Cultural Attraction In Fethiye, Turkey: The Ancient Lycian Rock Tombs

Cultural Attraction In Fethiye, Turkey: The Ancient Lycian Rock Tombs
| 3 min read

Carved in the mountainside of Fethiye, Turkey, the Lycian Rock Tombs create a magical picture of a masterfully adorned mountain with impressive Temple entrances. No wonder this site is the landmark of Fethiye.

Located south of the city center, the site includes temples carved into the facade of the city’s mountainside. The most iconic of all is the Tomb of Amyntas that was built in 350 BC by the Lycians who lived in the area. Being only a short hike from Fethiye city center, it is a nice way to spend an afternoon exploring those amazing carved rocks and admire the sunset over the city of Fethiye. Read on to discover more about this unique attraction and how to get there!

Lycian Rock Tombs

cultural attraction in fethiye, turkey: the ancient lycian rock tombs | lycian rock tombs

Dating back to 400 B.C., the Rock Tombs were built by the Lycians, a population that occupied the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. Believing in the afterlife, they used to carve tombs into the sides of hills and mountains for the deceased prominent members of their society. The deceased were buried with their most valued possessions, believing that these objects would accompany them to the afterlife. Being victims of pillage, today the Tombs are empty inside. Various Lycian Rock Tombs exist along the provinces of Antalya and Muğla on the southern coast of Turkey, which was once the Lycian Coast, but the most impressive ones are in Fethiye.

Located right above the town of Fethiye, the tombs are visible from the city center. They look like the entryways of temples with Ionian style columns. Time and weather conditions caused their decay and the older tombs are nothing more than holes in the cliff. However, there are some remnants that show their previous glory, with the most exquisite among them, the Tomb of Amyntas.

Tomb of Amyntas

cultural attraction in fethiye, turkey: the ancient lycian rock tombs | tomb of amyntas

The most impressive and famous Tomb of Fethiye is the Tomb of Amyntas, not only because it is the highest of them all and the best preserved compared to others, but also because it has fascinating views of Fethiye city and port. An old inscription on the tomb states that it is the resting place of Amyntas, the son of Hermagios (Hermapias), but nothing more is known about the family or the tomb.

In order to get to the Tomb of Amyntas, you have to walk up the 296 stone steps towards it. The tomb is very impressive from up close. It has two carved stone columns and a small entry on the right side but it is empty inside.

Take your time and relax at the tomb, admiring the wonderful views of Fethiye.

Breathtaking views of the city

cultural attraction in fethiye, turkey: the ancient lycian rock tombs | breathtaking views of the city

By the time you reach the Tomb of Amyntas, just turn around. It is the best place to have a panoramic view of Fethiye. You’ll be able to see the port, and if the sky is clear, you can even see the Greek island of Rhodes. The best time to walk up for the best views is during sunset. The tombs are not usually crowded, so you will have the time to stay there and gaze towards the sun as it is sets over Fethiye.

Location and access

cultural attraction in fethiye, turkey: the ancient lycian rock tombs | location and access

Located to the south of Fethiye, the Lycian Rock Tombs are only a 15-minute uphill hike from the mini bus station (dolmus) that is set in the city center. As soon as you arrive to the tombs, there is an entrance fee of 5 TRY (1.5 USD) in order to go up the stairs to the Tomb of Amyntas.

The 296 stairs extending in front of you will take you to the top of the Tomb of Amyntas, the highest point of the site. It is a very easy hike, suitable for families with children.

Admire the Lycian Rock Tombs and the incredible view of Fethiye

Fethiye is a bustling city with a beautiful and busy boardwalk, full of taverns and shops. Ideal for city lovers, it can offer great cultural attractions like the aforementioned Tomb of Amyntas but also a relaxing place. As a seaside resort, daily boat trip operate every day. Choose from different destinations and explore even more of its surroundings: book the 12-island boat trip, go snorkelling, diving or even fishing! You can even visit the close island of Rhodes and just hop over to Greece!

In light of the February 2023 earthquake that devastated Turkey and Syria, Trip101 urges you to be apprised of the latest news if you have any plans to travel to Eastern Turkey. Other parts of the country remain open to travelers.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our Privacy Policy for more information on how we use your data

Travelling since 1999, I created my blog so my memories won't fade as time goes by. Passionate about travelling and music festivals, I try to combine them both. My motto is "I travel to live, I...Read more

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Fethiye City Center
Good things are meant to be shared!
Back to top