Sarigerme Beach

Sarigerme (originally known as Osmaniye), has a 7km long beautiful sandy, shallow beach, that is known around the world. Opposite to the beach is “Baba Island” which can be reached by swimming across to it.

 

When you reach to the peak of the Island looking back at the beach, with its golden sands, the green of the forestry area beyond, the blue skies and the sail boats gently bobbing on the water makes for a spectacular site. Sarigerme beach was relatively unknown and uninhabited until 1995, until SARÇED (Sarigerme Environment and Education Society) was founded in that year. The Society worked on coast regulation, tea houses near the beach, cabins, showers and environment regulation making Sarigerme one of the most popular beaches in the world. To get to the beach you can pick up the “Çekçek” (type of cart) from Sarigerme village to the beach; once you have arrived you will pay a nominal fee for entering.

Pisilis Ancient Town

The Ruins located on the border of the Iber Hotel in Sarigerme shows the remains of the ancient town of Pisilis, located near to the hotels bungalows is a majestic stone mass resembling a cenotaph.

 

Ruins have also been uncovered in the town centre, surrounding walls, large buildings and graves have also been discovered. From archaeological research it is believed that Pisilis town once consisted of narrow avenues and streets, and generally two floored narrow houses constructed close to each other, with staircases erected on the external walls in some cases. Outer walls were made of stone, brick and mortar (made from brick dust and lime) – also known as Roman concrete (Opus Caementitium) which was 50- 70 cm thick. Roofs were made of wooden boards which can still be seen today. The Town walls were approximately 10 meters high and 3 meters thick and these were made of Roman concrete too. Approximately one fourth of the city has been covered by incoming dunes from the southeast.

 

Triple basilica ruins are found at the west of west wall and “Great Nischen Basilica “ruins at the North of the North wall. Grave ruins (estimated to be from the nekropol kingdom time) are seen from the hill on the southeast side of the hotel bungalows. The ruins of Roman graves may also be found on Baba Island.

Iztuzu Beach

Iztuzu beach is spectacular with its crystal clear turquoise waters, and fine golden sands – home to the rare and endangered Caretta Caretta turtle, who return year after year to lay their eggs in the sand. Iztuzu beach is designated a conservation area, and has won the award for protecting the nature and environment. It has been stated that there is no other place in the world where fresh water lake merges with the Mediterranean Sea. The fine golden sand beach starts at the base of the mountains and extends 8km to the mouth of the Dalyan Delta. Iztuzu was once the harbour to the ancient city of Caunos where salt, salted fish and slaves were sold.

 

As the beach is a protected site it is forbidden to erect any buildings or concrete structure, and only the wooden changing cabins and café are permitted. Furthermore, in order to protect the eggs of the Caretta Caretta turtles it is also forbidden to allow pets on the beach, and umbrellas may only be used in designated areas.

 

You can arrive at Iztuzu beach two ways: A pleasant journey by boat from the Dalyan harbour through the delta which takes approximately 30-35 minutes, alternatively by minibus that takes you through the Oleander lined road with its vibrant blossom, the calmness and tranquility of Sülülngür Lake and over the mountain, journey time approximately 15 minutes. The minibus pick up point is located next to the Dalyan post Office. Both routes are enjoyable, offering a unique look at nature by land and water.

Caunos Ancient Town

The ancient town of Caunos dates back to the 10th century B.C. Archaeological investigations have found evidence of the Classic, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantium Ages. The once very important harbour of the ancient town has receded from the sea due to the Dalyan Delta. Strabon (Skylaks), an important geographer of the ancient age, said “ Caunos is at coast and Calbis flows near it.” Caunos is at the South coast of Karya opposite the Greek Island of Rhodes. Caunos is surrounded by mountains that open out to the Menderes meadow from the North. Rock tombs looking out to the sea and valleys from West are also part of Karya with Likya to the South.

Caunos which had great strategical importance was a harbour city for ships traveling between the East Mediterranean and Aegean Seas. Heredot says: “Caunos people are native of this region but they say they are from Girit. There are effects of Karya in their language or their language effects in Karya’s. I can’t explain it completely.” Caunos people had particular traditions that have not been witnessed in any other ethnic group. Heredot says: “But their traditions are different from Karya’s and others.  One of their most respectful traditions is drinking wine together with friends either women or men. The traditions of Caunos are distinctive from Karya and Likya civilizations. It is said that Caunos settled at the Karya-Likya border. Ancient Caunos Town is 152 meters high from the sea and is on a peninsula that was formed by Acropolis and Küçükkale. In Archaic and Early Classic times Caunos stood in a chasm between city walls at the Southeast of Vespasian Fountain in Agora at the foot of Acropolis and Küçük Kale.

 

The 5000 seating capacity of the Amphitheatre attracts a vast amount of attention due to its southwest position and architecture. The Ancient theatre has three parts: stage, performance area and seating. Today the theatre is generally well preserved apart from the erosion of the stage and some of the seats, and the orchestral area has now been filled with earth. To the West of the theatre are ruins of a basilica church, other ruins present are Roman baths and a temple. Below, there is a raised podium; behind it lays an unfinished building with columns without chamfer formed in a circular construction. In here temple ruins are seen. Ancient relics have been found during archaeological digs to the North of the old harbour – Sülüngür Lake, in addition to many statue bases, however the statues themselves have never been found.

