Dalyan is a pretty town on the southwest coast of Turkey, in the middle of the Dalyan Delta. Whilst restaurants, bars and cafes abound, it retains much of its laidback riverside charm. The surrounding green valley is full of citrus and pine trees, and the entire delta is a protected conservation area, home to over 200 species of birds. Unspoilt Iztuzu Beach, known as Turtle Beach after the famous Loggerhead turtles that nest there, can be reached by boat. A tranquil cruise through a maze of whispering reed beds leads you to a 4 km crescent of fine white sand and warm, shallow sea, and some claim this to be the best beach in Turkey.
The dramatic Lycian rock tombs of Dalyan, known as the Tombs of the Kings, shouldn’t be missed; overlooking the river, they are especially striking at night when gilded by floodlight from a perfect vantage point of a riverside meze restaurant.
Another unmissable experience is the Sultaniye Hot Springs on the shore of Lake Köyceğiz; coat yourself in allegedly rejuvenating mud in a steaming pool. Return from your villa holiday younger than when you arrived!