Secret Valley Turkey Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Slow Travel Guide Secret Valley Turkey Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Slow Travel Guide Secret Valley Turkey Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Slow Travel Guide Secret Valley Turkey Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Slow Travel Guide Secret Valley Turkey Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Slow Travel Guide Secret Valley Turkey Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Slow Travel Guide Secret Valley Turkey Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Slow Travel Guide Secret Valley Turkey Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Slow Travel Guide

A day at the secret valley, Dalaman’s hinterland

When you think of Dalaman, the first thing that pops in your mind is most probably the airport. Most people leave the area as soon as they land to spend their holiday in resorts such as Fethiye, Dalyan, or Marmaris. But in all fairness, there is plenty to see in the immediate surroundings of Dalaman. There’s a lake almost right next to the airport for example. It is called Kocagöl, and you drive past in when going to Sarsala Koyu and Cleopatra’s bath. Half an hour away from the airport, Köyceğiz and its lake are very pretty, and very Turkish still. And less than half an hour into Dalaman’s hinterland you’ll find the secret valley. Okay, technically speaking it can’t be much of a secret if we’re writing about it, but that’s what it’s called. So it was high time we took you for a tour of the valley and told you how to get there.

Scenic Setting Right From The Start!

Scenic Setting Right From The Start!

Dalaman’s secret valley: nature rules!

Less than half an hour away from Dalaman airport lies a secret valley, or better the secret valley. A stunning stretch of natural beauty created by the Dalaman River and a few dams turning parts of the river into lakes. In this lush green scenery, sometimes alternated with steep rock formations, you can’t help but feel at peace. With the valley tours only operating during the summer months, we were quite happy to have gotten permission to take our little boat for a winter trip on the lake. The scenery in winter is different, especially after the amount of rainfall we’ve experienced this year. But although a lot of the trees are bare, and the many oleanders aren’t in bloom, this place is a paradise; even with the beaches flooded.

Making Our Way Back To The Boat Jetty

Making Our Way Back To The Boat Jetty

End Of The Road, Or Better Tour. The Dam Is In Sight

End Of The Road, Or Better Tour. The Dam Is In Sight

Dalaman River or Indus River?

Companies offering secret valley tours often refer to the river as Indus River instead of Dalaman River, which is its current name. Now, isn’t the Indus River located at the Indian-Pakistani border? Then why do people call the Dalaman River, Indus River? Plenty of stories can be found online about the history of that name, varying from the fact that the river got its name from the river god Indos to Lycian and Roman documents mentioning Harappan traders coming to the area. These traders from the Indus Valley Civilization sailed to Anatolia from India somewhere between 2.450 and 1.900 BC Lycian border, and that’s how the river got its name. In any case, while Indus River sounds far more exotic, in today’s Turkey, you’ll find that the stream is mapped and signposted as Dalaman River or Dalaman Çayı in Turkish. The 229 km long river is a natural border between ancient Caria and Lycia. You can read more about walking the Lycian Way here.

Pretty Scenes Behind Every Bend

Pretty Scenes Behind Every Bend

Nature Is A Painting

Nature Is A Painting

Secret valley wildlife

A virtually untouched place like this is a dream come true for nature lovers, birdwatchers, and wildlife spotters. During our trip, we saw a countless number of bird species, including plenty of cormorants, eagles, storks, and even a shiny blue bird that left us speechless. Well, there you go, we’re no ornithologists, and we were too late to snap a photo, so we’re unable to name the sort with a 100% certainty. That is why we have to settle for a shiny blue bird. The secret valley is also plenty of fish, wild boar, and foxes, surrounded by lush green and the liquid amber trees the area around Köyceğiz is so famous for.

Cormorants All Over The Place

Cormorants All Over The Place

Cormorant Caught In Full Flight

Cormorant Caught In Full Flight

How to get to the secret valley?

It’s not too hard to find the secret valley. The road towards it is the one opposite the one leading to Dalaman airport at the D400 crossing. After that, just follow the signs to Akkaya Garden restaurant. The part of the lake with the boat tours is operated by the company that also runs the restaurant and the property development in the valley. From the restaurant, it is a short drive to where the boat tours depart. Now, most people book a tour to get to the secret valley. But we’re not really ‘tour-people’, we prefer to do things at our own pace, and we know there are others out there just like us! That’s why we’ve added these secret valley FAQ’s to answer all your questions about boat tours in Akkaya’s secret valley, and how to book one without joining a tour. Click on the + to see the answer to each question.

