Dalyan holidays are ideal for those who really want to get away from it all in its quiet rural setting in a picturesque village.
Located in south-west Turkey on the Mediterranean coast, it has natural beauty, friendly locals and a laid back pace of life. It is the perfect choice for anyone who fancies something a little different from the busy modern resort towns.
At a glance
- Language: Turkish
- Time Zone: GMT +3
- Average flight time: 4h 0m
When to go
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Set on the banks of the striking Dalyan River, the village of Dalyan is abundant in unspoilt splendour. With charming gardens adorned by willow trees and a daily flotilla of painted boats, there is a distinct air of romance to be found in this Turkish town. Take a stroll down to Iztuzu Beach, a narrow split of land separating the river with the Mediterranean Sea, and home to the famous loggerhead sea turtles. Here, you’ll be treated to its luscious white sands as well as warm shallow waters ideal for swimming – one of the great Dalyan attractions.
Despite its tranquil riverside setting, it is within easy reach of many of the area's top attractions, so you can choose exactly how much or how little you want to do on your holidays to Dalyan. Explore 4th century tombs carved into the rock, visit the ancient ruins of Caunos or head up river to bathe in the rejuvenating hot springs. Why not take the half-hour journey to the spectacular Iztuzu Beach also known as the famous turtle beach. You can journey past mountains, forests and tributaries brimming with wildlife, then spend the day relaxing and swimming at this famous beach, home to rare loggerhead turtles. During the day hit the beachside shops, which offer snacks and drinks, while in the evenings Dalyan boasts many restaurants and bars offering traditional Turkish cuisine. While you won't find any busy nightclubs, many places offer traditional entertainment and live music long into the night. With all this just a four-hour flight away from the UK, it's no wonder cheap holidays to Dalyan are fast becoming the holiday of choice for everyone from families and couples, to friends looking for a beach holiday with a difference.
There is nothing better than a holiday to remedy the stresses and strains of modern life, and there are some great Dalyan attractions to promote harmony and wellbeing. On the quiet banks of the Dalyan River, you’ll find BC Spa, a picturesque spot for spa-junkies looking for some pampering. Here, you’ll discover a pool, gym, sauna, steam room and Turkish bath as well as a range of treatments. Health fanatics can complete the relaxing experience with the juice bar, located in the spa. For a mineral boost, ensure a visit to the famous mud baths on the river. Containing a wealth of vitamins and minerals to make you look and feel rejuvenated, this is a must-visit for holidaymakers.
Wine and Dine
There are plenty of enchanting places to eat and drink in the resort, whether on the Turquoise Coast or towards the centre of town. If you’ve come on holiday to experience a taste of Turkey, you won’t be disappointed with the array of authentic restaurants on offer. Sample delicious fresh seafood accompanied with stunning riverside views at Dalyan La Vie, a top hot spot for traditional Turkish fare. If you’re craving a sugar-hit, head to Demet Pastanesi, a pleasant café serving hot strong coffee and tantalising Turkish desserts. Not only is it in a perfect location for people watching, it also serves a mouth-watering hazelnut and walnut tart.
Whether you’re trying to keep your little ones entertained or you’re looking for somewhere to take your teenagers, there are some great Dalyan attractions for both young and old. The town itself is steeped in history and myth, some of which can be explored on your trip. The Lycians believe that the dead were carried to the afterlife by angels and thus, endeavoured to place their burial grounds as close to the sky as possible. Here in Dalyan, you can experience the ruins of ancient Lycian tombs, etched into the sides of mountains – providing a striking reminder of lost civilisations and a great history lesson for children. If you’d rather embark on fun-filled adrenaline rides, venture out into Dalyan’s rocky landscapes with a Jeep Safari . Tearing around mountain roads and driving along river beds with the added thrill of water-pistols, this is an experience that will leave the entire family muddy, tired and smiling!
Action and Adventure
If you’re looking for something more action-packed than relaxing on beaches, there are plenty of things to do in Dalyan and around the Turkey Dalaman area for those with a sense of adventure. Located on the main square opposite the sea turtles statue, you’ll find Kaunos Tours. Whether you fancy trying your hand at sea kayaking or you want to hop aboard a jeep safari showcasing the best of Dalyan’s countryside, you’ll find something to entice and excite you here. If you’d rather don a wetsuit and venture underwater, take a visit to Ethos Dive Centre. From nervous swimmers to diving experts, a day spent with this dive centre is great fun and a brilliant introduction to a menagerie of underwater life.
Life's a Beach
Dalyan is the real life embodiment of the perfect beach holiday. Iztuzu beach is paradise – seemingly endless beautiful golden sands backdropped by stunning hills and coastal coves, the scenery will just blow you away. Swimming in the sea is an invigorating experience, with deep, clear and crisp blue waters providing a refreshing cool-off from the sizzling sands. As the name suggests, you’ll also encounter the serene loggerhead turtles up close – but not so close as to disturb these gentle creatures. The amazing thing about the beach is that it is actually a narrow strip of land between the sea and the Dalyan river, so you’re surrounded by salt water and fresh water – a true beach dweller’s paradise! You’ll also love exploring the coves and inlets, trying your hand at some snorkelling, and enjoying some tasty Turkish delights in one of the quaint beachside cafes. Dalyan beach holidays will refresh, invigorate and wow you – life truly is a beach here!
Despite being considerably quieter than other resorts in Turkey, there are still many things to do in Dalyan for those that enjoy laid-back evenings. A range of pubs and clubs are available in the heart of the town, with many hosting traditional Turkish nights offering up traditional music, authentic cuisine and belly dancing. If you’d rather savour your evenings with something more reserved, head to the atmospheric Jazz Bar Dalyan for great live music accompanied with a fine array of cocktails.
For something extra special on your holiday, embark on a romantic sunset cruise on the Dalyan River. Watch the stars above you while you float upon the moonlit lake. If you’re daring enough and a strong swimmer, a swim in the dark lake is an exhilarating and refreshing experience.
Dalyan is a perfect location for culture vultures, as it embodies Turkish charm, natural beauty, and has a real sense of adventure and exploration. Situated on the banks of the beautiful Dalyan River, the ancient ruins of Kaunos are just the other side of the water, giving an amazing and almost surreal perspective on history. Rock tombs and the remains of an ancient theatre are must-sees, and an amazing glimpse back in time. You’ll also want to explore the river itself for its history and cultural impact on the area – head south for the beaches and coastal ports, and northwest for the traditional thermal mud bath experiences in the village of Sultaniye. If you’re visiting in June or July, the Dalyan Caretta Culture Festival is a splendid concoction of fishing, knitting, races, dance, swimming and much more! In fact with football tournaments, traditional dances and Turkish music you really will feel you’re in another world! Bask in the culture of Dalyan on your holiday, and you’ll find the experience totally unforgettable.