Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The more than 4 kilometers and less crowded Iztuzu Beach can be reached by taking one of the boats along the river promenade in the town center of Dalyan.  Declared by Zoover as the best beach destination in Europe (2011), Iztuzu is a one of the highlights of visitors coming to Dalyan.

I boarded one of the “cooperative river boats” in Dalyan, it’s next to the taxi ranks across the mosque.  Be careful not to board those costly private ones.  I paid TL15 for a return fare, one way costs TL10.  An alternative way to reach the beach is via dolmush (shared public transport van), I was planning on taking it on my way back, but I totally forgot when the guy at the boat handed me a paper ticket that costs TL15 and I just went with the flow. 

Being uninitiated is both an advantage and a disadvantage.

– you get to have it handed down to you as prearranged itinerary yet later you’ll realize that you (may) have missed some things that could have been explored if you have taken the chance.  

I forgot the recommendation of Kaya (my host in Dalyan) during my breakfast this morning that I could take a one-way boat ride to Iztuzu Beach and walk along the length of the beach, visit the turtle sanctuary, meet the old lady who championed the cause of the endangered turtles by saving the beach from mass tourism with the construction of a hotel and holiday resort, then hop on the dolmush (shared van) at the far end instead of getting back to the dock for the boat to Dalyan.  How did I forget that?

Anyways, the boat navigated the winding scenic river for about 15 minutes, crisscrossing the waterways, formeded by outgrowths of reeds all around the river, while avoiding not to collide with boats going the opposite direction on some of the narrow channels.  The ride itself is an experience, passing by the panorama of the Lycian rock-cut tombs on the cliffs, the beautiful scenery, before it reaches the small wooden pier some meters from the Beach.

Iztuzu Beach (also called Turtle Beach) is a sanctuary for the loggerhead sea turtles.

These turtles, also called "caretta caretta", are endangered species existing for millions of years, making the beach a protected area.  

Owing to that, the beach is closed from 8:00pm until 8:00am during the months from May to October as it is the nesting season for these creatures.

The beach is actually a long narrow strip of sand that separates the fresh water river of Dalyan at one side where our boat docked, and the Mediterranean sea on the other.  

It is void of tourism structures except for long lines of parasols and a cluster of small cottage bars, shower stalls and toilets on the far right corner. Other than those, it is a long stretch of powdery beige or brown sands, rocky mountain ranges and endless sea.

With a return ticket on my hand, I boarded the boat back to Dalyan in the late afternoon.  Hang out for a while at the river promenade before calling it a day.

I’ll be doing a hike to Kaunos the next day, that’s the plan.


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