'There are not so many places left where magic reigns without interruption and of all those I know, the coast of Lycia was the most magical.' Lycia, on the southwestern coast of Turkey, is an ancient land steeped in mystery, myth and legend. Home to the fiery chimera and to the great heroes Sarpedon and Penderus; heartland of worship for the goddess Leto and her children Apollo and Artemis; old ally of Troy, lure to conquering Cyrus and Alexander and to centuries of travellers, artists and writers - Lycia, part of the 'Turquoise Coast' now attracts more tourists to her glimmering shores than any other part of Turkey. In the early 1950s, following the trail of ancient Persian and Greek traders, Freya Stark set out by boat to explore the Lycian coast. She was guided by the traces of Lycia's rich history and cultural heritage. For all those who now follow in her wake, there can be no better, more evocative or knowledgeable guide to this, Turkey's most enchanting coast.
Freya Stark (1893-1993), 'the poet of travel', was the doyenne of Middle East writers and one of the most courageous and adventurous female travellers in history. She explored Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq and Southern Arabia, where she became the first western woman to journey through the Hadhramaut. Usually solo, she ventured to places few Europeans had ever been. She received the title of Dame and her many, now classic, books include Travels in the Near East, A Winter in Arabia, The Southern Gates of Arabia, Alexander's Path, Dust in the Lion's Paw, East is West and Valleys of the Assassins. 'She has written the best travel books of her generation and her name will survive as an artist in prose.' - The Observer