Picturesque and charming the town is sandwiched between the tourist hotspots of Marmaris and Fethiye; however Dalyan is refreshingly free of the droves of tourists and retains a true sense of authentic Turkey. The surrounding cliff faces date to 400 BC and is home to the ancient Lycian tombs.
Whilst in this town the favoured mode of transport is the regular boats that cruise the river and make regular trips to the stunning sandy beaches or sites nearby. The beaches are truly idyllic and equipped with sun loungers making them a peaceful and tranquil place to soak up the sun. There are also a few bars with entertainment for those preferring something more active and somewhat in the shade. Iztuzu Beach nearby is famed as the nestling site of the endangered loggerhead turtles. Other attractions close by include the ruins of the ancient city of Kaunos that was famed for its trade and benefits from an impressive Acropolis, amphitheatre and Roman baths.
LocationDalyan is located on the south west corner of Turkey between Fethiye and Marmaris in the province of Mugla. Dalaman International Airport is just 25km or a 25 minute drive and it is 32kms to Koycegiz, 75kms to Fethiye and 96kms to Marmaris. As well as the boat cruises that are the main form of transport there are also public bus services that operate between 10am – 11am daily and go to Fethiye, Marmaris, Gocek and Mugla direct from Dalyan. There is also a service that runs to Ortaca every 15 minutes during the daytime and a dolmus service that operates to the beach and boats from 8am onwards.
PopulationAccording to national statistics the population in Dalyan has risen by 3.9% from 2012 – 2013 with an estimated 5,094 residents. Dalyan is a very safe town with both street crimes and robberies almost unheard of. Visitors to the town tend to be families or retired tourists and the locals are most welcoming and incredibly friendly especially towards children.
ClimateTurkey is renowned for its beach friendly temperatures whatever the area and Dalyan is no different. On average the temperatures begin to rise as early as April with temperatures in the 20s and by July they will have peaked in the 30s and at times higher. The summer months provide an average of 12 hours of sun. The climate is slightly cooler in the autumn with temperatures that hover in the mid 20s still with plenty of blue sky. The winter can bring a minimal amount of rain and a temperature range of 15 – 20, which is still incredibly mild for the time of year.
Quality of LifeThe appeal of Dalyan to British and other foreigners is the stunning scenery combined with the incredibly low level of development when comparing with other Turkish resorts. Dalyan is still predominately a fishing and farming hub with much of the conservation area surrounded by citrus fields and pomegranate fields.
Dalyan has remained unspoilt mainly because of the Turtle beach which was given Special Environment Protection Area Status and not only has this protected the environment is also means that there are tight building restrictions on this area.
Dalyan therefore is not a typical tourist town and remains Turkish with no large hotel developments just spectacular scenery, beaches and incredibly friendly people. There is also a large weekly market every Saturday where it is possible to purchase all manner of local produce as well as typical household amenities along with clothing and footwear; making Dalyan the perfect area to live with everything close at hand.
The Dalaman International Airport is just half an hour away and this is an easy journey making it the perfect place for second homeowners.
For those who have made Dalyan their home either through lifestyle change or retirement are all quick to confirm that the main benefits of Dalyan are the climate, the food and the friendly ambience of this town plus this is a way of life at the fraction of UK costs and far more enjoyable!
Things to DoThere are a multitude of things to see and do in the town of Dalyan, of particular note are the following:
1. Caretta, Caretta Festival – This annual festival is held in Dalyan to celebrate the Loggerhead sea turtles. The event spans three days during which there are Turkish singers and pop groups that entertain the crowds for free. There are water sports held at the beach including a competition where the locals have to grab a flag and try not to slip down the pole into the sea, a mean feat that certainly provides a lot of comical value.
2. The Saturday Market – Dalyan’s local Saturday market is the best place to run shoulders with the local people in the market square. There are all manner of goods on offer and there are some delicious stalls selling pancakes which make a great way to fill your time between haggling!
3. Turtle Beach – Iztuzu Beach more commonly referred to as Turtle Beach is about a 30 minute boat ride from the town and this lovely journey proceeds down the river and once there you can delight in the 4km stretch of white sand meaning that there is plenty of room for you and the turtles!
4. Relaxing Nightlife – The main street in Dalyan, Mara Caddesi offers a full complement of bars and clubs that are open until the early hours. There are many places to choose from with family friendly establishments kitted out with games consoles to keep the children entertained. For those preferring a quieter evening there are many cosy bars in which to relax with a drink and take in the wonderful ambience.
5. Daytrips to Lake Koycegiz – One of the most popular day trips from Dalyan is to the mud baths situated at Lake Koycegiz which is a mere 4km boat ride. Perfect if you fancy covering yourself in mud, letting in dry in the sun and then rinsing yourself under the Sultanye thermal springs. Reputed to take years off of you!
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