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We recently got back from a week in Dalyan, Turkey and during our stay we visited Itzuzu beach, which is more affectionately known as Turtle Beach, thanks to the loggerhead and green turtles that nest there. The beach is well worth a visit if you are in the area because it really is beautiful and there is plenty to do when you get there.
Getting there from Dalyan is easy because you can either get the Dolmus bus or the public boat, both of which are easy to find in the town. Both cost about a pound each way and I would recommend getting one one way and the other back, especially if you fancy a walk along the beach at the other end. They both drop off at opposite ends of the beach from each other though, so if you don't want the walk, then make sure you get a return ticket. In both cases you have to wait for them to fill up before they set off, but they generally go once every hour for the boat and once every half hour for the bus. The bus is smaller so fills up quicker, but if you get the boat bat, it tends to fill up much quicker at the other end. There is also the option of renting a private boat for the day but that is more expensive if there aren't many of you. We recently got back from a week in Dalyan, Turkey and during our stay we visited Itzuzu beach, which is more affectionately known as Turtle Beach, thanks to the loggerhead and green turtles that nest there. The beach is well worth a visit if you are in the area because it really is beautiful and there is plenty to do when you get there.
When you get there, you'll find a cafe, toilets, showers and sunbeds at either end of the beach. The prices aren't the cheapest in the cafe because they have a captive audience, but you can get sandwiches, burgers, chips and so on. At the bus end of the beach is where you'll find the Turtle hospital, which is well worth a visit. It is free to enter although they do ask for a donation and one of the guides there (who are mainly university students volunteering) will talk to you about the turtles and answer any questions. Like I said, well worth going into.
The views from the beach are absolutely outstanding. I thought it looked like somewhere in the Caribbean actually and half expected one of the pirate ships from Pirates of the Caribbean to come around the corner at any moment. Because it is a cove, it can get windy, but walking down the beach from one end to the other takes about an hour and is well worth it because it is so peaceful and beautiful.
Overall definitely recommended.
The closest beach to Dalyan is Izutzu Beach, which is more affectionately known as "turtle" beach since it is a nesting site for the rare loggerhead turtle ("Caretta Caretta"). Being used by loggerheads the beach and its surrounding area remains un-developed, despite numerous planning applications to get the site developed to cater for tourists. During the last planning application the development opposition included David Bellamy, who fought for the logger head's safe haven. A compromise was struck allowing the turtles to keep their nesting place and tourists to use the beach, and this arrangement appears to work very well.
There are two ways of getting to the beach from Dalyan. The first is by bus, which leaves regularly from the centre of town. A return trip will cost around 5 YTL, which for a 50 minute round trip is very reasonable. The other way is to catch a boat from the river side. At 45 minutes each way the trip is slightly longer but the views are so much better and it is an ideal time to kick back, relax, take some photos and enjoy the scenery. The boat is a little more expensive for a return trip, but the additional cost is so much worth it.
Down the riverside of Dalyan you will be touted for boat trips to the beach. Many owners will give you private hire but this is very expensive and I would avoid this at all costs. The best way is to look for the Coop boats. These are public and cost 8 YTL return. The public boats to the beach run every half an hour and return on the hour. If you take the boat you will not be able to catch a return any earlier than 1.00 pm. The boats then run hourly from then with the last one leaving at 6.00 pm. The beach is prohibited from 7.00 pm and is reserved solely for the logger heads.
If you take the boat trip to the beach, the views are stunning. Along the way you will see the rock tombs, Kaunos and the reed beds. In addition, you will see plenty of 'pretty' boats, river side restaurants and lots of wildlife. There is so much to look at.
Once at the beach there is a boardwalk from the quayside to the sun loungers. It is geared up for tourism.
In the middle of the beach there is a 'no sun bath' area situated between the sun loungers and parasols, and the sea. This is the area where the loggerheads lay their eggs and in order to ensure the nests (and more importantly the eggs) are not damaged tourists are only allowed to walk through this area to get to the sea. This rule is strictly enforced, although 99.9% of people do not break this rule anyway. One thing I did notice in the "no go" area whilst walking to the sea was little "scratch" lines. These are the marks left by the baby turtles as they drag themselves to the sea for the first time, hence proving logger heads really do breed here.
Lined along the beach are the typical sun loungers and parasols that you find on most touristy beaches. For 6 YTL you get two sun loungers and a parasol for the whole day, which is cheaper than many beaches I have been on and is great value for money. Whilst the loungers are quite close together, they are far enough apart not to be too cosy, unlike other beaches I have been on.
For those true sun worshippers there is always the beach beyond the "no go" area, which is quite narrow. Strangely enough, on the three occasions we went to the beach there were loads of unused sun loungers as all the tourists were crammed on to the beach. The phrase "mad dogs and English men" springs to mind, but each to their own.
One thing I should point out is the heat of the sand, which I found to be almost unbearable on bare feet. Despite the sand being golden, I can honestly say it was hotter than the black sands of St Vincent by a long way. Consequently, the hottest sand is in the "no go" area so there was no getting away from it when going for a dip.
The sea in this area is gorgeous. It is crystal blue and very warm, although it is very salty. This beach is ideal for children and those people who aren't confident in the water because the beach is a long shelf that gradually goes down deeper, with no sudden holes or dips. There are no strong under currents, or rib tides, the waves are small (making it useless for surfing or body boarding) and the sea is almost like glass. Underfoot is pure sand with no rocks, little weed and few creatures. There are sea creatures in the area but you actually have to go looking for them, which suits me down to the ground.
The view around the bay is stunning as all around are mountains and lush green forests. Out to sea are rocky bays and islands and over to the horizon you can see other parts of the land. I found the views breath taking and a camera is a must have.
One other thing I noticed was how clean the beach is compared to others I have been on. There are plenty of rubbish bins about, like there are on many other beaches, however, people at Turtle Beach actually use them. I would even say the beach is immaculate.
If you are staying in Dalyan a trip to Turtle Beach is a must do and I would advise going by boat to really appreciate the experience. Taking a bus is OK, but it is nowhere near as good as taking the public boat, and at a couple of YTL more the price differential is tiny.
The views to the beach, at the beach and surrounding the beach are breath taking and you have to experience it to really get a feel for it. No photo can do this type of scenery justice, no matter how expensive the camera or good the photographer.
(This review has been posted on other sites under the name of Yackers1)
The famous beach of Dalyan that is the nesting site of the famous logger head turtles