Where is the Dalyan River?


The Dalyan River runs through one of the most impressive river valleys on the coast. When the sea level rose, perhaps in the 6th century AD, it caused the river to run more slowly and deposit silt and sand which blocked the harbour of the city of Caunus. The city slowly died like Ephesus, Miletus, Priene, Patara and Limyra. The river snaked back and forth across the wide valley, reeds and rushes filled the spaces and fish thrived in the slow water. Where the wide valley reached the sea, a broad, 2 1/2 mile sand bar was formed by the pressure of the sea against the river. Ony the shallowest boat can now cross this bar.

The beach here is a really nice place, especially for young children as the sand is fine and the sea is gentle. Further up the river, past Caunus, is Dalyan, a pleasant town, and further on there are two attractions: a large mud bath with facilities of great appeal to the young at heart, and a peaceful lake that is lovely for boating on a hot day.

We take a shallow boat from our gulet ‘Odysseus’ up the winding river where you can find large caretta turtles, a rare type of turtle whose nesting ground is the beach, coming to the water’s surface. Also we visit the impressive ancient city of Caunus to admire the Roman theatre and baths, and the ruins of the most interesting early Christian church on the coast. Going further in the flat-bottomed boat we view the large, rock-cut temple tombs cut into the sheer face of the mountains (as at Petra) before returning down the river to have a relaxing picnic on the boat, picking up some tasty river crabs on the way for our supper.

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