be dropped at the road leading to them. It's a longish walk with little shade so bring a hat and water.Suluklu2

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