Holidays in the Dalaman Region
Dalaman offers a feel for Asia along with a charm that is European, so it has quite an exotic atmosphere. The coastline runs from Marmaris to Patara, and includes the coastal resorts of Calis, Dalaman, Dalyan, Fethiye, Gocek, Hisaronu, Icmeler, Kalkan, Kas, Marmaris, Olu Deniz, Ovacik, Patara and Turunc. This stretch of coast is referred to as the Turquoise Coast because of how beautiful the water is around the lagoon beaches. The sandy beaches sit under the fantastic sunshine day after day offering a wonderful relaxing place for holidaymakers including families and couples.
There is natural beauty with mountains full of forests and in contrast to the turquoise seas there is a verdant green coastline. The views are stunning, simply picture perfect. On a clear day you might even get to see the Greek Island of Rhodes which is only 30 minutes away by hydrofoil. The region of Dalaman is known as Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, and it is clear to see why with its beautiful turquoise seas and sky which just roll into one.
The region of Dalaman is typically Mediterranean; the summers are hot and dry with around 11 hours of sunshine per day. In July and August the temperature can reach a staggering 40°C and the sea temperature rarely drops below 28°C. There can be a welcoming sea breeze which helps to keep the temperatures slightly cooler. Even in the winter temperatures can be a pleasant 19°C with warm sunshine, so it is still possible to extend your holiday season.
Dalaman is popular for its night venues with both holidaymakers and locals alike. There is a wide variety of bars, clubs and discos which provide a choice of popular music along with some traditional Turkish music, belly dancers strutting their stuff, and jazz music which is popular amongst the Turkish people. Some of the cafes provide an excellent view of the evening sky with the castle in the background. If you enjoy singing and dancing you are more than welcome to participate with the performers.
The hospitality of the local people is friendly; they can’t do enough to help you. There are plenty of restaurants which serve an amazing mix of traditional Turkish food to something a little more international. Eating out is not expensive and you will find families are welcomed, with value for money meals.
Tourism is the main economy for Dalaman, but it is famous for its shops so retail plays a very important part in its economy. Shoppers come from far and wide to buy carpets, jewellery, and leather along with many other things that Dalaman has on offer. If you are looking for something cheap, you are sure to find it at Dalaman. The Dalaman State Production Farm is an interesting place to visit and if you feel like bathing in some spring waters, then the Thermal Springs are said to have great healing properties.
A holiday in Dalaman will provide you with historical sights, fantastic scenery, thrills, excitement, water sports, diving, snorkelling, golf, mountain walks and some of the world’s finest beaches. There is heaps to do for families and couples alike. You can find a variety of budget, low cost and value for money hotels which won’t break your budget.
Dalaman sits on the South Aegean coast on the south west of Turkey. It is called the Turquoise Coast and in around 4 hours you can be stepping foot inside this wonderful City with heaps of history and charm. Dalaman is surrounded by some beautiful landscapes.
Weather in the Dalaman Region
For some people who enjoy hot and never ending sunshine then Dalaman is the ideal place to find such weather during the summer months. The people of Turkey usually take their summer holidays during July – September and the country’s most popular national holiday Kurban Bavrami is always a busy time.
On the coastal resorts of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas the summers, between May to October are very acrid, hot and dry. The summer temperatures can reach a staggering 40oC and from around June onwards you can be pestered by mosquitoes so we would advise, as well as sun protection, you need insect repellent also.
Along the Aegean and Mediterranean resorts, the winter weather tends to be cooler, wetter but mild. In contrast to the very hot summer months, the winter temperatures can get rather cold and it is not unknown for some areas in Turkey to see snow, particularly along the eastern side of the country, especially around the Black Sea resorts so often roads are impassable.
Top Sightseeing in the Dalaman Region
Dalaman is high on the list for sightseeing; it has history, roman ruins, archaeological sites, culture, natural beauty, stunning views, architecture and more. It has fantastic sun kissed beaches with water sports, diving and fantastic swimming opportunities in the warm seas. You can take a hot air balloon ride, visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World at Ephesus, and explore some museums. However long you plan to spend in Dalaman on holiday, you will never find enough time to explore everything it has to offer. There is so much to see and do you will want to come back for more again and again. The resorts in the Dalaman region are Calis, Dalaman, Dalyan, Fethiye, Gocek, Hisaronu, Kas, Marmaris, Olu Deniz, Ovacik, Patara and Turunc.
