Dalyan

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For the village of the same name in the Troad Peninsula south of Çanakkale, see Geyikli.

Dalyan is a town in southern Muğla Province of Turkey.

Dalyan is established in an environmentally protected area. This is one of the few surviving places of paradise, an area of natural beauty and historical interest.

Get in[edit]

A ferry boat trip can be booked from Marmaris which will take you to just outside of Dalyan, Will then need to transfer onto small ferry boats to continue onwards into the estuary river into the fresh water.

A regular dolmuş service that runs to neighbouring resorts such as Fethiye and Marmaris as well as surrounding villages.

Flights are daily from most UK Airports between April and October to Dalaman Airport. Dalyan is then a 40 minute taxi ride away.

Get around[edit]

See[edit]

ruins of Kaunos

The ancient city of Kaunos lies here. 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. The city had two ports, the southern port at the southeast of Küçük Kale and the inner or trade port at its northwest (the present Sülüklü Göl, Lake of the Leeches) that could be closed by chains. The southern port was used from the foundation of the city till the late days of Kaunos, but due to the silting of the delta and the ports, Kaunos had by then long lost its important function as a trade port. After Caria had been captured by Turkish tribes and the serious malaria epidemic of the 15th century AD, Kaunos was completely abandoned. In 1966 the excavations of ancient Kaunos began. These have been continued up to the present day.

  • The port agora is located at the flat area in front of Sülüklü Lake. It dates back to the 4th century BC and kept its function as an economic, political and social meeting place until the end of the Roman era. The remains of pedestals indicate that there must have been many (bronze) statues of influential Romans, but these have not been found. Most likely these were melted down in the Byzantine era, for the archeologists found a smelting furnace of that period near to the pedestal of a bronze equestrial statue of the Roman governor of Asia, Lucius Licinius Murena. The covered stoa at the north side of the agora offered sun and rain protection. The stoa was created in the early Hellenistic era (3rd century BC), but part dates to the early Roman era. The Nympheon is also Hellenistic, but the fountain basin was extended during the Roman era. Inscriptions from the period of Emperor Hadrian reveal that the toll for merchants and boat owners was relaxed to compensate for the gradually silting port.
  • The Acropolis (Persikon), situated on a 152 m high rock, fortified with Byzantine walls. The city's acropolis was called Imbros and it lay at the foot of Mount Tarbelos (present-day "Mount Ölemez"). Adjacent to the acropolis is a smaller fortification, called Heraklion. Until the 5th century BC this 50 m high cape reached into sea and there were two ports south and north of it. From the Acropolis there is a stunning view of the ancient city, Dalyan, the Dalyan river, the estuary and İztuzu Beach. From the small fortification, you look down on a traditional dalyan (fishing weir) situated quite near the former southern port.
  • The spectacular Kaunos city walls were erected during the reign of Mausolos in the 4th century BC. They are extraproportional in relation to the size of Kaunos and its population, presumably because the satrap had high expectations of the city's future as a marine and commercial port. The city walls start west of the inner port and run along the hills N and NW of the city, to the top of the steep cliff opposite Dalyan centre. There is a walking track along the wall, starting at the Çandır water station. The regularly-shaped rectangular blocks and the way the blocks have been positioned give a fine impression of Hellenistic building techniques. Parts of the wall are well-kept, other parts have been taken down and rebuilt.
  • Six temples have been excavated, two of Hellenistic and four of Roman origin.
  • The palaestra with its Roman baths, a wind measuring platform and a domed Byzantine basilica.
Lycian rock tombs
  • The Dalyan channel, through which water circulates between the Mediterranean and Koycegiz Lake, winds its way down past the ancient Rock Tombs to the sea, via a small network of lakes and waterways. Through the rustling reed beds rising between 3 and 5 metres in height. With its mixture of fresh and salt water, these wetlands are now home to a vast number of fish and other water life, as well as the birds of many species which feed on them, species such as the Sparrow hawk, Crane, Kingfisher and Jay. The Stork is also native to this area, migrating here at the end of March to nest until the end of August. Dividing the delta is the Iztuzu sandbar stretching for 5 km east from the south of the channel.
  • With fine crystal sands and shallow turquoise sea, Iztuzu Beach can be reached by regular dolmus or boat service from Dalyan. This is the beach where the endangered Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta) and the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) have returned to lay their eggs since the beginning of time. The nesting time is from May till October. There is also a Turtle Sanctuary at the end of Iztuzu beach (known as 'Turtle Beach') where you can see turtles being nursed back to health in large tanks. This end of the beach is accessible by dolmus (minibus) or car.

Do[edit]

Visit the mud baths which has a warm sulphur pool. A good outdoor spa.

Buy[edit]

A shop off the river in the town centre will measure your feet and make you high quality Turkish style slippers.

Eat[edit]

There are many restaurants in which to try local Turkish cuisine, music bars and shops. Lamb meat is a famous Turkish food and also another one is Kebap. A traditional spirit called raki which is a classic Turkish beverage made from grapes and aniseed that has been distilled for centuries.

  • Çağrı (right on the square on the main roundabout). Turkish cuisine. Budget prices ~5 TL per plate.

Drink[edit]

There are a couple of discos on the outskirts of the village so as not to disturb those of you that wish to retire early.

Sleep[edit]

  • Hotel Portakal Beautiful location at the end of the village on the Dalaman river. It's only a 10 minute walk into the village center.
  •   Keysan Yunus HotelGulpınar Mah. Dalyan (Kanal kıyısı),  +90 252 2845120. Check-in: 14.00, check-out: 12.00. This delightful, intimate boutique hotel is set right on the riverside, with beautiful views to the forest and a backdrop of dramatic mountains. The hotel has well-kept gardens with a variety of roses and other flowers, surrounding the patio area. You can relax on a hammock in the gardens or sunbathe around the pool with a refreshing drink from the bar. The 23 air-conditioned rooms are bungalow style, built in a horse-shoe shape. Each ground floor room has a terrace balcony either looking towards the pool and river, or towards the gardens and mountains. 38,00GBP.
  • Hotel CariaMaraş Mah. Yalı Sok. 9 +90 252 284-20-75fax: +90 252 284-30-46, e-mail: . Free wireless in the entire building.
  • Villa Marseli +44 00407879660067. Stunning holiday villa that sleeps 8-10, owned by an English couple.
  • Bahaus Resortİztuzu Yolu 25 +90 252 284-50-50, e-mail: . Check-in: 13:30, check-out: 10:30. All rooms are air-conditioned and have en-suite. A swimming pool, jacuzzi, free Wi-Fi, outdoor gym salon, games area (billiard tables, table tennis, volleyball), library, bicycles are what the place offers. Has a flower garden complete with hammocks, sun loungers, and mountain views. On site organic garden provides fruits, vegetables, and eggs for the restaurant, which serves light snacks and a set dinner and there is also a barbecue area and outdoor bar. Double: €60-70/room, dorms: €12-18 pp; all including breakfast.
  • Gül PansiyonMaraş Mah. 10. Sk. +90 252 284-24-67. Check-out: 11AM. Family-run place offering small yet clean and tidy rooms, with views across the river of the rock tombs. High season: 30 TL pp.

Go next[edit]

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