Dalyan on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast

The trouble with full time travelling, which I was doing for around a year and a half, is that you never get chance to catch up.  I found this lurking in my draft pile, along with some other bits and pieces long forgotten, and thought I’d slot them in over the coming weeks when I’m maybe not doing a lot else.  I’m glad I saved this with the photos, as I seem to have forgotten to back up a lot of my Turkey photos and they have disappeared with the demise of my last computer.  Ah well; I still saw it all with my actual eyes.

I was here in September 2016, so around 8 months ago.  



Dalyan was highly recommended; Lonely Planet raved about it and Rough Guide featured it in their Turquoise Coast suggested itinerary.

I might suggest that the writers of both Lonely Planet and Rough Guides haven’t been there for a while. I’m sure (say) five years ago it was a great place to go. Now every bit of it has become chock-a-block with restaurants, hotels and all the other paraphernalia that goes with the tourist industry.


Seriously, people can’t survive a 2-week holiday without their bacon and pork sausages? These were all over the place.

It was quite touristy. After I’d booked I came across a blog (I can’t find it now or I’d credit it here) that suggested ‘go if you must but two days is ample’. I think they had it nearer the mark.

It’s a shame because it is a very attractive place.


There is a ferry across the river, although the ferry is new.  In previous years there were only these rowing boats; you pay someone 5 Lira to row you across to the other side.


When you get to the other side you find these Lycian tombs

Tourist numbers this year are, of course, down in Turkey (for obvious reasons). There are sixty percent fewer foreign tourists in Turkey this year. It wasn’t so noticeable further down the coast where there were more domestic tourists, but up here it soon becomes obvious. Countless restaurants and hotels fight for the business of the few. Many restaurant owners said that they would be closing up early this year: the middle of October rather than the end.

That said, if you can cope with the package holiday brigade, then Dalyan is a nice enough place. There is lots to do.


Turtle beach


There’s a market too

I spent three days there. I could easily have filled more time but in truth I was finding the full English breakfast set a little too irritating.

Plus my hotel wasn’t so great, and I’d have needed to switch hotels if I’d have wanted to stay longer.  The staff were nice, always smiling at me, but I desperately wanted to say ‘maybe you should spend less time smiling and more time fixing things’, like the door that doesn’t lock or the wifi that doesn’t work.

Categories: Turkey, Uncategorized

Tagged as: , , ,

20 replies »

  1. comparing the two breakfasts, the local and the english ones, it seems to me the english one is better value. i wonder why they dont make the local breakfast more appetising, instead of it being just a cold spread. i mean it looks like a continental breakfast, except it has no croissant…at the least, throw in a croissant for gawd’s sake. the english one looks like a cooked breakfast, surely that is more work for the worker to prepare than the local one.

    • Well I think the fact that it’s a Muslim country so bacon and sausage is not part of their diet yet a (presumably Muslim) person has to prepare it….how hard is it for people going for a week,s holiday to not eat pork in that time?
      The hotel breakfast was pretty good with lots of fruit and stuff but no pork and nothing cooked; well it was 30 odd degrees outside. They have cake and pitta bread but other bread isn’t part of their diet.
      (Btw I got a ticket for battersea power station this Sunday so thanks for telling me about that. Should be interesting)

  2. Hello Sarah. In my experience I know of many Muslim people who drink alcohol and have the odd bacon butty! That aside, where there is money to be made. Turkey has never really interested me to be honest, but your photos always look so lovely. Hugs and stuff xx

    • Well like all religions, people take what they want out of them and I met quite a few Turkish people who said ‘oh yes my family drink, we’re not that religious’.
      I just found the continual stream of adverts for pork products a bit depressing. I hate that whole concept of the ‘all day English breakfast’ as well, which you see in places like Spain. You’re on holiday; why not try something different?
      No I take your point about Turkey. I loved it, but if I were planning a trip now I probably wouldn’t want to include it.

  3. Will bypass the breakfast conversation because we’re vegetarians. However we get the point about the guides being woefully old in their descriptions. We’ve followed some of them in the past and as you said, a lot of them paint a rosy picture of undiscovered places which in a couple of years of their discovery are overrun by tourists and the hotels and restaurants that follow. Over commercialization has killed many a beautiful place and judging by your post, dalyan as well. Wonder why people can’t take time to imbibe the local culture and food and instead demand what they’re most comfortable with.

    • yes I think the trick is to find a place and then tell nobody. Once you tell somebody they tell somebody else and before long they’re selling package holidays and pork sausages.

  4. It’s a shame to read about how a country’s probably best attraction in the past has been ruined by tourism. Personally, I would never step in a restaurant that sells “English breakfast” in a country outside the UK. I mean… why? You go on holiday to enjoy the local culture, traditions and cuisines, why would you like to eat the same thing as at home (probably cooked wrong as well).

  5. Always a bummer when beautiful places get super touristy, but good for the locals, I suppose. Looks like a gorgeous spot either way. We really loved Turkey, but didn’t make it here. Now I have a more realistic expectation if we return.

  6. Dalyan sounds like a few tourist spots I have been to back home. What you said about those food signs is so true. They seem to attract a certain kind of crowd who like their food only in set ways. So, we can’t really blame these businesses I guess.

  7. Pity you had such a terrible experience! Always a shame when such a beautiful place is ruined by overexposure to tourism and the likes of a full english breakfast (still a fav, wouldn’t say no, but I get your frustration!).

    • It wasn’t terrible exactly, I was just disappointed that it wasn’t the undiscovered gem that Lonely Planet et al suggested

  8. Full time traveling for 1.5 years? Wow, that’s impressive. I had not even heard of Dalyan till I hit this blog. I loved exploring the local markets. I think it shows the real character of any destination.

  9. I can fully understand what you are saying here. I have seen many great places get destroyed due to unplanned growth in tourism. It is a double edged sword but I guess everybody should consider more sustainable approaches towards tourism. As for myself, I try to visit places even before they become popular. He he…

    • Well that’s the trick; getting somewhere nobody else knows about. Choosing somewhere a long way from an airport is good as most people don’t like long overland journeys. I’m getting better at avoiding the tourist traps

  10. hehehe… Hope one of the staff of the hotel reads your post and next time you visit all things are fixed 🙂 and welcome you with a wide smile. The place looks beautiful though. Never heard about this place but one thing for sure if ever I visit I will be careful about choosing a right hotel 😉

    • Well the trouble when people are always nice and smiling is that I feel too guilty to complain. Maybe that was their plan

Leave a Reply