During my fabulous and last minute getaway to Fethiye, Turkey, I had the opportunity to go from Fethiye to Oludeniz Beach for paragliding over the blue lagoon and also took a couple of boat trips in Oludeniz and Dalyan. In addition, I went on a day trip excursion to the Dalyan Tombs and Dalyan Mud Baths. Since I find boat trips are a lot of fun, and the most convenient way to make it to these attractions in Dalyan, I totally went for it! Here is what to expect if you decide to visit Oludeniz and Dalyan from Fethiye.
As an adventure travel fan, especially having visited many exotic countries, I had the most amazing few days in the Southwest coast of Turkey! Originally, I went to visit Fethiye (and my hotel was located there). But after some research, and hearing such wonderful things from locals about Oludeniz and Dalyan, my real adventure started with a simple adjustment to my original itinerary.
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Driving from Fethiye to Oludeniz Beach, Turkey
My friends and I rented a car in Fethiye. From Fethiye, we drove to Oludeniz Beach (a 20 minute drive) for the main purpose of paragliding off of the Babadag Mountains and over the Blue Lagoon. I previously wrote a dedicated post about this experience (linked here) and I totally recommend this experience.
Best time to visit Fethiye, Oludeniz and Dalyan
We visited in October when it’s already off-season. We loved it because there weren’t as many tourists, with more opportunities to interact with locals. The weather was gorgeous, so we got to enjoy the beautiful blue waters, went to visit local villages, and even packed in several attractions and fun activities.
Things to do in Oludeniz, Turkey
While in Oludeniz, we went on several speed boat trips on Oludeniz Beach and my friends arranged to go on a flyboard adventure with Escape Watersports. While they went on the flyboard, I took pictures and enjoyed the beautiful blue waters of Oludeniz Beach (better known as the Blue Lagoon). For those of you who are not familiar with some of my challenges, I do not know how to swim which is why I decided not to join my friends on the flyboard. I still had a blast in the ocean, close to the shore, and also watching my friends enjoying their experience. It looked like so much fun! They totally recommended it. There are also so many other activities to do in Oludeniz Beach, such as jet-skiing, parasailing, a rhino boat safari, surf-sailing, catamaran sailing lessons, and more.
After finishing all of our adrenaline adventures: Paragliding, speed boats, flyboard, and enjoying the water (my personal adrenaline rush), we decided to plan our move onto our next adventure to Dalyan.
Traveling from Oludeniz Beach to Dalyan
We drove from Oludeniz Beach to Dalyan and it took a little over an hour. It was a nice ride. We even made a new friend, a Turkish girl who was hitchhiking; we gave her a ride to Dalyan. She was a resident of Mugla Province and a student. Even though she only spoke a few words in English, we communicated, as always with my favorite app, Google Translate. We wrote back and forth to communicate. And we are still friends until this day, occasionally talking on social media.
Once we arrived in Dalyan, we decided to rent a private boat for an excursion to the Dalyan Tombs, followed by The Dalyan Mud Baths.
Another Favorite: Solo Female Travel Guide to Turkey
Things to do in Dalyan, Turkey
Lycian Rock Tombs or Dalyan Tombs
Our journey started by visiting the ancient Lycian Rock Tombs, which are rock cut tombs dating back to the 4th – 2nd century BC. However, it was finally abandoned around 1500 CE. The Six rock tombs on the Dalyan River are Dalyan’s primery sight. You can only view the Lycian Rock Tombs, popularly called Dalyan Tombs, from a distance. Best way to see them is from the Kalbis river on one of the many Dalyan boat trips. There are also many restaurants overlooking the stunning carved tombs. They are amazing to view and just make you feel like you are vacationing in the middle of an ancient civilization. What an awesome and gorgeous backdrop!
Fun Fact: The accurate name of the city where the Lycian Rock Tombs are located was Kaunos or Caunos (both spellings are found online). Kaunos was once a thriving port city in Southwestern Anatolia near Dalyan, Turkey, between the Mediterranean and Aegean seas. This city was abandoned in 1500 CE (as previously mentioned) which is why they are now known as Dalyan Rock Tombs.
