Spectacular in the spring with snow on the mountains that stand tall behind the theater, it’s an interesting Lycian city in Asia Minor, in the Mediterranean region of Turkey, because of the presence of the Ottoman fortress of “Bloody Ali” (Kanli Ali in Turkish), a local brigand in addition to the Lycian and Roman remains.
The 19th century archaeologist Charles Fellows who re-discovered Tlos in 1838, and several other nearby sites, had this to say about the approach to Tlos: “The whole ride down this upper valley is beautiful and varies continually; it’s scenery, on approaching the bold Greek like situation of the ancient city of Tlos, is strikingly picturesque”.
Nice to approach on foot if you feel up to it. A dolmus (local transportation by minibus) running along the little road that serves Xanthos and Saklikent can drop you at the bottom of the access road and the 4 kilometers (2,5 miles) hike gives you a feeling for the situation of the city. It’s the sort of site you can take in quickly or linger on for an afternoon.
Here you can see the tomb of Bellephoron. The carvings on the tomb represent Tlos’ main claim to archaeological significance. On the slope of the hill there are several Lycian sarcophagi and some other rock tombs. Another feature is Yedikapi, The seven doors or gates in Turkish. Following signs for the Hamam or Turkish baths you’ll come to a very dramatic set of seven arches overlooking the whole valley. Don’t miss the theater. Some charming carvings scattered about and the backdrop of the mountain range and the valley is hard to beat for spectacle. Other ruins in the city include a Roman stadium with a capacity of 2,500 people and a 150 meters-long agora (market) next to it.