Photo by Christine McIntosh  –  Link

Dalaman

Turkey

Located in the heart of the Turkish 'Turquoise Coast', Dalaman boasts a hot and sunny Mediterranean climate for much of the year, making it a top beach holiday destination. This stretch of beautiful coastline is home to a whole host of resorts and exotic beaches, attracting countless sun-seekers and beach-goers to its shores every year. There are, however, other things to enjoy here on top of swimming and sunbathing. In Dalaman you'll find colourful markets, mud spas, loggerhead turtles, and deserted towns, meaning there's plenty to explore when you fancy a break from the sand.

Travel tip: There are loads of great places to visit all around Dalaman and the surrounding district, so it's handy to have your own car to give you a little more freedom to explore.

Best beaches in Dalaman

  • The Blue Lagoon - Also known as Oludeniz Beach, this heavenly beach is amongst the most photographed places on the Turkish coast and it's easy to see why. Expect calm, turquoise waters, a narrow spit of white sand, and lush green hills and trees sheltering the beach, creating a little slice of Mediterranean paradise.   
  • Sarigerme - Located at the point where the Aegean Sea meets the Mediterranean, conditions are perfect here for a spot of windsurfing or kite-boarding, with various places to hire equipment nearby. Or, if chilling out is more your style, there's plenty of room for sunbathing on the beautiful seven-mile-long beach too.
  • Iztuzu Beach - This 4.5-kilometre-long beach is located near the popular resort of Dalyan, and is an idyllic stretch of sand which separates the Dalyan river and the Mediterranean. This beach is often referred to as 'Turtle Beach' as it's one of the main breeding grounds for loggerhead sea turtles in the Med. For this reason, the beach is protected, which means it's closed from May to October between 8am and 8pm to prevent disturbance of the turtles and their nests. This protection does, on the plus side, make this stretch of sand a stunning untouched haven, so it's definitely worth a visit in low season (temperatures stay comfortable throughout the year) or for an evening stroll.  

Other things to see and do

Haggle at the market - There are a number of other things to do other than visiting the beach in Dalaman, and one great option is a trip to Fethiye Market. Open for business on a Tuesday, this market sells pretty much anything you can think of, from fresh fruit to knock-off branded clothing, plant pots, shoes... you name it, the market has it! It's  lively, noisy, busy, and haggling is essential, so get stuck in and nab yourself a bargain. There is also great food available here, so make sure you stay for some traditional Turkish kebabs or cheese-filled bazlama bread.

Soak in a mud bath - Mud baths are another common attraction in this area of Turkey, and a great place to hit up is the Sultaniye spa. Take a dip in the supposedly healing sulphur springs, and bathe in the natural mud baths, rumoured to make you look years younger. Take a boat from Dalyan to get to the spa for a morning of pampering.

Step back in time - One of the more compelling sights to visit in Dalaman is the deserted town Kayaköy, which was abandoned in the 1920s after its residents were forced to abandon their homes due to conflict. Today the town is preserved as a museum and monument, and you can walk through the empty streets and journey back in time to this fragment of the area's history.

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