Top reasons to holiday in Dalaman
Have you considered Dalaman for your next big getaway? This sun-soaked region in southwest Turkey may have been off your radar for a while but it's home to beautiful rolling mountains, delicious cuisine and a gorgeous coastline, all waiting for you. If you're looking for a great value sunshine break, Dalaman has loads going for it.
The town of Dalaman (in the centre of the Dalaman district) lies in the Muğla province, and is just a four hour flight away from the UK. Moreover, there's one seriously swanky resort you can call home while exploring the region in the shape of Hilton Dalaman Sarigerme Resort & Spa*, which sits at the mouth of the Dalaman River on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea. Tempted? Here are nine reasons to book a holiday here, pronto.
1. The award-winning beaches
Dalaman is the gateway to Turkey's beautiful coastline and the beaches here really are worth shouting about. Consider a day trip to Iztuzu, a long ribbon of soft sand also known as 'Turtle Beach'. TripAdvisor voted it one of the top five beaches in Europe and it has a relaxed family-friendly vibe. Katranci Bay is a favourite amongst the locals, Calis Koca Beach is secluded and peaceful, while Ölüdeniz Beach is an idyllic spot on the Blue Lagoon.
2. The island-hopping tours are unbeatable
There are loads of ways to get out on the water in southwest Turkey and an island-hopping tour of the Göcek 12 Islands is a must. The Göcek port is a 25-minute drive from Dalaman and home to a pretty marina sprinkled with Turkish restaurants. In high season, you'll also spot some very swanky yachts. Book a private yacht tour and you'll see just how idyllic the Göcek 12 Islands are. Your guide will share stories of each island's history and you can take a dip in secluded coves along the way.
3. It's home to the caretta caretta turtles
The delta of the Dalyan river - just 30 minutes away from Dalaman - is home to the loggerhead turtle, also known as the 'caretta caretta' sea turtle. Many of the beaches on Turkey's southwest coast offer the perfect conditions for this precious species to lay its eggs. You may even spot one or two if you're taking a boat tour of the Dalyan river or snorkelling close to Iztuzu Beach.
4. It's great for snorkelling
Speaking of snorkelling, the coast off Dalaman is great for exploring the underwater world. This part of Turkey is lapped by the crystal-clear waters of the Eastern Mediterranean, and it's well suited to both novice snorkelers and experienced divers who will find a handful of diving centres in Fethiye and Sarigerme offering PADI courses. Barracudas, loggerhead turtles and Mediterranean morays are just some of the species you can spot here.
5. The Dalyan river is prime bird-watching territory
The long grass and shallow water of the Dalyan delta make it prime bird-watching territory. Whether you're a part time twitcher or a professional birder, there are plenty of opportunities to marvel at the birdlife. Take a boat trip down the Dalyan River, and you can spot everything from herons and egrets, to buzzards and European rollers. In the months of October and November, head to Lake Köycegiz - you may spot the candy-pink flamingos that feed here.
6. You can see the otherworldly Lycian rock tombs
Dalaman and the Muğla province are rich in history, and the Lycian rock tombs look like they've come straight out of the set of Indiana Jones. These temple tombs lie in the ancient city of Kaunos, close to Dalyan, an area that passed through the hands of the Athenians, the Persian Empire, and other ancient civilisations. Take a tour to this archaeological site and see the ancient city's amphitheatre, or head to the river for some of the best views of these mystical ruins.
7. Fethiye Market is foodie heaven
The town of Fethiye is a great place to shop like a local and sample the Turkish cuisine. One side of this bazaar is packed with clothes, shoes, and fabrics while the other side is brimming with stalls packed with olives, dried fruit, deliciously sweet baklava, spices, and cheeses. Save enough space in your belly for the market's pop-up restaurants. You can fill up on mezze, freshly caught fish and all sorts of other regional food.
8. Adrenaline junkies will be in their element
If you like going on adventure holidays, Dalaman could be your dream destination as there are heaps of high-adrenaline sports here. One of the favourite adventure sports in southwest Turkey is paragliding, and the best spot to do it is over the stunning Ölüdeniz Bay, around an hour's drive from Dalaman. Soar over the renowned Father Mountains, get a bird's eye view of the Blue Lagoon and land on the sands of Belcekiz Beach. If adventure sports aren't your thing, head to a beach bar in Ölüdeniz and watch the paragliders come into land over a refreshing cocktail.
9. You can bathe like Cleopatra in the Dalyan mud baths
If you fancy following the beauty regime of Cleopatra, you might like to check out the Dalyan mud baths where it's believed the Egyptian Queen may have visited for the mud's age-defying qualities. Cover yourself in this mineral-rich sludge and let it bake on your skin before taking a long shower and dip in the sulphur pool. Many people claim the mud can cure all manner of illnesses, from rheumatism to sciatica. Whether you believe this or not, it will make for a memorable holiday snap.
If Dalaman sounds like your dream holiday destination, check out the latest deals from Hilton. Book yourself an all inclusive stay at the Hilton Dalaman Sarigerme Resort & Spa*, just 20 minutes from Dalaman Airport. You can also keep an eye on the weather in Dalaman and see when we think is the best time to go for fabulous holiday weather to try these top activities.
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