Dalyan is a gem of a little town, situated at the southwest of Turkey, named after the river which links Lake Koycegiz to the Mediterranean. The channels of the river wind through the reedbeds of the estuary amidst spectacular mountain scenary. Dalyan, according to the local Tourism Office is one of the "last corners of paradise." Surrounded by pine-clad mountains, cotton fields and bulrushes, this is a national conservation area with unspoilt natural beauty.
Dalyan sits on the river channel between the vast Köycegiz lake and the Mediterranean Sea. Access to the beach is by "water boat" and idyllic 30 min. journey past the spectacular 4th century Rock Tombs, or by a 20 min. bus ride to the other end of the beach.
The ruins of the ancient city Caunos are easily accessible and well worth exploring. It dates from 3000 BC and among the ruins is a 5000 seat theater.
The village is in the center of a broad delta at the head of which lies the 7 km. long sandbar called Iztuzu beach. The endangered Loggerhead Turtle has turned here for hundreds of years to lay its eggs.
The Caretta Caretta turtle is designated as threatened on the Federal Fish and Wildlife Endangered Species List.These turtles with their large heads and reddish brown shells come to Iztuzu Beach to nest from May to September. They have yellowish to white undersides and can measure up to 3-4 feet in length. The turtle reaches maturity around 15 years of age, they can weigh between 150 and 300 pounds.
Adult turtles are meeting in lake of Dalyan Deltafew weeks before the female lays her eggs. They are feeding before sex. Famela chooses a boyfriend. Their sex takes some hours and other turtles stays far away. You can hear their sounds.
The Caretta Caretta Turtle, returns to the beach where they themselves hatched. The adult female may lay several clutches each season, usually she will lay eggs every two-three years.
Up river you can visit the mud baths or hot springs reputed to be good for skin and general health. You can also rent a boat and spend the day cruising around the lake.
There are three ways of reaching Caunos which attract great attention today owing to its Venetian type of channel and Lycian type of tombs . The visitors who come by means of their yachts, land on the island named Delikli Ada and reach the site of the ruins by starting off in small boats from here; those who come from Marmaris by sea route, drop anchor in the vicinity of Delikli Ada and also reach the site of the ruins in small boats; and those who come by land route, reach the ruins by starting boats from the Village of Dalyan which is at a distance of 27 km from Köycegiz.
The existance of the ruins of Caunos was first discovered in the year 1842, and excavations have been carried on there by the Turkish archaeologists under the supervision of Prof. Baki Ögün since 1967.
Caunos, the son of Miletos, had been indicated as the founder of the city and therefore, it had been named Caunos. The city was first captured by the Persians and then by Alexander and in the year 189 B.C., it was made subject to the Kingdom of Rhodes. We know that it continued until the year 167 B.C. Caunos was the subjected to the kingdom of Pergamon and was brought directly under the sovereignty of Rome after 133 B.C. You reach the site of the ruins by means of channel adorned with Lycian type tombs belonging to the 4th century B.C. The first place that we see is the acropolis of Caunos. The northern part of the city wall, which surrounds the acropolis, belongs to the period of Mausolos. The northwestern part has Hellenistic qualities. And starting from the harbour are seen the city walls of Cyclopean type belonging to the Archaic Period.
The theater belonging to the Roman Period is located at the skirt of the acropolis and its southern part is carved in the rock; the other parts are shaped into seats supported by gable roof vaults. There are 33 rows of seats, the scene has collapsed and the part of the orchestra has been filled in.
A temple, revealed by the recent excavations, is located at far west of the theater, and a church and the magnificent walls of the Roman Bath are visible beyond it. Another temple belonging to the Roman Period is located behind the bath. As we go downwards, we see the remains of a wall built in the shape of three-fourths of a circle with a row of columns on it and, behind it, a temple of the Doric order.
The locality called Sülüklü Göl (Lake of Leeches) in Caunos today, was a harbour closed by means of chains during the Antique Period. The excavations performed at the north of this harbour have revealed a stoa which used to form a part of the port agora.
The fountain near the stoa has a plan of inantis style and has been restored recently, and the inscription which is seen on its side facing the harbour, contains the written decrees concerning the customs house.