Apologies for the delay in posting my first review following our first trip to beautiful Dalyan. Here goes:-
Flew out from Edinburgh 26/6 with Easyjet for 12 days…..flight was an experience in itself….Turkish police ended up being contacted mid-flight due to disruptive female passenger on board who had had one too many and was escorted off the plane – cue one VERY unhappy pilot…..not the ideal start but hey ho….
Stayed in a beautiful villa – Villa Artemis – 3 bed with lovely big pool – very well equipped – although web-site states a 10 minute walk I would realistically say 15 minutes which admittedly I struggled with in the intense heat although was fine in the evening as was a pleasant stroll into town.
Onto the restaurants/bars that I can remember!! (and in no particular order):-
ALI BABA – first night and what a great first experience of the wonderful food in Dalyan – no menu….you just go across to the counter and choose what you want to eat – we really enjoyed this - 2 beef kebabs, 1 chicken kebab, 1 fillet steak – 2 rounds of drinks – cost 145 TL (all our costs include tips at around 10/15%)
WHITE LOTUS RESTAURANT – on river front – really friendly staff and if you have children, they invite them up to make their own bread as your starters – hubbie and I had the Turkish stew in clay pot (which was amazing), 1 spag bol, 1 fajitas – 2 rounds of drinks – cost 190TL
We also went back here again a few evenings later as on our first visit they persuaded us to go back again to try their lamb shanks. TIP – please ensure you check the price beforehand if offered a return visit for something “special” – we didn’t and lesson learnt, as although the meal was lovely, we felt the 50TL per head we were charged for it was a bit steep compared to other meals we had – loads of food left over which I felt was really wasteful but let’s just also say the stray dog that resided near our villa thought Christmas had come early that night!
LE CAFÉ – popped in for an afternoon snack on way back from Turtle Beach – nice courtyard setting – 2 ice cream sundaes, 1 waffles, 1 chicken sandwich, 2 beers and 3 soft drinks – cost 80TL
HIDDEN GARDEN – visited twice – first time was fab, second time not so fab – lovely setting
First visit – 2 starters between the four of us (big mistake and the only time we attempted starters as we were too full after to fully enjoy main meal!!) followed by 2 steaks (to die for), 2 pizzas, 2 large Efes, 1 wine, 4 soft drinks – cost 181TL
Second visit – as we enjoyed our first visit here so much we decided to go back our last evening here – it was much busier and the service was extremely slow and all seemed a bit rushed (they’d run out of some items on menu as well)
JIKS – went here a couple of times for lunch – has free wi-fi which was good for the teens! Has garden to rear and nice air-conditioned bar – 3 baguettes & 1 breakfast and 8 soft drinks – cost 78TL
BEYAZ GUL – what can I say……amazing place……celebrated my son’s 18th birthday here – they looked after us so well and made him a cake – beautiful setting and we had booked a table on the deck – soft music playing, very relaxing atmosphere and food was lovely – usual bread/dips to start followed by 4 main courses, cake for dessert, wine, beer and soft drinks – cost 198TL. We then went to the sunken seating area overlooking the river and sat and had drinks and watched the world go by – absolutely idyllic and a night to remember
POP IN BAR FUN PUB – yes this is a “marmite” type place – you’re either going to love it or hate it and reading some of the previous comments on here before our visit I wondered what we’d make of this place……having two teens we knew this was somewhere we would probably visit, as knew they’d want to make visit or two. Have to say we found the people lovely in this place – very welcoming and great with our two (ages 16 and 18) – again they made a huge fuss of my son on his 18th (including free cocktails!) and he ended up a couple of times in the afternoon walking up there to play pool with a couple of the guys who worked in the bar – they were great, made him very welcome. We ate here one night – I was extremely pleasantly surprised – I had a beef stroganoff here which was lovely and actually far superior to the one I had at the Hidden Garden on our last night. I know it’s not for everyone, but some evenings we used to pop in here on the way home for a drink and really enjoyed the chats we had with a lot of the guys who work here......food we had was beef stroganoff, meatballs, spag bol and lamb shank – cost 90TL
LT CORNER BAR – popped in here on way back to villa one night – very small and friendly bar – free wi-fi for the teens! Really friendly staff and for the Scots amongst you, they sell Irn Bru at 4TL per can (cue 2 very happy teenagers!!)
WHITE HOUSE – we were told this was owned by the same people that run the Hidden Garden – went here for my birthday and had a table upstairs on the balcony which was nice as gave a good view of the Tombs. Food was very nice and good service – didn’t seem overly busy – was up at the Beyaz Gul end of town. Forgot to write down the cost of this meal but think it was on a par with the Hidden Garden as the menu was fairly similar.
CHINA TOWN – I must admit I wasn’t overly keen on going here as feel you can get Chinese/Indian at home but we decided to give it a go. On the plus side they sent a car to the villa to pick us up which was nice as it was particularly humid that night so saved the walk into town!! Whilst there was nothing wrong with the food and it was quite nice, it was, in my opinion, pretty average and similar to what you would get at home. Had a nice table upstairs on the balcony overlooking the river and it was nice to people-watch.
KEBAB PLACE ON THE SQUARE – sorry can’t remember the name!! Son had a kebab there which he said was really lovely. Am disappointed I never tried here as heard lots of recommendations for this place so will definitely try next time.
BISTRO BLUE BAR – the boys went here to watch the tennis and really enjoyed it here. Will definitely eat here next time as again heard some great recommendations.
METIN PIZZA – had takeaway from here one evening as we were all shattered and decided to have a night in. Have to be honest and say it was the only disappointing meal we had – takeaway pizzas were very bland so would not recommend – was a shame as had read good reviews previously so maybe we just were unlucky?
SUN RAY BAR – went here a couple of time – lovely atmosphere and stunning setting – live music at 10pam although each time we went it was the same band so not sure if they play every night? They played a good mix of stuff though and it’s a very popular place – will definitely go back again!
SEVGI GOZLEME (by the river) – went for lunch and so glad we made the effort as it was a great place for lunch and to feed the fish/turtles with the bread they give you. Forgot to write down the prices but I had the pancakes with banana and ice cream which was delicious. Enjoyed the walk from town to get there and glad we found it – again will definitely be going back there as such a lovely setting.
Apologies to anywhere I have missed – there are so many restaurants we would like to try when we go back next year – we sadly just ran out of nights to try all the ones we wanted to – still, it gives us the perfect excuse to go back doesn’t it!
All four of us did not want to come home – I think that it is the first time ever that all four of us have said that so think it’s safe to say we all caught the “Dalyanitis” bug – I’ve heard it’s almost impossible to get rid of?
Did the usual trip to Turtle Beach, we all loved the market experience on the Saturday – cries of “genuine fake crap” and “cheaper than Matalan” still make me smile……the genuine friendliness of the people we met, we feel so lucky to have found such a gem of a place and thank you to everyone who posts here who helped to make our first visit to Dalyan such a wonderful experience – we are already itching to get booked up again for next year.
To those who have made it this far, well done for getting though my waffling……Edited: 29 July 2012, 16:02