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Köyceğiz

Köyceğiz Panorama

 

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.

Köyceğiz lake and the delightful lakeside promenade
Köyceğiz lakeside promenade on a very hot and sunny Sunday
Köyceğiz lakeside promenade on a very hot and sunny Sunday
Cobbled pedestrian lanes in Köyceğiz centre
Artisan shops from another age in Köyceğiz
One of the few remaining examples of Ottoman architecture in Köyceğiz
Lion of Kaunos in Köyceğiz
Lion of Kaunos in Köyceğiz
Köyceğiz centre - the obligatory Atatürk statue

 

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 1970's.

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 scenery.

 

Top Tip 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!