Dalyan River Cruise to the Ruins at Kaunos
- Dalyan: A drive through forests, orange groves, and cotton fields brings you to this small riverside fishing town.
- Dalyan River cruise: As you cruise down this winding waterway through a maze of reeds, you'll have incredible views of the facades of Lycian temple-like tombs.
- Kaunos: Excavated only recently, this city reveals a remarkable past. See the acropolis, the 5,000-seat theater, temples, an agora, baths, a stoa, city walls, and more.
About this Marmaris tour
Ancient Kaunos was a mystery for centuries. Abandoned in the 1400s, it was gradually covered in sediment and lost in time. The city's story was uncovered as regular excavations began in the 1960s. Once a prospering two seaport area, its fortunes changed dramatically as silt began filling its bay. It gradually became a poor, landlocked city and, when a malaria epidemic struck in the 15th-century, its remaining citizens fled.
You might still picture a prosperous seaport in its glory days. The buildings and streets you'll explore in this impressive archeological site are from the 4th century B.C. Wandering the ruins that cascade down the slope to the former harbors, imagine the people of Kaunos strolling along stone lanes, wealthy citizens relaxing at the baths, and rapt crowds at a performance in the theater.
The most celebrated sights at Kaunos are the remarkable 4th-century riverside temple tombs. The Lycian tombs are cut into cliffs along the main approach to a former harbor. These elaborate structures are believed to be tombs of Kaunos' aristocracy. Viewed from the river, as you'll see them, they are hauntingly beautiful and among Turkey's most stunning sights.
Kaunos' ancient tombs and architecture are impressive, but this area is also known for something that's been here even longer. Daylan's iconic turtles andndash; the caretta caretta or loggerhead turtles honored on the town's statue have been roaming the world for about 65 million years. Nearby Iztuzu Beach is a refuge for this endangered species, and locals are resolved to keeping them safe. Clearly, this riverside town has both a natural and a cultural heritage to treasure.
Tales of taboo and trauma
Legend holds that King Kaunos, Apollo's grandson, founded ancient Kaunos. Kaunos' twin sister, Byblis, was in love with him and died of sorrow when her incestuous desires were rebuffed but not before she cried enough tears to create the Dalyan River. Kaunos has endured attacks by pirates, a 15th-century malaria epidemic, an earthquake, and layers of sediment that buried it for hundreds of years.
Arriving by cruise ship? A representative will meet you near the pier. Staying in hotel? Your guide will be waiting in the lobby. Make sure you specify the name of your cruise ship or hotel at check out. At the meeting time, look for our logo sign. Please bring a printed copy of your voucher. If you are arriving at Dalyan Airport Domestic Terminal, pick-up will be at Baggage Claim. If arriving by International Arrivals, meet outside of Customs. Call the operator at the meeting point.
A portion of this tour is conducted by boat.
Don't forget your camera for some amazing photo opportunities along your tour!
Flat, comfortable shoes are highly recommended on this tour.
Due to the nature of this tour, it is not recommend for travelers using walkers or wheelchairs. Participants must be able to walk approximately 1 mile over uneven and cobblestone surfaces with inclines and 100+ steps.
Adventure, Cultural, Scenic, Boat Tour
English, German, Spanish, French, Italian
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages.
Special Medical Restriction
This tour is not recommended for travelers with walking difficulties or who cannot manage steps.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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