People come for its setting on the placid Dalyan Çayı(Dalyan Creek), for the dramatic Lycian tombs hewn into the rockfaces that dominate the town on the west bank of the river, for the ruins of ancient Roman city of Caunos, and for broad İztuzu Beach, a natural nesting-ground for Carretta Carretta (loggerhead turtles).
Upstream, on the shore of placid Köyceğiz Lake, is the Sultaniye hot springs, with their therapeutic (or at least fun) mud baths.
Even so, Dalyan is still an interesting place to stop for one or two days.
The center of town is marked by the tall, modern PTT (peh-teh-TEH, Post Office building), around which Dalyan’s weekly market takes place on Saturday.
To the west of the PTT across a park is the riverside docks from which motorboats leave for İztuzu Beach, Köyceğiz Lake, and day excursions that include a river cruise, a swim in the lake, a stop at the Sultaniye hot springs, the ruins of the Roman city of Caunos, and İztuzu Beach.
By the way, Köyceğiz has its weekly market on Monday, and Ortaca has it’s on Friday.
Further afield, you can take a minibus east to Göcek, halfway to Fethiye, to board a day excursion boat for a sailing cruise of the 12 Islands in the bay of Fethiye.
If you prefer the mountains, day trip minibusses leave Dalyan for Yuvarlak Çay, a mountain forest stream that provides a peaceful respite from the town.
The nearest airport is at Dalaman, 27 km (17 miles) southeast.
—by Tom Brosnahan