The landscape surrounding Dalyan is breathtakingly beautiful. At the heart of a wide river delta, this charming little town is encircled by perfect, lush countryside naturally irrigated by a honeycomb of reed-lined water channels. A plethora of cosmopolitan bars and traditional restaurants in the town centre serve delicious fresh fish, plucked straight from the Dalyan channels. In this protected conservation area wildlife is abundant, with rare loggerhead turtles seen nesting each September along the five kilometres of beautiful sands at Iztutu beach, only accessible by taking a boat through the winding river channels from Dalyan.
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The Turkish cuisine offers a great range of vegetarian, fish and meat dishes, with a variety of spices and ingredients that make it very popular and appeals to all tastes. The Turkish kebab is a favourite, simply grilled meat on skewers with a pitta bread as a simple accompaniment, or the Turkish equivalent of the pizza is the “pide”. Like the usual pizza base, you will find not just the predictable tomato and cheese, but also fragrant lamb, spinach, chargrilled courgettes, prawns and walnuts as a range of toppings. Borek are tiny filo pies filled with ham or cheese, all washed with “raki” the traditional firewater, or the fresh Turkish wines.
Dalyan comes to life in the evenings around the waterfront. There are a number of restaurants catering for a range of tastes, including several that offer tasty traditional Turkish dishes. Dalyan is not the place to come for a buzzing nightlife but there are several bars and a few clubs and several establishments have regular Turkish nights offering up a more traditional experience of belly dancing, traditional music and special food.
Saklikent Gorge is approximately 50 minutes’ drive from both Fethiye and Kalkan and is the second longest canyon in Europe. It is 18km long and 300 meters high, with a 20 meter high footbridge, leading you into the canyon, where masses of ice-cold spring water gushes down the rocks forming a raging river which you are able to cross with the help of a rope leading you into the Gorge where you can walk around and explore.
Try a mud bath in Dalyan, located on Dalyans river estuary to refresh your skin with the sulphuric mud baths which is believed that it makes you feel younger and a dip in the sulphur springs to clean yourself of will revive and invigorate you.
Iztuzu Beach & Loggerhead turtle sanctuary - An excellent swimming beach, ?ztuzu (or Turtle) Beach is one of the Mediterranean nesting sites of the loggerhead turtle, pecial rules to protect it are enforced. Although the beach is open to the public during the day, night-time visits – 8pm to 8am – are prohibited from May to September. A line of wooden stakes on the beach indicates the nest sites, and visitors are asked to keep behind them to avoid disturbing the nests. This 4.5km-long strip of sand is 13km south of Dalyan's centre and accessible via road and the Dalyan River.
One of the exceptional coastal beauties in Turkey is Butterfly Valley, a small valley which opens to the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean sea is a well preserved natural site where there is no land development and construction. The perfect choice for a day visit to enjoy the natural beauty of the valley, the beach and the small waterfall at the depth of the valley. The valley is part of the Faralya coast where steep cliffs touch the amazingly beautiful colours of the sea. Hence watching the Butterfly Valley from above you could experience breathtaking views.
Gemiler Island also known as the Island of St Nicholas is located between Olu Deniz and Fethiye. The Island is only small approximately 1000m long by 400m wide but that small area is littered with the remains of an historic monastic retreat containing among other things the original resting place of St Nicholas. The Island offers the perfect opportunity to take a break from sunbathing and spend an hour exploring the medieval remains, that for centuries attracted pilgrims from all over Christendom. On the island are the remains of four churches, related religious buildings, Byzantine dwellings, harbour, cistern, stone tombs, graveyard and ceremonial passageway. The views from the top of the Island across the Mediterranean and back inland are also quite stunning and well worth the walk.
Located around Fethiye, the ancient city of Xanthos once functioned as a capital of the Lycian League. The city witnessed several wars and was destroyed to be built again eventually. Also the center of episcopacy during Byzantine era, Xanthos is enlisted in the UNESCO World Heritage. An important city of the Lycian, Persian, Roman civilizations and Byzantium, Xanthos strongly bears Hellenistic and Roman influence. Deserted due to the Arab raids, the ancient city today survives among the pine forest, ready to reveal its history to its curious visitors.