Çöğenli Yaylasi

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Çöğenli Yaylasi

Çöğenli Yaylasi is a small flat farming hamlet on a plateau high up in the mountain behind Köycegiz and provides some easy walking despite its lofty position. It is just over an hour’s drive from Dalyan.  Access during winter may be a little tricky as snow fall can block the roads at times, but from March onwards it should be fine, but you will need to check with someone if the road is open. 

Planning your trip is important, there are no shops of any kind at Çöğenli Yaylasi so you will need to stock up with supplies before you go, especially water if you are going in the summer months. Bear in mind though it is only just over an hour’s drive from Dalyan and less to Köycegiz , so you may decide  to go for a few hours birding there and then make you way back down to more populated areas . Personally I like to spend the whole day there so I don’t feel rushed. 

Potential birds may include :

Sombre Tit, Krüper’s Nuthatch, Rock and Blackheaded Buntings, Syrian Woodpecker, Finsch’s Wheatear, Cretzschmars Bunting, Redstart and Black Redstart, Raven , Alpine Swift along with seasonal and mountain birds amongst others.


1:  Leaving Dalyan on Ataturk Bulvari road and head towards the roundabout. At the roundabout, the left turn takes you towards the Jandarma and the football satdia and the right turn taking towards Ortaca and Dalaman. Go straight on towards Eskiköy.

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2:  Drive for 5 km until you reach the junction leaving Eskiköy  and turn left at stop sign (DUR)

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3: Follow this road without deviation for 8 Kilometres  until you reach the D400 Dalaman and Marmaris route . This road should now be a busy dual carriageway type road, Right turn here.  As this is one way and we need to be going in the other direction we need to get in the fast lane as we will be turning left at the turn-around point a little further on. 

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4: After about one Kilometre turn left  to crossing the central reservation  and return in the direction of Muğla

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5: Once we have turned left back onto the D400 towards Muğla head to the traffic lights and turn right towards Beyobasi 

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6: Follow this road for about 5 kilometres . Pass through Beyobasi passing the big Mosque on the right .

7:  Keep going straight on later passing the signs for Yuvarlakcay restaurant and follow the road round and take the road to the right towards Sazak and not to the left. 

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8: Keep on this road for a further nine kilometres  and you will come to another junction,  veer to the left here (sort of straight on) towards Sazak and Otmanlar, and not to the right

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9: Follow this road for eight Kilometers up the hill passing the sign for Sazak


10: Contiune to follow this road up the hill for a further 2 Kilometres until you reach Alan. Alan a small plateaux village up the mountain which may be worth a stop for birding. (There is a small white electric company building ‘Aydem’ and a sign to the left to let you know you have arrived here)

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11: go straight on here for a further 2 kilometeres, not to the right. You will come to a cross road with one road to the right going to Otmanlar take the road to the left.

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12: Now follow this road and after further ascent the road will start to descend and the plateau of Çöğenli Yaylasi will be ahead, follow the road into the valley, you can park at the water fountain.

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Planning Your Day.

I usually set off at 6 am (summer time) and collect  ice and refreshments from  the  24 hour petrol station next to the Sevikoğlu Supermarket . (There are two petrol stations on Ataturk Bulvari road it’s the furthest one from the turtle statue)

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Be prepared  is a good idea. I have found the following useful. Firstly apply insect repellant before you set off, mosquitoes are still active at this hour, also when out in the fields, woods and other undergrowth there are plenty of other insects that need deterring, take a small bottle of Sin kov (local insect repellant) for times of paranoia and to deter flies as and when necessary. Secondly, take a small hand towel, this is the best birding advice I have ever been given and is useful in which ever country you may be birding in, it has it’s obvious uses for drying yourself or mopping away sweat, acts as a cushion if you need to sit on an uncomfortable surface while you watch and can act as a support of scopes or camera lens (a little like a bean bag) and many more uses. Take a small first aid kit including something for stings. Last but not least, Mobile signals are not reliable up in the mountains, let people know where you are going and your expected return time.

Once parked you can just explore as you wish or follow the circular walk below.

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Circular walk of the perimiter of Çöğenli Yaylasi

Directions walk 

1 : Take track to the left of the water fountain and follow this to the next junction.

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2 : At the next junction follow track round to the left.

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3 : Follow this track for about half a kilometre passing a turning to your right , keep going then after a while as you near the hill at the other end of the road , turn right at house with red tin roof.

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4 : After turning right at the house with the red tin roof there are a number of wooden and concrete elctricity poles,  turn left after the fourth one, which is concrete,  up an obvious track.

5 : After turning left there is a short incline up the hill, then take the road to the right.

6 : Follow the track that skirts the edge of the hill until it eventually descends to a T junction 

7 : At the T junction turn right and follow the track passing the ecotrails sign.

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 8 : Keep on the track until you pass a ‘hotel’ on you left . It has a staue of an eagle outside. Turn left after the statue.

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9 :Keep on the track and  you will come to a small holding with a house on the left and cow shed on the right with pens in front of you to your left . Go straight on here .

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10 : Shortly you will come accross another small holding keep straight on here don’t bear left.

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11 : Follow track heading towards the hill until you reach a red tin roof cow shed and turn right here along the front of the shed.

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12 : Follow the track skirting the edge of the hill to your left and crop field to your right,

 you will eventually reach a fence follow the fence round to your right .

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13 : When the fence comes to an end 100 meteres or so veer left with the fence and take the left hand side track..

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14 : Follow track to next fork and turn right .

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15 : After turning right keep  going unto you reach the pine woods. One track goes left through the valley for a while . The other goes to the right of the pinewoods . Take the track to the right where you will find a small cemetery on your left which is good for krüppers Nuthatch.

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16 : Keep on this track until it meets the proper road and turn left which lead you back to your starting point.

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© Brendan Searson 2017