Take a cruise down the river between the Mediterranean Sea and Koycegiz Lake to find this gorgeous town, an ancient city, pristine beaches and nesting turtles.
Dalyan is a small town in Turkey’s Muğla province, surrounded by spectacular natural and historical sites. Cruise down Dalyan’s picturesque river to find the umbrella-studded shore of İztuzu Beach. See loggerhead turtles sunning themselves in protected natural reserves, the ruins of an ancient Roman city and monolithic Lycian tombs carved into sheer cliff faces. Visit Dalyan for an experience of rural Turkey and enjoy local produce at the town’s Saturday market.
The Dalyan Çayı (River) is Dalyan’s main waterway, connecting the Mediterranean to Koycegiz Lake. Take a boat trip along the curving river and see a network of lush waterways and wetlands, where an abundance of fish and bird species live among the reeds. The wide sandbar of İztuzu Beach divides the delta and is an idyllic spot for relaxing on a rented beach lounge or on the sand. Go swimming in the warm, shallow waters.
Much of the wetlands make up the Köyceğiz-Dalyan Special Environmental Protection Area. Spot endangered loggerhead and green turtles arriving on İztuzu Beach to lay their eggs between May and October. Wooden stakes mark the turtles’ nesting areas. Storks, cranes and kingfishers can also be seen throughout the wetlands.
Stop by the thermal springs and mud baths near the town center to experience a natural and luxurious wellbeing treatment. Scrub the mineral-enriched mud over your body before washing it off in the lake or on-site shower facilities and relaxing in the hot springs.
See spectacular cliffs rising up from the river further downstream. Find the ancient façades of Lycian tombs, carved into the rock in 400 B.C. Nearby visit Kaunos, a trading city dating back to ancient Greek times. This fascinating site features ruins of an acropolis, a theater and the Heraklion fortress.
Explore Dalyan on a boat cruise. Rent a car to experience the region’s lush landscapes and views of Sülüngür Lake. Public minibuses (dolmuş) connect Dalyan to nearby cities Fethiye and Marmaris. Join a charter tour or rent your own boat for the day. Dalaman Airport is approximately a 40-minute drive away.