Whilst the number of visitors to this area of Turkey has increased in recent years, Dalyan essentially has remained a small fishing town throughout. Strict planning regulations have been in place for some time that have restricted all buildings to no more than two storeys high, meaning that there are no high rise buildings or hotels anywhere to be seen.
Dalyan has lots of restaurants, shops and bars, together with a good selection of supermarkets, all within 10-15 minutes walking distance from Villa Kiydan Apartments. Everyone who visits remarks on how friendly and welcoming the local people are - which probably explains why so many holiday makers return there on a regular basis.
The town is set on a river that leads upstream to a beautiful freshwater lake (Lake Köyceğiz), where you can visit the local mudbaths and hot springs, and downstream via a reed-filled delta to the sea and the famous Turtle Beach conservation area - home of the loggerhead (Caretta Caretta) turtle.
Just up the river from Caunos mountain with its historic city ruins and amphitheatre are the ancient Lycian rock tombs carved into the mountain side, Dalyan's most famous feature.
Turtle Beach can be accessed either by boat downstream through the river delta or by taking a Dolmus public minibus from the town centre on a wonderfully scenic route that passes alongside a lake and through mountains on its way around the bay.
And if you want to visit Caunos, a small group of enterprising elderly ladies in the town centre offer river crossings by rowing boat for a fairly nominal fee!
Apart from its natural beauties, Dalyan is also known as the “healing place”. Many famous people coming here from all over the world is the perfect sign of this popularity. The number of people who say they had suffered waist pains, rheumatism and sciatica until they came here is hardly a few. The first of these places is the Sultaniye Thermal Water.
Sultaniye Thermal Water, on the southwest of the Lake of Köyceğiz, on the skirts of the Ölmez Mountain, is only 4 km away from Dalyan. Boats departing from the port come here. Sultaniye Thermal Water has the highest (98.3) radioactive thermal water in Turkey and is the second in the world after the thermal waters in Indonesia. The water is 39 C. It has calcium chlorine, calcium sulfate, calcium sulfur and radon.
It is said that the thermal water has a healing effect on waist pains, rheumatism, sciatica, nephritis, skin diseases and gyniatrics. The healing period is 21 days and you must bath twice a day starting with 10 minutes. Drinking this water is also good for liver, cystic and gut diseases.
The water in the Sultaniye Thermal Water had been used in the times of the Kaunos people. Later, the Byzantines turned this place into a stopover. The ruins from that period are under the waters of Lake of Köyceğiz.