Dalyan, located between Fethiye and Marmaris, is a city in Muğla and is an untouched beauty. It is situated in the Ortaca district and was called Kaunos in ancient times. After the establishment of the Turkish Republic, its name changed to Dalyanköy, which means "fish trap". Dalyans are devices that allow fish to be caught in nets, and thus Dalyan is a fishing town as well.
The land of Dalyan is highly suitable for agriculture and fishing. However, tourism has become the main source of income due to the beauty it possesses. It has many unique natural resources, including İztuzu Beach, which was selected by The Times as the best open space. It hosts crystal clear waters and all the beauties of nature. It is also a favorite place for animals such as Caretta Caretta that prefer more virgin areas.
Historical Places in Dalyan
Kaunos Ancient City is the most important structure in Dalyan. It was established on the other side of Ortaca. According to mythology, it was founded by Kaunos, the child of Miletos. The area, which was originally a port due to its location, later lost this feature due to alluvium. The rock tombs, which are one of the few remaining structures from the city, are located at the main entrance of the city. The tombs built on the mountains are important structures not only for Dalyan but also for Turkey. Although it is not known exactly who the tombs belong to, it is believed that they belong to kings. The lion decorations on the tombs are also worth seeing. The ancient city is surrounded by walls and has a theater, temples, agora, church, and bathhouse inside. Access to the ancient city is generally provided from the sea. After getting off the boats that come to the city, a short walk leads to the ancient city.
Natural Beauties of Dalyan
Iztuzu Beach is one of the most unique places in Europe and the Mediterranean. The beach is not polluted by hotels or other human activities, and it still manages to be the favorite place of caretta carettas. Due to its location, it has received the "Best Open Space" award from The Times, one of the world's most prestigious newspapers. A part of the beach in a five-kilometer area is under special protection for caretta carettas to lay their eggs. Since it is located on a long stretch of land, it can be reached by boat from one coast and by road from the other. Those who come by boat reach Dalyanağzı Beach, while those who come by road reach Iztuzu Beach. It is prohibited to enter the beaches after 8 pm and before 8 am. During these hours, the beach is reserved for turtles only.
Iztuzu was formed after the Kaunos was pulled by alluvium and the Rhodes earthquake that occurred later in the Dalaman River. The sands carried by the river were transported to the coast by the sea, and after many years, the beach was formed. The waters in Iztuzu are so shallow that they exceed your height after swimming for a long time. As the name suggests, the water is very salty, and the sea, which is flat in the afternoon, starts to ripple a bit. However, Dalyanağzı Beach on the other side of the beach has sweet and deep waters.
Another popular destination for visitors to Dalyan is Ekincik Bay. It is particularly popular for boat tours. The bay is located within the village of the same name and is covered in olive and pine trees. Ekincik Bay is like a hidden paradise, a secret and secluded place. But once you discover it, you won't want to leave. There is also a small stream that divides the sandy beach. In addition to beaches and bays, Dalyan also offers an alternative such as thermal springs. Sultaniye Thermal Springs welcomes thousands of people every year with its highly mineralized waters. You can also take a mud bath at the springs, which is believed to be beneficial for many skin diseases. The thermal springs also have a radioactive property.
Sports and Adventure in Dalyan
The most popular activities in Dalyan are rafting in the Dalaman River and joining boat tours departing from Dalyan. On the other hand, you can also join jeep safaris, canoe tours, and canyon hikes around the town. We recommend that you make a reservation in advance for all activities. During times when there are visits from surrounding holiday resorts, there may be crowds.
What to Eat and Drink in Dalyan?
Like all Aegean towns, Dalyan has a cuisine where you can taste the best vegetables and olive oil dishes. You won't be able to forget the taste of vegetables such as spinach and broad beans eaten here for a long time. Ebe gümeci, radika, turp otu, and arap saçı are all herbs that you can see on every table. If you happen to visit a Dalyan village, we recommend you to eat jam for breakfast and have yogurt, sour chicken, and arabasi soup for lunch or dinner. We suggest that you try eggplant and pumpkin for jam, which are not usual choices. If you visit Dalyan in autumn, try the most protein-rich mushroom, Çınar mushroom. Don't forget to ask for local bread such as cornbread, yufka bread, or bazlama to accompany your meal.
How to Get to Dalyan?
Since Dalyan is a tourist center, transportation is quite easy. You can use either land or air transportation. It takes approximately 12 hours by car from Istanbul and 11 hours from Ankara. Therefore, the most comfortable way to come from distant cities like Istanbul and Ankara is to come to Dalaman Airport. Dalyan is located 28 kilometers away from the airport. It is possible to come to Ortaca, where Dalyan is located, by buses departing from all over Turkey. After Ortaca, it is necessary to take another vehicle for Dalyan. For those who do not want to deal with transfers or different vehicles, transfer and car rental companies will be an alternative for a comfortable and easy vacation. Renting a car with a reservation from the airport is especially comfortable.