If you visit the valley between the months of June and September you will see the hundreds of Jersey Tiger butterflies that swarm here. The butterflies are beautifully coloured and fly majestically in the canyon. The valley can be reached by foot, but we would recommend it only for those who have good mobility as the trail is steep and rocky.
Island of Cleopatra
The island is a protected place and is well known for being a beautiful paradise. You will need to depart from Marmaris or Icmeler by a small fishing boat, which is laid on by locals. The journey only takes 20 minutes, and once at the island you will feel like you are in paradise. You can swim in the enchanting clear waters, visit the ruins of the Roman amphitheatre, the defence towers and the quaint church. The island gets its name from the Queen of Egypt, whom it is said honeymooned here with Anthony. The sand is very unique as it is carbon based, hence the reason for the conservation order.
The Blue Lagoon
For a day of complete tranquility, visit the Blue Lagoon at Olu Deniz. The lagoon is a perfect place for swimming, the waters are calm and crystal azure, so children will be very safe. Some areas of the lagoon are now a National Park and are therefore protected, so nature lovers will adore this spot.
Sunken city of Kekova
The sunken city of Kerkova is only visible by boat from Kerkova. You can catch an excursion glass bottomed boat to see the ruins of the submerged city. It is believed that the city sunk when the earthquake destroyed it in the 2nd century.
The Lycian Tombs of Dalyan
Here you will find a fantastic display of the Lycian rock tombs from excavations which have been taking place for more than 30 years. So far the digs have unearthed a theatre, baths and a Byzantine Basilica. There are also defensive walls and an acropolis which has Hellenistic ruins to the top. You will need to take a boat from Dalyan, or you can swim to the rocks if you wish.
Top Attractions & Things To Do in the Dalaman Region
Turkey is high on the list for sightseeing; it has history, roman ruins, archaeological sites, culture, natural beauty, stunning views, architecture and more. It has fantastic sun kissed beaches with water sports, diving and fantastic swimming opportunities in the warm seas. You can take a hot air balloon ride, visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World at Ephesus, and explore some museums. However long you plan to spend in Turkey on holiday, you will never find enough time to explore everything it has to offer. There is so much to see and do you will find yourself coming back for more year after year.
Cruise the Bosphorus
Two enchanting suspension bridges stand across the narrow strait between Europe and Asia, so a visit to Bosphorus is almost like visiting two different continents at the same time. Sunsets are magnificent from here. You will also see plenty of boats, ferries and fishing boats travelling along the strait. You can take an excursion along Bosphorus stopping off at the Sultans' 19th-century Dolmabahçe Palace, Uskudar (Scutari), where Florence Nightingale nursed the wounded during the Crimean War and the fantastic Ottoman summer palace of Beylerbeyi. You will also see some spectacular villages, traditional and quirky with fish restaurants, old manor houses built back in the 19th century. You will also see plenty of Byzantine and Ottoman castles.
Take a cruise or ferry
Take the excursion cruise around the blue waters of Dalaman where you can get the opportunity to see some fantastic marine life around the shores of the south Aegean sea. You can also visit the Greek Island of Rhodes for a day; ferry crossings are frequent during the summer months.
Visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World
Ephesus is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, which has an impressive number of ruins from both the Greek and Roman eras. The Temple of Diana stands here which is another must see box to tick. Spend a leisurely day at Ankara visiting all its sight seeing attractions and you will feel you have learned a lot about Turkey’s history.
See the Waterfalls
Karsunlu and Manavgat are both spectacular water falls which cascade down the steep cliffs and tail off into the magnificent blue waters below. The areas are full of flora and fauna, fresh air and mixed with such beautiful surroundings you will find a perfect haven.
The Olympus National Park
Here you will find an area of complete serenity and natural beauty. You can see the mountains of Olympos in the distance, often with snow capping the peaks along with the protected flora and fauna. The area here also has many caves where evidence of early human life existed.
Go shopping in Istanbul
Istanbul is a lively city, full of magical mystery. It rests between the two continents of Europe and Asia and it has a rich history which means there are plenty of palaces, mosques, churches and museums to visit. It is also very trendy and cosmopolitan, and life around the busy bazaars and markets will leave you feeling excited and delighted.
