Dalyan River cruises set out from Dalyan Village toward Iztuzu Beach at the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea. Stop along the way to soak in the mineral-rich Dalyan mud baths and admire the Lycian ruins of Kaunos—particularly the tombs of the kings, carved into cliffsides high above the river.
Some tours also head north of Dalyan to explore the beaches of Lake Köyceğiz, where you can take a swim, watch birds around the wetlands, or relax in the Sultaniye Hot Springs.
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Things to Know Before You Go
Wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy spotting birds, snakes, terrapins, and loggerhead turtles along the Dalyan River.
Most tours use traditional wooden boats, which may not be easily accessible to wheelchairs. Check with your tour operator in advance.
How to Get There
The Dalyan River is best experienced by boat from the village of Dalyan. Most day-trippers get to Dalyan from Fethiye to the south (about an hour’s drive away) or Marmaris to the north (about a 1.5-hour drive). Buses run from both cities, but joining a tour is often the most convenient option, as round-trip transport and a boat cruise are typically included.
When to Get There
Summer is the most popular time to visit, when attractions such as Iztuzu Beach and the Dalyan mud baths can get crowded. If you’re staying in Dalyan, an early morning or late afternoon cruise means you’ll avoid the tour groups. Turtles make their nests on Iztuzu Beach from May to August; July and August are when you can usually see the baby turtles making their way out to sea.
The sand spit marking the meeting point of the Dalyan River and the Mediterranean, Iztuzu Beach (aka Turtle Beach) is named for the many endangered loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) that inhabit its shores. In summer, hundreds of turtles lay their eggs on the beach, making it one of the most important breeding grounds in the Mediterranean. Besides turtle-watching, sunbathe, swim in the ocean, or visit the turtle conservation center.
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