9 reasons to holiday in Dalaman

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Lucy McGuire

Lucy McGuire

Have you considered Dalaman for your next big getaway? This sun-soaked region in southwest Turkey is home to beautiful rolling mountains, delicious cuisine and a gorgeous coastline. If you're looking for a great value sunshine break, Dalaman has loads going for it.

Top reasons to holiday in Dalaman, Turkey © Xavier Allard - Fotolia.com
Top reasons to holiday in Dalaman, Turkey © Xavier Allard - Fotolia.com

Getting to Dalaman: don't miss the latest deals on holidays to the Dalaman area with TUI*, which depart from numerous airports across the UK.

1. 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. Unbeatable island-hopping

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.

Göcek, gateway to the 12 Islands © Jorge Franganillo - Wikimedia Commons
Göcek, gateway to the 12 Islands © Jorge Franganillo - Wikimedia Commons

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. Turtle heaven

The delta of the Dalyan River, just 30 minutes from Dalaman, is home to Loggerhead turtles, also known as the Caretta Caretta sea turtles. 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. Superb snorkelling

Speaking of snorkelling, the underwater world off Dalaman is great for exploring. This part of Turkey is lapped by the crystal-clear waters of the Eastern Mediterranean and is well suited to novice snorkellers and experienced divers and everyone in between.

Why they call this region of Turkey the Turquoise Coast © Denis Belitskiy - Dreamstime
Why they call this region of Turkey the Turquoise Coast © Denis Belitskiy - Dreamstime

There's a handful of diving centres in Fethiye and Sarigerme which offer PADI courses. Barracudas, Loggerhead turtles and Mediterranean morays are just some of the species you can spot here.

5. Birdwatching in the Dalyan Delta

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 October and November, head to Lake Köycegiz where you may see the candy-pink flamingos that feed here.

6. Foodie finds in Fethiye Market

The town of Fethiye* is a great place to shop like a local and sample 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.

Turkish Delight in Fethiye Market © Kvitkafabian - Fotolia.com
Turkish Delight in Fethiye Market © Kvitkafabian - Fotolia.com

Save 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.

7. Otherworldly Lycian rock tombs

Dalaman is rich in history and the Lycian rock tombs look like they've come straight off 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 of 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.

8. Paragliding paradise

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.

Paragliding over Ölüdeniz - photo courtesy of Hüseyin Burak Tuzer
Paragliding over Ölüdeniz - photo courtesy of Hüseyin Burak Tuzer

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. 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.

Weather in Dalaman

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Ready to discover Dalaman? Browse current offers on holidays to area surrounding Dalaman with TUI and book your next break today.

More about the Dalaman

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Lucy McGuire

Lucy McGuire
Posted on Sunday 1st October 2017 in: Culture Middle East Summer

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