Ultimate Travel Guide to Dalyan

400 BC Rock Tombs above the River cliffs in Dalyan, Turkey

Dalyan is a charming town in the Southern Aegean Mugla Province in Turkey. Known as one of the hidden gems of Turkey, Dalyan is home to many natural and historical landmarks that make it a unique destination. Some of these landmarks include the world-famous Turtle Beach, awe-inspiring rock tombs, and natural mud baths. Visitors can also explore the scenic Lycian tombs that overlook the River and experience the beautiful Izutzu beach, home to the endangered Caretta Caretta sea turtles. To help you make the most of your visit, I’ve compiled a guide with the best things to do in Dalyan on the Aegean Coast.

Turquoise blue water at Izutzu Beach in Dalyan, Turkey
Izutzu Beach, Dalyan, Turkey

Dalyan Travel Guide

Dalyan Information and FAQ

Where is Dalyan in Turkey

The idyllic town on Turkey’s Southwestern Coast is where the Mediterranean Sea meets the Aegean Sea. Positioned between Fethiye and Bodrum and just a few hours away from major cities like Marmaris and Fethiye, it is the perfect place to overnight on your way to Bodrum.

How to Get to Dalyan

Flying to Dalaman Airport from Istanbul, Turkey, is the quickest way to get to Dalyan. If you are travelling from Fethiye to Dalyan, it is a distance of 59.2 km, which will take roughly 1 hour and 30 minutes by bus and less by Dolmus. The Dalaman Airport (DLM) is approximately 40 minutes away by car. If you want to rent a car or bike, check out DiscoverCars.

Disclaimer: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase (at no additional cost to you), I might earn a small commission.  

Best Time to Visit Dalyan

Primarily sunny, the best months for beach holidays and swimming in the ocean are from June to September. Although the weather in Dalyan in June is perfect, during spring or winter, one can enjoy exploring the peaceful area comfortably without the crowds.

Weather in Dalyan, Turkey

In summer, temperatures average around 27 degrees, with July reaching a sweltering 37 degrees. Dalyan Winters are wet and rainy, with temperatures between 13 and 17 degrees. January is the coldest month.

The Best Things to Do in Dalyan

Explore The Beaches

Besides swimming or relaxing in the sun, one has to visit the beaches in Dalyan. The beautiful beach is perfect for swimming and relaxing on the beautiful beach, which is also home to the endangered Loggerhead sea turtles.

Visit Iztuzu Beach

This famous Turtle Beach is a national park that provides a safe breeding ground for the endangered Loggerhead Caretta Caretta turtles. In addition to the turtles, it is one of the famous Dalyan Beaches for sunbathing and swimming.

The Iztuzu Beach Cafe also offer a wide selection of food and drinks. The 4.5 km long Istuzu Beach is 13 kilometres from the Turkish village of Dalyan and easily reached by road or river.

To get to Iztuzu Beach, take one of the Boats from the Dalyan town docks or a Dolmus. If you want to save time, I recommend you book a full-day tour of Dalyan Turtle Beach, Lycian Tombs, and Mud Baths.

Dalyanağzı Beach

Known as one of the best beaches, Dalyanagzi Beach is about a 35-minute drive outside town. It is unique due to the salty Mediterranean on one side and fresh water on the other.

Couple at Iztuzu Beach Dalyan, Turkey
Iztuzu Beach

Aşı Beach

With its 20-meter-deep cove, the untouched Aşı Beach is especially famous among divers. Besides diving, it has a great cafe, and although the road is poor, it is well worth a visit.

Ekincik Beach

The village of Ekincik lies on the northern shore of Port Köycegiz and is easily accessed by road and sea. Surrounded by pine forest-covered hills, the beautiful secluded Kurkculer Bay is famous among surfers and water sports enthusiasts.

Köycegiz

The small lake-side town of Köycegiz town is known for its broad, tranquil lake. Besides taking a boat trip and visiting the Köyceğiz Market on Mondays, enjoy the fresh air while strolling along the lake. The best way to get from Dalyan to Köycegiz is to take a Dolmus, which takes about 20 minutes, or one can travel to Köyceğiz by boat while simultaneously admiring the beautiful lake.

Recommended trip: Head to the charming Köyceğiz Lake, where you’ll board a boat to the Sultaniye Thermal mud baths and Turtle Beach pools. Dalyan, Turtle Beach & Köyceğiz Tour w/ Lunch.

Bacardi Cove

Known as Kagica by locals, the peaceful Bacardi Cove enters the sea without any disturbances. Only the serene, untouched Beach is beside the aquamarine cove, surrounded by lush pine trees.

Admire the Caretta-Caretta Turtles

The Caretta Caretta turtles in Turkey have red-brown shells and abnormally large heads. The males have longer tails, although they are smaller than the females. These Loggerhead Dalyan turtles can grow up to 4 feet in length and weigh up to 300 pounds.

They reach maturity at around 15 years of age. The turtles begin nesting in May each year, with the spawning season occurring between June and July. Female turtles return to the beach at night and dig a 40-60cm deep nest. They lay an average of 80-100 eggs and may return the following night to repeat the process.

Recommendation: Dalyan Turtle Beach and Mud Bath tour with Lunch. Along the way, relax in sulfur mud pools and enjoy a delicious lunch of local cuisine in a quaint location.

