Start point: Car Rental Dalyan Turkey--Iztuzu Beach (11.85 km)
Created by: Turgay Uceren
Short description: This is a 11.85 km scooter route (Dalyan-Iztuzu Beach) in Dalyan Turkey. The route has a total ascent of 212.29 m and has a maximum elevation of 176.84 m.
Hotels on the scooter route: Pearl Appertments Dalyan, Grande Prestige Apart Dalyan, Acar Park Hotel Dalyan, Binlik Hotel Dalyan, Bauhouse Hostel Dalyan
Restaurants on the scooter route: Bengisu Treehouse Restaurant Dalyan, Dalyan Waterful Restaurant & Bar, Begonville House Restaurant Dalyan, Nar Danesi Restaurant & Cafe Dalyan, Gölbasi Restaurant Dalyan
Resting places on the scooter route:
Attractions on the scooter route: Turtle Statue Dalyan Turkey - Golbasi Restaurant - Lake Sulungur - Ekin Dip Dag Restaurant - Gokbel Village - Iztuzu Beach - Turtle Hospital
İztuzu Beach is a pristine 4.5 km narrow spit of land near Dalyan. The beach forms a natural barrier between the estuary of the Dalyan river and the Mediterranean. The beach and the estuary of the Dalyan Channel are an important breeding ground for the endangered Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta). The species mates in the shallow waters, especially in Çandır bay where the water is relatively warm because of the thermal springs. The fine sand of İztuzu Beach makes an ideal nesting habitat.
Ever since 1988 the beach has had a protected status.
In 1986/87 conservationists campaigned against the plans to build an 1800-bed holiday resort and a marina. Especially in the Federal Republic of Germany the building project caused great indignation, because German DEG intended to grant 5 million euros worth of funding as “development aid”. After WWF President Prince Philip had asked Turgut Özal for an environmental impact assessment and the German Federal Government had forbidden the funding of Kaunos Beach Hotel by DEG, the Turkish government cancelled the development plans and gave İztuzu beach and its hinterland an SPA status. Thus the Köyceğiz-Dalyan area became Turkey’s very first Special Environmental Protection Area.
With an average of some 300 nests per year, İztuzu Beach is still a prime nesting habitat of the Loggerhead Turtle. Strict regulations have been imposed to protect the species. Because of the extensive exploitation of the beach and the strict regulations, the Loggerhead population has remained stable over the years and there has even been a slight increase of nests on the beach.
Brackish water side
İztuzu beach borders two lakes, İztuzu Lake and Sülüngür Lake.
İztuzu Lake is located between the Gökbel promontory and the east end of the beach. Over the winter season when weather can be rough and waves sweep the sandy beach, İztuzu Lake (“İz tuzu” literally means trail salt) is fed with salt water from a narrow inlet. The salt water lake is shallow, with a max. depth of approx. 1 metre. Over summer a great part of the water evaporates, turning the small coastal lake into a swampy area. It was only in 2007 that archaeologists found the plan of the ancient saltworks of Kaunos at the rear side of this lake.
Sülüngür Lake is an old lagoon at the east end of the delta, which is exploited as a fishery by the DALKO fish cooperative. The lake cannot be accessed, but offers beautiful views both from the beach and from İztuzu Road that connects Dalyan with the beach.
Walking the beach along the banks of the two lakes is interesting for people interested in the fauna. There is a fair chance of seeing dice snakes, egrets, plovers, tiger beetles, dragonflies, ghost crabs and blue crabs and tortoises. In the dune sand you may find the shrivelled leftovers of Nile Turtle eggs that have been dug out by foxes. If you are lucky you may catch a glimpse of a Loggerhead Turtle surfacing to take a breath between Küçük Dalyan (just outside the Sülüngür fishery gate) and the western beach end.
When visiting the beach, do not miss Kaptan June’s Hut and the DEKAMER sea turtle rehabilitation centre