Dalyan is a pretty riverside town, around 30 minutes drive from Dalaman airport. It has grown amazingly over the last 10 years, but still retains much of its original charm and attracts a great number of summer visitors, many returning year after year.
Ex-Pats settle in Dalyan
The main reason for Dalyan’s growth is because many British and Europeans fell in love with the town so much, they bought holiday homes here or have settled permanently in the town.
Although not overcrowded, there is little building land left around the town, so property prices have remained fairly stable during the recent global economic downturn.
Summer versus winter
Dalyan is lively during the summer months but the winter months are quiet, with just a few restaurants staying open all year. Of course many resident ex-pats enjoy Dalyan simply because of this seasonal contrast. Summers are lively and energetic as the tourists come and go and this gives a real buzz to the town.
With plenty of bars, restaurants & café bars and places to visit there is always something to do, however, after the heat of the summer many residents look forward to the peace and quiet that winter brings. Bracing walks along an almost deserted beach in the winter sunshine can revitalise anyone’s sagging spirits.
No trip to Dalyan is complete without a trip to Iztuzu beach. Famous for its unspoiled natural beauty and the protection given to the caretta caretta turtles, which come to nest and lay eggs on the beach each summer.
‘Captain’ June Haimoff, a long time resident in Dalayan, has worked tirelessly since 1995 to defend this conservation area and save the turtles from harm. She has been awarded a much deserved MBE for her work.
To get to the beach you can jump on a public boat in the centre of town, then sit back and relax as you drift past the amazing Lycian rock tombs and wonder at the wildlife, as the boat meanders through the reed beds on the 30 minute ride to the beach.
Alternatively you can take beach road to the opposite end of the beach and it is worth doing this trip as well. Get the Dolmuş (bus service) from the centre and enjoy the fabulous mountain and lake scenery en-route. If you have a car, you can stop at one of the roadside cafés & restaurants on the way to the beach to extend your pleasurable day.
At this end of the beach you can visit the turtle hospital where injured turtles recover before being released back to the ocean.
Caunos and the Rock Tombs
For those interested in ancient historical sites, the Lycian Rock tombs and Caunos are worth a visit. Located over the river to the west of Dalyan, you can get there by taking a ride in one of the rowing boats that takes passengers across to the other side.
While excavations at Caunos have been going on for the last 30 years much of the city is yet to be revealed, but there is still plenty to see including the amphitheatre and Roman baths.
The choice of excursions when staying in Dalyan is almost endless, from visiting the Dalyan mud baths and thermal springs to horse riding in the surrounding hills.
A trip down the high street will reveal the many tourism agencies and what they have on offer.