Iztuzu Beach: The Perfect Beach Guide

iztuzu beach, turtle beach in turkey, sunset on turtle beach

A day on the Iztuzu Turtle Beach

Turtle Beach in Turkey

In this blog, we wrote about Iztuzu beach in Mugla  also known as Turtle Beach in Turkey. We wrote about  road to Iztuzu, opening and closing time, Turtle Hospital, facilities, best time to visit, rules and fees.

We started our day in the morning at the town of Dalyan at a cafe by the Dalyan River in the town center. The prices at the cafe were extremely reasonable. They were not as high as those in touristy areas. While sipping our first coffee of the morning at the cafe, we enjoyed the view of the Dalyan King’s Tombs. It was a wonderful way to start the day.

Kaunos king's tomb, dalyan river, kanas cafe

After finishing our coffees, as we headed towards our car, we checked out the boat tours by the banks of the Dalyan River, but going to Iztuzu Beach was much more important for us. It’s because it’s our favorite turtle beach in Turkey.

Road to Caretta Caretta Turtle Beach

road to turtle beach in dalyan

As you know, Iztuzu Beach is famous for its turtles. It is believed to be far from the city center, but it’s not the case at all. We can easily reach it with a 7-8 minute car ride. Please refrain from driving too fast on the narrow road. There are some potholes and sharp bends in some places. I wouldn’t want you to have a bad holiday experience.

Before reaching Iztuzu Beach, you will come across Sulungur Lake on the way.

on the bank of lake sulungur before iztuzu beach

It’s a place you must definitely try for stargazing at night. If you are interested in fishing, don’t forget to bring your fishing gear with you.

Parking Area and Entrance Fee of Iztuzu Beach

service charge rates of iztuzu, parking lot of iztuzu, entrance fee of iztuzu

The parking are of the beach is quite enough for everybody. There is no fee for walkers but If you want to park your car which is inevitable, You have to pay 15 Turkish lira for motorbikes, 50 turkish lira for private cars, 70 turkish lira for minibuses and 120 turkish lira for big passenger buses.

Turtle Hospital near Iztuzu Beach ( Dekamer )

After entering the parking area, you will immediately see the sign for the Turtle Hospital. Personally, my first choice was to go to the beach, rent a sunbed and umbrella, and set up my belongings. After swimming until noon, I visited the Turtle Hospital while the sun was at its peak.

turtle hospital in iztuzu dekamer, green pools housing sick or injured caretta cezattas ( loggerhead turtles )

The Turtle Hospital is not a very large place, but it is sufficient for all the sea turtles at Iztuzu Beach. There are a total of 10 pools, and almost all of them are filled with turtles.

a sick turtle in turtle hospital swimming in a green color pool

In front of the pools, you can see writings with the names of the turtles and information about why they are being treated, as you can observe in the pictures. You can view and take photos of the turtles undergoing treatment from a distance of 30 cm.

a caretta caretta injured because of propeller strike swimming in a pool of turtle hospital in iztuzu

In a small part of the hospital, you will understand how the turtles are exposed to plastic pollution from the sea. In this section, they display the debris found inside or wrapped around the necks of the turtles.

litters found in turtles' digestive system in turtle hospital

You can also see a beautiful turtle and dolphin skeleton. Please be careful as there are small barrels containing newly hatched turtles. They are incredibly cute!

hatchlings of caretta caretta known as loggerhead turtles swimming together

Is there any facility on the Iztuzu Turtle Beach?

facilities and changing rooms on iztuzu beach

There is a cafe where you can buy snacks or normal meals and some drinks. Prices of cafe are quite good and cheap. You dont have to worry about the prices. However, drinks are soft unfortunately. There are 8 beach bath. 8 changing room. You must not use  any shampoo because of its harming affect on nature. The facilities on the beach are quite enough for everybody. I didn’t wait long to change my clothes or to take bath.

When is the closing time of Iztuzu beach?

The closing time of iztuzu turtle beach is 20.00. You have to go out before 20.00.

Is Iztuzu Beach open to the public?

Iztuzu beach is open to public. Opening hours of Iztuzu beach is between 08.00 and 20.00 in the summer. People can visit Iztuzu turtle beach whenever they want.

When is the best time to visit Iztuzu Beach?

best time to visit iztuzu beach, best part of the day to visit turtle beach

The best time to visit Iztuzu beach is between April and September. The weather starts to get warmer in April and reaches the highest points in July and September will be the last month you can swim.

Between 13.00 and 15.00 is the hottest time of the beach so you must buy a good sunscreen before coming here.

Can I swim with the turtles at Iztuzu Beach?

swimming with turtles, people swimming in the sea, some people hanging around the beach building sand castles

If you lucky enough to come across with a Lodgerhead sea turtle, you can swim around them. However, summer months are the time when the beach is most crowded so Turtles won’t be getting closer to you. You can choose April to visit Iztuzu to get a chance to swim with them.

What is the best way to get to Iztuzu Beach?

There are lots of ways to reach Iztuzu beach. If your hotel is in Dalaman city centre, Dalyan, Fethiye, Akyaka or Marmaris Turkey, you can take a minibus to get there. 

You may want to rent a car at airport or around the city center, You can easily find the way to Iztuzu beach. I will add a google maps link of the turtle beach.

Iztuzu Turtle beach is on the list of most known beaches in the world so There are lots of tour companies willing to take you there. I went there on 27 July in 2023. I myself saw at least 5 big tour buses

Where can I stay near Iztuzu Beach?

There are lots of hotels and hostels near İztuzu beach. You can search the hotels in Dalaman, Akyaka, Ortaca and Fethiye.