Is there a way to get to the lake without driving through the gated section where the restaurant lies?
Not really. There used to be another road, but due to the many works in the valley, it is currently not accessible.
Is the lake accessible for people who bring their own boat or kayak?
No. While we were permitted to bring our own boat, the only way to access the lake is with a dedicated secret valley boat trip and/or by renting their kayaks.
Are people forced to book a full day tour from their resort? Or can they book a boat trip only with the restaurant?
While most people visit the valley with a group on an organized tour, it is possible to book a boat directly with the restaurant. Please note that there are only two boats available, so it is mandatory to make a reservation up front. In that case, you will have the luxury of a private boat tour, for an affordable price, at your own pace. Prices for 2019 are officially confirmed at 450 TRY per boat. To make a reservation, call Mr. Mesut on his mobile: +90 533 498 74 76.
How do you get from the restaurant to the boat area?
The ride down to the boat jetty is included in your trip.
How long does a boat tour booked directly with the restaurant take?
The maximum duration of a boat tour is from 10 am till sunset.
Is there an option to leave the boat and explore the shore?
Yes. There are beaches, woods, and a waterside restaurant that is only accessible by boat. For an additional fee, you can kayak, fish, or enjoy a meal.
Do the boat tours run all year?
No, generally speaking, the boat tours start in May and run until October.
Are the lakeside beaches and restaurant operational during the entire period that the boat tours are running?
Yes, you have access to all facilities during the entire season.

Akkaya Garden restaurant: your go-to place to book your boat trip

Akkaya Garden restaurant is the place you go to, to book your secret valley boat trip. Of course, you can also just show up and enjoy a meal there. The restaurant is slowly but certainly becoming famous for it’s Instagram photos with people posing inside or in front of the famous ‘birds nests’. In any case, this is a great spot to get away from the buzzing tourist resorts and to nestle yourself in one of the many shaded and cool spots, even in the summer heat.

Birds Nest Restaurant Akkaya

Birds Nest Restaurant Akkaya

In short, whether you like to join a day trip organized from your holiday resort or book your private Akkaya Secret Valley boat tour, you’re guaranteed to spend a great day outdoors. Make sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and water! Please note that despite what some advertisements for trips say, there are only two boats at any given time in the valley, so no matter what your preferred method of visiting is, you will always be sure there won’t be too many people around. Remember, all photos in this post were taken during winter, expect the valley to be a lot greener and with operational beaches and sunbeds during summer. Read reviews from travelers who joined an organized secret valley tour on TripAdvisor.

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ALL PICTURES ©. @AEGEAN.IMAGES, except Akkaya Garden restaurant, which are courtesy of the restaurant

The Secret Valley lies close to Dalaman and Dalyan for which you can check reviews on TripAdvisor here! If you feel we haven’t answered all your questions about visiting the Secret Valley above, get in touch. You can send us a message through our contact page, or join our closed Facebook group where other Turkey travelers and aficionados are ready and eager to help.

Turkey is a perfectly safe country to travel, except for these risks. Still, you should never travel without proper insurance. We love World Nomads’ travel insurance. We love their philosophy and their take on responsible travel, but also the fact that they cover popular activities in Turkey such as paragliding or balloon rides.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Head to Köyceğiz for a slice of authentic Turkey by the lake. If you’re into historical sites, Kaunos will blow your mind!

If you’re more into a personalized experience while enjoying the services of a guide, Tours by Locals may be what you’re looking for! We just love them! You get the knowledge and assistance of a local, and the experience of independent traveling. Best of both worlds, really.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Staying at Kano Hotel in Dalyan is a great experience! Enjoy the waterside setting, from which you can hop on the boat to Iztuzu.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

When searching for flights, we like to use Skyscanner. It’s easy to use, and reliable. Find the best flights to Turkey and domestic flights that will take you all around the country here.

Do you prefer some good old road tripping? Once you get used to the unconventional driving style in Turkey, you’ll love to hit the road. After all, it’s all about the journey, and you may expect some very scenic rides! Renting a car in Turkey is easy. If you’re looking for an established car rental company that allows pick-up and drop-off at different airports, check out Europcar. They have offices all over Turkey.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

The Secret Valley lies close to Dalaman and Dalyan for which you can check reviews on TripAdvisor here! If you feel we haven’t answered all your questions about visiting the Secret Valley above, get in touch. You can send us a message through our contact page, or join our closed Facebook group where other Turkey travelers and aficionados are ready and eager to help.

Turkey is a perfectly safe country to travel, except for these risks. Still, you should never travel without proper insurance. We love World Nomads’ travel insurance. We love their philosophy and their take on responsible travel, but also the fact that they cover popular activities in Turkey such as paragliding or balloon rides.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Head to Köyceğiz for a slice of authentic Turkey by the lake. If you’re into historical sites, Kaunos will blow your mind!

If you’re more into a personalized experience while enjoying the services of a guide, Tours by Locals may be what you’re looking for! We just love them! You get the knowledge and assistance of a local, and the experience of independent traveling. Best of both worlds, really.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Staying at Kano Hotel in Dalyan is a great experience! Enjoy the waterside setting, from which you can hop on the boat to Iztuzu.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

When searching for flights, we like to use Skyscanner. It’s easy to use, and reliable. Find the best flights to Turkey and domestic flights that will take you all around the country here.

Do you prefer some good old road tripping? Once you get used to the unconventional driving style in Turkey, you’ll love to hit the road. After all, it’s all about the journey, and you may expect some very scenic rides! Renting a car in Turkey is easy. If you’re looking for an established car rental company that allows pick-up and drop-off at different airports, check out Europcar. They have offices all over Turkey.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

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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.

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