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Getting There

By Plane -- Dalaman Airport lies only 26km (16 miles) southeast of Dalyan. It is tediously possible to get in on your own by taking the airport coach to the crossroad in Dalaman (5km/3 miles), changing for a dolmus to Ortaca (9.5km/6 miles), and then changing again for Dalyan (12km/7 1/2 miles), an ordeal that will cost you about an hour (including waiting time) and about 5TL. Better still is to have a trusted driver waiting for you: Based in Dalyan center, Kaunos Tours (in Dalyan center; tel. 0252/284-2816; www.kaunostours.com) offers a special shuttle service for £28 per person for up to three people (the per person price goes down the more people you book), which is comparable to the taxi rates. Koral Travel, based in Fethiye (tel. 0252/616-7375) and Marmaris (tel. 0252/412-9948; www.dalamanairport.net) runs private shuttles for as little as 7€ per person.

By Bus -- There is no direct bus service to Dalyan. Buses will get you as far as Ortaca, located about 8km (5 miles) west on the Marmaris-to-Fethiye highway, from there you can grab a dolmus (15 min., 2TL) or a taxi (25TL-30TL). There is also limited dolmus service from Fethiye (1 hr., 10 min.) and Marmaris (1 hr., 30 min.).

By Boat -- A wonderful first impression of Dalyan can be had arriving by sea. You can negotiate the cost of transportation from one of the neighboring ports -- Marmaris is the closest major one -- or book a cheap spot on a day excursion and take it one-way only.

By Car -- The best road into Dalyan is the one from Ortaca. There's also a turnoff into Dalyan just on the outskirts of Köycegiz, but it's pothole-ridden and bumpy and best avoided.

Visitor Information

The tourist information office (tel./fax 0252/284-4235) is located in the town center on Maras Mahallesi.

Orientation

The little waterfront village of Dalyan is situated halfway up the Dalyan River (Dalyan Cayi), a river canal connecting Köycegiz Lake with the Mediterranean. No surprise then that the soul of Dalyan is on the river. Restaurants, waterside cafes, hotels, and pensions line the waterfront, while the business heart of the city (banks and shopping center) is located a few short steps inland. Dolmuses line up near the statue of Atatürk. A good number of pensions and hotels dot the landscape, increasingly sprawling out along the flatlands of the river basin, but still within walking distance.

At the mouth of the river is a natural sandbar protecting the canal from the open seas. Known as Iztuzu Beach, this beach peninsula divides the rough seas of the Mediterranean from the serene waters of the canal and is one of the last natural breeding grounds for the loggerhead turtle.

Majestic rock-cut temple tombs hover on the cliff face, and farther upriver on the shore opposite Dalyan are the ruins of Kaunos, once a thriving Lycian port town and now located slightly inland. Farther north are the open-air mud baths, and continuing upriver the thermal waters flanking the scenic Köycegiz Lake. On the northern bank of the lake is the sleepy village of Köycegiz, an even more budget alternative jumping-off point for visits to the area attractions.

Getting Around

By Boat -- Boats are the main mode of transportation in Dalyan. Dalyan's cooperative of river boatmen run river dolmuses daily in summer only (no boats in winter) to Iztuzu Beach for 7TL round-trip. Since the boatmen are working together, you can hop on any one of their boats for the return trip. River dolmuses run regularly from Dalyan to Iztuzu between 9am and 1:30pm, return boats leave Iztuzu beginning at 1pm to the last run at 6pm. Don't wait until late morning to head out, though; because these are dolmuses, they only leave after they've managed to pick up a reasonable number of passengers, leaving latecomers waiting indefinitely. The cooperative also runs excursions to the mud baths, the Sultaniye Thermal, and to Köycegiz Lake daily for 15TL and transport to and from Kaunos (15TL) departing at 9am and returning at 3pm daily. For all of the cooperative's trips, kids to age 6 ride free, 7 to 12 pay half-price. Meanwhile, many hotels have their own boats providing service for free or for a fee.

The more economical option for excursions is to hook up with one of the innumerable agencies around town that offer group tours of the area; this way, the cost of the private boat rental is shouldered by all participants, and the headache of filling the boat is borne by the agency. Kaunos Tours (tel. 0252/284-2816; www.kaunostours.com), also the local representative for Europcar, does guided land and water-based excursions and adventure trips.

There's an inexpensive and convenient rowboat shuttling those in the know across the river from Dalyan, at the extreme southern end of the Kordon (not far from the Dalyan Hotel) to Çandir; at only 1.50TL, this service is extremely useful for those hearty and independent enough to brave the heat for the short walk up to the ruins of Kaunos, or the hour it will take to hike up to the mud baths.

By Dolmus -- Dolmuses leave regularly from the town center for Iztuzu Beach (3.50TL, 20 min.), Ortaca (3.50TL, 15 min.), and Köycegiz town (3.50TL, 30 min.). Fares quoted are one-way.

By Bike -- Getting around on your own juice will give you the freedom to enjoy Iztuzu Beach, 18 hilly kilometers (11 miles) away, well after the excursion boats have cleared the docks. Scooters and bicycles are available for rental at Kaunos Moto (tel. 0252/284-2816) at reasonable daily rates.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.