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Turkey: Bodrum, Dalyan, Ephesus, Gulf of Gokova, Istanbul

Dalyan, Turkey: Sky-high eternal resting place
by Prakash Bang, Editor in Chief

Lycian Tombs, Dalyan, Turkey

Dalyan is a town in Mugla Province located between the districts of Marmaris and Fethiye on the south-west coast of Turkey. The major attraction of the town includes the Iztuzu Beach and the weathered façades of Lycian tombs cut from rock, in the year 400 BC.

Cruising, River Dalyan, Dalyan, Turkey Dalyan achieved international fame in 1987 when developers wanted to build a luxury hotel on the nearby Iztuzu Beach, a breeding ground for the endangered loggerhead sea turtle species. The project was stalled with protests from conservationists including Prince Charles.

I was leading a group of 12 engrossed in sailing the Gulf of Gokova. It was a 7-day trip. On one of the days, when we anchored at the English Harbour, we decided to visit Dalyan which was about an hour’s drive from the harbor. We organized a mini-van for the day trip.

After breakfast, we left for Dalyan. In about 60 minutes we were on one of the piers on the Dalyan River. A small powered boat was waiting for us. For the rest of our time we would be on the boat to explore Dalyan.

Life in Dalyan revolves around the Dalyan 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 sites.

Mud Bath, Dalyan, Turkey After a ride of 15 minutes, the boat stopped in the middle of the river. We had the option of jumping into the sweet waters of the river. After swimming up and down stream for about 30 minutes, we reached for our next destination – a mud bath along the shores of the river.

Dalyan has many therapeutic hot springs. The waters which contain radioactive elements and sulphur are believed to cure rheumatism, skin, liver, spleen and bowel complaints, as well as being beneficial for nervous, digestive disorders and gynecological problems. The mud baths are also said to cleanse and beautify skin. Once you have covered yourself in the mud, then you wait for few minutes to dry it. You then clean yourself in a sulphur pool.

Lunch Stop, River Dalyan, Dalyan, Turkey The cleansing built up a healthy appetite. Lunch was at one of the many restaurants on the shores of the river. Buffet spread was the way to go.

After lunch, we reached the final destination of the boat ride – the Iztuzu Beach. The beach is famous for the breeding of loggerhead sea turtles. The breeding season lasts from April to July every year. The beach is home to hundreds of thousands of turtles. Sadly, we couldn’t see any as it was September.

Iztuzu Beach is also very popular for sunbathing and swimming. There were thousands of visitors at the time of my visit.

After spending some time on the beach, we turned back. The boat brought us back to the pier. It was nearly 6PM by the time we reached our Gulet anchored at the English Harbour. A day well spent.

Dalyan Image Gallery Photo viewer Photo viewer

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