The Grand Bazaar is the hub of the commercial side of the city where you can browse and mingle amongst the locals looking for bargains. There is small inlet of the Golden Horn where you will find the Kariye Camii has some of the finest Byzantine mosaics to survive today. The contemporary part of Istanbul is across the Golden Horn where you will find the Beyoglu. Here there are a good selection of restaurants, hotels, designer shops and where at the Taksim you will see exhibition halls and plenty of cultural centres to whet your appetite.
Visit an Island
Take an excursion to the island of Cleopatra. The island is a protected place and is well known for being a beautiful paradise. You will need to depart from Marmaris or Icmeler by a small fishing boat, which is laid on by locals. The journey only takes 20 minutes, and once at the island you will feel like you are in paradise. You can swim in the enchanting clear waters, visit the ruins of the Roman amphitheatre, the defence towers and the quaint church. The island gets its name from the Queen of Egypt, whom it is said honeymooned here with Anthony. The sand is very unique as it is carbon based, hence the reason for the conservation order.
See a Museum
The Museum of Underwater Archaeology in Bodrum is a magnificent museum with lots of exhibitions portraying anything to do with marine and underwater life. It includes shipwrecks and artifacts including a 7th century Byzantine shipwreck.
Turkey has some marvellous natural beauty spots, mountains, villages and ancient ruins are just wonderful to explore by foot. There is a famous 500 kms footpath called Lycian Way, which stretches between Fethiye and Antalya. Along the way you will see some stunning scenery, flora and fauna.
If you feel like a bit of adventure you can go white-water rafting on some of Turkey’s rivers. Namely The Coruh River, which is said by professionals to be one of the most thrilling in the world. Other rivers you can use are including the Dalaman River, the Köprü River and the Zamanti River.
Treat Yourself to a Hamam Bath
Get pummelled for the day and be spoiled by the luxurious Turkish baths. Enjoy the therapeutic benefits of the waters and the massages it’s an experience you won’t forget in a hurry.
Turkey has some championship golf courses in different locations and some set within the wonderful surrounding landscape.
Spend a day at the beach
The Dalaman coastline has some fantastic beaches where you can spend a day lounging on a sun bed soaking up the sun, or relaxing with the sound of the gentle waves lapping into the shore. Most of the beaches have a fantastic array of water sports like water skiing, scuba diving and sailing.
Canoe along the Xanthos River
Take a canoeing “amble” along the Xanthos River until you come to Patara, looking at the magnificent sights as you go, stop off to picnic along the river bank and glory in the flora and fauna of the area.
Shopping in the Dalaman Region
Dalaman does not have as many shops, unlike Antalya and Bodrum but there are still some good buys to be had. Carpets are popular buys, but like the rest of Turkey you will find plenty of bazaars and medinas offering value for money with leatherware, copper, bronze, silver, gold and traditional Turkish embroidery.
There is a weekly market on Tuesday at Fethiye where you can mingle amongst the locals to buy fruit and vegetables. The aroma of the fresh spices, herbs and fruit that you will smell are enthralling.
If you feel like looking for a bargain carpet, then you are at the right country as Turkish rugs and carpets are world renowned. You can spend as much or as little as you like and they are to be found everywhere. Street stalls, bazaars, factories and shops. One of the top things to do is to visit one of the carpet showrooms where you will get the chance to see how carpets are made, and be given the opportunity to buy one. When you enter a Turkish shop, it is customary to be offered something to eat or drink by the owner. Don’t accept this offer however, if you do not plan to buy anything.
Shopping hours are generally 09:30-19:00 daily in tourist areas. Closing hours vary, with some shops staying open until midnight. Outside tourist areas shops may close at lunchtime and on Sundays.
Marmaris has a flea market every day of the week where you can be tempted to buy fake designer goods and other typical items that are locally made. Bartering at any of the market stalls or shops is expected, so you can have great fun trying to get the best price. Don’t be fainthearted, because you can usually expect to get a better price, at least 30% less than the asking price.
