Dalyan, a small town on the south western coast of Turkey, is famous for three things: its rock cut tombs, its hot springs and its turtle breeding grounds.


The Lycian rock tombs are the best examples of the many which are carved along these shores. Cut into the cliff face overlooking the river, these tombs of the Kings of Caunos vary from simple burial chambers to elaborate and ornate temples.


Although built with secret sections behind false walls, they were unable to prevent tomb robberies which have plundered all the treasure.


Now an endangered and protected species, the Caretta Caretta turtle has its breeding ground on the Iztuzu beach at Dalyan. The turtles, reddish brown with pale undersides, can grow as big as four foot in length, and weigh anything up to 300 pounds.


Arriving back at the beach where they were born each year between May and September, for mating in the lake at the mouth of the Dalyan Delta, the adult female, over 15 years of age, lays several clutches of eggs every two to three years.


Famous since Hellenistic time, the thermal springs at Sultaniye, one of many in the area, are renowned for their medicinal and therapeutic properties.


The ritual consists of bathing in the hot silver grey mud pool, where a gaggle of strangers seem to take pleasure in assisting you to get plastered, then standing about while it sets in a crust while you can hardly smile or speak.


Then you wash it off in the 40 degree waters of a radioactive sulphur dip, which is over six feet deep with sheer sides, and the first step is at the height of your shoulder. This is where you can get you own back on the smaller mud slingers!


Having survived the ordeal you benefit by being cured of rheumatism, skin, liver, spleen and bowel complaints, and nervous and digestive disorders. It also is a remarkable aid for cleansing and beautifying. (See Photo!)




Rock Cut Tombs




Dalyan Delta


Turtle? Beach