Our boat captain said that the Dalyan Rock Tombs look amazing lit up at night, but we did not get to enjoy that. However, we did take amazing pictures from the boat. The captain even stopped the boat in front, for a little bit, while we took photos. One of the best advantages of selecting a private boat tour is that it’s on your own timeframe. And since we were a group, it was very affordable to split the cost.
We also got off from the boat to explore the Kaunos Ruins. Kaunos is a site that is interesting for both its archeological and ecological importance (it’s even an environmentally protected area).
There we enjoyed many archaeological finds, such as:
1. The ruins of the Kaunos Theater, which seats 5000 people. This theaterdates back to circa 2nd century BC and it was impressive to see, with lots of opportunities for great pictures. A large wall supported one side of the theater, while the other half was built into the hillside and features both Hellenistic and Roman characteristics. Surprisingly, it is even occasionally used for performances since it’s still in fairly good shape.
2. Acropolis on a high peak –152 meters above sea level.
3. Basilica (church) built at the center of the palaestra terrace.
4. Kaunos City Walls – The long walls dating back to 4th century BC, where some parts have remained standing in their entirety, are just a marvel to behold. Beginning from the west of the harbour, following Kaunos’s north-west and northern ridges, it stretches to the steep cliffs opposite the town of Dalyan.
5. The Monopteros, best described by this indepth explanation (found within this interesting Kaunos or Caunos guide), is: “a square podium of three steps that was unearthed in the excavations made in 1972 on the narrow level strip between the small fortress and the inner harbour. This beautiful building made of marble was probably destroyed by a strong earthquake as the upper structure was piled up in the southwest corner. Three overturned statues of women on the steps of the podium indicates that a herm was surrounded by these statues. Today in Koycegiz square, you can see a statue of a lion taken by treasure hunters from the plinths on the southwest side of the Monopteros. Using only the architectural remains for reconstruction, it was ascertained that the site was arranged in the form of a circle on a square floor, having eight smooth columns which rose up to Ionic capitals, and that the roof, which was entirely made of marble, had spouts in the form of a panthers’ heads. It can also be deduced that the Monopteros with acroteria’ was of a compressed conical shape. It is not known for what purpose the Monopteros, dating to the 5th century BC was built. This structure might have been constructed in a more Roman style tradition using the typical circular monuments and ornamentation.”
Dalyan Mud Baths in Turkey
Our final stop in Dalyan was the famous Dalyan Mud Baths. The mud in these baths are a mixture of clay and green-tinged thermal waters. As soon as you get off from the boat, you will find a sign explaining the benefits of a mud bath. The mud is supposed to have health properties that make your skin look and feel younger, and it explains that it may even improve your sex life as well. I am not sure how accurate that last fact is, but I still loved how my skin felt after the mud bath.
The proven benefits of a Mud bath are, since it may contain minerals like sulfur, zinc, magnesium, and bromine:
- Softer skin that appears more radiant.
- Draw out impurities from the skin and detoxify the body.
- Exfoliate dead skin cells.
- Relax sore muscles and joints.
- Improve skin conditions, like eczema and psoriasis.
- Relieve pain from rheumatoid arthritis.
- Takes away some stress, removing the pressure on your body, while you are completely suspended and floating in the Mud Bath.
- It is also fun and a unique travel beauty adventure experience!
I totally recommend that you visit the Dalyan Mud Baths. It is a great final stop for relaxation, especially after all of your adventures around Fethiye, Oludeniz and Dalyan. Just take dip and you’ll never be the same!
P.S. Another thing most people do after the ruins or the mud bath is to spent some time at Turtle beach. You will even see turtles in the river. I did not get to go, but I hope that you have the time to include it during your own visit and can share your experience with me.
Just visit Turkey
This type of adventurous weekend is just other reason to add Turkey to your list of must-see destinations. As someone whose traveled the world, I can tell you that it’s one of my favorite destinations.