We spent parts of September 30 and October 1 in the pretty riverbank town of Dalyan, Turkey. Visitors come for the city’s setting on the placid Dalyan River, for the dramatic Lycian tombs hewn into the rock faces that dominate the town on the west bank of the river, for the ruins of ancient Roman city of Kaunos, and for broad Iztuzu Beach, which is also a natural nesting-ground for loggerhead turtles.
We arrived late in the afternoon and decided to take advantage of the attractive river-side walk. Along the walk there are occasional small restaurants and bars, one of which provided us with some refreshments. The lack of large high end hotels added to the relaxing ambiance and since we were there just after the end of the tourist season the number of other tourists was reduced. All quite pleasant and relaxing.
There are many outdoor restaurants along the river in the main part of the town. As is often the case in Turkey our evening meal started with a plate of meze. Meze or mezze is a selection of small dishes served to accompany drinks and is often served at the beginning of multi-course meals. We quite enjoy sampling the various meze.
Pomegranates are a major crop in this area. The proprietor of our hotel provided us with a fresh glass of juice from trees on his property. Tasty. We stayed in the Yaprak Hotel. They were very helpful in planning our visit to the city. Highly recommended.
We took a boat ride up the river to explore Kaunos and some hot springs then returned down river to the Iztuzu beach. The Iztuzu beach is quite long with fine grey sand.
Kaunos was an important sea port, the history of which is supposed to date back to the 10th century BC. Because of the formation of Iztuzu Beach and the silting of the former Bay of Dalyan (from approximately 200 BC onwards), Kaunos is now located about 5 miles inland from the coast. Since the city was no longer on the coast it was slowly abandoned. None of the architectural finds at Kaunos date back to earlier than 4th century BC. Interpreting the structures in the town requires considerable archaeological knowledge since the city was used by several groups during its existence–Persians, Greeks, Romans and Turkish. Each group added buildings sometimes reusing existing materials or modifying existing structures.
Ellen and I enjoy the diverse craft beers so common in the US. In our travels in Europe we have not found this level of diversity. Usually just 1-3 of the same beers at any bar or restaurant. Furthermore while the beers are fine they are not to our taste. On the river walk in Dalyan we encountered a small bar that advertised some ‘craft’ beers. We were intrigued enough to sit down give them a try. We both selected a red ale. We enjoyed. Looking the the label I realized why it was called a red ale–the only ingredients were hops and beets! Just read that beet juice is good for your health. Healthy Beer.