Hop on a boat to Iztuzu beach
If you fancy a beach day, head down to the harbour and jump on a boat headed towards Iztuzu beach, journeying through Dalyan’s beautiful reed-lined waterways. An ideal place to relax and soak up the sun, you’ll find modern facilities such as sunloungers and low-key cafes at one end of the long stretch of sand and at the other a quiet, unspoilt area of natural beauty.
Famously saved from development in the 1980s, Iztuzu beach is one of the last remaining nesting sites for endangered loggerhead turtles. Between May and September the beach is closed off to visitors after 8pm, and during the day you are asked to stay away from the turtles nests.
Discover the ancient city of Kaunos
A short trip along the stunning network of canals will bring you to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kaunos. Along the way you’ll be amazed by the splendour of the king’s tombs carved into the side of the cliff, which look even more spectacular when lit up after dark.
Inside the remains of the ancient city walls you’ll find Roman temples, baths, churches and a magnificent amphitheatre. Aside from the impressive archaeology, the scenery and views from inside the city are picture perfect.
Have a haggle at the Saturday Market
Every Saturday in the centre of Dalyan you’ll find locals doing their weekly shop at the bustling Saturday bazaar. It’s also a top chance to pick up some beautiful handmade treasures to return home with. From tables laden with fresh produce to leather slippers, expect to haggle with market traders for the best price.
After all that shopping, grab a Gozleme – a typical Turkish street food similar to a pancake – from one of the food stalls and sit by the river watching the boats sail past.
Tuck into Turkish food
The choice of cuisine in Dalyan is superb and you’ll find plenty of restaurants serving authentic Turkish dishes and freshly-caught seafood. To experience a wide range of flavours order some mezzes rather than a big main meal, allowing you to take your time to sample lots of different dishes. Rather than looking at a menu, this is usually ordered by walking up to the mezze fridges and pointing.
For beautiful views of the Kaunos tombs head to Aktas Restaurant and choose a table by the water’s edge. Here you’ll find freshly prepared seafood perfectly accompanied by dishes like geren – samphire marinated in oil, lemon and garlic. Or try the pickled kaya korugu, another seaweed dish.