The Dalyan area, a traditional farming village located on the stunning Turquoise coast of Turkey, is a must-visit destination. Served by Dalaman airport and sitting between the two famous resorts of Marmaris and Fethiye, the picturesque town sits aside a river that flows from Koycegiz Lake to sea at Iztuzu beach.
Daily boat trips set off and transport you down to the beach with its soft golden sand. The beach is a small spit of land that separates the fresh river water and the Mediterranean. Also a breeding ground for the endangered Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta) species, thus the beach is often referred to as Turtle Beach.
The beach has been protected for a number of years, in the hope that the Turtle population can increase to its former numbers. Therefore, Dalyan has kept its traditional Turkish village feel, and is much less developed than other Turkish resorts. Dalyan’s visitors come from many countries, often returning year after year as they are drawn back by its beautiful natural settings and the friendly nature.
Dalyan Area Guide
How to Get Here?
The main airport to use is Dalaman, that is one of Turkey’s top touristic air hubs. Open all year round, there are frequent flights, especially during summer from many different countries. From there, it is a quick 40-minute drive to reach the resort. Alternatively, near the centre of Dalaman town, the bus station runs frequent routes, and they take just 30 minutes.
Major Landmarks in Dalyan
The Dalyan River is also a national conservation area not only for turtles but over 100 species of birds. It might be worthwhile taking the binoculars on the boat trip down, to see just how many you can spot.
As boats sail down the river, the overhanging cliff face with ancient 400BC rock tombs carved into the front comes into view. It is a magnificent sight, especially at sunset, when the sun shines brightly on the monuments. The monuments are the resting places of kings of the ancient city of Kaunos, during the Lycian period.
Another unique attraction of Dalyan is the mud baths and the sulphur hot springs, believed to have medical benefits for various diseases such as Arthritis and Eczema, though many doubt the validity of benefits. It’s a fun day out even if it doesn’t make you look ten years younger, yes that’s another claim!
Shopping and Nightlife
A visit to the Saturday market is also an experience, shopping alongside the locals you will find everything from locally grown fruit and veg, quality fake designer gear, clothing, leather bags and clothing. Try your hand at haggling; the stallholders do expect it and enjoy it, as we are sure you will too. After all, everyone loves a bargain. Stop for lunch at an open-air café and enjoy a Gozleme, a savoury or sweet stuffed pancake.
Don’t expect large nightclubs in Dalyan, because evening time is more of a sit-down affair. We recommend restaurants lining the river for traditional seafood and fish dishes, although many other choices include pasta, steak and more are on the menu. Follow it up in a family sit down entertainment or karaoke bars.
The village does have a mix of expats who have made new lives in Dalyan, either through a complete lifestyle change or retirement to the beautiful climate that offers on average 12 hours of sunshine per day during the summer months, with temperatures scouring into the high 30’s. The winters are colder with an average low of around 15 degrees, though it can be much warmer and on the odd occasion it can dip below freezing, but it never lasts long. There can also be days of rain in the winter, but it far beats the weather back home.
Lake Koycegiz is about as rustic and traditional as you can get. It seems mainstream tourism has just bypassed it all together and this makes it one of Turkey’s hidden gems. Although you can sit by the lake sipping on a glass of traditional tea, most people make the most of it by jumping onboard a leisurely cruise. Trekkers and bird watchers also flock to see the variety of wildlife thriving in this pure, untouched natural environment. If time is limited, combine a visit to the lake with the Lycian rock tombs, river cruise and Caunos ancient ruins.
Buying Property and Living in Dalyan
Many foreigners own property in Dalyan, either as a summer holiday home or to live here all year round. Of course, the rustic charm and natural ambience of Dalyan is a big lure, but affordable property prices also grabbed the interest of most. Apartments for sale mainly sit on complexes that share a communal pool, whereas villas are more private and offer both swimming pools and landscaped gardens. See our portfolio of apartments and villas for sale in Dalyan here. Each listing contains everything to know, including the price, location, and home features. There are also contact details should you want to receive more information via email or to arrange a viewing.
Also of Interest
Fun Facts about Turkey: By far, the Dalyan area is a must-visit, yet there is so much more to the country than that. These fun facts give an overall, brief view as to why Turkey is one of the world’s most prominent and visited destination.
What is Turkey Famous For? Put aside the traditional Turkish delights and doner kebabs, because there are many more things that put Turkey on the map. From specific foods to handmade items, and world-famous operas, we look at them all here.