Koycegiz

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Home to various endangered species of birds, turtles, and rare gum-producing liquid amber trees, Köyceğiz is a peaceful town at the northern tip of tranquil Köyceğiz Lake. Though the town itself is a bit of an eyesore, travelers can take comfort in its shores to enjoy a quiet swim or a boat trip to the rejuvenating Sultaniye hot springs, the ruins of Kaunos, or Turtle Beach, or enjoy its surrounding mountains in a hike or a boating trip.

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TRANSPORTATION            

The otogar is on Köyceğiz’s main street, Atatürk Cad. To reach the town center from the otogar, take a dolmuş (5min., every 10-15min.). Kamil Koç runs to: Ankara (11hr., 7:30pm, ); Dalaman (20min., 7:30am- 12:30pm,); Fethiye (2hr., 1-7pm, ); İstanbul (13hr., 8pm, ). Pamukkale runs to: Bodrum Bursa (10hr., 7:30pm, ); İzmir (5hr., 9am-5:30pm, ); Kaş (4hr.; 2, 3:45pm; ); Marmaris (45min., 8am-8pm, ); Ortaca (20min., every 20min. 6am-midnight,). Dalyan is accessible via Ortaca. Dolmuş to Ortaca (every 30 min., 6am-9pm) leave from the otogar.

ORIENTATION AND PRACTICAL INFORMATION         

Köyceğiz, though small, can be a bit confusing since none of its streets are dignified by signs. Atatürk Cad., which runs in front of the otogar, heads straight into the town’s center, ending in a town square with the mosque and tourist office. Intersecting Atatürk Cad. and running parallel to the lake is Atatürk Kordon Cad., with the PTT and larger hotels. The tourist office, opposite the mosque toward the lake on Atatürk Cad., provides maps and accommodations listings. (Open M-F 8:30am-7pm and Sa-Su 9am-6pm; in winter M-F 8:30am-noon and 1:30-5pm.) The Devlet Hastanesi Hospital, is on a side street opposite the bus station. Look for the blue sign with the large “H.” (-3-262 47 18. Open 24hr.) To reach the police station (-b-262 21 74), turn left in front of the mosque on Atatürk Cad., with your back to the lake. There is a bank with an ATM on the left side of Atatürk Cad. as you enter town. Internet access is available at Chat Kapi internet Cafe across from the PTT. ( Open daily 8am-midnight.) For the PTT, turn right from Atatürk Cad. as you face the lake, when it runs into the pedestrian square before the mosque. (262 46 60. Open daily 8:30am-noon and 1:30-6pm.)

 ACCOMMODATIONS        

Tango Pension (262 32 10; fax 262 43 45; ) , on Ali İhsan Kalmaz Cad. Turn right at the water, walk 100m along the waterfront, and follow the signs inland to this bright, peach-colored pension surrounded by a tropical garden. 18 large, modem rooms with bath and balcony, and a dorm room. Friendly and helpful owners. Lively atmosphere. Laundry $4. Windsurfing $6 per hr. Internet $2 per hr. Trekking, sea kayaking, rafting, and biking available. Daily boat trips (10am-7pm) to Turtle Beach, Dalyan, Kaunos, and mud baths ($10 on alternate nights) available June-Aug. Breakfast $2. Dinner $4. Dorms $5; singles $10; doubles $14.

  • Alila Hotel (-262 11 50 or 262 11 51). Walk 1 block past the mosque, away from the tourist office; Alila is on the left. A luxurious lakefront hotel with beautiful sculptures and carved wooden ceilings. The spacious rooms have panoramic views of the lake. Garden terrace and swimming pool. Breakfast included. 4-course dinner $5. A/C $2. Singles $8; July-Aug. $10; doubles $16.
  • Otel Flora (252 4976; fax 262 38 09), on the lake. From the center of town walk 150m; the Flora is on your right. Set in a beautiful garden with frankincense trees, Flora offers 16 clean, modem rooms, some with TV, all with bath and hair dryers. Breakfast included. Free trekking, windsurfing, and bicycles. Delicious 5-course dinner $4. Rooms $8 per person.
  • Fulya Pension (262 23 01), next door to the Tango Pension. 17 cheerful doubles and triples, all with bath. Boat trips $10 per person. Breakfast included. Rooms $7.50 per person.

FOOD             

Though restaurants abound throughout town, don’t be put off by the lakeside joints that offer great views and cheap, scrumptious pancakes ($1-2).

  • Ali Baba (262 31 66). From the tourist office, walk inland 2 blocks; the restaurant is on the right. Delicious homemade Turkish cooking served by charming owners. Full meal $2. Open daily 8am-10pm.
  • Şamdan Restaurant (262 52 82), down the road on the lake, to the right of the tourist office. Look for the elegant peach and turquoise building. Breezy outdoor restaurant with delicious food and atmospheric hanging lights. Grills $2; Adana $2.
  • Peunguen Pide Salonu (262 34 17), on Fevzipaşa Cad., past Ali Baba. Enjoy fresh- baked pide ($.40-1.20) and eclectic decor-bright movie posters and a fish tank.
  • Eskimo Ice Cream (262 36 59). From the tourist office facing inland, walk down the first street going right. Eskimo is on the left. This local secret has been serving delicious homemade ice cream in flavors galore ($1) for 40 years.

SIGHTS  

There’s a tiny beach near the campground, 900m away from town, but swimming stops arc included in most boat trips. Boats depart daily from the dock opposite the tourist office for the nearby therapeutic mud baths; Turtle Beach, where limited swimming hours (8am-8pm) help ensure the turtles’ right to privacy; the ancient Lycian city of Kaunos; and the Sultaniye thermal springs, where therapeutic waters reaching 40°C reputedly alleviate stress and rheumatism. (Open daily 6am-10pm; $.70. Boat trips 10:30am-7pm; $10 with lunch.) Another option is the hour-long moonlight cruise around Lake Köyceğiz (10pm, $2). Catch a boat at the dock or call travel agencies such as Özay Tourism, across from the mosque to rent cars ($30- 60), scooters ($20), and bikes. (262 18 22; fax 262 18 19. Scooters 18G. Cars 2. Open May-Oct. daily 8:30am-midnight.) Or try Şahin Boat at Tango Pension (262 25 01; fax 262 43 45. Open 24hr.) Tango also offers a three-hour trek, including a 1hr. jeep ride, lunch, and swimming (9am-7pm, $6).

A small, secluded waterfall lies about 10km away from Köyceğiz along the uphill road to Muğla. Known mostly to locals, it’s a 10 min. walk from the yellow Arboretum sign on the central road, making it the perfect spot for sunbathing and daydreaming. To get to the waterfall, take a dolmuş ($.50) heading to Marmaris or Muğla and ask to be let off near the Arboretum sign. Şahin offers a jeep service to the waterfall (1:30-4:30pm, $1.80).

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