Exploring Fethiye: The Lycian Rock Tombs In Photos

On Sunday, we told you that we had decided to make the most of the fabulous spring Fethiye weather and follow some of our own advice about things to do in Fethiye. It’s time to get out there and make the most of what’s on offer right on our doorstep so we kicked things off by taking another stroll to one of Fethiye’s most famous landmarks, the Lycian rock tombs.

Exploring Fethiye Lycian Rock Tombs

Amyntas Rock Tomb, Fethiye

The steps to the tomb of Amyntas – there’s a few

Being that the Lycian rock tombs are carved into the cliff face, high above the town, the tombs are easy to spot and getting to them is easy enough – if you don’t mind a bit of an uphill pull that is. Just keep in mind the reward of the views over Fethiye once you reach the top and that should be enough to keep you going.

Fethiye Rock Tombs

But the views over Fethiye are pretty as you ascend

Chances are, you’re going to be out of breath by the time you reach these steps that take you to the highest and most important rock tomb, the Tomb of Amyntas, but never fear. The Kings Garden Restaurant is right by the entrance to the tombs and you can get a drink and a breather there before continuing. That’s exactly what we did – but more on that in the next post. For now, we have some steps to climb.

Amyntas Rock Tomb, Fethiye

And the Amyntas Lycian rock tomb eventually looms large

The ancient Lycians liked to live with their dead nearby and that means people like us benefit from relatively easy access to the tombs while enjoying panoramic views over Fethiye. Take your time climbing the steps to make the most of the opportunities for photos.

Eventually, you will reach the Amyntas rock tomb. Dating from the 4th Century BC, it’s typical of a Lycian tomb as it is carved into the shape of a temple portico with the entrance at the bottom right. Not much is known about the Lycians but we know Amyntas was important as his rock tomb is higher and larger than the others carved into the cliff. It’s also the only tomb you can get right up to.

View Of Fethiye From The Rock Tombs

And the views of Fethiye from the Amyntas rock tomb are special

The tomb itself is an impressive sight but not in fantastic condition. Last April, we posted about an article we read in Hürriyet which heralded the use of ground breaking nanotechnology to restore Fethiye’s Telmessos Theatre and the famous Dalyan Lycian rock tombs. The same treatment has also been assigned to the Lycian tombs of Fethiye. We’ll wait and see…

But let’s leave the politics of archaeology and restoration behind and turn our backs on the tomb of Amyntas to take in the views of Fethiye. The Lycians obviously wanted to make sure their leader had a decent view from which to enjoy his afterlife!

Lycian Rock Tombs, Fethiye

Take some time dawdle past the lesser Lycian rock tombs, too

Once you’ve exhausted just about every angle and had your fill of taking photos of the views, head back down the steps and take a right, downhill towards old Fethiye. This is where you will see the tombs of less important Lycian figures grouped together in the rock face.

Lycian Rock Tombs In Fethiye

Get up close and personal with Lycian Turkey

Despite being smaller than the tomb of Amyntas, as an archaeological feature there’s more in this group of tombs to keep you interested. No panoramic views for these guys though. Their sea views were obscured long ago by the growth of Fethiye.

Rock Tombs, Fethiye, Turkey

And don’t forget to look back as you leave the rock tombs behind

Just before you hit the buildings of the old Fethiye neighbourhood, don’t forget to turn round to get a photo of all the Lycian rock tombs in the same shot. This angle shows how set apart the tomb of Amyntas is from the rest.

Fethiye Rock Tombs – Useful Info

  • Although all the Lycian rock tombs can be viewed from the roadside (you can see the fence lining the road in the bottom shot) there is an entrance fee for those wishing to go right up to the tomb of Amyntas. This fee is 5 TL (about £1.30), payable should the warden happen to be sitting at the entrance gate…he’s not always there.
  • The Fethiye rock tombs are easily reachable on foot. Just keep heading uphill towards them. 
  • If you are having a meal at King’s Garden Restaurant you can walk up to the rock tombs without paying the entry fee and you can arrange a pick-up, by the restaurant, too. That means you’ll only need to climb the steps.
  • You can book hotels in Fethiye through Booking.com.

