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5 reasons to visit Rhodiapolis despite the restoration scandal

Rhodiapolis had been on our list for a long time, but we kept driving past it, always on the road to somewhere else. Somehow, other places on the list always won the battle when we decided on our next place to visit. Until recently, when we finally decided it was time to give it a chance. The thing about Rhodiapolis is that it remained under most people’s radar, apart from a restoration scandal a few years ago that made it to the local press in Turkey. So, what’s the deal with the restoration scandal? And is Rhodiapolis worth a visit? Check it out in this post with five reasons to visit Rhodiapolis despite the restoration scandal!

Glorious Rhodiapolis With Its Theatre In The Background

Glorious Rhodiapolis With Its Theatre In The Background

1. Rhodiapolis is the kind of place you have to yourself

We have a soft spot for places off the beaten track. The reason is obvious; you hardly ever have to share the experience with other visitors, which makes the impressions so much more intense. As it happens, Rhodiapolis fits the picture perfectly. Upon arrival, you immediately notice that a lot has been invested in this otherwise deserted ancient site. The buildings to house the ticket booth and other facilities are there, as well as toilets, and a guard. But, while there may be a ticket office, there’s no entrance fee to be paid. And soon the modern infrastructure and newly laid paths make way for a more untouched scenery of a dirt path, leading us up to the ancient city above.

It Pays Off To Always Have An Eye For Detail

It Pays Off To Always Have An Eye For Detail

The Well Preserved Staircase At The Side Of The Theatre

The Well Preserved Staircase At The Side Of The Theatre

2. The restoration scandal is a bit exaggerated

We had read about the restoration scandal before our visit, and we have to admit it; seen from the entrance of the site, the restored buildings above look remarkably new and shiny. In fact, we were wondering if those buildings were part of the site or not. It turns out those were the parts of Rhodiapolis that have been restored: the Theatre, and the Tomb of Opramoas, built right at the bottom of the Theatre. The walls of Opramoas’ monumental tomb in Rhodiapolis contain inscriptions of several letters and documents. You’ll see fragments of twelve letters he sent to Roman Emperors, nineteen letters to different Roman officials, and thirty-three documents associated with the Lycian League.

Whatever Could Be Saved, Was Reused

Whatever Could Be Saved, Was Reused

Opramoas, whose father was from Rhodiapolis, was a coeval of the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161). He was a wealthy Lycian, if not the richest, and he helped many Lycian cities and poor individuals with generous contributions. After a devastating earthquake in 141 AD, Myra and Tlos both received an enormous amount of money to rebuild the civil buildings that had been destroyed.

Opramoas Tomb At Golden Hour

Opramoas Tomb At Golden Hour

So, why do people call the restoration a scandal? While most people are shocked at how ‘awfully new’ the restored parts look, this is not the reason for the scandal. After all, the restoration works were carried out with the right local stones and materials, but they look a bit off because of the difference in color between the century-old ruins, and the newly restored parts. The major issue with the restoration works appears to be the location of the inscribed blocks in Opramoas’ Tomb. What do we think? As laymen, we have no way of verifying whether the inscribed blocks are in the right place or not. And while we agree that the restored elements and structures ‘hit you in the face’, they were carried out with the right materials, so with time, things are going to blend in a bit more. Also, rebuilding Opramoas’ Tomb gives you a unique insight into the monumental size and the unique inscribed walls of this building. Some of the old-world-charm is gone, but you do get something else in return.

Frontal View Of Opramoas Tomb

Frontal View Of Opramoas Tomb

3. There’s a lot still standing to testify to its history

Like the Theatre, most of the structures still standing in Rhodiapolis today, date back to the Roman and Byzantine era. You’ll discover a few temples, a church, cisterns, a bathhouse, an imperial cult sanctuary, and an agora with a stoa, next to remains of houses, and necropolises. There are no information boards on-site, so you’ll have to use your imagination during your visit. Be careful where you walk, you do not want to end up on the bottom of a cistern!

Overview Of Rhodiapolis Agora With Two Deep Cisterns At The Center Of The Picture

Overview Of Rhodiapolis Agora With Two Deep Cisterns At The Center Of The Picture

Mausoleum At Rhodiapolis

Mausoleum At Rhodiapolis

4. Hilltop positions offer great views

Rhodiapolis is located on a hilltop near the town of Kumluca. From the site, you have great views of the area, the sea, and unfortunately, the greenhouses. Still, views like these are magnificent, and it isn’t hard to imagine what it must have been like back in the heydays of this city.

Rhodiapolis Theatre Seen From Above

Rhodiapolis Theatre Seen From Above

Rhodiapolis Ruins With Many Greenhouses Below

Rhodiapolis Ruins With Many Greenhouses Below

5. It’s the perfect combi with Limyra

Less than half an hour away by car, you’ll find another ancient Lycian city: Limyra. No hilltop position there, but ruins where you can swim in. Both sites are historically interesting and have their charm. But none of the two are places that you’d drive across the country for unless you have a particular interest in their history. If you are in the area, they are well worth a visit, especially if you’re into avoiding the crowds and off-beat places.

