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Holidays in Turkey : Dalyan

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Nestled between the towns of Fethiye and Marmaris on the South West Coast of Turkey is the unique town of Dalyan. Famous for being the breeding ground of the endangered Loggerhead Sea Turtles championed by David Bellamy the famous conservationist. More about this later.

As is the Turkish custom every Turkish name has a meaning and Dalyan is no different. DALYAN translates to Fishing Well which is very apt as the Çayı River, which skirts Dalyan, is full of Bass, Mullet and Bream, a fisherman’s heaven. Full to the brim and bubbling with natural beauty, lakes, mountains, rivers and good clean air. If this isn’t enough to revitalize you try the mud baths and hot sulfur pools.

dalyan holidays

Loggerhead Sea Turtles

Back to those Turtles! Every year from May to October the Loggerhead Sea Turtles haul themselves up onto the beach to lay their eggs. Monitored closely by the International Animal Protection Organisations they close the beach from 8pm to 8am to allow these prehistoric creatures to lay their eggs and for the hatchlings to swim out to sea. Returning to do the same time after time. It is truly an amazing sight watching these jewel sized miniature turtles flip and flop themselves into the ocean.

Things to do and see

The Lycian Tombs dominate the rock face on the West bank of the river. These tombs were carved from solid rock to allow the noble people of the Lycian society to rest in opulence. Why so high You ask ? Well the people of this time believed that the good people of the city were sent to paradise by mythical creatures, like a horse with wings. So the winged creature could swoop down and take their occupant onto the next life with ease.

Whilst you are being steeped in historic knowledge why not visit Kaunos, the Roman Bath or Theatre all important aspects of Lycian life. The port was founded in the 9th Century BC this the baths and the adjacent theatre are said to be some of the best preserved examples of their kind. Let your imagination run wild and stand in the footprints of these ancient thespians and sea captains.

Saturday sees the arrival of the market, selling the freshest fruit and vegetables imaginable. From the ground to your basket in hours. There are also stalls with beautiful handmade items such as table cloths and napkins all at reasonable prices, but don’t forget to haggle, it’s expected

Whilst at the market you can treat yourself to a refreshing drink of pomegranate juice and a Gözleme, which is a pancake filled with cheese and potato or meat or a sweet version filled with fruit, chocolate or apple. The perfect spot to rest your tired feet watching the boats pass on the river.

Eating Out

As is the case in most places in Turkey the food in Dalyan is fresh, homemade and delicious. There are many places to eat and drink in Dalyan ranging from street side Kebabs to 5 star Restaurants. Most of these establishments will feature hot and cold starters, fish, kebabs, casseroles, and some International cuisine. Choose to eat in the town on the main street or down by the river either way it will be a delightful experience

What people said

Don’t just take my word for it, here are some comments made through Trip Advisor about Dalyan

Stunning scenery unspoilt beauty.

I loved this beach. It isn't too over developed. It is a protected beach and with that you a beach natural raw and beautiful. The right amount of essential amenities without detracting from this vast expanse of sand with water that stays shallow to walk in for what seems forever. Great for those who don't like deep water. Go to the turtle sanctuary to complete your experience. Great approach down the hill on the bus which helps set the science for a beautiful day.

Ancient site with an amazing view

The site was well worth the trip across the river. There are ladies on the Dalyan side that will row you there and back for about 5 lira. A far better deal than the day sight-seeing boats. You walk through a small family eatery then journey for just over a kilometre to the site. Along the way there are many juice vendors if you get thirsty. The site itself is quite large and I was impressed by the amazing view of the estuary. The cost to get in is definitely worth the value of exploring the site. And unlike many ancient sites in Italy and Greece that are overrun with tourists, Kounos is a more quiet, intimate look into the past.

Now you have some of the facts about Dalyan why not take a trip and see for yourself. This unique, ancient piece of paradise is waiting. - Denise Toraman



Dalyan Hotels  

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