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Dalyan is a true heaven on earth, located east of Marmaris, near Köyceğiz district.

It is is a town and district located on the shores of Lake Köyceğiz. In ancient times, the lake was a bay situated on the Mediterranean coast. However, the alluvia that was carried by the Dalaman River in time narrowed the strip of land between the sea and the bay and created a lake. Today, the only link between the sea and the lake is the Dalyan River, where boat and canoe tours are offered.

It hosts the ruins of the ancient city of Kaunos. Kaunos is known to be the oldest settlement in the region.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that settlement here began in the 8th century BC. The site was inhabited by Romans, Persians, Rhodians. Among the ancient ruins, there is an ancient theater and rock tombs.

You can take an incredible boat trip on Lake Köyceğiz accompanied by the perfume of orange blossoms and sweetgum trees, and views of Mountain Sandras. You might also be greeted by loggerhead sea turtles, or Caretta carettas, that take refuge in the Köyceğiz-Dalyan Special Environmental Protection Area.

The people of the region take pride in their local traditions, offering visitors ample opportunities to taste their local cuisine. The area is famous for its paths in the lake’s recreation areas, and for the lack of traffic lights in the town center. It is also worth mentioning that no heating coal is allowed in winter to prevent air pollution.

Kaunos Ancient City

“Harpagos marched through Carians, Kaunisians and Lykians” says historian Herodotos of Halicarnassos. We understand from this passage that although Kaunos was in the border of Lykia and Caria, it was mentioned somewhat separate. Dalyan on the bank of the Dalyan River, the ancient Chalbis, which connects Lake Koycegiz to the Mediterranean. A short boat ride along the river will take you to the lovely site of the ancient Karian city of Caunos. Located near the harbor, the agora with its Hellenistic stoa, the Shrine for Aphrodite Euploia and the nypmhaion was the vital center of the town. The inscriptions on one of the walls of the nymphaion are regulations for customs, which give us a good idea of the economic situation of the town in the second century.  The Roman bath, theater, and measuring platform lie on the upper terrace overlooking the town.  Recent excavations have revealed earlier layers of construction under this terrace. One must also visit the beach where the river meets the Mediterranean. This beach is one of the well-known spots where Caretta Caretta, the logger headed giant sea turtles, lay their eggs during the summer.

Dalyan İztuzu Beach

Awarded international prizes in different categories including Europe’s Best Beach Destination and Europe’s Best Open Space, İztuzu is an extremely popular beach in Dalyan. Besides its natural beauty, İztuzu offers visitors a unique experience. This is where the river delta meets the sea so one side of the beach you can swim in freshwater from the river and, on the other side you can swim in the salt water of the sea. The area is also famous as a nesting ground for caretta caretta sea turtles. The turtles lay their eggs in the sand during the night. For this reason, access to the beach at night-time is prohibited as it is a protected area.

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