Dalyan is a bustling town on the banks of a wide river. Take a boat one way to the beach and the other to Koycegiz Lake. On the riverside there are many bars and restaurants. Try authentic Turkish food at Pashas, Hadigari, Sakis and my favourite Bistro Clou.
The market is on a Saturday and full of seasonal fruit and vegetables. Olive oil is made locally and there is plenty of pine honey. Many Turkish people own bees . The little blue bee hives are very distinctive feature of the pine covered hillsides. Of course there are many 'fake' items such as handbags and clothes. There is a minimum of good natured hassle by the stall holders. Everything is 'cheap as chips'!
The Dalyan Delta is set in a conservation area of outstanding natural beauty. There is an incredibly wide range of terrain in close proximity to Dalyan. It is possible to go white water rafting in the mountains one day and sailing around 12 islands the next.
The Delta itself is home to an enormous variety of bird and animal species. The prehistoric river turtles are a sight to behold! Flamingos have been seen in the lake. The wild flowers are beautiful in the Spring.
There are numerous Lycean rock tombs and the Roman town of Kaunos is still under excavation a short boat trip away. It is possible to climb to the top of the acropolis and view the entire Delta. Koycegiz Lake is one of the biggest in Turkey, along the edges are hot springs and it is possible to relax in their health giving waters. Alternatively the grey mud is good for your skin!
The beach is 5 km of golden sand, sea turtles lay their eggs, it is totally unspoilt.
Other Activities: Bird watching, boat trips, hot springs, mud baths, markets, historical sites, white water rafting, canyoning, jeep safari, kayaking.
Canyoning is one of the activities which is challenging but accessible. It is great to be able to climb up waterfalls and dive into mountain pools. You can also join in the jeep safari which takes you through rivers and into the mountains around Dalyan. Enjoy getting soaked in the natural car washes! It is possible to go white water rafting, or to go parascending or paragliding.
You can also canoe in the sea, river or lake.
There are a variety of local markets to visit, selling a wide selection of traditional and not so traditional goods.
Iztuzu beach is worth a special mention as it is one of the few totally undeveloped beaches in Turkey. It is 5 km long and is the nesting site for the caretta caretta turtle. At one end of the beach there is a turtle hospital where these huge and endangered animals are nurtured back to health. The beach is totally protected and unspoilt. It is possible to arrive at the beach by boat at one end or bus at the other. You can walk from one end to the other and in the middle it is completely deserted. Snacks and drinks can be purchased from small wooden buildings at either end and you can try the freshly made pancakes with pine honey.
There are loads of boat trips around the lake and the coast, all are beautiful is you avoid large capacity boat trips. The best and most noteworthy are Ekincik Bay, Koycegiz market and the 12 islands, specifically the Gunay 1 trip is our favourite. They all involve boat trips where the boat stops at different locations for swimming, snorkelling and some stop at the mud baths.
There are lots of tour guide companies in Dalayan, our favourite is Kaunos Tours, located near the mosque square. www.kaunostours.com