Where are those cliffs I have heard about with temples carved into the face of the rock, and how do you get there?

Temple tombs at Dalyan

Dalyan River – the six rock cut temple-tombs carved into the mountainside – 186 tombs in all

Those cliffs, as you call them, are the precipitous side of a mountain in the Dalyan River valley that can best be reached from a gulet cruise on our luxurious M/S ‘Odysseus’.

It is necessary to take a riverboat to get up close because there is a sand bar at the mouth of the Dalyan River and the water is very shallow.

After boating up the river, you will see an amazing panorama of six very large rock cut temple-tombs with columns and pediments. These are the gables of sloping roofs, and they are cut into the sheer face of the Baliklar Mountains and accompanied by many smaller and simpler tombs, 186 in all, and forming part of the necropolis (the city of the dead) of the nearby ancient city of Caunus.

The carving of the rock face is deep, running behind the columns, so they appear to stand in a porch with a doorway behind, which is the entrance to the burial chamber containing three reclining seats and one or more sarcophagi. They are thought to have been carved about the 2nd quarter of the 4th century BC and many visitors are reminded of Petra in Jordan.

Posted by Dargan Bullivant. Partner, Odysseus Cruising