Back in June we were due to land at Dalaman late at night and needed to find a nearby cheap hotel for the night where we could just sleep before driving onto Denizli the next morning. Berkay was quite happy to drive around at midnight trying to find a hotel, atypical Turkish laid back attitude, however I kept bugging him to find one, so when we were sat at Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen airport awaiting our connecting flight, he contacted his friend who suggested we stay at a hotel they’d been to in Köyceğiz, so after a very last minute booking, that’s what we did!
Köyceğiz is about 25 minutes from Dalaman airport, and it was around 1 am when we arrived and checked in at the Kaunos Hotel. After a day of travelling and having the stop over at Istanbul, we just fell asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillows!
I woke up really early just after the sun had risen, and when I looked out of the balcony window I was greeted by this stunning view, the sky had a slight pink tinge and that early morning glow still lingered.
After getting ready and sorting out our bags we headed downstairs for breakfast which was a simple Turkish breakfast buffet. I had a brief look at the pool area which was really nice and peaceful but we didn’t have time to swim as we were driving to Denizli later that morning.
I insisted we have a little walk along the promenade after breakfast so I could take some photos of the beautiful Köyceğiz lake. Since it’s a lake and not the sea, its very calm and the surrounding mountains and clouds reflect perfectly on the still water, it’s quite clear so you can see to the bottom in the shallow places. The lake is the source of the Dalyan river, which meets the sea at Iztuzu Beach. Apparently, the lake was formed 7500 years ago, as a result of several earthquakes. A major fault line runs through it, and this is were the sulphuric hot springs that you visit at the nearby mud baths come from too.
There is no beach here, but a nice long promenade to walk along and take in the views. It was so peaceful we didn’t see any other people walking around, only a few street animals, some people having a rest on a bench, and a lonely boat moored up.
Köyceğiz is very quiet, there are a few basic hotels and cafes, a market on a Monday, and boat trips across the river, some of those going to the mud baths. Because the hotels are basic, they are very cheap, we paid less than 100tl for the night for both of us and there wasn’t any complaints from us! It’s got a real authentic Turkish feel and hasn’t been at all ruined by tourism, it’s a bit of a hidden gem for a relaxing few hours away from the hustle and bustle of nearby resorts like Dalyan, Sarigerme, etc.