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This bespoke adventure reveals the jewels of Koycegiz, Dalyan, and Iztuzu Beach, taking you through an area with incredible natural beauty, ecological significance, and historical attractions.
Marmaris or Bodrum
This itinerary is expertly crafted for those looking to enjoy the perfect “lazy” vacation. As you will soon realize, there isn’t a lot of sightseeing; much of the tour involves finding ways to relax in different idyllic locations. Luckily, our route isn’t the most famous of paths. So, you won’t be dealing with crowds of eager tourists and will have more enough time to make the most of our stops.
Loggerhead turtles, the rock-cut Lycian Tombs and one of the most beautiful beaches…
Koycegiz sits around 47 miles southwest of Marmaris and 95 miles from Bodrum. Next to Koycegiz is a beautiful 5200-hectare lake, one of the largest in the Aegean region. The Dalaman River and several thermal springs empty into the lake, making it and the surrounding areas a thriving ecosystem that supports hundreds of species of flora and fauna.
There isn’t that much going on in the town, and although it’s in the Mediterranean region, it’s not close to the sea. Therefore, many tourists visiting the area overlook Koycegiz and its tectonic lake as they search for the perfect Mediterranean experience.
And while this may sound unfortunate, it’s exactly where the town’s allure lies.
Rarely visited and sitting peacefully beside a beautiful lake, Koycegiz has a peaceful aura found nowhere else on the Turkish Mediterranean coast. The streets are clean, the air fresh, and the only sound clashing with your eardrums is the music of Koycegiz lake and its busy occupants.
This is something you will appreciate, especially if you have spent (or will spend) the rest of your vacation visiting popular attractions. The town will be your refuge from the noisy world- so walk the streets happily humming to your favorite tunes, visit the local cafes and sample local meals, stroll along the stunning lake’s shore, and enjoy a relaxing boat ride on the lake’s peaceful waters.
After enjoying the ambiance of Koycegiz and its lake, we then take a boat along the Dalaman River to another small town- Dalyan. As we sail towards the town, our path will take us close to a honeycomb of Lycian tombs hewn into the cliffside on the west bank of the river. These tombs were dug out as far back as the 4th century BCE for the ancient rulers of Caunos.
They are not only of great historical significance to the region but also make for a jaw-dropping view. Our tour will stop here to learn more about the tombs and take photos of the scene.
Dalyan is also home to the ruins of Caunos, founded in the 10th century BCE. The city was an important port city with a thriving economy that relied on salp production and commerce in ancient times.
Caunos declined after the Dalyan river chocked its harbor with silt, bringing an end to its commercial activities. Today, the city’s ruins display a 5,000 seat theater, Roman bath, a domed church, and a terraced temple. The Lycian kings’ tombs mentioned earlier were also part of the city.
Your boat will then continue to Turtle (Iztuzu) Beach. This beach is a 7 km sandbank that separates the sea and a lake, making it one of the unique locations in the region. The beach is also a pretty stunning sight, but you’re here for the sand and water, so pick your spot, relax, and enjoy the warm embrace of the coastal sun.
It’s not only humans that have a good time here, though; it’s called Turtle beach for a reason. This magical location also serves as one of the last remaining nesting grounds for the Caretta Caretta sea turtles. They are pretty huge, with adults growing up to a meter long.
If you’re lucky, you may see one or two individuals during your visit.
Last but not least of Dalyan’s attractions are the Sultaniye hot springs and mud baths. Their temperatures reach 39 degrees, and they have a peculiar smell due to sulfur compounds. It is believed that bathing here makes one feel younger and remedies a wide variety of ailments.
No, Iztuzu Beach is all free. You can also hire a sunbed and umbrella to use on the beach.