It’s the end of October and winter is coming soon which means I’ve got to hurry and enjoy the remaining days while the weather is still fine. I’m thinking of coming to Fethiye again. I stayed a couple of nights in Fethiye last year and I like the town. But first, I have to go to Dalyan. The nearest airport is Dalaman, so I took an AtlasJet flight to Dalaman airport. I realized, Dalyan is an hour away from the airport and public transport would be a challenge. A taxi would cost too much, I’m not a taxi person, so I scanned the internet for some options. I came up with a lot of options but I ended up paying 7.50 euro with A2Btransfers.com online.
Arriving in Dalyan.
I arrived night time already at Sunlife Apart Hotel. The next morning I took my breakfast and found out (like usual) I was the only guest at the house. They’re shutting down the place for the winter by end of next month, no more tourists by then, I was one of the last batch.
The apartment-hotel is one of those villas converted into tourist accommodation. There’s a small swimming pool, bar on the side, and it’s a bit off the center. Center in Dalyan means along the river and the apartel is about 7 minutes walk away, but the draw of this accommodation is the host named Kaya and his mother. Kaya is a genuinely friendly guy and a treasure-trove of information, he provided a lot of saving tips – from transport to cheap eats in town to hiking trails, plus his mom is an excellent cook.
I promised myself that this trip will be a “vacation” not a hasty one. I don’t intend to jam-pack my schedule with a lot of activities or itineraries like I usually do in the past, especially when I have travel companions who are eager to squeeze in as much destinations as they could.
I am through with that, I need a lazy restful holiday. So I took my breakfast and without any program in mind, I went on an easy breezy stroll to the town center along the river.
So what does this charming town offer its visitors?
The statue of the Turtles right at the intersection of the town confirmed the information I've previously read that Dalyan is home to these endangered creatures.
Low-rise buildings houses rows of restaurants in the small town center with the bazaar selling souvenir stuff and at the center is the Dalyan Mosque with a history that dates back 1552 during the Ottoman empire. Facing the mosque is the statue of Kemal Ataturk holding his hat with his back on the river. All cities and towns in Turkey must have at least one Ataturk monument that's for certain, with all the towns I have visited so far, I have not seen any - no matter how small - there must be an Ataturk's statue standing at the center's plaza.
The Dalyan Beledeyesi Cay Bahcesi or municipal tea garden is located just a short walk from the town center to the far end left side of the river promenade, serving as the town’s park.
This is the best spot to take a photo of the Lycian Tombs on the opposite side of the river. I sat at one of the plastic chairs under the thick creeping plants shading the walkway. Occasionally, a staff comes and asks if I’d like some tea, well I did, otherwise you can always sit and relax there while watching the activities along the river.
On the opposite side of the promenade is the Canal Kayisi or river channel bank at the end of Gulpinar Mahallesi. It is the quiet narrow portion of the waterway turning left at the end of the river promenade passing by the last rows of riverside restaurants. There are some nice hotels around here, discreet restaurants or tea houses on wooden platforms hanging on the side of the river.
I passed by a lemon orchard and every now and then there are some wooden benches on the side of the concrete path facing the river. Not a lot of people are passing by this area.
The locals call this the “lovers lane”, well, it’s secluded among tall trees and bushes, it evokes a somewhat solitary seclusion or perhaps a romantic ambiance. I have seen young couples sitting at some benches in the late adternoon, so it must be.
Dalyan is a river side town with life and tourism centered around the Dalyan Cayi River and some outlying town destinations of most of the boats moored at the river. It’s a small but pretty town.
The view of the 400 BC Lycian tombs carved up on the face of the cliff provided a fantastic backdrop to the river below, framing a picturesque scenery that deserves to be printed on a postcard – with reeds growing on the water on both sides of the river, rowing boats crossing to the other side of the bank or motor boats traversing along the length of the river, the sunset beaming it’s last moments of golden-amber glow – picture perfect.
The world-renowned Iztuzu Beach is approximately 15-minute boat ride away and the ancient city of Kaunos on the other side of the river is couple of kilometers hike away.
As I’m on a lazy vacation, I’ll be ending the day for now and prepare for my exploration of the sights on my succeeding days in Dalyan. I’m thinking of going to Iztuzubeach tomorrow. Let's see.