The ambience here is unlike that of any other Turkish Mediterranean tourist town.
Perhaps it's so placid because it's nowhere near a Mediterranean beach. The lake is the source of the Dalyan Çayı (Dalyan Creek) which runs through nearby Dalyan to the south, past the ruins of ancient Caunos, through the fishing weirs, and into the Mediterranean(map).
There's not much to do in Köyceğiz (kuy-JEH-yeez) except stroll along the lakeshore, have tea in a café, browse the market (which is what the occasional bus- or boatload of tourists does), take a boatride on the lake, and perhaps enjoy a bit of music in one of the few small bars at night.
The big thrill—such as it is—is having a mudbath at the Sultaniye Kaplıcaları (hot springs), 30 km (19 miles) by road to the southwest, or a short boatride across the lake.
Distances & Travel Times
Bodrum: 173 km (108 miles) W, 3.5 hours
Dalaman: 34 km (21 miles) NW, 45 minutes
Dalyan: 24 km (15 miles) NE, 35 minutes
Fethiye: 95 km (59 miles) SE, 1.75 hours
Kaş: 205 km (127 miles) SE, 3.75 hours
Marmaris: 75 km (47 miles) SW, 1.25 hours
Muğla: 65 km (40 miles) NW, 1.5 hours
—by Tom Brosnahan