Dalyan is a smaller town which was once a village of fishermen and farmers. Centrally located in the midst of the best of holiday locations on the south coast of Turkey, it has many advantages as a holiday destination. It is close to the famous Iztuzu Beach where the protected loggerhead turtles lay their eggs each summer. Just a 30 minute drive from Dalaman International Airport it lies right in the middle of the most visited tourist destinations along the Mediterranean coast. Spectacular nature abounds everywhere around Dalyan that can be seen and experienced by taking boat trips, jeep tours, or by going on a guided trek to enchanting locations which exist in every direction. It is the ideal destination on the Turkish Riviera because of it's spectacular beauty and it's convenient proximity to the best that a holiday in Turkey has to offer.
Twelve kilometers from the centre of Dalyan lies the five kilometer long sandbar that juts out from the mainland into the Mediterranean Sea. This site was earmarked for development until it was brought to the attention of authorities that it was one of the last nesting grounds for the endangered Loggerhead Turtle. A campaign with David Bellamy and a local conservationist Kaptan June (Haimhoff) were successful in stopping the development of Iztuzu Beach . Chaise lounges and beach umbrellas for rent are available at the beach, and cold drinks and snacks are served throughout the day. To reach Iztuzu, you can either take DolmuÅŸ (mini-bus), or a boat. The boat trip takes approximately 30 minutes, winding its way down the river through the rustling reeds to the open tip of the beach. The Dolmus travels lakeside through beautiful winding roads down to the Beach, and this takes around 20 minutes. In either way the trip itself is worth experiencing and the price is quite reasonable.
Every Saturday in the center of Dalyan is the weekly market known in Turkish as Pazar. Fresh fruits, vegetables, cheese, and olives are offered for sale by local farmers. There is also a large selection of clothes, shoes, housewares, tools, fabrics, and numerous other items that are sold under the cover of large canvas tent-like awnings. A great way to spend a Saturday morning before settling on a restaurant for lunch.
The ancient city of Kaunos stands midway along the channel. It grew into a major area on the border between Lycia and Karia, where the people were said to be famous for their yellowish skin and eyes. ( due to Malaria ) Kaunos was known to be the son of Miletus and the Grandson of Apollo, he is believed to have fled from the city because of the unnatural feelings between himself and his sister. The city sprawls over a broad slope overlooking the sea and delta. At Kaunos there is an Acropolis surrounded by the city walls that are Byzantine, a theatre, four temples, an Angora , Roman baths, Palestra and a Cistern. The harbour that continually silted up is one of the two major reasons for the demise of the city, eventually carrying the coast line 5 kilometers away from the city. The second disaster was the outbreak of malaria because of the shared belief of the inhabitants of Kaunos that the mosquito was a sacred creature.
Kaunos has a long and varied history and is well worth a visit. You can visit Kaunos at any time although it is advisable to avoid the midday sun. First you will have to cross the Dalyan channel by rowing boat then walk up to the city. Kaunos can also be visited as part of a day tour.
Along the channel of the Dalyan Delta towards Köyceğiz are The Sultaniye Thermal baths with the water that is 40 degrees C. The water has been used since Hellenistic times, first by the Karians then the Byzantines. The ruins from these buildings are now submerged. The water which contains radioactive elements (harmless) and hydrogen sulphur are believed to cure rheumatism, skin disorders, liver, spleen and bowel complaints, as well as being beneficial for nervous and digestive disorders.
On the road towards Iztuzu Beach just outside of Dalyan is Sülünger Lake where you'll often find local Turkish families enjoying a picnic by the shore. This is a beautiful lake close to Dalyan that is preserved by prohibiting the use of motorboats on it. There is a restaurant by the edge of the lake where you can enjoy a meal or a cold beer while taking in the beauty that surrounds you.