Dalyan offers the best of both worlds.
River meets ocean.
This unique environment is home to a variety of creatures including blue crabs and the endangered loggerhead sea turtles (which have been in existence for about 45 million years!).
The scenery as you’l see below, is one which will leave you in awe. Sitting on the river boat making our way up the Dalyan river to Iztuzu (Turtle beach), whilst sipping on traditional Turkish tea, surrounded by nature and tranquility the entire way, was something very rare and very special.
Here are a few fabulous activities I did whilst there:
- Water Taxi || A water taxi to the beach from Dalyan takes about 45 minutes each way and costs something like 8 Turkish Lira (£2) for the return journey. Even though it’s a main means of transport for many, in my mind it could easily be an excursion. I considered taking a land taxi as it would have gotten me to the beach a lot quicker, however the journey wouldn’t have been as relaxing and scenic. Along the river’s cliffs are Lycian tombs cut from rock. These tombs have been around since circa 400BC and look just a tad on the weathered side, but are still very beautiful and certainly picture worthy!
- Evening cruise || In the evening you can take the most beautiful of sunset cruises, where water turns into glass and the clouds project on to the surface like oil paintings. The boat stopped in the middle of the river where we jumped off and drifted around on pool noodles. It was so peaceful, with no one else around and the occasional warm current touching our toes.
- Dalyan Mud bath || What a great experience! I read so many reviews about the Dalyan mud baths. There are two. One natural mud bath and the other with showers and everything! I wasn’t too fussy as I knew I wanted the natural option, however it came. One of the water taxis took us to a spot just around the river bend and although it reeked of sulphur (rotton egg), I managed to get myself completely covered in mineral rich mud, which I’m told rejuvenates the skin. I might not have looked any younger after washing it off, but I certainly felt it.
- Turkish Hamam || Goodness, I had no idea how filthy I was! haha. If you’d like to be scrubbed from head toe, like you’ve never EVER been scrubbed before, then go to a Turkish Hamam. You enter a hot sauna for 20 minutes, followed by being covered in soap foam and literally scrubbed from head to toe. Of course, you wear a bikini so there’s nothing remotely weird about it, but it is a very interesting experience. After, you are washed down and left in the sauna for another 10 minutes. You are then escorted outside, to sit on the terrace and have a cup of Turkish tea or water. I followed up my hammam with a full body massage and face mask, which was so worth it! – Needless to say, that night I slept like a baby..
- Turtle Sanctuary || I took a water taxi to Iztuzu beach. Iztuzu (also known as Turtle beach), is 4.5km long and at the very end (or beginning, depending on which point you arrive at) is the turtle sanctuary. I ran the entire distance in 30 minutes as had to get back to the boat in time, and thought it would be easy, but honest truth? It’s far. Really far. And don’t even think about taking your flip flops off as the sand is incredibly hot! Make sure you have enough time to take a stroll down the beach, rather than running the entire way.. Once at the turtle sanctuary, you will see huge turtles, all in need of a bit of TLC. I’ve never seen anything like it. Cracked shells, air bubbles under the shell.. horrific. Definitely worth a visit though, just to educate yourself or to leave a small donation. Such beautiful creatures..