Tlos: the oldest Lycian city

Forget about UNESCO. If your guidebook on Turkey doesn’t say that Tlos is an exceptional site to visit, throw it away. 🙂 Yes, UNESCO sites have an outstanding cultural or heritage value, but the list shouldn’t result in you losing out on a remarkable place to visit just because it wasn’t mentioned in it. Fortunately, we love doing research, venturing off the beaten path, and sharing our findings. Trust us, when coming to Kalkan or Fethiye, make a detour to Tlos. You won’t regret it.

Tlos, Lycian Rock Tombs

Tlos, playing in the major league

Tlos is one of the six cities forming the Lycian League, along with Olympos, MyraPataraPınara, and Xanthos. While Xanthos is already on the Unesco World Heritage List, Tlos has to be happy with a place on the temporary list for the time being. Things may change since excavations in Tlos only started in 2005.

Some of the significant statues discovered on the site, like the one of Emperor Hadrian (from the famous gate in Antalya), are now exposed at the Fethiye Müze. But it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that there are plenty more objects waiting for their uncovering under the rich greenery that covers Tlos’ soil. That is why, even today, Tlos is a player in the major league of things to visit in Turkey.

Tlos, Amphitheater

A fascinating mix of impressive buildings and extraordinary details

When visiting Tlos, make sure you take the time to walk around. At first glance, you may think it will be a short visit. Don’t let its low key atmosphere mislead you. This is a big site with a rich past. Being one of the most significant religious Lycian sites, Tlos was subsequently inhabited by Romans, Byzantines and eventually Ottoman Turks.

And while the site is still relatively untouched, many of the structures have stood the test of time. Apart from the almost obligatory theater, you will find a stadium that could seat about 3.500 spectators, a pool, a Byzantine Basilica, a temple dedicated to Kronos, several Roman baths, a Necropolis, and an Acropolis and Citadel perched on the steep cliffs covered with Lycian Rock Tombs and sarcophagi. And while Tlos is stretched out, it has a lovely and intimate feel.

Tlos, Roman Bath

Tlos, Lycian Sarcophagus

Beauty all around

The beauty of Tlos goes way beyond the site itself. The setting is amazing, with mountains and valleys on all sides. We could provide you with an in-depth historical background of the site, or a description of all the emotions that came over us as we walked around for hours without encountering one single person. But we are quite confident that these pictures speak for themselves. Please click on them to enjoy them in full format and get ready to add a visit to Tlos to your Turkey bucket list.

Entangled in today’s life

Tlos is situated in Yakaköy; a small farmers village overlooking the Xanthos valley. Life goes at its silent pace, and the villagers have gotten used to being surrounded by historical artifacts that seem to be appealing to foreign visitors. They use the lands to let their cows and goats graze. After all, these are fertile lands, so why not make use of them?

This is probably another reason why Tlos is so enchanting: apart from the ticket booth, it just seems to be in its natural state. Yes, there are some information boards explaining what you are looking at. And some buildings have gates to prevent you from getting hit by a falling stone. But never do you get the feeling you are at a tourist attraction. All you feel is you are walking around in an amazing part of Turkey.

Tlos, a working village

Practical information to visit Tlos, Turkey

Tlos (or Yakaköy nowadays) lies in the hinterlands the towns of Fethiye and Kalkan, and you reach it by leaving the D400 connecting both cities. There are road signs to help you when in doubt. There is a small entrance fee to be paid.

You will find some small hotels in Yakaköy and its broader area. We particularly liked Natural Springs Retreat. Apart from having its own stream and natural pool, you have the option to sleep in an authentic yurt or a treehouse. Natural Springs Retreat is on the road to Tlos, at about 5 minutes by car.

✔️ Have you been to Tlos? Then please head over to our Turkey Trip Planner to leave a review. Alternatively, if you plan on visiting, you can add the site to your bucket list.

All local airports in Turkey, including Dalaman and Antalya, have smooth connections with Istanbul airports if required. You’ll find cheap flight options here.

Make sure to read our Turkey Travel resources page, which contains essential information about traveling to Turkey, including links to the E-visa website and much more.

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We’re all different people, so check these reviews on TripAdvisor to find out what others have to say about Tlos. Just know we’ve visited each place personally and all photos are our own. So, basically, what you see is what you get. If you have any questions about a place, feel free to ask. You can send us a message through our contact page, or leave a comment on our Facebook page.

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! 😉

Visit other places in the area. If you like Tlos, you may find Pınara or Cadianda are lovely to visit too.

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! 😉

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.

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! 😉

We’re all different people, so check these reviews on TripAdvisor to find out what others have to say about Tlos. Just know we’ve visited each place personally and all photos are our own. So, basically, what you see is what you get. If you have any questions about a place, feel free to ask. You can send us a message through our contact page, or leave a comment on our Facebook page.

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! 😉

Visit other places in the area. If you like Tlos, you may find Pınara or Cadianda are lovely to visit too.

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! 😉

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.

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!

LISTS & REVIEWS

Bookmark your favorite places, find other destinations nearby, get directions from your location, and read or leave reviews.

Our Turkey Trip Planner wad designed to do just that. You'll find all our favorite spots in one place, including scenic road stops.

Map of Turkey

Do you like to see things on a map? On our interactive tourist map of Turkey, you'll spot nearby points of interest right away. We've done the heavy lifting for you. Just click on the icons to go to each post.

Enjoy our practical and inspirational map of Turkey!

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Tlos: the oldest Lycian city