Dalyan Village, Turtle Beach, River Cruise, & Ancient Kaunos Tour
- Dalyan: A drive through forests, orange groves, and cotton fields brings you to this small town, symbolized by the bronze statue of its Caretta caretta turtles.
- Dalyan River cruise: Travel this winding waterway through a maze of reeds to see the famous Lycian temple-tombs of ancient kings carved into the riverside cliffs.
- Kaunos: Thriving before the Bay of Dalyan was silted in, this ancient city includes an acropolis, 5,000-seat theater, temples, agora, baths, stoa, city walls, and more.
About This Fethiye Tour
You, and the turtles, can thank Prince Philip for the opportunity to see unspoiled Iztuzu Beach. This pristine spot, called "turtle beach" by the locals, hit the international spotlight in the 80s and 90s when developers planned a large hotel and marina here. A worldwide outcry followed to save this breeding ground for the endangered Caretta caretta turtles.
You may know these reptiles as the loggerhead sea turtle (stick to that, it's easier than the Turkish name: deniz kaplumbaga). The females of this large, strong-jawed species come to the beach at night from May and September to lay their eggs, which need to incubate undisturbed in the sand for 50 to 65 days. Once they hatch, baby turtles skitter down to the sea drawn by reflected light on the water. If there are lights on land, confused hatchings can head in the wrong direction toward disaster.
The turtles have been safe there since environmentalists, led by local activist June Haimoff, rallied to oppose to development. Prince Philip, then president of the World Wildlife Fund, joined the cause to finally put the kibosh on the hotel plan. And June Haimoff's Turtle Conservation Foundation earned her an MBE award for environmental work. Now in her 90s, she remains vigilant as more development plans loom.
The highlights of this tour are ancient: the temple tombs you'll see from the river were carved in the 5th century B.C., and the city of Kaunos may date as far back as the 10th century B.C. But the turtles have them beat. They've been roaming the world's waters and beaches for about 65 million years and, although protected, their numbers are declining. Flippers crossed that Daylan's turtle beach remains their refuge.
Steeped in tears and trauma
Legend holds that ancient Kaunos was founded by King Kaunos, Apollo's grandson. Kaunos' twin sister, Byblis, was in love with him and died of sorrow when her incestuous desires were rebuffed – but not before she cried enough tears to start the Daylan River flowing. Since then, Kaunos has endured attacks by pirates, a 15th-century malaria, an earthquake, and layers of sand that buried it for hundreds of years.
Meeting point at the Port of Fethiye, Hotel, or the Dalyan International Airport and look for the tour representative with the displayed logo sign. Be sure to indicate the name of your hotel at check-out so we know where to meet you.
A portion of this tour is conducted by boats with a seating capacity of 25 occupants each.
Due to the nature of this tour, it is not recommend for Travelers using walkers or wheelchairs. Participants must be able to walk approximately 1 mile over uneven and cobblestone surfaces, inclines and 100+ steps.
Adventure, Cultural, Scenic, Boat Tour, Bus Tour
English, German, Spanish, French, Italian
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages.
Special Medical Restriction
This tour is not recommended to travelers with walking difficulties or who cannot manage steps.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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