Dalyan and Kaunos

Dalyan and Kaunos is a paradise on earth with its waters reaching the sea from its labyrinth-like delta, the ancient city of Kaunos overlooking the Mediterranean from a high hill, king tombs carved into the rocks, vast beaches and protected caretta carettas.

Kaunos Rock Tombs

Dalyan is one of the places where mother nature acts most privileged… Visitors who come here welcome the magnificent tombs carved into rocks for their kings by the people of Kaunos, who lived in this land thousands of years ago. Kings watch the sea as if thousands of years have not passed, and their civilizations have not mixed with the dusty pages of history. It’s as if he’s trying to figure out whether his visitors are friend or foe.

Although different opinions are put forward for the date of its foundation, the traces of Kaunos go back to the 10th century BC. Today, the ancient settlement, built on the hills opposite the Dalyan city center, has remained so hidden that it does not give any clue when viewed from below. Transportation to the “Kaunos Archaeological Site” is provided by motor vehicles. Boats departing from Dalyan dock at the pier of the stairs leading to the ruins.

The city hidden in the hill

When you reach the hill, you are astonished by the density of the ruins of the Ancient City. A huge city with its theatre, acropolis, walls and temple ruins stretches before your eyes. One of the most interesting details of the city is the audience seats of the theater, which have survived to the present day. Yes, the architecture of the ancient theater is also different from the traditional theater architecture.

For each audience, stone, single-person seats, almost identical to today’s theater and cinema seats, were designed. When one sits on these stone armchairs and closes his eyes, one gets the feeling that he can go through a time warp and watch an ancient theater play.

Kaunos Ancient Theater

Nature prepared the end

According to historians, the people of Kaunos considered themselves Cretans even though they were descended from Caria. Thanks to its location on the port, Kaunos, a rich trade center, lost its importance, like many ancient cities in the Aegean and Mediterranean, when its harbor was filled with alluvium and disappeared into history.

Strabo, the geographer of the period, describes the city, to which Herodotus also devoted a large space in his writings: Today’s Sülüklü Göl was the port of Kaunos and the sea extended to the structures of the city that can be seen today. The city, which was ruled by famous rulers of the period such as Mausolos, Alexander, Princess Ada, Antigonos, later came under the rule of Rhodes, Pergamum and Rome.

Click  the link in below to see the “Suluklu Lake” route:

They have been watching the sea for 6,000 years.

The urban settlement and the magnificent rock tombs were designed to show how the limits of the human body and mind can be pushed. The height of the Kaunos tombs buried on the slopes reaches 8 meters. In accordance with the ancient burial culture, the people of Kaunos built such ostentatious tombs for their kings, nobles and wealthy people, and buried their dead with their valuables. These tombs, resembling eagles’ nests, are 6,000 years old.

The people who follow the gods

In front of the Kaunos King Tombs buried on the slopes, it is impossible not to admire the determination of the people of Kaunos, who are chasing foreign gods. The people of Kaunos are a very interesting people when you look at the time they lived in. Their mysteries are difficult to unravel, and every document that emerges adds to the questions about them.

Homer describes the people of Caunos, whose lifestyles and beliefs were different from those of other societies at that time: “They adopted a religion for the gods who were foreign to them, but later gave up.

They decided to worship only the gods their fathers knew. Thereupon, the youth of the country took up arms and chased these gods up to the border of Kalynda, waving swords into the air. They say, ‘This is how we chased the foreign gods’. Such are the traditions of this nation.”

Sultaniye’s waters are healing

The places to see in Dalyan are not limited to archaeological sites. Daily tours with motorboats on Dalyan Stream offer enjoyable alternatives. Sultaniye Hot Spring and Iztuzu Beach are among the sightseeing places that should not be missed. It is believed that the healing power of the hot spring waters coming from the Koycegiz region. The real center of healing waters is Sultaniye Thermal Spring. The motors stretching towards Köyceğiz Lake take a break at Sultaniye Hot Spring.

This place truly offers a glimmer of hope to the sick. The natural waters of Sultaniye, which is one of the most valuable spa centers in Turkey in terms of radioactivity level, contain calcium sulfate, calcium sulfide, calcium chloride and radon. Since the water, which is stated to be good for women and skin diseases, rheumatism and sciatica, is claimed to increase sexual power, everyone, local and foreign, flock to these healing waters. Being covered in mud from head to toe and then bathing in healing waters turns into great fun.

How is it possible not to love Iztuzu?

When the waters of Dalyan pass through the canals and meet the Mediterranean Sea, Iztuzu, one of the most beautiful beaches in Turkey, emerges. The beach, which is divided into two at the intersection of the canal with the sea, stretches for kilometers on both sides like a silk cover.

The beauty of this place attracts not only people but also animals. Iztuzu has also been home to the giant sea turtles Caretta Carettas for thousands of years. Carettas under protection do not lay eggs anywhere other than this beach.


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