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Dalyan

Dalyan is a town within the Muğla Province situated between Marmaris and Fethiye on the south-west, Mediterranean coast of Turkey. 'Dalyan' which means 'fishing weir' in Turkish, is well known for its local Iztuzu Beach. This beach is a protected breeding ground for the endangered loggerhead sea turtle which is closed between 8pm and 8am for the turtles to lay their eggs and the hatchlings find their way to sea between May and October. On the other side of the river is Kaunos which is the ancient trading city, and also above the river's cliff face are the façades of Lycian rock cut tombs from 400BC.

Life in Dalyan revolves around the Dalyan Çayı River which flows past the town offering the most popular tourist attraction - boat trips to the beach and lake. The boats that ply up and down the river, navigating the maze of reeds, are the preferred means of transport to all the local sites, including the nearby town of Köyceğiz. In 2008 Ïztuzu Beach was awarded Best Open Space (Europe) by The Times because of the eco-friendly exploitation of the beach. In 2011 Dalyan and Ïztuzu Beach were proclaimed Best Beach Destination of Europe by Dutch holiday assessment website Zoover.

Köycegiz

The town of Köyceğiz lies at the northern end of Köyceğiz Lake which is 5,200 hectares big and joined to the Dalyan Delta and Mediterranean Sea. Its unique environment is being preserved as a nature and wildlife sanctuary, the Köyceğiz-Dalyan Special Environmental Protection Area and is home to the protected Nile turtle (Trionyx triunguis)

In the lake there are five uninhabited islands, one of them known as Hapishane Adası, Prison Island. Initially the island was used for military purposes, then turned into a prison island. It is no longer in use as such and deserted. The lake was formed about 7,500 years ago bordered by several sulfurous hot springs, including the popular Sultaniye mud baths and hot springs which are accessed generally by boat as a major tourist attraction. The wetlands around the lake are interesting because of their birdlife attracting many species including the spectacular kingfisher, penduline tit, the Eurasian reed warbler, the great reed warbler and black-crowned night heron. The area is also rich with tortoises, turtles, terrapins, snakes and insects.

Dalaman & Sarigerme

Dalaman is best known for its international airport which serves as a gateway to popular tourist destinations, such as Marmaris, Fethiye, Köyceğiz, Dalyan, Ölüdeniz and Hisarönü. Dalaman has one of the oldest train stations in the world, which dates back to 1905 and exists as a result of pure accident. Abbas Hilmi Pasha, then Khedive (Viceroy) of Egypt, decided to have a hunting manor built in an area that he had purchased. He consulted a French company to produce plans for his manor, and at the same time plans for a railway station that he intended to have built in Alexandria. Plans and materials for both buildings were shipped from France at the same time, but there was a mistake, the plans and materials for each building were loaded into the wrong ships and the train station ended up in Dalaman whilst the hunting manor made its way to Alexandria! It was decided to swap the locations of the two buildings, from what was originally intended, because it was thought that shipping the materials once again would be too costly. Even a short stretch of rail track, hundreds of kilometers away from the nearest part of rail network, was laid out in front of the building. Today, the elegant building, covered with overgrown ivy, serves as the headquarters of a large state farm.

Close by (approximately 12km from Dalaman airport) is Sarigerme. The main beach is long and sandy and has a cafeteria providing the usual fare, soft drinks, tea and ice creams, as well as beers. The local Belediye (Council) charges a small entrance fee to enter the beach. Sarigerme is also a popular beach for water activities and large all-inclusive hotels are located on the coast, including the 5* Hilton Hotel, First Choice's Holiday Village and Suntopia Tropical, as well as many other small hotels and pensions. The town centre itself is quiet with some quality restaurants and bars and friendly local people.

Göcek, Fetihye & Ölüdeniz

In the Ottoman period Göcek was used as a harbour for ships loading chrome ore collected from the mines under nearby mountains. Today, Göcek has six large marinas that serve the yacht tourism in the region: Club Marina, Skopea Marina, Municipality Marinas, Marinturk Göcek Village Port, Marinturk Göcek Exclusive and D-Marin Göcek. In 1988, Göcek was declared a Registered Area of Special Protection, therefore, multi-story buildings are not allowed. Göcek coves and the 12 islands are covered with pine forests, surrounded by Mediterranean water and unspoiled beaches becoming an indispensable destination for seafarers. Of the beaches, one belonging to D-Resort Göcek can be used by visitors paying a daily fee or taking out a seasonal membership. Çnlice Beach, run by the local municipality, is a 10-minute drive from Göcek. The main island beach is reachable by water taxi from the harbour. Other beaches are easily accessible by car or taxi. The Twelve Islands can be reached by private charter boats, simple fishing boats and larger yachts. The main promenade has many restaurants, cafes, bars and shops.

Modern Fethiye is located on the site of the ancient city of Telmessos, the ruins of which can be seen in the city, such as the Hellenistic theatre by the main quay. Telmessos was the most important city of Lycia, with a recorded history dating back to the 5th century BC. In 1934, the city was renamed 'Fethiye' in honor of Fethi Bey, one of the first pilots of the Ottoman Air Force, killed on an early mission. The Fethiye Museum, which is very rich in ancient and more recent artifacts, displays and testifies to the successive chain of civilizations that existed in the area, starting with the ancient Lycians. Fethiye is also home to the Tomb of Amyntas, a large and beautiful tomb built in 350 BC by the Lycians. What makes this tomb very unique is its massive size and beautiful carvings. Some of the other historical sites worth visiting are: Kadyanda Ancient City, the old Greek town of Kayaköy, Afkule, Gemiler and Aya Nikola.

Fethiye is one of Turkey's well-known tourist centers and is especially popular during the summer. The area of Fethiye and Ölüdeniz was chosen as the best tourism centre in the world by The Times and The Guardian newspapers in 2007.

Fethiye stretches inland from the harbour for more than 7 miles, incorporating several villages into the one city. To the north of the city centre is the area of Çalış Beach, which incorporates the main street of Barış Manço Bulvarç alongside an extensive promenade along the coast, on which a lot of hotels are based. To the east, lie the areas of Günlükbaşç, Çamköy, Cumhuriyet, and also Esenköy to the south-east. Approximately 2 miles to the south-west and south respectively, lie the towns of Kayaköy and Ölüdeniz, the latter being world famous for its beach spit and associated Blue Lagoon. It is widely credited as the most photographed beach in the Mediterranean region. Ölüdeniz means Dead Sea, due to its calm waters even during storms, it has a secluded sandy bay at the mouth of Ölüdeniz, on a blue lagoon. The lagoon is a national nature reserve and construction is strictly prohibited. The beach is an official Blue Flag beach, frequently rated among the top 5 beaches in the world by travellers and tourism journals alike.

Ölüdeniz is also famous for its paragliding opportunities. It is regarded as one of the best places in the world to paraglide due to its unique panoramic views, and Mount Babada?'s exceptional height. Scuba diving is also a very popular sport in this area with regard to its crystal clear waters and rich underwater caves and fauna.

Marmaris, Gökova & Akyaka