While you travel to Köyceğiz, located on the edge of Lake Köyceğiz, via the Muğla-Fethiye road it is as if you are destined to get to a waterside town but somewhere inland. And then all of a sudden you see the lake in front of you and are surprised. The population of the town and its surrounding region does not even add up to ten thousand but it has a rich historical heritage.
If you want to see it all: the sea, the beautiful sand beaches, a very beautiful lake, natural and historical riches the address you are destined for is Köyceğiz.
Köyceğiz in history
Settlement in this beautiful region began thousands of years ago. The first traces of civilization go back to 3,400 BC. This was followed by settlement of this territory by the İskits, Assyrians, Ionians, Dorians, Persians, Greeks, Seluecids, Romans, Menteşeoğulları and Ottomans. The ancient city of Kaunos, situated in the edge of the lake, was one of the most important port cities at the intersection of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas around1000 BC. The modern day Köyceğiz began life during the Ottoman era.
The Town Tour
The town centre, positioned on the banks of the lake, has a different character than other holiday resorts. The population of the town in summer and winter has a balanced nature. In comparison to other holiday destinations it does not get crowded in the summer months and thin out in winter.
For those who seek a quite and comfortable holiday it is a destination you can go to in any season. The lakeside is designed for walking and has a trail around it. You can also have your breakfast in one of the tea gardens that face the lake. Those who want to can cool down in the waters of the lake in summer time. Although the water might not look bright, it is clean and anyway it is a lake. To the east of the walking trail there is a beach run by the municipality behind which there is the endemic Sığla tree forest (a type of mastic tree used also in incense making). Within the facilities of the beach area there is food and drink outlets, changing cabins and showers.
The mud baths
In the area of the Dalyan channels and Lake Köyceğiz thermal waters spring up at many places. The hot sulphurous waters are credited with healing rheumatic and skin diseases as well as other cases. However, the Sultaniye thermal waters, just 15 minutes from the town centre, have developed differently and became a tourist attraction.
The mud bath, where generally foreign tourist get undressed, get into the mud and have their photos taken, is always colourful and crowded but gives a good photo opportunity. You can immortalise this moment by posing for the camera before and after getting into the mud, which is supposed to have a beautifying effect on the skin but has also won a reputation engendering a sense of fun.
Apart from the endangered Caretta Carettas sea turtles there are also Nile sea turtles (Trionyx Tringulus), not as well known as the Caretta Carettas, that live near the lake area of the channels.
The Palm Farm
If you leave Köyceğiz and head in the direction of the village of Hamitköy you will see the Palm Farm after two kilometres. The owner of the farm is a retired doctor. He is a lover of Köyceğiz and nature and also a collector of tropical vegetation. He has brought over 4000 types of palm trees from around the world to his farm. It is a kind of arboretum and is recommended to those interested.
The Yunus Emre Arboretum
Once you leave Köyceğiz and go towards Muğla you will see the sign for the village of Toparlar after eight kilometres. In the vicinity of the village you will the sign for the Yunus Emre Arboretum. After visiting the Palm Farm, if you want to, visit a tree museum, it is well worth it. Inside the arboretum there are also walking trails. It is a perfect atmosphere for a walk hand in hand with nature.
Şelale Gölü (Waterfall Lake)
After you see the sign for the Yunus Emre Arboretum you go another 200 metres and park your car in the fields. If you climb up with the stream on your right for ten minutes you will see the waterfall and the lake. This is a popular location for picnickers and jeep safari tourists. The waterfall is surrounded with green and flows into a clear pool that is suitable for swimming. If you like you can walk for one hour further along the stream bank. This trip is decorated with several small lakes of various depths and small waterfalls and later a more impressive waterfall. We will advise you to do the walk in the company of a guide.
The Remo Han
At Çiftliği (Horse Farm)
On the Köyceğiz Marmaris road, after you pass the sign for the Yunus Emre Arboretum and travel for 500 metres, you will see the sign for the Remo Han Horse Farm. While you travel through the arboretum the arched gate on your left will also take you to the horse farm. The farm is located on very moist and green land, and is owned by Malatyalı Remzi Yücel, who spent many years in Germany. He founded the farm due to his love of horses. He provides his clients with Arab horses that have a 220 years old genealogical chart.
When you enter the one storey and 16 dome covered han, on the left are Yörük (Turkish nomadic tribe) tents and there is a museum of old agricultural implements opposite. In the han, which you reach by walking past some fallen stones that have grass growing over them, you see the decorated stone and elaborate dome work of the Ottoman era. The restaurant section is covered with white stone on the roof, has wooden tables and chairs and Buhara and Semerkant style tablecloths.
There is also a carpet weaving workbench in the farm that gives tourists an insight into weaving, the wool dyes and related issues.
In the botany section of the farm there is a small lake where there are turtles. The area is full of eucalyptus, pine, plan trees and a type of endemic mastic tree.
The Kazancı Picnic Area
The Kazancı Picnic grounds are also surrounded by günlük trees, a type of mastic tree. There is one restaurant where you can get gözleme (flat Turkish bread with various fillings) and ayran (a drink made of yoghurt). They have set up a tent made of animal hair material, typical of those of the Yörük nomads of the region. Around you wander peacocks, chickens and Chinese chickens. For our readers who have been driving for a long time, we advise them to take a rest and bite here. We also guarantee the deliciousness of the ayran and gözleme.
The Yuvarlak Stream and Akköprü
The Sandras Mountain, at a height of 2294 metres, is the highest mountain in the Muğla region. One of the springs that nourishes Lake Köyceğiz is the Yuvarlak (Round) Stream. The stream bursts out from one of the holes in the slopes of the Sandras Mountains. This is an area full the wonder of nature. There are many open restaurants in the Yuvarlak Stream area. On the wooden quays over the stream or the small lakes there are tables and chairs set up by the eateries. The water is so cold that it can crack a water melon lowered into it, being the same temperature in summer and winter, just 10 degrees. Those who wish to cool off can dive in for a swim in summer.
The main menu of the restaurants here is trout. It is cooked in a pot and baked in an oven. The trout is brought from the largest trout production farm in the area. The temperature of the water here is very suitable for the trout to grow rapidly and gain taste.
To get to these restaurants on the Köyceğiz and Ortaca road, take the turn from the village of Beyobasıand go left towards the mountains. This road is also the one used for those who want to go rafting on the Dalaman Stream. The road leads you to the historical bridge of Akköprü, crossing the Dalaman Stream. Akköprü is the location where those rafting on the Dalaman Stream in summer start their trip. Five kilometres along the Akköprü road there is the sign on the left for the Çınar and Pınar restaurants and, after another seven kilometres drive on the stabilised road, you reach the mouth of the Yuvarlak Stream. In facilities beside the stream, which are open year round, you can eat and relax and kill time. There are hammocks on the bank of the streamlet, areas inland to rest and walking trails that will entertain. Also around you there are pomegranate, plane, lemon and walnut trees, the leaves of which will give a good odour if you throw them into the stream.
The region is always a bit cool even on the hottest of summer days. You may even get chilled in the evening.
If you keep going and don’t return to the restaurants on the Yuvarlak Stream, after an 18 kilometres trip you reach Akköprü on the Dalaman Stream. The stream is one that has become popular for rafting and canoeing trips in recent years. But unfortunately this region might be submerged under the waters of a dam by the time you get there, along with the old Roman bridge of Akköprü.
Properties in Koycegiz