At the most exhilarating curve of Turkey’s eastern coast, the patchworked Dalyan captivates beyond measure.

Caught peacefully between the Köyceğiz Lake and the cerulean Mediterranean and kissed by the Dalyan River, this small town is not like its illustrious neighbors Fethiye, or Marmaris. An intransigent spirit helps Dalyan keep its serene riverside aura intact, marking it with peace beyond pleasure. Nowadays, it is a tourist hangout for cruisers from the coast’s flashier cities, much appreciated for its natural offerings than urban ones. Yet, Dalyan is by no means a sleepy town. You will find pockets of entertainment in the laid-back cafes and bars flanking its picture-perfect riverside.

Iztuzu Beach, a ravishing strip of sand to the east of Dalyan, is arguably the highlight of the region. More than summertime rituals, the iconic Caretta Caretta (loggerhead sea turtles) make up the scene in Iztuzu, laying their nests in the sand every season. Preservation of these stunning creatures is now among the top items on Dalyan’s agenda. If you are lucky enough to witness an adult loggerhead making land, you may forget about savoring the silky sands and crystal waters of Iztuzu. Further inland, even in the back-of-beyond corners of Dalyan, the blessings of nature are regularly found. Sail up the river to the mud baths for a rejuvenating finish to your day trip.

Dalyan’s historical mojo pulsates on the other side of the river. A calling card for the town, the Carian rock tombs are a source of raw fascination and immeasurable value. A few minutes away is Kaunos, a Carian city quintessentially Mediterranean.

Dalyan Gallery

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