Caretta Caretta Turtle in Turkey
Caretta Caretta Turtle in Turkey

Visit the Restaurants in Dalyan

A highlight of our holiday in Dalyan was dining at one of the best Dalyan restaurants on the Riverside. The Dalyan Çayi River is a water stretch connecting the Köycegiz to the Mediterranean and offers fantastic views over the Dalyan rock tombs. Enjoy a cocktail at one of the riverside restaurants while admiring the sunset and enjoy a traditional Turkish dish, Meze’s, kebabs, dishes with Aubergine, a burger, and something sweet.

Couple at Restaurant overlooking the Tombs in Dalyan
We having dinner at a Restaurant overlooking the Tombs
Couple having tasty Fish and Salad at one of the Restaurants
Couple having tasty Fish and Salad at one of the Restaurants

Caretta Restaurant And Bar

The famous Caretta restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Dalyan, with a fantastic atmosphere. Besides their sterling service, people boast about Turkish Cuisine and other dishes. We enjoyed a meal at one of the Restaurants that overlooks the Tombs while loggerhead turtles popped out of the nearby River.

Sevgi Gozleme

Visitors love this tranquil haven next to the River. It’s probably one of the best restaurants in Dalyan. Their service is sterling, the food delicious, and the atmosphere can’t be better elsewhere. On top of that, the fantastic view and wildlife.

Four Seasons Restaurant

The restaurant is a favourite among many for its delicious meals and private seating, where its friendly servers will treat you like a king. It serves Turkish dishes as well as Mediterranean and European food. Furthermore, it offers Vegetarian meals and vegan and gluten-free options.

Limon Tree Garden Restaurant 

The Limon Tree Restaurant is a steakhouse facing the Dalyan River and the Rock Tombs. It offers Mediterranean and Seafood dishes.

Shopping in Dalyan

The lovely, cosy Dalyan shops are the ideal place to buy authentic souvenirs, gifts, and many beautiful, colourful Turkish lamps. Visit The Gallery Iz for unique souvenirs and art pieces.

Explore The Dalyan Markets

Like most Turkish towns, the markets are well worth a visit. The Saturday market is centrally located across from the mosque. It sells fresh produce, mouth-watering fruits and vegetables in vibrant colours, clothing, handicrafts, spices, and jewellery. Besides the tasty homemade Turkish baklava, the market offers many other delicacies, fresh produce, clothing, and linen.

Dalyan Day Trips and Activities

Visit The Mud Baths

Do not leave Dalyan without a Mud Bath experience. Mud baths are fun and have therapeutic properties that relieve rheumatism and other aches and pains. It is believed that even Egyptian Queen Cleopatra used to take mud baths to enhance her beauty.

Besides being home to the world-famous Turtle Beach and awe-inspiring rock tombs, Dalyan is famous for its natural mud baths, making it one of the rarest corners of the Earth. For a more secluded experience, visit the hot springs at Riza Cavus Girmesi. These include Ali Riza Cavus Girmesi (Dalyan Mud Bath), Sultaniye Hot Springs, Delibey Girmesi, and Gel Girme.

Many tours to the Mudbaths are located on the town’s outskirts. To save time, take a riverboat to the mud baths on the far side of Lake Koycegiz. The journey takes about half an hour. I recommend booking a Dalyan Mud Bath and Beach Tour.

Renting a bicycle is a great way to explore the town and its surroundings. With more than 120 cycle routes, renting bikes in Dalyan is affordable and one of the best things to do in the region. To make it easy and find the correct bike route through Dalyan, use Bikemap to direct you where to go.

Taking A Dalyan Day Boat Trip

One cannot leave Dalyan without experiencing one of the Boat trips or River Cruises. We took a Dalyan day trip to Iztusu Beach, where we spent a few hours swimming and enjoying the Beach. Furthermore, enjoy the scenery along the Dalyan Çayi River.

Visit The Ancient City of Kuanos

Caunos City was once a prosperous port city in Southwestern Anatolia, dating back to the 4th century BC. If you visit the Ancient City of Kuanos, you will have the opportunity to see the Dalyan Tombs. From Dalyan town, one can enjoy a stunning view of the Kaunos Ruins, especially when illuminated at night.

The city’s ancient ruins, with archaeological structures and elegant Kaunian rock-cut tombs, tell a tale of a rich history. Take a riverboat near the Saki Restaurant or book the fantastic Dalyan Sarigerme Beach Trip.

Renting a bicycle is a great way to explore Dalyan and its surroundings. With more than 120 cycle routes, renting bikes in Dalyan is affordable and one of the best things to do in the Dalyan region. To make it easy and find the correct bike route through Dalyan, use Bikemap to direct you where to go.

Blue Boat in Dalyan, Turkey, on the Dalyan Çayi River #dalyanboattrips
Boat trip in Dalyan, Turkey, on the Dalyan Çayi River

I would say at least two days, but three days if you have the time. How much time should you spend in Dalyan? If you want the whole experience, including visiting Izutsu Beach and exploring the ruins, mud baths, and town, I suggest you book a 2-night stay.

The best place to stay is near the Dalyan River, which offers a spectacular view of the mountains and rock tombs of the ancient City of Kaunos. One of the best Riverside Hotels, the Dalyan Berg Hotel, offers an excellent breakfast buffet and afternoon tea with cookies and is also where we stayed. For other accommodation options, including Dalyan’s best hotels, visit trusted partner booking.com.

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If you are planning a Dalyan Turquie trip soon, I can recommend the following resources I use. They are the Best and will surely assist you with the best deals and services.

Regarding booking accommodation, I recommend you use Booking.com’s free cancellation option. That way, you can cancel or change the booking if something unforeseen happens.


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2 Comments

  1. Thank you, Willem. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  2. Willem van Zyl says:

    Great guide and information.