Getting Dirty in Turkey

Hold your horses and calm down, not THAT kind of dirty! I’m talking mud baths!

When I was living in Turkey, we all made friends with the guys that ran the local tour company. They were so friendly and inviting, and of course, this meant mates rates and staff deals – yay! So, when I heard about their boat trip to the mud baths in Dalyan, I jumped at the chance.

Even though I was mostly in this for the big pools of mud, the boat ride to get there turned out to be pretty amazing too. We sailed past some spectacular graves that had been built into the cliffs along the river, and for some reason, were also presented with a blue crab. They said it was a local delicacy and gave us a live one to pass around; then they started selling pieces of crab meat to eat on the way. Usually, I don’t fall for these extras but I was kinda hungry, and it smelled so good.

Then it was time for our mud baths! The bath itself was pretty big, but the whole place was really quiet. I have no idea how we managed this. The Dalyan mud baths are one of the most popular tours in the area, and we were there at peak season – clearly my tour company was made of witches. Stepping into the mud bath was such a strange experience. The top layer of mud feels just like water, brown water sure, but water. Then about a foot under that the goo begins. It was thick and felt so gross, and so much fun at the same time. After faffing around in the water for a good 10 minutes or so, we jumped out at sat on the wall along the edge of the bath to dry.

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Relaxing in the sun as the mud dries on your body is so much more relaxing than I thought it would be, although I was itching to get clean the second I was all dried out. You had two options to do this; you could hop in one of the big outdoor showers or, you could run along the jetty and jump straight into the water at the end. I’ll give you three guesses which one I chose! Such an amazing feeling when all your body gets clean at the exact same moment. I have never felt so squeaky clean in my life.

After having a good splash around, we sat and our feet nibbled by fish, and took a dip in the sulphur baths they had there. We couldn’t last very long though, the smell was a little bit too eggy for us. Then it was a boat ride back, and cocktails by the pool to finish our day before heading back to work!

Dalyan is around halfway between Dalaman and Marmaris, so if you’re heading to the European side of Turkey, its an easy trip from the big tourist spots. I recommend finding a local tour company to travel with, rather than booking through your hotel. In my experience, the price difference is pretty huge, and you often get more localised knowledge outside the big companies.

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