 

A Legend

According to the legend the King of Karya, son of Apollon had twins, the name Caunos was given to the boy and Byblis to the girl. The twins fell in love with each other. However, Byblis’s love for her brother became so great she could not bear to be apart from him for a moment. One day Bibylis put her most intimate feelings in a love letter to her brother. Caunos felt ashamed and worried about its content, the only solution he felt was appropriate was to leave the city. He left with his partisans and formed the city of Caunos where he settled for the rest of his days. Bibylis became distraught and heartbroken when she heard the news, and ran to the mountains to search for him, when she realized she would never see her brother again her pain was so great she committed suicide by jumping from the cliff top. Nympes (the goddess of spring water) showed mercy on Byblis and turned her into a spring. Legend states that the Calbis River (Dalaman River) was formed from Bibylis’s tears.

Caretta caretta

These amazing sea turtles with their brown shells and orange bellies, vary in length from 115-150cm and weigh approximately 150kg with a life span of approximately 70 years. They live in colonies and are now on the list of ‘endangered species close to extinction’.

 

In other parts of the world such as France, Italy and the Far East they are classed as a luxury food and over hunting have almost wiped out this species. With the effort of the Dalyan people, world wildlife protection agencies and publicity, Iztuzu beach is now under protection. Caretta carettas, normally lay eggs once in 2-3 years, and will lay their eggs in the sand using an instinct known as ‘’oritasyon”. Turtles dig hundreds of holes but will only lay their 80-100 eggs in one hole; it is believed that the reason behind this is to disguise the hole in which the eggs are laid to give the eggs a greater chance to survive predator attacks.

 

After a 1 ½ – 2 month nesting period and during the night the eggs hatch, the chicks then instinctively make their way to the sea by following the light on the horizon. In Iztuzu beach the nesting period runs for approximately 55- 60 days between May and July, the chicks begin to hatch at the beginning of July and continue until September. It is prohibited to enter the beach from sunset until dawn during this time of year, as other light sources may attract the turtles in the wrong direction, inevitably causing death. Specialists say that 1-2 in every hundred turtles born is enough to guarantee the survival of the species.

Rock Tombs

You look on in awe at the magnificence of history unfolding before your eyes. Rock tombs that have been standing for thousands of years against the merciless of time, carrying the mysteries of the past to the future are everlasting. Many have said when up close to the tombs they here the stones talking to them.

 

Colossal rocks have been intricately carved to form the entrances to the tombs, rising from the sea at an 80 degree angle; it perplexes the mind as to how so many thousands of years ago these amazing sites were constructed. According to the archaeologists, the intricacy of the tombs shows the power and wealth of those that are buried there. Most of the city is still protected with a 7-8 m high barrier, even today. There are three stone lines side by side for the dead to be buried into the rock tombs that are carved like an Ionian temple. The Ionian columns which were elaborately decorated have since eroded. However on one facade the reliefs of two lions facing one another are still seen.

Mud Bath

The rejuvenating mud baths are close to the connecting point of Köyceğiz Lake and Delta of Dalyan. Dustin Hoffman, Sting and Uma Thurman also came here. It is forbidden to build in the area where the natural mud has formed. Although there is no scientific proof, many people believe that the mud has beautifying qualities, that if applied regularly to aging skin, wrinkles will disappear. Next to the mud baths are the hot thermal springs, with healing qualities that are supposed to be a cure for a host of ailments such as rheumatism, gastro & gynecological problems and sciatica to name a few.

 

As far as we can see, the mud makes a difference on your skin and a form of animation for the visitors. The tourists see each other covered in mud, have fun and take lots of photos. This creates a fun activity in the region.

Delta of Dalyan

A boat trip on the Dalyan Delta is a must and is especially enjoyable for bird enthusiasts; the reed beds also offer shelter to an array of wildlife, including the blue crab. It is impossible to answer the question “How does it feel to be in nature?”, unless you experience the magic of the delta and its labyrinth of reed beds.  As your boat moves along the reed-beds, the magnificence of the soaring mountains is proof of nature’s generosity. The rush is home to 180 species of birds, with the vibrantly coloured Kingfisher frequently spotted. Many birdwatchers come from around the world to observe the birds that are rarely seen, some of which are indigenous to the area. As your journey begins from Dalyan harbour towards Iztuzu beach, on the right side you will see the walls of the ancient city of Caunos, further on you pass through Dalyan’s fish farm. After an enthralling ride a long the delta you arrive at Iztuzu beach – the second most natural beach in the world – Here Aegean and Mediterranean Seas meet, and you have the opportunity to either swim in the sea or fresh water.

 

If you take the boat trip in the opposite direction you will make a stop at the rejuvenating mud baths before enjoying a swim in the fresh waters of Köyceğiz Lake.

Trionxy

Dalyan made world headlines due to the rare and endangered Caretta Caretta turtle. However, little is mentioned of the Trionxy Trionguisler (a turtle that lives in fresh water). Its natural habitat is the Dalyan delta, but these amazing creatures are on the verge of extinction. According to investigation within the whole of the Mediterranean only 1000 turtles have been found, the majority of which were found living in the delta of Dalyan. The Trionyxs move incredibly fast when on the ground, and come ashore to lay there eggs.

 

Bakardi and Aşı Creeks

Both creeks border the Mergenli village on the west coast of Dalyan; they are wonderful, peaceful places for relaxing, swimming and encapsulating yourself in nature.