Unless you walk out into the unknown,
the odds of making a profound difference in your life
are pretty low – Tom Peters
Only 30 minutes from Dalaman airport, Dalyan is a very popular holiday destination, something magical and truly special and very different from places such as Marmaris, Hisaronu and Olu Deniz where you can shop til you drop and party all night – lots of nightclubs and noisy bars! In comparison Dalyan is a natural backwater place, slightly off the beaten track. Surrounded by natural beauty, verdant covered mountains (people are often shocked when they first come to Turkey and see how lush it is, not realising that this region has a high rain fall during the winter months, only knowing that during the summer months it’s hot, hot, hot – most expect to see a lot of sand, think that Turkey is arid).
Brief TV fame was brought to Dalyan in the late ‘80s by loggerhead turtles, or more accurately by David Bellamy and our own local celebrity Kaptan June, who still lives in Dalyan (read her books: Saving the Turtles and Breakfast with June), who led a world-wide campaign to halt proposed development on Dalyan’s pristine five miles Iztuzu Beach. The conservation battle was won and the whole Dalyan Delta turned into a wildlife sanctuary in order to preserve its unique flora, fauna and way of life. Dalyan has everything, an outstanding beach, fascinating wildlife, strong local traditions and the majestic remains of an ancient city. (Also visited by Sting and Dustin Hoffman and many other celebrities).
The Dalyan delta is an area of immense natural beauty and has become one of Turkey’s most treasured natural conservation areas. Flanked by imposing mountains and pine-clad hills, the river spreads out into tributaries which are teeming with local wildlife, a naturalists paradise. Dalyan is located on the river, between Koycegiz Lake, where there are hot springs and natural mud baths the waters of which have healing properties, and delta, where the river meanders out to the Mediterranean.
The river and tributaries lead out to the stunning sand bank, known as Ìztuzu Beach, home to the famous loggerhead turtles. To travel across to the beach by water taxi takes 40 minutes or 25 minutes by ‘dolmus’ (public mini-bus). Regulations have prohibited building on the sandbank so all hotels and apartments are located in the village.
As the beach is a short distance away, Dalyan is a quiet, peaceful resort, if you like the type of resort where there are hotels on the beach and loud karaoke bars, this is not the place for you. However there are a few discos for those of you who are night owls in addition to mouth watering restaurants, some of which line the riverbank, and the village has a smattering of local bars, souvenir shops and cafe.
If you are interested in flora and fauna you won’t be disappointed. There are Liquid Amber trees in a small forest just minutes out of Dalyan – we can also show you where the are some in Dalyan too that most aren’t aware of. Of course Dalyan is famous for the Caretta Caretta turtles, so many are also surprised to learn that there are Nile turtles in the river which you can often spot coming to the surface when you are sitting at one of the many riverside restaurants. There is an abundance of birds to be seen, Storks being the most popular and not forgetting the stunningly beautiful kingfisher and bee eaters too but there are some rare species as well such as the wall creeper. We have resident birds but also different ones visiting during the summer when you will see a different variety than in the winter months (the links take you to a website showing pictures and more detailed information, plus the sounds of birds – awesome!).
Dalyan has it’s own celebrity, Kaptan June, who has fearlessly campaigned to protect the Caretta Caretta turtles. You will often see her at the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre at Iztuzu beach, we’ve taken many of our guests there to have breakfast there with her where you can also purchase copies of her book (from the sale of her books donations are made to help protect the turtles) where you learn more about her early life here (living on the beach) and getting people like David Bellamy involved.
There are numerous excursions in and around Dalyan, so there are lots of reasons to make this your holiday destination. You’ll certainly not run out of things to do!