Iztuzu Beach, also known as Turtle Beach, is a stunning natural wonder located in the Dalyan district of Mugla province in southwestern Turkey. The beach is situated between the Mediterranean Sea and the Dalyan River, and is renowned for its pristine beauty, crystal clear waters, and its importance as a nesting site for the endangered loggerhead sea turtles.
The beach is approximately 4.5 km long and is surrounded by lush green hills and pine forests, making it a perfect destination for nature lovers. The sand on the beach is soft and golden, and the water is warm and inviting, making it an ideal spot for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing.
One of the most unique features of Iztuzu Beach is its importance as a nesting site for the loggerhead sea turtles. These turtles are an endangered species and are protected by law in Turkey. Every year, between May and September, female turtles come to the beach to lay their eggs in the sand. The eggs hatch after around 60 days, and the baby turtles make their way to the sea. This natural phenomenon is a sight to behold and draws visitors from all over the world.
To protect the nesting turtles, the beach is closed to visitors between 8 pm and 8 am during the nesting season. Additionally, visitors are not allowed to use umbrellas or sun loungers on the beach, as these can damage the turtle nests. The beach is also patrolled by rangers who ensure that visitors do not disturb the turtles or their nests.
Apart from its natural beauty and importance as a turtle nesting site, Iztuzu Beach also has a rich history. The beach was once a port for the ancient city of Kaunos, which was founded in the 9th century BC. The ruins of Kaunos can still be seen today, including the remains of a theatre, a temple, and a necropolis.
In addition to its natural and historical significance, Iztuzu Beach is also a popular destination for water sports enthusiasts. The calm waters of the Dalyan River are perfect for kayaking, while the waves of the Mediterranean Sea are ideal for surfing and windsurfing. Visitors can also take a boat tour of the river, which offers stunning views of the surrounding hills and forests.
The beach is easily accessible from the nearby town of Dalyan, which is located just 12 km away. Visitors can take a dolmus (local minibus) from Dalyan to the beach, or they can hire a boat to take them down the river. There are also several restaurants and cafes near the beach, where visitors can enjoy a meal or a drink while taking in the breathtaking views.
In conclusion, Iztuzu Beach is a true natural wonder and a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Turkey. Its pristine beauty, crystal clear waters, and importance as a turtle nesting site make it a unique and unforgettable experience. Whether you are a nature lover, a history buff, or a water sports enthusiast, Iztuzu Beach has something for everyone. So, pack your bags and head to this stunning beach for an unforgettable vacation.