Köyceğiz, the intersection point of Mediterranean and Aegean
regions, is on the 60th kilometer of Muğla-Fethiye highway. It
is a peaceful and touristic district with its natural beauties and citrus
According to legends, Köyceğiz was settled on the plain by
the lake but it was floated by the water at an unknown date. Those
who witnessed this disaster, said ‘ All cities have been sunk; it has
only left a tiny village on the shore.’ Sunken city in the lake is still to
According to the historian Herodotus, the geographer
Strabo and the poet Homer, the first settlement in Köyceğiz started
by Carians and Leleges in 3000 BC. The remains of the ancient
town, towers, aqueducts, agricultural terraces and a large number
of rock tombs found belonging to this era prove it.
The city of Kaunos, situated in the edge of Köyceğiz Lake,
was one of the most important harbors and trade centers. Later,
the city of Kaunos was taken under the reign of Alexander the Great.
During Roman rule, the ancient city was badly devastated by forest fires and erosions that caused change with natural conditions. The city the gradually got covered with rocks and marsh. This caused the city to be abandoned. At the Byzantine
era, the city reached its old richness.
Menteşeoğulları Principality conquered the area on behalf
of Seljuq Sultan Masud II in 1291. During the period of Ottoman
Hursit Pasha, Köyceğiz was moved to Yüksek Kum, to its current
At the western edge of Mediterranean Region, it is a sulfurous
and bitter lake within the borders of the district. It is altitude
of 8 meters above sea level and its depth changes between 15-150
meters. Almost all the year it is peaceful, therefore it is convenient
for various kinds of water sports in 8 months of the year. 8 mile length
Dalyan channel (Ancient Dalbis River) joins the sea at İztuzu
Beach, which is a world famous coast with its 5.5 km-long and 50-200m width beach and
Caretta-Caretta turtles near Dalyan.
There is a small island in the lake, which is called ‘Hapishane
Adası’ (Prison Island) by the locals. In the history, it was used
for military purposes and later as a prison. The remains of the castle
left behind the Genoeses, could be seen on the island. The island is
also called ‘Aşık Adası’ (Lover Island). Rumour has it that, two lovers
came to this island because their families did not allow them to
marry. Although they were free of the pressure on them, they could
not escape from the destiny. They died of snakebite just over there.
Sultaniye Thermal Spring
It is located to the
South-east of Lake Köyceğiz
and east of Olemez Mountain in
Sultaniye Village. The history of
the spring dates back to thousands of years ago. It is known that it
was used by the people of Caunos in 100 BC. During the Byzantien
era, it was enlarged and accommodation facilities were built. These
facilities stayed under water of Lake Köyceğiz. It was converted to a
hospital during Roman period, at the entry of which ‘No death came
in the name of the goddness’ was written. Olemez Mountain (Immortal
Mountain) take its name from this statement.
Sultaniye thermal spring and mud baths help treat rheumatism,
kidney and urinary tract disorders, metabolism disorders, mental fatigue, skin
diseases and gynaecological diseases. The water contains calcium
chloride, calcium sulphate, calcium sulphide and radon. The water
temperature is 39 degrees and it is the world’s second biggest radioactive
thermal spring after the one in Indonesia. Because of its high
radioactive degree, it has got the property of rehabilitation. You can
get to Sultaniye Thermal Spring by taking a boat or using highway
Toparlar waterfall is 8 km away from Köyceğiz and is for
the trekking and nature lovers even in the hottest parts of the season.
You can reach here after 15 minutes trekking, there is a stopping
place to take a rest and make yourself cool.
Sweetgums and Citrus Tree Gardens
Sweet Gums trees take form in only a few forests in two places in
the world. One of them is in Koycegiz region. The oil extracted from this tree
provides for using in many sectors such as medicine and cosmetics. Moreover,
the best citrus trees of Turkey are in Koycegiz.
The international camping area is 50 square kilometers organized
for 5 thousand campers. The camping area among the sweetgums
and eucalyptus trees for caravans and for several scout
groups is 10 mins walking distance from the city center.
Köyceğiz Bird Sanctuary
This bird sanctuary is located in Sultaniye Village and
hosts over 180 local and migratory bird species. Lovers of nature
from England and other European countries come to see this bird
sanctuary every year.
Ekincik Bay located on the Mediterranean coast of Köyceğiz, is a convenient place for surfing, water-skiing and swimming with its
long coastline and yacht marinas. Through a very nice 30 km asphalt way, you can reach Ekincik from Köyceğiz with very beautiful scenes.