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Dalaman Holidays

A Turquoise gem

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Discover a luscious coast full of history

Wedged between the majestic Taurus Mountains and the deep blue Aegean Sea in Turkey’s south west, Dalaman is a gateway to the country’s aptly named Turquoise Coast. Encompassing a clutch of enticing tourist towns such as Fethiye, Marmaris, Dalyan and Oludeniz, the surrounding area offers unspoilt beaches galore, lively markets, fantastic food, ancient ruins and secluded coves perfect for diving. Discover another side of Turkey on an action-packed Dalaman holiday.

Take a relaxing boat trip on a traditional Turkish wooden boat, either along the serene Dalyan River or around Marmaris Bay, taking in sea turtles, reeds, the undulating coastline and tombs intricately carved from sheer rock faces by the ancient Lycians as far back as the 5th Century BC.

Sample some pulsing nightlife in Marmaris, explore the Old Town with its charming half-timbered houses and castle or just watch the colourful dancing fountain do its light show thing if you prefer. Pedal your way along some of the 15 mountain biking trails created to take in the region’s spectacular scenery at a leisurely pace.

Set sail for Cleopatra Island, famed for its golden sands and ancient ruins. Legend has it that Cleopatra brought the island’s unique perfectly round sand particles to the beaches from Egypt and swam in the clear waters in the Gulf of Gokova (off the coast from Marmaris) with her lover Mark Antony. Book your flights to Dalaman today and start exploring.

Dalaman holiday FAQs

Make the most of your Dalaman holiday

Dalaman is duly blessed with a bevy of beautiful beaches. Among the best are Sarigerme, a wide, fine sandy beach with waters cooled by the Dalaman River offering boat trips to the charming rabbit-infested Baba Island; locals’ favourite Sarsala Bay with calm, crystal clear waters; remote Asi Bay, a turquoise spot nestled between mountains and best reached by boat; and of course the famous Oludeniz, a much photographed blue lagoon enveloped by pine forests and mountains where you can make a dramatic entrance by paraglider.

Where are the best things to see in Dalaman?

  1. Butterfly Valley in Fethiye is comfortably one of Turkey’s most beautiful bays, thanks to a remote setting comprised of a mountainous valley opening up to brilliant blue sea and a pristine white sand beach. Only accessible by boat and declared a preservation area in 1987, the bay has been protected from development and provides a flourishing habitat for over 100 species of butterfly. Nearby there are canyons with cascading waterfalls and riverbanks blooming with lavender flowers, attracting backpackers who sleep under the stars in simple tents.
  2. Mount Babadag is part of southern Turkey’s Taurus range showcasing the spectacular scenic beauty of Oludeniz, rising from sea level and reaching a summit 1969 metres high. An intermediate hike along shepherds’ paths and a small section of the ancient Lycian Way rewards walkers with fine views and rich flora and fauna, including rare orchids, cedar trees and soaring eagles. It's also a popular spot for paragliders, with several local firms offering tandem flights.
  3. The abandoned ghost town of Kayakoy, five miles south of Fethiye, provides an intriguing time capsule of Greek life in Turkey. Originally built in the 18th Century, it was completely abandoned in 1923 after the fall out of World War I and the subsequent Greco-Turkish War led to a mutual compulsory population exchange, which saw the exodus of its Greek Orthodox population. Today you can see the ruins of around 350 weathered, roofless houses and three Greek Orthodox churches, plus a small museum charting the history of the town which inspired Louis de Bernieres’ novel Birds without Wings.
  4. Perfect your haggling skills at Fethiye’s vast Tuesday market, by far the biggest and busiest market in the area. The fruit and vegetable section sees stalls piled high with colourful, seasonal produce. Seek out some local specialties, such as the helvaci selling honey nut bars, thick natural yoghurt and dried fruit and nuts. A battalion of food trucks keeps hunger at bay, serving up tempting local fare such as gozleme, bazlama flatbread and of course doner kebabs. But the market isn’t only about food. You’ll find stalls heaving with handbags, fabric, fake designer goods, handmade crafts, jewellery, household items and much more besides.
  5. The ancient city of Kaunos, near Dalyan, is an under visited archaeological goldmine. Thought to have been founded as early as the 9th Century BC and surviving until the 7th AD, it retained a distinct Greek identity despite undergoing a multitude of rulers down the centuries. Its many highlights include a series of rock-cut temple tombs hewn from the cliffs, a near-perfect Greek theatre that once seated 5,000, a monumental marble fountain house bearing a massive carved inscription, an imposing set of Roman baths, an early Byzantine church and the stunning Dalyan River wetlands.
  6. Looking for a spot of natural pampering? Swing by the Dalyan Mud Baths. Rich in sulphur and minerals that cleanse and rejuvenate the skin, once your mud pack has dried off you can wash it off by paying a visit to the hot thermal springs next door. The hot spring pools reach temperatures of around 40 degrees C and are said to treat a range of conditions including sciatica, arthritis, muscle fatigue and stomach problems. There are showers and a cafe on site. Tours are often combined with a visit to nearby Iztuzu or Turtle Beach, home to one of the last remaining breeding grounds of loggerhead turtles.

Where are the best places to stay in Dalaman?

Marmaris, one of Turkey’s most popular resorts, is set against a backdrop of pine-clad hills. It's home to an impressive promenade that spans the beach and a vibrant nocturnal scene, where the clubs and bars seem never ending.

Just a short drive from Marmaris, you’ll discover Icmeler – a beautiful beach resort with a more low-key vibe. You’ll be blown away by the picturesque surrounds, as mountainous landscape and pine forests meet the Aegean Sea. The beach is undoubtedly the main attraction – with optional water sports, water skiing and scuba diving if you’re feeling energetic. As the sun goes down, the focus turns to the pubs, restaurants and nightclubs that line the sweeping promenade.

Once a small fishing village, Fethiye offers a more traditional Turkish experience. Tranquil and idyllic, it’s set on a wide bay, strewn with islands and coves that cling to the town, and elaborate tombs that have been carved into the rock faces. Boasting an irresistible Eastern Mediterranean feel, this charming resort epitomises holidays in this region of Turkey.

Laid back Oludeniz is a great choice for relaxing beach holidays. The striking waters surrounding this charming village are an unbelievable shade of turquoise and aquamarine, providing a perfect contrast to the pine-covered mountainous terrain. The secluded sandy bay and tranquil blue lagoon are very much at the heart of this beautiful area – combined with a handful of shops, restaurants and low-key nightlife. Beyond the resort you can visit nearby Butterfly Valley or climb incredible peaks for some of the best paragliding in the world.

A picturesque village perched on a mountain plateau, Hisaronu may not have its own beach but this hillside retreat is just 2.5 miles from magnificent Oludeniz and provides a welcome respite from the heat of the summer months. There are plenty of shops and restaurants, and it’s fast-earning a reputation as a party hotspot, with scores of bustling clubs and bars. Visit the ‘ghost town’ of Kayakoy or discover the secluded bays, coves and winding forest paths nearby.

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