Lycian Rock-Cut Tombs, Kaunos

Lycian tombs in the cliffs above the Dalyan river, Turkey
Lycian tombs in the cliffs above the Dalyan river, Turkey


LOCATION At the ancient site of Kaunos, beside the Dalyan river, on Turkey’s southwestern coast DATE OF


4th century BC DAYTIME


Jan: 48°F (9°C); Apr: 61°F (16°C); Jul: 82°F (28°C); Oct: 70°F (21°C)

Ancient Kaunos was founded in the 9th century BC by the Carians, who inhabited the Caria region of Anatolia. The city later formed part of the Kingdom of Lycia, which stretched between the bays of Antalya and Fethiye in modern-day Turkey.
Famous for their form of government, which was the first example of democratic federalism in the world, the Lycians are today also known for the dozen or so distinctive and beautiful tombs they carved into the cliffs at Kaunos as part of their ancient tradition of ancestral worship.

Practical Information

Getting There and Around Dalyan, the closest town to the ruins, lies 16 miles (25 km) from Dalaman’s international airport, and can be reached by taxi. The ruins are accessible either by foot or by boat from Dalyan.

When to Go Spring (Apr–May) and fall (Sep–Oct) are the most pleasant times to visit, weather-wise.

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