Mugla is a province of Turkey. Its seat is about 20 km (12 miles) inland, while some of Turkey's largest holiday resorts, such as Bodrum, Oludeniz, Marmaris and Fethiye are on the coast of Mugla province.
In ancient times in Anatolia, the region between the Menderes (Meander) and Dalaman (Indus) rivers in the south was called Caria. The inhabitants were Carians and Leleges. In his Iliad, Homer describes the Carians as natives of Anatolia, defending their country against Greeks in joint campaigns in collaboration with the Trojans.
A major city of ancient Caria, Mugla is known to have been occupied by raiding parties of Egyptians, Assyrians and Scythians, until eventually the area was settled by Ancient Greek colonists. The Greeks inhabited this coast for a long time building prominent cities, such as Knidos (at the end of the Datça Peninsula and Bodrum - Halicarnassos), as well as many smaller towns along the coast, on the Bodrum Peninsula and inland, including in the district of Fethiye the cities of Telmessos, Xanthos, Patara and Tlos. Eventually the coast was conquered by Persians who were in turn removed by Alexander the Great, bringing an end to the satrapy of Caria. In 1390, Mugla was taken over by the Ottoman Empire.
With this long history, Mugla is rich in ancient ruins, with over 100 excavation sites including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Letoon, near Fethiye.