Dalyan is just 30 minutes from Dalaman airport and was destined to become a centre for large-scale tourism development. Plans changed, however, in the mid 80's when it was discovered that the beautiful sandy beach was a nesting ground for the rare Caretta caretta or loggerhead turtles which lay their eggs here in the clean fine sand. Dalyan, has remained, therefore, a sleepy haven. Its unspoilt nature protected by strict regulations which mean that the beach is not j accessible after dark.
The small town is set to a backdrop of stunning mountains, the river overlooked by ancient Lycian-style tombs carved high into the rock face. There are some good restaurants on the riverfront and the main street is home to a selection of restaurants, shops and a few bars. The town itself is flat and easy to get around. Boats depart regularly from the riverfront for the short trip to İztuzu beach, approximately 40 minutes away. It is a beautiful bar of fine, golden sand gently shelving into the sea.
The ruins of the ancient city of Caunos are close and can be reached by boat or on foot. It was originally on the sea, but its harbour gradually silted up and felt into disuse. It has only been partially excavated but the remains are extensive and include a theatre dating from the 2nd century BC, Roman baths, temple of Apollo and agora or marketplace.
Close to Dalyan there are thermal springs and mudbaths of Ihca and Sultaniye, which are reputed to have many health-giving powers.