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  • Writer's pictureKristin

Dalyan Boat Cruise - Swimming, Beach & Mud Baths

Today we headed to Dalyan, which was about 1 hour & 25 minutes away from Marmaris. Our plans for the be cruisers. We had hired out a boat to cruise along the Dalyan river. We had looked at some of the companies who leave from Marmaris, but it was a really long day on a boat - 9:30-7:30. Plus the reviews weren’t the greatest as they are large boats with tons of people on them. Alex called around to companies in the Dalyan area the day before and found Likya Boat Tours, where we could rent the entire boat to ourselves for 1000 TL (about $200 CDN). We decided to do this option because it would allow us to explore at the pace best for the kids, as well as we wouldn’t have to worry about them disturbing other people on the boat. However, if you went in a group boat cruise the rates were very reasonable - about $25 per adult; and as with most places in Turkey, kids under 6 were free.

Dalyan was a very cute town! In fact, if we had known more ahead of time we probably would have tried to find a place to stay, as the riverfront was lined with penysions (Bed & Breakfasts).

We boarded our boat and met our guides for the day - Ahmet and Ulash. They both spoke English well so it was fun to converse with them throughout the day. They said they pretty much do tours from April-October, as the winter gets too cool. However, they said daytime highs in the winter there still are close to 15 C - I would love that for winter temps!

Swimming at Hole Island

After the introductions, we headed to our first stop - Hole Island. This island is by the mouth of the river into the ocean and is named for the hole that appears on the island.

Unfortunately, they didn’t have kid sized life jackets so we just had to be with the kids at all times on the boat throughout the day. However, that is pretty standard among all the other boats as well. Clara was getting really good with her floatie, but the night before the trip we went to get an infant floatie for Connor because we knew we would be swimming; it was 30 TL ($6 CDN). Even though he ended up not really liking it, the money was worth the opportunity to go out and swim. We spent about 45 minutes in that spot swimming around and then Alex and I took turns snorkeling - although there were just some little fish on the bottom.

Ituzu 'Turtle' Beach

After swimming we headed to Iztuzu Beach, “Turtle Beach," which was a very interesting beach.

It was a strip of land out from the mainland where on one side was the fresh water river and on the other side was the ocean. This particular beach is a breeding area for the turtles. However, we didn’t see any turtles there during our visit, but likely because they are more active during the evening. The ocean beach was nice because the kids could walk out a fair distance in the shallow water. They of course just enjoyed playing in the sand - the first beach on our trip where it was actual sand beach - and in the water. We were there for about 90 minutes.

We headed back to the boat and enjoyed a delicious lunch they prepared for us. In true Turkish fashion, we were served a variety of appetizer dishes - mostly veggie dishes, a bean dish and one was a yogurt/carrot dish - and then some chicken/vegetable stir fry with rice. It was VERY good!

We then cruised back along the river and passed some of the ancient Lycian tombs on the rock faces aligning the river and onwards to the mud baths. It was nice to just have some time on the boat for about 50 minutes as we cruised there.

Mud Baths

The mud baths are known for their healing properties and are supposed to be very good for your skin and make you feel much younger. We even got the kids to put some mud on them, but I don’t know how much younger it can make them feel. Ha ha! The mud bath was more commercialized than I had imagined. I thought we would be going to this mud pit out in nature and soaking up in mud there, but it was just a little concrete pool that all the tourists would step into and scoop the mud off the floor to apply on them.

Once we had applied the mud we had to walk to the showers about 100 meters away to rinse the mud off. Clara would apply mud on herself but then wash it off within the mud bath pool - so she didn’t have much on her. We got some mud on Connor’s top half of his body, which I think he thought we were crazy. We did find this one little area outside the mud bath where there was some mud they could step into and he seemed to think that was more interesting.

After we rinsed off, we decided to go to the thermal pools for a dip. It was actually quite a nice temperature - like a nice warm bath. However, before you could go in the thermal pool you had to be hosed off with the large fire hose! I think the kids enjoyed this pool actually more than the mud. After we left the thermal pools, we enjoyed the little stream of the warm water outside of it even more.

We had a great time on the boat today, and Clara remarked she had fun especially today.



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