Dalyan tourism alternatives diversified as season opens

Dalyan tourism alternatives diversified as season opens

MUĞLA - Anatolia News Agency
Dalyan tourism alternatives diversified as season opens

Dalyan hosts more than 850,000 tourists every year and is expecting 1 million tourists this year. Hunting and eating blue crabs is one of the most enjoyable activites for tourists visiting the region. AA photos

Dalyan, in the Aegean province of Muğla, has welcomed its first tourist group of the season. Tourism managers offer tourists various cultural alternatives besides the classical beach holiday with sea, sun and sand.

İztuzu Beach, named Europe’s Best Open Area in 2008 by readers of The Times, and the popular tourism center of Dalyan have been revived with the arrival of tourists.

Among the various activities offered to tourists is the chance to visit rock graves and observe loggerhead (caretta caretta) sea turtles on boat tours. Tourists can also hunt blue crab from the boats.

Dalyan Boat Cooperative Chairman Atilla Gültekin said that the first group included visitors from Germany, Belgium, France, Russia and Britain. He said that tourists had shown interest in the boat tours, and particular interest in the blue crab hunting, adding, “As well as daily boat tours, we have begun to organize different kinds of tours. Tourists in the region are looking for alternative activities to swimming and strolling around. The most popular one is the blue crab tour.”

He said they had hosted more than 850,000 tourists every year and were expecting 1 million tourists this year. Expanding on the reasons for Dalyan’s success as an epicenter of tourism not only within Turkey but around world, he added, “This place not only offers sea, sand and sun but historical sites, spas, and stunning green and blue scenery. This is why it is in great demand,” he said.

Blue crabs, which originate from South America, are very popular among tourists in Dalyan. A tourist from Belgium, Ferry Weyts, said that observing the blue crabs during the boat tours was an exciting experience, adding that Dalyan was a place that everyone should visit. Another Belgian tourist, Marijke De Kerpel, said she was fascinated by Dalyan. “This is a breathtaking place. I really enjoyed seeing the blue crabs.”

Blue crabs are caught by fishermen are cleaned on the boat before being sold to tourists after being cooked. One of the fishermen in the area, Pınar Kaya, said that she sold blue crabs for 3.5 euros to tourists and could sell some 100 blue crabs per day during the high season. Blue crabs have spread along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts in recent years. Currently, 15 bays off the Mediterranean coasts are home to the creatures. The protein-rich blue crab takes its name from the color of its pincers and claws.