Friday, 27 August 2010

Mud Baths and Lycian Tombs: Boat Trips in Turkey

If you think Turkey is saturated with resorts geared around 'Brits abroad' and cheap booze, think again. Granted the exchange rate is favourable for us Brits, but this is the place where East meets West, where thousands of years worth of history combines to create a rich patchwork of cultural gems. And a great place to take in some of that history is the southern coast of Turkey.


Head to the ancient region of Lycia, to the Dalyan delta, and take a boat trip up the river. Here you will discover the visually striking Lycian tombs carved out of the cliff rock, where privileged Lycian's were laid to rest from the 5th BC onwards. The Lycian's believed that their souls were transported to the afterlife by winged, siren like creatures, hence the reason the tombs are perched upon the cliff tops and along the coast.

The stunning carved tombs in Dalyan (source: Wikipedia)


Continue on your boat trip to the mud baths further up the river. This area benefits from lots of geothermal activity resulting in spring waters and mineral-rich mud. Coating yourself in nature's free and luxurious beauty treatment is said to turn the clock back 10 years, so many cover themselves from head to toes in the stuff!


Once it has dried in the sun and you've washed it all off (to uncover the new you!), relax in the naturally warm water of the sulphur pools nearby. This is more relaxing than it might sound – the pools can reach temperatures of up to 40 degrees are famed for their ability to 'cure all ills'.


The final stop on your boat trip journey should take you to Iztuzu beach. As a hatching ground for giant turtles (you may even see some tame ones), this beach is protected, making it free from concrete apartment buildings and crowds of sun worshippers. This is a wonderful place to while away the hours, and should make for a glorious finish to your day in Turkey's cultural homeland.