According to legend, this city with its three ports, was founded by the Argosy colonists on the borders of ancient Lycia and Pamphylia. It was governed for about 200 years by the Persians and in 334BC, together with the whole of Lycia, fell to Alexander. It is said that he was so enchanted with Phaselis that he spent the winter there.

As it was strategically located on the Syrian and Greek sea trading routes, it prospered greatly, especially when it was part of the Roman empire, and it was visited by Hadrian in 129AD. It mostly derived its income from the export of timber, rose oil and various perfumes. However, Phaselis did not enjoy a very good trading reputation in ancient times.

In recent years Turkish archaeologists have carried out a lot of excavations and restoration, and the ruins seen here today date almost entirely to the Roman and Byzantine eras.

Hadriaan Gate