There is a lot of information about Dalyan on the internet. Nevertheless, we would like to give you a short introduction.
Dalyan is a small town near the south-western coast of Turkey. It is about 25km from Dalaman International Airport and has around 5000 inhabitants. Dalyan is situated on the old border between Lycia and Caria in an area naturally protected by the surrounding mountains. It is one of the few paradisical places on Earth and is an oasis of natural beauty.
This idyllic town can be found on the banks of the River Dalyan and is unspoilt by mass tourism. The town is at its most romantic in the mornings when the colourful fleet of boats full of tourists sets off down the river to the glorious beach at the mouth of the delta. The journey takes about 35 pleasurable and unforgettable minutes from Dalyan harbour down through the reed beds. The whole delta is a nationally protected area and is home to more that 125 species of birds. Three kinds of turtles, including the Caretta Carreta or Loggerhead Turtle, can be seen in this magical area and the diversity of the flora will also astound you.
When you are in Dalyan, you do not have to go to the beach every day. You can spend the morning relaxing in the hotel and take a walk along the river or through the town in search of a quiet place to lunch in the afternoon. In the cool of the evening you can take your pick of the excellent restaurants and bars along the river. The fish in Dalyan is excellent and it is the perfect accompaniment to a chilled beer while watching the Kings’ Tombs slowly sink into shadow as the sun goes down. Dalyan is a quiet town, so don’t expect clubs full of partying and dancing holidaymakers at every street corner.
The town centre is full of small, charming shops where you can buy genuine Turkish products. If the shops in Dalyan are not enough for you, there is a weekly bazaar every Saturday. Here you can buy clothes, handmade goods, fresh food and much more. Dalyan offers a holiday experience characterized by its peace and quiet, where you can be close to nature and enjoy its comfortable and relaxed atmosphere.
Dalyan means fishing net or fish trap in Turkish. These netted fish traps were then hung on poles in the river in order to catch the fish swimming upstream to spawn. Traces of these traps can still be seen today. In the past Dalyan was a small fishing village, but that changed with the discovery of the threatened Loggerhead Turtle, leading to the delta being pronounced a protected area. Since 1989, Turkey has been taking active steps towards preserving the Loggerhead Turtles’ habitat. At the moment, Dalyan is the prime protected area for these turtles in the whole of Turkey and has therefore retained its natural charm and beauty. It has become a haven of peace that has blossomed due to the serious traveller. In short, Dalyan is a unique destination packed with culture, history, natural beauty and unprecedented hospitality.
Istuzu beach, perhaps the most beautiful beach in Europe:
The Dalyan channel, through which the river flows down from Lake Köycegiz to the Meditteranean, meanders its way to the sea via a narrow network of lakes and waterways. The water laps against the rustling reedbeds which stand up to three meters high. The mixture of fresh and brackish water has made this delta the perfect home for numerous species of birds, fish and other aquatic wildlife. The Meditteranean can be reached by boat, the impressive journey only taking 30 to 40 minutes. The delta mouth is nearly completely closed off by the 6km long Iztuzu beach which has been labelled one of Europe’s finest beaches. It is a gorgeous sandy beach with the delta on one side and the turquoise Meditteranean on the other. You can also visit the Sarigerme beach, as an alternative. It too is a quiet and dazzlingly beautiful sandy beach which can best be reached by scooter, the journey taking about 40 minutes. On the way there, there are plenty of places where you can take photos or have a picnic. Driving or sailing inland is also to be recommended: you can take a boat trip up river to Lake Köycegiz which makes a lovely and refreshing day trip. For more information, please contact us at the hotel.
Turtles in Dalyan:
The Loggerhead Turtle is a threatened species and is on the internationa red list for threatened fauna. These turtles, with their large heads and reddish-brown shell, come to the Iztuzu beach between May and September to lay their eggs. They have yellowish-white underparts and can reach lengths of ca.1m. The turtle only attains maturity after 15 years and can easily weigh between 80-200kg; some specimens have been found to weigh 545kg!
The adult turtles meet in the lagoon of the Dalyan delta a few weeks before the female lays her eggs. Here they feed before the lengthy and very audible mating takes place. The females return to the beach on average once every three years, laying clutches of between 140-160 eggs during the season. No parasols may be stuck into the sand on this beach because these animals and their nests are protected. The beach is also only accessible at certain times for the same reason. The known nests on the beach are clearly marked.
Ancient rock tombs in Dalyan:
These tombs are the final resting places of the kings of Caunos and have been carved into the rocks in the Lycian style. There are two types of tombs in Dalyan: the simple tombs and the much larger temple tombs. Many of the tombs were built with a false wall, behind which treasures were hidden in order to fool grave robbers. This strategy did not work and the tombs have been plundered. There are similar rock tombs all along the Lycian coast, but the most well-preserved are to be found in Dalyan.
Dalyan mud baths:
Dalyan has many therapeutic thermal springs. The sulphurous waters are good for rheumatism, skin complaints and spleen, liver and stomach problems.
The Sultaniye Thermal Bath is very famous throughout Turkey and its water is a glorious 40°C. The locals can get a visit to these springs on prescription and its waters have been used since Hellenistic times. The mud baths are also very good for the skin: smear the mud onto your body and let it dry out before rinsing it off. It is fascinating to watch and will undoubtedly provide many amusing photo opportunities!
Low-rise building in Dalyan:
Dalyan’s protected status means that buildings in the town may not exceed three floors. Riverside buildings may only have a ground floor. In this way Dalyan has retained its authentic character.
In short, Dalyan has something for everyone!
You can find much more local information at our hotel and we are always ready to help you find your way around.
We hope you have a lovely stay in Dalyan and look forward to welcoming you as a guest in our Dalyando.