Dalyan

Dalyan is a town in Muğla Province, on the south-west coast of Turkey. It is located between the well-known districts of Marmaris and Fethiye. It is close to İztuzu Beach, which is well known as a breeding ground for the endangered loggerhead sea turtles and is popular area for sunbathing and swimming.

Dalyan means "fishing weir" in Turkish and the life in the town revolves around the Dalyan Çayı River which flows past it. There are a lot of boats that float up and down the river and are the preferred means of transport to all the local sites. Bass, Mullet and Sea Bream swim upstream from the sea to Köyceğiz Lake (next to town Köyceğiz). The fish spawn there and when returning to the sea they are caught in the "dalyans". Above the river's sheer cliffs are the weathered façades of Lycian tombs, cut from rock, circa 400 BC. The ruins of the ancient trading city of Kaunos are a short boat trip across the river.

 

İztuzu Beach

The beach is 8km South-West from Dalyan and is 4.5km long. It's a narrow piece of land that forms a natural border between the fresh water delta of the Dalyan river and the Mediterranean sea.

İztuzu beach is also referred to as "Turtle Beach", because it is one of the main breeding grounds for Caretta caretta (Loggerhead Sea Turtle) in the Mediterranean. It is an endangered species that has existed for about 45 million years and is on the Red list of endangered animals. International animal protection organizations monitor and protect the turtles' nesting grounds in Turkey. The beach is closed between 20.00 and 8:00 hours during the period that the turtles lay their eggs and hatchlings go out to sea (May to October).

Watching the sunset is another way to enjoy in Iztuzu beach. Daters or honeymooners will surely enjoy spending their time there. For artists like painters, writers or musicians, who are looking for inspiration, Iztuzu beach is certainly helpful. Changing facilities and toilets are available as well. If the meal from the local women along the beach is not enough, a café is ready for more meals and drinks to offer. Hence, the chance to enjoy Turkish soups, dishes, Turkish coffee and Turkish tea will not be lost.

There are regular boat and minibus (dolmuş) services to the beach. Visitors should be aware of the wooden stakes in the beach to mark nesting sites. The road route is particularly scenic, offering views of Sülüngür Lake. In 2008 İztuzu Beach was proclaimed winner in the category Best Open Space (Europe) by The Times because of the eco-friendly exploitation of the beach. In 2011 Dalyan and İztuzu Beach were proclaimed Best Beach Destination of Europe by Dutch holiday assessment website Zoover.

 

Kaunos

Kaunos (or Caunos) was a city in ancient region of Caria, western Anatolia. It is one of the most mysterious cities in the Mediterranean region. The ruins of the town are one kilometer West of Dalyan.

The Calbys river (now Dalyan river) was the border between Caria and Lycia. Initially Kaunos was a separate state, but later it became a part of Caria. Kaunos was an important sea port, the history of which is supposed to date back till the 10th century BC. Because of the formation of İztuzu Beach and the silting of the former Bay of Dalyan (from approx. 200 BC onwards) Kaunos is now located about 8 km from the coast. Outside the official Kaunos archeological site, there are six rock tombs on the Dalyan river (from 4th - 2nd century BC), which are Dalyan's prime sight. The façades of the rock tombs resemble the fronts of Hellenistic temples with two Ionian pillars, a triangular pediment, an architrave with toothed friezes, and acroterions shaped like palm leaves.

Kaunos is surrounded by ancient necropoli, because the ancient Greeks and Romans always buried their deceased at considerable distance from their homes. The niche tombs were the most common ones. The ashes of the deceased were put in urns and then placed in a niche. At the port of Çandır, several kilometers beyond the archeological site of Kaunos, there are tens of niche tombs hewn from the rock of Kızıltepe.

 

Göcek Islands

Göcek is a small town, located between Fethiye and Dalyan. It coves 12 islands with clean sunny beaches, turquoise Mediterranean waters, green pine forests. It is said to be a hidden paradise and have rendered Göcek an indispensable destination for seafarers.

Göcek islands and bays can be visited all year around. Especially during the summer months many tourists visit this region on different kind of boats, ranging from small fishing boats up to huge luxurious motor yachts. Whilst going on a cruise through the bays of Göcek you will enjoy the natural beauty and explore the many ancient sites at the most beautiful coastline of Turkey. Tourists have the choice to rent a private boat and plan their day(s) individually – “Blue Cruise” or go by charter boat, which has a capacity of more than 100 people.

There are about 20 sailing and motor yacht charter and brokerage sailing companies, which makes Göcek a high-class sailing place. Accordingly, there are several technical yacht services, chandlers and maintenance services. There is a well-maintained, 24-hour health center with five doctors and three pharmacies in the town. There are also two big and several smaller grocery shops, as well as two butchers. Although many locals now earn most of their income from tourism, life continues much as it has done for centuries. The phrase used by villagers to describe guests and foreigners is, “guests of God”.

Having a trip to one or some of the islands you will experience a magical day out cruising through the stunning scenery and along the unspoilt islands in the blue gulf of Fethiye.