Köyceğiz (population 6500) is a small town at the
northern end of the large lake of the same name - Köyceğiz
Lake, which is joined to the Mediterranean Sea by a natural
channel called the Dalyan Delta or simply the Dalyan
Canal. The main attraction here is the lake itself -
broad, beautiful and serene.
Except for its small but growing tourist trade ,
Köyceğiz is a farming and fishing town.
Among the goods produced here are citrus fruit, olives,
honey and cotton. This region is also famous for
its ancient liquidambar (often known as "sweetgum")
trees. The Turkish government is now sponsoring
large-scale reforestation projects to replant the
hill-sides with liquidambar evergreens.
The town itself is small and compact with some
delightful cobbled, traffic-free lanes to explore and a
wide choice of restaurants and cafes. Look
carefully and you can still find small artisan
establishments much as they were in previous ages.
There are interesting historical remains at Eski
(Old) Köyceğiz. The feudal Menteşe landlords had their
stronghold there until the village flooded and present
Köyceğiz was built. Köyceğiz has a few interesting
historical buildings and also has the Lion of Kaunos,
which was illegally taken from the ancient city in the
The main street into the town centre brings you to
the boat docks on Köyceğiz Lake where you can walk along
the 2km long waterfront promenade past restaurants and a
few bars overlooking the incredible panorama presented
by the lake and the pine-covered mountains that surround
it. The pace is slower and decidedly more relaxed here
than at some nearby resorts and there are no restaurant
and bar front men hassling you to dine or have drinks at
their place of business. On Mondays there is a large
bustling market which both locals from the surrounding
area or bussed in by Dolmuş ... and tourists - who often
travel across the lake to visit the town.
There is a fault in Köyceğiz Lake which has formed
sulphurous hot springs at the mud baths near Dalyan and
at the Sultaniye Thermal Springs which are a short boat
ride across the lake. At Sultaniye these natural hot
springs have been directed into pools holding this hot
water for bathing. The water temperature is usually
around 38 DegC. The sulphur-rich air around these is
said to be a cure for asthma and other lung ailments.
Many people drink these waters for all kinds of ills and
pains. The unspoiled beach at Ekincik is about an
hour's drive over the mountain through spectacular
Köyceğiz town centre seems to close on a Sunday!: so, if
you want to do more than just explore the beautiful
lakeside, perhaps better to choose another day to visit!