If there is one thing that Dalyan needs at the moment, it’s change. For too long restauranteurs, baristas, cocktail makers, hoteliers, tour guides, boat captains and business owners have fought against each other for business. Some may say that that this idyllic town is simply oversubscribed in every area and some agree that too many are just offering too many of the same services. Boats offer the same tours, tour agencies offer the same trips, even the restaurants offer the same food at the same prices. What Dalyan needs is more variety and that is exactly what local man Taner Yalılı has understood and acted on.
Anybody who has been to Dalyan in the past 12 months may have noticed a rather interesting looking boat making its way up and down the glassy, green, reed lined river. It is the kind of boat that you can’t help but stop and look at. It is the kind of boat that you just have to take a photograph of as it is the kind of spectacle that you usually see in a park or perhaps by a riverside made out of disused rowing boats, certainly not on one of the most beautiful rivers in the world. Yes, Mr Taner Yalılı has spent the last year or so creating his ‘Summer Garden Botanical Boat” and it is absolutely stunning.
Taner's Summer Garden Botanical Boat
Taner is a man from a long line of generations in his family who were born in Dalyan, he really is a true local. He also cares greatly about his wonderful town and is constantly fighting to improve the area. In fact, Taner was the man behind the fantastic new addition of the Dalyan Ferry, which is now available to ship any kind of vehicle across the river to “The Other Side” where sites such as the ancient city of Kaunos, the traditional village of Çandır and the Sultaniye Mud Baths reside.
This initiative will open up fantastic opportunities for the area and was strongly supported by local hotelier’s association DOKTOB. Not only will access to “The Other Side” be much easier and cost effective for the local agriculture industry, but it will open up attractions in Çandır to tourists who visit Dalyan, such as the stunning new Mosque which opened just a few weeks ago and the fantastic Kültür Evi which promotes organic farming and gives a fantastic example of a traditional Turkish home. It also opens up a new trade which will could be more cost effective for tour agencies and their customers who may want to visit attractions across the river by land rather than by boat.
The Dalyan Ferry
Whatever becomes of the ferry and what awaits at the end of its journey from Dalyan, Taner had the foresight and the passion to make sure that this worthwhile project became a reality. It may have taken seven years and nearly 40 trips to the country’s capital city, Ankara, to make sure that the new ferry would exist, but perseverance certainly won out in the end, finally the ferry was brought to Dalyan for the 2016 season. But it is not just the Dalyan Ferry which is creating a season of firsts for Taner, this season is also the first time that his beautiful Summer Garden Botanical Boat is open for business.
Turkey's Summer Garden
Taner has managed to have the foresight to do what very few in Dalyan have done, he has created a service and a business that is completely unique. This also applies to his beautiful riverside villa too, which I will get to, but first, more about this incredible boat. The vessel that Taner has transformed used to be a lifeboat which he saved from a big ship that was moored in Izmir. He had the lifeboat transported to Dalyan where he proceeded to craft the boat into a garden. He has many more plans for the boat, but what he has created is really a wonder. Taner certainly must have green fingers as somehow he has managed to create a blooming set of plants, a garden created of local flowers, shrubs, trees and even vegetables! He recently began to grow cucumbers and squash on his lovely boat!
Flora and Fauna of Muğla
There are seats enough for fifteen guests on his boat but he prefers to keep the numbers down to a maximum of eight for a safer and more personalised experience. The Summer Garden Botanical Boat has comfortable seats at the front of the boat, at the back behind the driver’s seat and amongst the lush little forest of trees and shrubs and the colourful array of beautifully kept flowers. A canopy of fauna creates an umbrella of welcome respite from the Turkish sunshine and foldable tables have been added to hold drinks and food. Taner will soon be adding an extension to the roof, a new kitchen and a central table for meals to be served on too. It certainly is an ambient way to discover Dalyan!
Watch our YouTube video about Taner and the Summer Garden Botanical Boat here!
Taner also rents the most beautiful cottage style villa to visitors and this property also has a twist of its own. The villa is one of the few that sits on “The Other Side” of the Dalyan River. Not only that but the property sits right on the riverside, offering stunning views of Dalyan.
The villa is modest, just one bedroom, a bathroom and an open plan kitchen and seating area, but it is beautifully kitted out with modern appliances, including a washing machine and a dishwasher. The place really is impeccably kept, set in a beautiful wild garden in which raspberries and wild flowers are grown. The villa also comes with a very cute little rowing boat which is at guests’ disposal for getting across the river to Dalyan. Prices start at 200TL per night, with discounts for weekly bookings. You can contact Taner directly on the details provided at the end of the article or the property can be booked through www.booking.com.
Open Plan Kitchen
The Villa's Rowing Boat
The Summer Garden Botanical Boat is truly a unique experience, so different from anything else offered on the Dalyan River, perhaps even one of the only of its kind in the world. It is something that I highly recommend if you visit Dalyan. Taner offers customised trips, meaning that you can choose where you want to go, but he would be keen to take you out onto the sea past Iztuzu Beach to the wonderful cool water coves and caves that sit along the stunning coastline. Food can be ordered “alla carte” from the menu of his nephew’s new restaurant, the popular Casa Nova or from the exclusively seafood restaurant Gel Göy Balikçı, both of which can be accessed from the water. No matter how many are in your party, up 8 people, to hire the boat for the day costs 400TL, for a moonlight trip, only 300TL.
A Unique Experience
Contact Taner Yalılı now to discover Dalyan in the most unique way.
The Dalyan exposé has begun! The project will run until the 23rd of May and will include a lot of exciting articles and videos on our YouTube channel with interesting interviews with business owners and those who work in tourism in Turkey. We'll also be tackling safety issues and what terrorism means for Turkey and the beautiful riverside town of Dalyan.