Five of the best things to do in Dalaman
The all-round appeal of Turkey is summed up by the attractions of Dalaman on the Turquoise Coast. It’s an ideal setting for all types of holidaymakers – families, intrepid travellers or those in need of a relaxing getaway. Flights to Dalaman go from Manchester, Birmingham, London Gatwick and Luton, putting it within easy reach. Here are our top five best things to do in Dalaman.
1. Relaxation – beaches and thermal spas
Uncrowded and secluded beaches pepper this coastline – some of the best are at Patara, Içmeler and Calis. The water is translucent, warm and perfect for swimming. Thermal spas provide another restoring treat. Try the cleansing mud baths near Dalyan and the nearby hot springs of Sultaniye.
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2. Sights – rare and ancient
The Turquoise Coast really does glitter with treasures. The justly celebrated Blue Lagoon of Ölüdeniz National Park and the white sands of Iztuzu Beach are pristine, and protected as habitats of the rare loggerhead sea turtle. Cranes, storks and kingfishers also inhabit the wetlands surrounding Dalyan, itself an unspoilt fishing village. For scenery with a different appeal, explore rock tombs in the cliffs of Fethiye, or traces of ancient cities at Aspendos and Kaunos.
3. Activities – idyllic to action-packed
Gulet cruises offer a traditional sailing experience along the coast. Experienced crews run catered cruises in wooden vessels, which accommodate about 12 people in surprisingly comfortable cabins. The pace is ambling, so there’s plenty of time to stop and snorkel, swim, windsurf or sunbathe. You can also try horse-riding, watersports of all kinds, or white-water rafting in Köprülü Kanyon. For families, the Aqualand theme park in Side is a big draw.
4. Shopping and food – bag a bargain
Jewellery, carpets, and more are yours for a song when you embrace the local practice of haggling. The Fethiye market on Tuesdays is the area’s greatest, but you can also hone your skills at Ortaca, Marmaris and Köycegiz. Plentiful produce also makes the Turquoise Coast a great place for feasting. Locally sourced delights include superbly fresh seafood, honey, olives and citrus fruit.
5. Night-life – the party season
July and August are the best months for partying here. The bars and clubs of Hisarönü and Marmaris stay open until the small hours for the liveliest night owls.