General Information About Dalyan
Dalyan is a town in Muğla Province located between the well-known districts of Marmaris and Fethiye on the south-west coast of Turkey. It is centrally located in the midst of the best holiday locations on the south coast of Turkey and has many advantages as a popular holiday destination. It is close to the famous and picturesque Iztuzu Beach where the protected loggerhead turtles lay their eggs each summer. Dalyan has remained, therefore, a sleepy haven its unspoilt nature protected by strict regulations which mean that the beach is not accessible after dark.
Dalyan is located on a river delta, its narrow waterways, surrounded by reed beds. The small town is set to a backdrop of stunning mountains, the river overlooked by ancient Lycian style tombs carved high into the rock face.
Dalyan is just 30 minutes from Dalaman airport and was destined to become a centre for large-scale tourism development.
Transport by boats
Life in Dalyan revolves around the Dalyan Çayı River which flows past the town. The boats that ply up and down the river, navigating the maze of reeds, are the preferred means of transport to all the local and guests of the town.
Also, popular public transport alternative is minibus which has an extensive network across the region. Locals call them “dolmus” and use them regularly. The numbers of seats in a minibus are limited to 14, but they generally pick more than that. You may have to stand on your feet and this can make your trip a little bit uncomfortable, but luckily it doesn’t take so long. There are no certain locations such as minibus stops to pick you up or drop you off. You just need to hail and get in.
There are a number of Taxi firms in Dalyan and all offer a cheap and reliable service. For long trips, it is common to agree with a price before the journey is undertaken.
If you plan to make a number of journeys around the area you may wish to make use of a hire car. Fuel prices are slightly higher in Turkey than the UK, further as road and driving conditions are not to the same UK standard consumption may also be higher than you are used to, please take this into account when making your plans.
Beaches and nature
Set inland on the banks of the Dalyan River, the village of Dalyan is a peaceful holiday backwater unspoilt by mass tourism.
Iztuzu Beach, or Turtle Beach as it's also known and so named for its chief inhabitants, is a narrow spit of land that separates the freshwater Dalyan River from the Mediterranean sea beyond, forming a delta lagoon. The golden stretch is roughly 4.5km long and is a hugely important breeding ground for loggerhead sea turtles. The turtles are now on the IUCN (The International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of endangered animals and the beach enforces strict regulations to protect the animals from the increasing tourism. Between certain months of the year access is restricted at certain times, animals and vehicles are always prohibited, nesting zones are marked out and protected. So far the measures have been successful and the beach is home to an average of 300 nests every year. The loggerheads' nesting season is between May and August and the females will climb to land and dig an egg chamber in the sand. Eggs will hatch about 60 days later and the hatchlings will instantly begin their trek to the sea.
Back in the 1980s construction plans were put forward for a hotel development that would have put an end to this important habitat. Environmentalist June Haimoff, along with other environmentalists such as David Bellamy launched a campaign to counter the development and June are still famed today for being the saviour of Turtle Beach. Visitors come from far and wide to visit this beach and see its wonderful inhabitants. The loggerhead's ancestors date back 40 million years and though these creatures spend much of their life in salt water when females come ashore on summer evenings to lay their eggs, it makes for an incredible sight.
Chaise lounges and beach umbrellas are available for rent and at both ends of the beach there are toilets, showers and restaurants serving ice cold drinks and a selection of hot snacks throughout the day.
You can reach Iztuzu beach easily by boats, which depart regularly from the riverfront for the short trip to Iztuzu Beach. Starting from Dalyan Harbour, the voyage through beds of bulrushes and pampas grass takes around 45 enjoyable minutes - the entire Delta is a protected National Conservation area and is home to over 200 species of birds along with no less than three varieties of turtle, including the Loggerhead Caretta Caretta.
The surrounding area is a green valley - a unique setting for a relaxing holiday to Turkey, and just made for exploring. So if you like to do far more than stretch out in the sun, Dalyan's rich tapestry of history, mystery, nature and wonder is for you.
The beach can also be reached by car.
Both the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts have a typical Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot summers. In May and October average temperature in the day time approx. 20C and in the night time approx. 15C. In the high season, the average temperature is approx. 35C daytime and 30C at night time. The sea temperature at the beginning of the season approximately 18C and getting warmer every day, already in June -July Sea becomes 25-27C and keeping this temperature till the end of October.
Rainy season here starts mostly at the end of November and continues till the May; in the summer time here it’s very rare to see a rain. In total in a year in Dalyan is approximately 300 sunny days what makes this distance popular for tourists from the different counties.