Hugging the Turquoise Coast, Dalyan is famed for its sun-kissed beach, but there’s more to this town than sand and sea. Ancient ruins and natural wonders jostle for your attention, from rock-cut tombs and crumbling acropolises to steaming hot springs and turtle conservation. Here are eight of the best things to do in Dalyan.
Meandering riverboat trips
Take a boat trip between Lake Köyceğiz and İztuzu Beach to meander through the winding inlets of the Dalyan River, passing sheer cliffs etched with the staggering Lycian-style Kings’ Tombs. This is one of the best things to do in Dalyan, for history buffs or otherwise.
Immerse yourself in ancient history
Visit the ruins of Kaunos, to see remnants of the ancient port city dating back to the ninth-century BC. Some of the highlights include a crumbling theatre, the public bathhouse and an atmospheric acropolis.
Lunch with a view
Dalyan restaurants are renowned for their traditional Turkish cuisine and enchanting settings. For sweeping views of the rock tombs, hotfoot it to Caretta Caretta for lunch, and nab a seat in the huge garden that faces the monuments face on. To get even closer, rent a private rowing boat moored next to Saki restaurant, then take the short walk to the cliffside tombs.
Mud baths and sulphur springs
Explore the mud baths and hot springs on the shoreline of Lake Köyceğiz thought to have therapeutic properties. Cloak your limbs in mud, let it harden in the sun and then wash off, to feel the skin-nourishing benefits. Combine a visit with a dip in the potent-smelling sulphur hot springs nearby.
Cycle the wildlife-rich marshes
Rent a mountain bike and cycle from the village down to İztuzu beach, looping around Sülüngür Lake for marsh and mountain views not seen from a riverboat. Bikes can be rented from hotels, travel agents, the Lindos Pansiyon or kiosks on the far bank.
Help conserve the turtles
Not only popular with sunbathers, İztuzu Beach is also a nesting site for loggerhead turtles. In summer, sun umbrellas are banned and night access is prohibited to protect the creatures. Visiting the Sea Turtle Research, Rescue & Rehabilitation Centre to see rescued hatchlings is one of our recommended things to do in Dalyan.
Haggle at the local market
Browse the colourful stalls of Dalyan’s weekly market, heaped with traditional Turkish food – fragrant spices, red-hot chillies, fresh pomegranates – as well as local ceramics, scarves and artisan crafts. It’s held across the road from the mosque; just follow the shouts of the vendors. If you’re feeling brave, haggle to scoop some bargains.
Hike the new ECO Trails
Hike the new network of ECO Trails weaving through the Dalyan delta, connecting the region’s lagoons, lakes, wetlands, rivers, forests and beaches. Follow the yellow markers to access the walking trails (red for cyclists), or download routes from their website.
If you’ve not booked a holiday to Akyaka and Dalyan yet, but our list of amazing things to do in Dalyan has got you tempted, check out our collection of villas. If you don’t have time to browse, get in touch with our concierge team who can find something for you!