What are the other things to do near Iztuzu Beach?

what to do near iztuzu beach, dalyan boat tours before iztuzu beach

There are many things to do near Iztuzu beach. Personally I prefer to visit Dalyan town to drink my first coffee of the morning right in front of King Tombs next to Dalyan River.

After having my coffee, I always stroll around the Dalyan town center to shop around and buy gifts for my loved ones. Later, you can buy yourself a boat tour to see around the river. It will worth spending money. Some boats get you to Iztuzu beach for swimming in addition to other bays of Mugla.

Is Iztuzu Beach safe?

Iztuzu beach is totally safe. My friends and I leave all our belongings and swim. Because of its distance to big cities, only local and foreign visitors prefer to visit this beach so You won’t have to deal with any thieves.

What are the rules for visiting Iztuzu Beach?

rules for iztuzu, rules table for visitors of iztuzu beach turtle beach and nesting area

Yes, there are 16 certain rules for visiting Iztuzu Turtle beach and there are not demanding or disturb your sea experience. The rules are:
1- Never feed the turtles by hand

2- Keep your distance 

3- Do not walk and stand in front of the turtles

4- Do not throw your litter to nature

5- Don’t touch the hatchlings

6- If you find disoriented hatchlings heading towards inland, rotate the hatchlings to face the sea and call DEKAMER.

7- Don’t place your umbrella and beach furniture in the nesting zone.

8- Don’t enter the beach with a vehicle

9- If you visit a place near the beach, turn off the lights  that can be visible from the beach and screen your light sources.

10- Do not  build a bonfire and don’t use torch on the beach

11- No flash photography 

12- Avoid loud noises

13- Don’t dig holes in the nesting zone and please fill all the holes before sunset.

14- If you find an injured or dead turtle , call DEKAMER or go to DEKAMER turtles hospital near the beach.

15- Don’t let the dogs to nesting beach

16- Don’t use the fishing nets in a bay of nesting beaches and never leave your your fishing equipments in the sea

What is the history of Iztuzu Beach?

The history of Iztuzu Beach is closely tied to the conservation efforts surrounding the loggerhead sea turtles. Here’s a brief overview:

Turtle Nesting Site: For centuries, Iztuzu Beach has been a vital nesting site for loggerhead sea turtles. These turtles migrate long distances to lay their eggs on the beach during the nesting season, which typically occurs from May to September.

nesting area of loggerhead turtles on iztuzu beach

Threats to the Turtles: Over the years, the beach faced numerous threats to the nesting turtles. Human activities, such as development, tourism, and uncontrolled beach lighting, posed significant risks to the survival of the loggerheads and their hatchlings.

a picture showing the threats against loggerhead turtles known as caretta caretta like plastic waste and picture showing a skeleton of dead turtle

Conservation Efforts: Recognizing the importance of Iztuzu Beach as a nesting ground for loggerhead sea turtles, local and international conservation organizations started advocating for its protection. Their efforts led to the declaration of the beach as a protected area.

Controversy and Legal Battles: The protection of Iztuzu Beach was not without challenges. There were debates and legal battles over proposed development projects that could have harmed the turtle nesting site. Conservationists and local communities fought to preserve the area’s natural beauty and ecological significance.

loggerhead sea turtle 3-4 years old, Dead Sea turtles, frozen in alcohol

Success in Conservation: Thanks to the combined efforts of conservationists, locals, and concerned authorities, Iztuzu Beach remained protected, and measures were taken to ensure that the turtle nesting process was undisturbed.

Visitor Regulations: In order to strike a balance between tourism and conservation, visitor regulations were put in place. For instance, there were restrictions on beachfront development, limitations on the use of artificial lighting at night, and designated areas where visitors could enjoy the beach without disturbing the turtles.

An ancient salt production facility has emerged at İztuzu Beach in Muğla’s Ortaca district as the waters receded

An ancient salt production facility dating back 2,000 years has been uncovered as the waters receded at İztuzu Beach in the Ortaca district of Muğla, Turkey. This salt field, which was used as a saltworks, was revealed during excavations in the area in 2005 as part of the work on the UNESCO World Heritage Temporary List’s Kaunos Ancient City.

The salt formations inside the salt pans at the facility indicated that it had remained functional until the present day.

Dr. Ufuk Çörtük, the head of the excavation team, explained correspondent about the ancient saltworks exposed as the waters receded. He mentioned that Kaunos Ancient City, with two identified ports—one for trade and the other for military purposes—was a port city.

Çörtük, who examined the salt pans that emerged as the lake water receded, emphasized the historical significance of salt for humanity. He noted that ancient sources mentioned the use of Kaunos salt as an ingredient in the preparation of eye ointments in pharmacology.

Recalling the saying of the ancient writer Pirirus, “Without salt, there would be no civilization or humanity” Çörtük highlighted the importance of salt as a vital human need and a source of livelihood. He also mentioned that during the ancient period, a sophisticated method was used to establish this facility in the region. Through experimental archaeological research, it has been determined that an average of 4-5 tons of salt was produced during the 3-4 month salt production season, and this salt was transported to the port in sacks and exported to Greece, the islands, and other regions by ships.

The Unique Kaunos Salt Flats in the Ancient World

Çörtük claimed that there is no equivalent to the Kaunos salt flats in the ancient world.

Due to the fact that the salt pans remain submerged underwater for most of the year, they are not visible for a significant portion of the year. Çörtük stated, “We are now at the end of September. Due to the low rainfall and high temperatures, the salt pans are indeed visible this year. I also invite those interested in this subject to come and see the Kaunos salt flats and salt pans.”

This discovery provides valuable insights into the historical significance of salt production in the region and its role in ancient civilization.

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