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İZTUZU (İSTUZU) BEACH, DALYAN

Iztuzu1While staying in Dalyan or Köyceğiz the most obvious thing to do is to take a boat ride along the reed-lined Dalyan Çayı (river) to !stuzu Beach, the famous nesting place of Caretta caretta (loggerhead) turtles, and closed to visitors on summer nights to protect them.

This five-km-long stretch of sand is one of Turkey's finest beaches, although you shouldn't expect to have it to yourself, especially in high summer when day-trip excursion boats pour in from all the local resorts.

It's also possible to get to the beach by dolmuş. This will drop you at the less crowded end of the sand where there is a single mildly overpriced cafe.

Here, too, is the Sea Turtle Research Institute's "hospital" for injured green and loggerhead turtles where volunteers will be happy to explain the turtle life cycle to you.

On the hillside nearby is the reconstucted hut in which a British woman nicknamed Kaptan June once lived before the beach was cleared of its ramshackle residences in favour of a huge hotel development which, thankfully, failed to materialise.Iztuzu2

The story of the battle to save the beach can be read in Kaptan June and the Dalyan Turtles by June Haimoff, on sale in the hut.

Sleeping

There are no hotels or pensions on the beach although there are a few places above it, accessible by dolmuş from Dalyan. 

Transport info

The excursion boats aside, there are frequent dolmuşes from Dalyan to the beach. It's a pleasant ride over the hillside with fine views of the sandspit at İztuzu from on high.

Read more about the turtle hospital: http://www.todayszaman.com/news-317747-turtle-story-looking-at-dalyan-and-beyond.html

Iztuzu3Neslihan recovering from cracked skull at İztuzu

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