was promised that was to come. We anchored in a quiet bay and lunch was served.
Every meal started with a selection of Turkish salads and dips, enough to fill you up, if you so desire. It’s a healthy way of eating and there’s always fish to follow.
Nextdayweanchored in Hamam Bay, close to Fethiye, where the ruins emerging from the sea are reputed to be the site of Cleopatra’s Turkish bath.
In fact, the Egyptian queen is associated with many places on this coast, but it still makes a delightful spot for snorkelling. The turquoise sea is crystal clear, fish dart between the ancient stones, and there’s even the promise of turtle sighting.
The afternoon brought a light breeze so Captain Hakan made the most of it and sailed west towards Dalyan. Around five knots was the most the boat could manage in those conditions, but it was enormously peaceful without the sound of the engines. Morning brought us to the ancient sea port of Kaunos, dating back to the 10th century. It’s been occupied
‘YOU HAVE TO BE COVERED IN THE STINKY MUD BEFORE YOU CAN SOAK IN THE WATER’
by the Persians, Greeks and Romans and was finally abandoned in the 15th century because of malaria.
Over the years, the harbour silted up and was colonised by reeds, an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. We boarded a boat to visit the 5,000-seater Roman amphitheatre and the remains of a massive bath complex. High above the Dalyan River were rock tombs with facades carved into the mountain to resemble Hellenistic temples, complete with Ionian pillars. This is a fertile valley, with large groves of oranges, lemons, walnuts, pomegranates and hazelnuts while Grey Mullet and Sea Bream are plentiful in the river. CHARTERS: CARPE Diem 1 offers private charters sailing out of Bodrum, Marmaris and Gocek along the Turkish coast or Rhodes and Kos. It operates April – November with lead in prices from £8,000 inclusive for seven nights, but shorter breaks are possible. Similar 5* smaller & larger boats are available. Inclusive rates for up to nine guests cover meals and soft drinks, airport transfers, speedboat and watersports equipment, chef and crew services (flights, speedboat fuel and alcohol are not included. A wine list is offered, or stocked to guests’ own preference) www.dreamcharters.co.uk FLY: Monarch Airlines flies to Dalaman from London Gatwick, Luton, Birmingham, Leeds Bradford and Manchester. www.monarch.co.uk
Dalyan is a pleasant fishing village but the big tourist attractions are the mud baths, fed by sulphurous volcanic springs. The minerals are meant to be good for your skin so it’s necessary to cover yourself all over and stand in the sun until it dries. Only then are you permitted to be hosed down and soak in the warm waters.
We wound our way back to the sea through a labyrinth of reeds to emerge at the rear of Iztuzu Beach, better known as Turtle Beach. Logger-
Right: Lykian temple tombs cut out of the rock face above the Dalyan river at the ancient city of Kaunos