Kayakoy Abandoned Village: Turkey’s Most Charming Ghost Town

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Kayakoy Abandoned village, Turkey

Introduction to Kayaköy

Kayaköy (Livissi in Greek) is an abandoned village near Fethiye, Turkey. Its history goes back to the Lycians, and recently in the 18th century, Greeks built a newer town on top of the ancient one. Unfortunately, it was abandoned entirely in 1923 due to the population exchange between Greece and Turkey. Today Kayaköy is one of the most beautiful ghost towns you will find anywhere.

The first thing that stands out about Kayaköy is its location – it’s on a hillside overlooking a valley on one side and a bay on the other. The village is full of abandoned homes, churches, and other buildings, and it’s a great place to explore for an afternoon. 

Kayakoy abandoned village, Turkey

What can you do in Kayaköy?

Even though there’s no actual to-do list as you just wander around, there are a few places you need to check out while there.

Make sure to climb the hill with a little chapel on top of it. That spot offers a fantastic view of the whole village, and you can even see the sea on the other side. Pretty amazing!

There are two big churches you should check out from up close. Unfortunately, they are now closed off, and it’s not possible to enter inside (at least it wasn’t when we were there). 

Old Church at Kayakoy abandoned village in Fethiye

Another spot we liked was on the side of the upper church. We followed the path to see if we could somehow enter the church, but instead, we found this excellent spot in an abandoned house which overlooked a big part of the village on one side.

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How long does it take to explore Kayaköy?

It takes about an hour to explore Kayaköy properly. However, you can easily get lost in this unique place and spend even more time.

Arijana Tkalčec exploring abandoned village Kayakoy in Turkey
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Is there an entrance fee for Kayaköy?

Funnily enough, even though this is an abandoned village, there is still a small fee for entering the village (around $1). Still, we didn’t have to pay anything because we were there towards the end of October when they had already stopped charging it. 

On many sites, we also read that Kayaköy has opening hours. However, don’t let this stop you from visiting as you can actually enter the village whenever you want (even without paying this small fee). 

Kayakoy abandoned village in Fethiye, Turkey - aerial view

What is the best time to visit Kayaköy?

You can visit Kayaköy all year round, but the best time is in the spring or fall when the weather is nice. Summers here are scorching and humid, so if you’re visiting during this time, try to come early morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat. 

Sunset time is often recommended as the best time of the day as the village gets that beautiful sunset glow. We came in the afternoon and stayed till (almost) the sunset, and we can confirm that it gets really amazing.

What do I need to wear to explore Kayaköy?

Don’t worry, Kayaköy has a beautiful (even marked!) trail for exploring, so you can literally wear whatever you want. However, we’d recommend wearing shoes instead of, for example, flip-flops. 

If you plan to explore a bit off the track and get more inside the abandoned houses, wear something long (especially pants) as some buildings are overgrown by trees, spiky plants, bushes, etc.

Houses of abandoned village Kayakoy
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How to get to Kayaköy

Kayaköy is very close to Fethiye and can be reached by car or the local bus in about 15 minutes. 

The dolmuş buses go from Fethiye frequently throughout the day.

Do you need a tour guide to visit Kayaköy?

You do not need a tour guide to visit Kayakoy, but if you want to learn more about the history of the village, it’s definitely worth it.

There are frequent guided tours to this abandoned village, and we saw quite a few of them during our visit. So if this is something you prefer, you can book these tours in the tour agencies in Fethiye/Oludeniz or online.

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Things to do around Kayaköy

There are several restaurants and cafes in Kayaköy as well as a few small shops, so you can stop and grab some food/drink after exploring the abandoned village.  

Kayaköy is undoubtedly worth a visit if you’re in the area!

Have you ever visited a similar place? If yes, tell us where? We’d love to add it to our (endless 😁) list of the locations for visiting!

Also, read our Fethiye & Oludeniz Travel Guide for more things to do in the area.


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2 Responses

    1. Hi Chloé, thank you! 😀

      There is no real closing time, as you can enter the village from many points next to the road. So even if you leave late (after sunset), I don’t think anyone will say anything. 🙂

      Have fun!
      Arijana

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