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Comments

  1. That’s amazing how it’s carved into the wall! And to see it still in such stunning condition…. I can’t really imagine things being built now that will last like that.

  2. I saw the tombs while I was there. Looked at the height and the steep climb, then decided i was better off buying a cold beer and staring at them instead. This hard core smoker would never have made it. Love the pictures by the way, you got some great angles there.

  3. @ Belinda: Very true. I don’t think many people have the patience or the inclination to carve something so beautiful that will last so long.

    @ Natalie: Thanks. Ha ha, it is a bit of a pull but the reward of an Efes at the end is tempting enough.

  4. I have been here, The Kings Garden Restaurant also comes and picks you up from your hotel and returns you in the meal price. Wonderful food, fabulous views, perfect setting to watch the sun go down over Fethiye

  5. I’m so happy to see all your great photos because my own ones were all overexposed so I never had a record of them (and I all my other stays were in weather too hot for climbing). I think these might be the best shots I’ve seen online.

  6. I’ve only seen the Lycian rock tombs from a distance. Probably because I have only been to Fethiye in the height of summer when it was too hot to walk uphill, but they are truly fascinating.

  7. @ Cally: Wow, high praise indeed. Thanks very much. The weather was perfect for photos on the day we went.

    @ Italian Notes: Summer is NOT the time to be considering a little jaunt up to the Fethiye rock tombs. No wonder you’ve only seen them from a distance. 🙂

  8. Amazing spot and shots as well! have you walked up to the Amyntas tomb? Great! I’ve been told that Fethiye is pretty nice but didn’t expected such beauties!

  9. I have seen the tombs at Dalyan but didn’t realise that they were at Fethiye as well.It’s incredible to realize how old they are!

  10. @ Francy R: Thank you. The third photo down is the Amyntas tomb and that’s the one we walked up to. Fethiye is very pretty. 🙂

    @ Jenny: There are Lycian tombs along the coast between Marmaris and Antalya. It is amazing how they’re all surviving – hopefully they’ll be restored soon. 🙂

  11. Great photos. I haven’t seen the tombs for about 20 years so you’ve reminded me that it’s time for a trip.

  12. @ BacktoBodrum: Thank you. We were thinking the same thing about Bodrum – although it’s not 20 years since we were last there. 🙂

  13. I’ve seen the Lycian tombs at Myra, similar in many ways… although I suspect Amyntas and the rest in Fethiye has a better and more intersting view. Such fascinating monuments to leave to posterity.

  14. This looks amazing – history, views and food, my kind of climb.

  15. @ Sophie: A long, long time since we went to Myra but I remember it being pretty impressive. Great to have a stretch of coastline with so many interesting monuments to explore. Especially ones right on our doorstep in Fethiye! 🙂

    @ Laurel: It’s a while since we actually stopped to look at the rock tombs but they are pretty special aren’t they – especially when there’s a drink at the top, like you said. 🙂

  16. Great photos…they look amazing. I would love to go there, but the climb would probably knock me out. It is so impresive those rock carvings and most gorgeous views. Thanks for sharing, I just love your Blog.

  17. @Erica (Irene): Sometimes, we overlook things that are so close to us and it’s a long time since we’ve been right up to the rock tombs. Great to do it again.

    And thank you for the lovely compliment. Brightened up the morning! 🙂

  18. Anonymous says:

    Your pictures and account of the climb to the Lycian tombs are so impressive. I am going to be there end of July of this year and want to go up to the tombs. Other than being a steep climb – is it a difficult one to do in the morning hours when it’s not yet too hot? Deb

    • Thank you very much Deb. An early morning stroll would be good or even sunset if you want to combine it with a meal or drink at King’s Garden Restaurant just at the foot of the tombs. Either of those two times is perfect. 🙂

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