Still Life At Rhodiapolis

Still Life At Rhodiapolis

The Rebuilt Tomb Of Opramoas

The Rebuilt Tomb Of Opramoas

Check out the tabs below for more practical information to help you prepare your Rhodiapolis visit.
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Source: livius.org

Restoration works at Rhodiapolis are ongoing, so you may find specific sections closed for the public during your visit.

We’re all for a broader perspective, so please check these reviews on TripAdvisor to find out what other travelers say about Rhodiapolis. Do you still have questions? You can send us a message through our contact page, or join our closed Facebook group where other Turkey travelers and aficionados are ready and eager to help.

Turkey is a perfectly safe country to travel, except for these risks. Still, you should never travel without proper insurance. We love World Nomads’ travel insurance. We love their philosophy and their take on responsible travel, but also the fact that they cover popular activities in Turkey such as paragliding or balloon rides.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Rhodiapolis is very near the ancient site of Limyra. We advise to visit them both if you are in the area.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

The closest city near Rhodiapolis is Kumluca, almost right next to it, you’ll find the tourist resort of Finike. If you ask us, you’ll find more charming accommodation near Olympos, which is not too far away. We can highly recommend Lukkies Lodge as our favorite place to stay in the area!

We still love to use Booking.com when searching for the perfect hotel or vacation rental in Turkey. Unfortunately, the website isn’t accessible from within Turkey without the use of a VPN. If you don’t have a VPN, and you’re already in Turkey, Hotels.com is a good alternative.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

When searching for flights, we like to use Skyscanner. It’s easy to use, and reliable. Find the best flights to Turkey and domestic flights that will take you all around the country here.

Do you prefer some good old road tripping? Once you get used to the unconventional driving style in Turkey, you’ll love to hit the road. After all, it’s all about the journey, and you may expect some very scenic rides! Renting a car in Turkey is easy. If you’re looking for an established car rental company that allows pick-up and drop-off at different airports, check out Europcar. They have offices all over Turkey.

Rhodiapolis lies just outside the town of Kumluca. The road is very well signposted. You’ll arrive at a dead-end after which you can follow a path to the ancient site.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Restoration works at Rhodiapolis are ongoing, so you may find specific sections closed for the public during your visit.

We’re all for a broader perspective, so please check these reviews on TripAdvisor to find out what other travelers say about Rhodiapolis. Do you still have questions? You can send us a message through our contact page, or join our closed Facebook group where other Turkey travelers and aficionados are ready and eager to help.

Turkey is a perfectly safe country to travel, except for these risks. Still, you should never travel without proper insurance. We love World Nomads’ travel insurance. We love their philosophy and their take on responsible travel, but also the fact that they cover popular activities in Turkey such as paragliding or balloon rides.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Rhodiapolis is very near the ancient site of Limyra. We advise to visit them both if you are in the area.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

The closest city near Rhodiapolis is Kumluca, almost right next to it, you’ll find the tourist resort of Finike. If you ask us, you’ll find more charming accommodation near Olympos, which is not too far away. We can highly recommend Lukkies Lodge as our favorite place to stay in the area!

We still love to use Booking.com when searching for the perfect hotel or vacation rental in Turkey. Unfortunately, the website isn’t accessible from within Turkey without the use of a VPN. If you don’t have a VPN, and you’re already in Turkey, Hotels.com is a good alternative.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

When searching for flights, we like to use Skyscanner. It’s easy to use, and reliable. Find the best flights to Turkey and domestic flights that will take you all around the country here.

Do you prefer some good old road tripping? Once you get used to the unconventional driving style in Turkey, you’ll love to hit the road. After all, it’s all about the journey, and you may expect some very scenic rides! Renting a car in Turkey is easy. If you’re looking for an established car rental company that allows pick-up and drop-off at different airports, check out Europcar. They have offices all over Turkey.

Rhodiapolis lies just outside the town of Kumluca. The road is very well signposted. You’ll arrive at a dead-end after which you can follow a path to the ancient site.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

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Check the weather

Never wonder about the weather in Turkey again. The Turkish climate is as diverse as the country with significant differences between the regions.

This page contains the current weather and weather statistics for all regions in Turkey.

Prepare your trip

How to order a tourist visa for Turkey?

What about public transport?
Can you skip the line at Istanbul Airports?

General Turkey travel information, essential to help prepare your trip, on one page!

Work with us

Get direct access to your target audience with a proven interest in Turkey. People call us their Turkey Bible!

Contact us for a feature on our map, a destination guide, a photo shoot, or any form of professional Turkey-related content.

Ask a traveler

Are you unsure about a destination, activity or hotel? Why don’t you ask other travelers about their experience?

We have a closed Facebook group where you can ask all Turkey-related questions. You’ll get solid advice and travel inspiration.

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#Rhodiapolis remained under the radar for a long time, until the restoration #scandal. Is it really this bad? Check out our photos and judge for yourself. - #Turkey #ancientsites