Just over a decade ago Dalyan was a small fishing village located in the South West of Turkey.
When a large hotel company wanted to build on the local beach a campaign to protect the area led to location being designated the Koycegiz Dalyan Special Protected Area.
The endangered Loggerhead Turtles nest on the beach and were in grave danger from the proposed construction. Loggerhead turtles return to the same beach every year and Iztuzu beach is now highly protected and the turtles are safe.
The village has, therefore, retained its natural charm and beauty. There are many restaurants in which to try local Turkish cuisine, bars, shops and a weekly market.
Dalyan sits on the river between the vast Köycegiz lake and the Mediterranean Sea. The river winds its way down to the sea, via a small network of lakes and waterways. Known as the Dalyan Delta this area provides a natural paradise for birds and wildlife. The delta stretches all the way to the Iztuzu sandbar, which is 5km of beautiful golden beach. With fine crystal sand and shallow turquoise sea, Iztuzu beach is the ideal seaside spot.
Access to the beach is by "water boat" and the idyllic 30 minute journey takes you past the spectacular Lycian Rock Tombs and the ancient city of Kaunos.
The ruins of the ancient city are easily accessible and well worth exploring. The site dates from 3000 BC and among the ruins is a 5000 seat amphitheatre.
Travel up the river and you can visit the mud baths or hot springs, reputed to be good for skin and general health. You can also rent a boat and spend the day cruising around the lake.
Dalyan has been described as one of the few surviving places of paradise and once you’ve been here it is not only easy to see why but it is a hard place to leave.