Popular holiday region on the Turkish Aegean

Categories: Dalyan Aegean region Turkey

Dalyan is a well-known holiday resort in the southwest of Turkey, located in the county of Ortaca and belonging to the province of Mugla. Pensioners from Great Britain and Germany spend their retirement here. The destination is popular with day trippers, especially for the Saturday market. It is characterized by unique ancient sites and the surrounding natural beauty.
Dalyan - View to the sea© olgun / Fotolia

Dalyan is situated on the canal of the same name, which connects the Köycegiz Gölü Lake with the Mediterranean Sea via a river delta. The nearby Iztuzu beach serves as a harbour for the nearly 5,000 inhabitants. The spawning ground of the loggerhead turtle is under strict protection, as this species is threatened with extinction.

Nevertheless, bathing in Dalyan remains allowed. The highlight is the ancient city of Kaunos with its remarkable rock tombs. Situated between the holiday centres Ölüdeniz and Marmaris, this historical place is often visited.

So far Dalyan has been spared from mass tourism. About 100 pensions and hotels await their guests. Some accommodation is family run. Many former fishermen have exchanged their boats for excursion boats. Today, they accompany holidaymakers in Dalyan to the Sultaniye Spa, Lake Köycegiz or Iztuzu Beach, which the locals call Caretta Beach for short.

With a length of 6 kilometres it is one of the dream beaches on the Mediterranean. Along small islands numerous public boats in Dalyan follow the course of the river to the sea. During the 45-minute trip, with a lot of luck, sea frogs, dice snakes, eagles or kingfishers can be observed. The unique nature park is overgrown with reeds and is home to more than 150 rare bird species.

The tranquil town of Dalyan is lively. Everything is offered one size smaller than in the nearby tourist centers of Marmaris, Antalya or Side. There are restaurants, bars, cafés and shops. At the local mosque there is a cultivated public garden. In the evening the jazz bar next to the hippie pub or top discotheque entertains its guests.

Dalyan has almost everything that night owls love. During the day, hikers and mountain bikers enjoy a wild and romantic mountain landscape with low-traffic paths. The holiday resort is more suitable for those seeking peace and quiet, who want to make excursions to the south Turkish coast or to the hinterland of Lycia from here.

Below the Ölemez mountain lies the healing mud bath of Dalyan. Every year 25,000 tourists visit the hot springs at Lake Köycegiz. The composition of the natural product is said to stimulate the circulation, help with rheumatism and stress.

Dalyan is about 30 kilometres away from Dalaman airport. Many hotels arrange a transfer. With public busses the destination Dalyan can only be reached in a detour. This would require a change at the bus station of Fethiye or Marmaris. During the summer months it is relatively crowded in the holiday area.
Dalyan - View of the beach© muratart / Fotolia

Those who prefer it quieter and cooler should avoid the high season. For active holidaymakers, spring and autumn are considered the best time to travel. In a distance of 10 kilometres - between Fethiye and Dalyan - is the village Sarigerme. Highlights here include a fine sandy beach 20 kilometres long and the offshore island of Baba Adasi. According to the history of the town, Dalyan once belonged to the Greek island of Rhodes and in ancient times was located directly by the sea.

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