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!
It is one of the rare beaches that the caretta carettas find safe enough to lay their eggs. Iztuzu is a natural wonder with the award “second beach that maintains its naturality”. It is said there is no beach like Iztuzu with one side being fresh water and the other Mediterranean. The sand of the beach starting from the mountains, vertical to the sea and close up the edge of the delta, is golden and very thin. Water is crystal clear. The shore is shallow and it leaves a velvet feeling under you feet as you walk.
The people of Kaunos used Iztuzu as a harbor in old times. It is learned from an epitaph that this beach used to be a customs point and the people of Kaunos used to sell salt, slaves and salted fish there.
Another surprise waiting for you at the shore is the romantic dance of the sea and the beach. The images that the sea forms are a perfect proof the nature’s unlimited creativity. The beach is 5400 m long. There is no construction allowed except for the changing cabins. Also, in order to avoid any possible damage to the caretta caretta eggs, pets, such as cats and dogs, are not allowed on the beach. At the certain points, it is prohibited to place an umbrella.
There are two ways to go to the beach of Iztuzu. First one is by boat; you can come to the beach by the boats from the port of Dalyan in about 35-40 minutes with a wonderful journey among the thick rush. The second way is to take the mini-buses that leave near the post-office. This journey is also very nice, moving along the Sülüngür Lake and the pine trees. But still, we suggest you take the boats, as the views are more beautiful when you come to Iztuzu and the journey is more fun.
As you walk through the beach of Iztuzu, a wonder of nature, you will be jealous of your own shadow!