Dalyan is a town in the highly fertile and productive agricultural area of southern Mugla Province in Turkey. It’s located 40 minutes away from Dalaman Airport, which during the tourist season from April to October has a high number of flights throughout Europe.
At first appearance Dalyan may come across as being a small sleepy town, however, it has a lot to offer.
Things to do
A few km west of Dalyan lays the ancient city of Kaunos with ruins dating back to the 5th century. Due to its geographical location this city was once an important seaport which went under the rule of several different invaders. Every summer archeological excavations still continue.
Kaunos can easily be visited from Dalyan, with many notable buildings including a 5000 seater theater, a Roman bath, a 5th century domed church, and the six rock tombs on the Dalyan river which are considered as one of the prime sites in the area.
Iztuzu beach is a sandy 4.5km long beach near Dalyan. This beach is one of the main breeding grounds for loggerhead sea turtles in the Mediterranean and is often referred to as ‘Turtle Beach’ by the locals. Due to the presence of turtles it is an environmental protection area, consequently special rules apply when visiting the beach.
At the southern end of the beach is the headquarters of the turtle rescue center. The center can be visited by guided tour, in which you can see dozens of saved turtles, and turtles injured by fishing hooks and nets as well as by boat propellers.
For some relaxing and dirty fun, head for the Sultaniye Hot Springs, near the shore of Lake Köyceğiz, These bubbling hot mud pools with temperatures of up to 39°C, contain mineral waters that are rich in chloride, sodium, hydrogen sulphide, and bromide.
There are also a number of smaller baths along the way where the Dalyan river joins the beach, in which you can treat yourself with a mud pack in a steaming hot sulphur pool.
One of the easiest and most convenient ways to see the main highlights of the area is by taking one the many boats moored on the river southwest of Dalyan’s main square. Boats leave the quayside every day at around 10.00am. The tours take you to main tourist attractions in the area. Going to Lake Köyceğiz, the Sultaniye hot springs, Kaunos, and İztuzu Beach.
Every Saturday the Dalyan market is held in the center of the town. This is a market for both tourists and locals, which stocks everything from locally grown fruits and vegetables to the high quality fake designer goods, as well as a wide range of shoes.
When visiting the market remember to never accept the first price, and don’t forget to haggle, haggle, haggle.
Finally, round off your trip to the market with a Gözleme (filled pancake) and watch the boats sail by. Stalls selling Gözleme can be found around the market and fill the air with an appetizing fragrance, and come with a range of fillings from apple, chocolate, potato, and cheese.
Our Top Tips
• Iztuzu Beach is a beautiful beach with gentle safe beach. You can get there by a lovely relaxing boat trip or by bus which takes you to the other side to the Turtle Hospital.
• Lycian Rock Tombs fit beautifully into the rock, as if they were always there, just waiting to be discovered.
• Lake Koycegiz is a beautiful tranquil lake where turtles can be seen. Lovely warm water, perfect for jumping off the boat and having an idyllic float in.
• Take a boat cruise in order to visit unique swim places. Usually the boats are good; the staff is amazing, as well as the food and the trip from start to finish.
• Dalyan mud bath is also a must. You can book the experience from and agency in Dalyan.