Discover amazing Iztuzu beach, also known as turtle beach, Turkey

Though we have already published a post about the best beaches in Turkey, some of those beaches deserve an entire post of their own. That’s the case with Iztuzu, or turtle beach, Turkey. It doesn’t have an ancient site like Patara beach, though you can see Kaunos from the beach. But it has something equally impressive: a unique setting, and, as a nesting place for the endangered Loggerhead turtle or Caretta Caretta, it is a protected area. Read all about how to reach Iztuzu beach, things to do there or how it became a protected area in this post.

A Truly Stunning Panorama Of Turtle Beach Turkey And The Dalyan Delta With Koycegiz In The Far Distance. Featured

A Truly Stunning Panorama Of Turtle Beach Turkey And The Dalyan Delta With Koycegiz In The Far Distance.

Turtle beach, Turkey: Unique in the Mediterranean

Iztuzu beach is quite a unique beach. In fact, it is so much more than a beach. It is a sandy stretch of about 4km at the end of a river delta, surrounded by pine-clad mountains. If you look at it from above, the beach is almost like a long peninsula with nothing but nature around it. In short, it is a place of stunning and pristine natural beauty, but it is also an important nesting place for the endangered Caretta Caretta sea turtle. A nesting place that would have been ruined by the construction of a huge holiday village if conservationists hadn’t taken actions against it somewhere in the late ’80ies. You can read more about that later in this post. Apart from its unique setting, Iztuzu beach also offers visitors the choice of spending the day on one of the many sunbeds on both ends of the beach or of having a relaxing and quiet day somewhere in the middle part of the beach. Rest assured, even on a crowded summer day, most people don’t go beyond the areas offering beach facilities such as sunbeds, picnic tables, and cafes. So, if you are anything like us and you like it nice and quiet, you’ll find that spot after a nice walk in the sand.

Stunning Iztuzu

Stunning Iztuzu

Finding a balance between tourism and protecting nature at Iztuzu beach

Ironically enough, it may well have been the efforts made to preserve Iztuzu beach, which made it famous all around the world. That’s how it got known as turtle beach, Turkey and it became a popular tourist hotspot. Nowadays several thousands of people visit the beach on an average summer day. Still, at night, nature rules, and the Loggerhead turtles do what they have probably done there for thousands of years, they come to the beach between May and August to lay their eggs. One nest contains on average 70 eggs about the size of a ping-pong ball that are put around 50cm below the surface. From July to September the tiny little Loggerhead babies hatch and try to find their way to the sea. Their stay there until they are sexually mature at around the age of 25-30. That’s when they come back to where they were born to mate.

Information Boards To Create Awareness

Information Boards To Create Awareness

A marked zone protects the nests during the daily tourist invasion. In this zone, the use of umbrellas, digging or even lying on the sand is forbidden. All over the beach, students from the University of Pamukkale put specially designed metal cages over the located nests to prevent the eggs from being dug up by dogs are foxes. Please note that bringing dogs to the beach is forbidden. All infrastructure on Iztuzu beach has been designed with a minimal environmental impact in mind.

Protective Turtle Nest Cage On Iztuzu Beach

Protective Turtle Nest Cage On Iztuzu Beach

Kaptan June: the force behind the Sea Turtle Conservation Foundation

Sometimes it only takes a few passionate people to raise awareness about a harmful development project. We have June Haimoff to thank for the untouched beauty of turtle beach today. This English lady had lived in a wooden hut at the beach for several summers and fell in love with the turtles. She saved Iztuzu beach from development together with European and Turkish conservationists after writing to the WWF about the possible devastating results of the construction of a holiday village for the already declining turtle population. The building works stopped, an environmental study was carried out, and the whole area became a Special Environmental Protection Area. But Kaptan June, as June Haimoff is also called, didn’t stop there, she kept dedicating her life to turtle protection, which led to the foundation of the June Haimoff Sea Turtle Conservation Foundation as well as the creation of the Turtle Rehabilitation Center (DEKAMER) run by the Pamukkale University in Denizli. Kaptan June still has a hut next to the beach and raises awareness on turtle habitat safety and protection, amongst other things. We had the honor of meeting the now 95-year-old June Haimoff in person and witnessed her love and determination for this project. If your visiting turtle beach, Turkey, make sure not to miss this valuable piece of the puzzle and pop-in to learn more about the turtles and how we can protect them. The Loggerhead turtles live to get 100 to 150 years old, and since Kaptan June started her campaign, the number of nests on the beach has more than doubled.

Less Than One Year Old And Blind On The Left Eye

Less Than One Year Old And Blind On The Left Eye

How to get to turtle beach, Turkey?

Apart from very eco-friendly options like hiking or biking from Dalyan, the two most popular means of transport are by boat, or by car or dolmuş (minibus). Driving to Iztuzu beach from Dalyan means you park your car at the designated carpark at the far southern end of the beach. That is also where you will find the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre and Kaptan June’s hut. The boats stop at the northern end of the beach after a pleasant trip past the reedbeds of the Dalyan River. If you ask us, your best option is to take the public boat or dolmuş tekne, as they are called in Turkey. The fee in 2018 is 15TL per person both ways. The public boats start running at 9:30 am from Dalyan and return rides from the beach depart from 1:00 pm until 6:00 pm. You can check the most recent timetables and price information on the boat cooperative’s website (only in Turkish). Remember that regardless of your means of transport, Iztuzu beach is closed from 8:00 pm to 8:00 am.

Welcome To Iztuzu!

Welcome To Iztuzu!

For more things to see or do in the area, check out our interactive Turkey travel map. If you’re still planning your trip to Turkey, our Turkey travel resources page contains plenty of practical information to prepare your trip to Turkey, including a direct link to the official e-visa website.

Comment on Facebook
All pictures © @aegean.images

You may also like these posts:

You may also like these posts:

Check the weather

Never wonder about the weather in Turkey again. The Turkish climate is as diverse as the country with significant differences between the regions.

This page contains the current weather and weather statistics for all regions in Turkey.

Prepare your trip

How to order a tourist visa for Turkey?

What about public transport?
Can you skip the line at Istanbul Airports?

General Turkey travel information, essential to help prepare your trip, on one page!

Work with us

Get direct access to your target audience with a proven interest in Turkey. People call us their Turkey Bible!

Contact us for a feature on our map, a destination guide, a photo shoot, or any form of professional Turkey-related content.

Ask a traveler

Are you unsure about a destination, activity or hotel? Why don’t you ask other travelers about their experience?

We have a closed Facebook group where you can ask all Turkey-related questions. You’ll get solid advice and travel inspiration.

Check the weather

Never wonder about the weather in Turkey again. The Turkish climate is as diverse as the country with significant differences between the regions.

This page contains the current weather and weather statistics for all regions in Turkey.

Prepare your trip

How to order a tourist visa for Turkey?

What about public transport?
Can you skip the line at Istanbul Airports?

General Turkey travel information, essential to help prepare your trip, on one page!

Work with us

Get direct access to your target audience with a proven interest in Turkey. People call us their Turkey Bible!

Contact us for a feature on our map, a destination guide, a photo shoot, or any form of professional Turkey-related content.

Ask a traveler

Are you unsure about a destination, activity or hotel? Why don’t you ask other travelers about their experience?

We have a closed Facebook group where you can ask all Turkey-related questions. You’ll get solid advice and travel inspiration.

JOIN THE TRIBE, FOLLOW US

Discover amazing #Iztuzu beach, also known as #turtlebeach, #Turkey