Carpets are popular buys, but like the rest of Turkey you will find plenty of bazaars and medinas offering value for money with leatherware, copper, bronze, silver, gold and traditional Turkish embroidery. The region is famous for meerschaum and onyx. Shawls make nice gifts to take home and you can buy a variety of styles and colours.
Try the market in Dalaman where you can mingle amongst the locals to buy fruit and vegetables. There is usually some good cloth ware to buy so if you are looking for material then this is the place to come. There are also lots of street traders who will be trying to sell you imitation Rolex watches, and fake designer gear so be careful what you buy if you are looking for something authentic.
Eating Out in the Dalaman Region
Dalaman and Turkey rely on production of their own natural spices and fresh ingredients: meat, fruit and vegetables, honey and jam are all produced in Turkey. Therefore there is very little that is imported. Turkish people usually eat bread, honey, cheese made from sheep’s milk and olives for breakfast, with a cup of tea.
Lunch is usually only a small meal but the dinner in the evening is the main meal. Turkish people, like many Europeans like to take their time over their food, it’s a family affair and lasts for ages.
Meze is a starter which can be served either hot or cold and is usually accompanied by aubergines, stuffed vine leaves and cheese pastries. Samosas are also popular and can be filled with either vegetables or meats with spices. Meat is usually grilled, roasted or minced and lamb, beef and chicken are popular. Stews with meat are a popular meal and is usually served with stuffed peppers, beans and rice. Lokanta restaurants are usually simple, but reasonably priced restaurants.
You can also find some top class restaurants where you will be able to taste some of Turkey’s delicious, flavoursome food. Some of these restaurants only have cuisine of a speciality, such as a köftesi which serves meatballs, the kebapç which serves roast meats and the pideci offers pitta bread with a variety of fillings. Fresh fish can be found in some restaurants, these can be turbot, bream, bass, mussels and crab dishes.
The Turkish people love their sweet desserts such as baklava which is light puff pastry, filled with nuts and drizzled with syrup, or rice puddings and custard type desserts.
Typical dishes which are internationally famous are the Shish kebab (grilled meat on a skewer), Doner Kebab (lamb carved off of a revolving spit), Dolma (stuffed vine leaves) Barbunya (red mullet).
Turkish Delight really lives up to its name: it is made from dates, honey, roses, jasmine all mixed and bound by Arabic gum. Originally this was made as a breath freshener, but these days it is sold as a sweet desert, or simply as sweets.
Raki is like the Greek Ouzo and the French Pastis, it is usually added to water for the soft aniseed flavour. Tea is widely available and you wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t try a Turkish coffee which is served strong. Turkey produces its own beer, and red and white wines are available. You will find traditional tea gardens in all the big cities. These are usually set in fantastic surroundings with lots of things to watch, yet remaining relaxing and calming.
It is very important for us to advise you that during Ramadan, eating, drinking and smoking is forbidden during daylight, so therefore visitors should be very discreet if participating in these activities.
Turkish Local Customs
Local customs in Turkey should always be respected. During Ramadan, eating, drinking and smoking is forbidden during daylight, so therefore visitors should be very discreet if participating in these activities.
Visitors to Turkey should dress appropriately, particularly females who should avoid low cut, very short attire especially when going into religious buildings and monuments. In restaurants formal dress may be required.
Before taking photographs of military or governmental buildings always ask permission, and don’t just take photographs of people without asking permission first otherwise these is seen as a lack of respect for their culture.
Smoking is banned in all public transport and outdoor venues and within a year this will also include restaurants, bars and cafes. It is disrespectful to point your finger at someone, to turn the sole of your shoe toward anyone and nose blowing is extremely rude. If you must blow your nose, do so extremely discreetly, even better leave the room or turn away. Open affection towards the opposite sex is frowned upon.
Physical gestures you might like to know about is “yes”, nodding the head forward and down. “No” means nodding up and back whilst lifting the eyebrows at the same time and Turkish people may make a slight noise, like “tsk” to also indicate a no. If you shake your head from side to side, this interprets as “I don’t understand”. To say “thank you” you raise a hand to the heart, sometimes slightly nodding the head as well.
Nightlife in the Dalaman Region
Nightlife can be as busy or as quiet as you would like it. Dalaman is generally well suited to those who enjoy a quiet nightlife as entertainment is usually hotel based with belly dancing shows and other performers like snake charmers. The centre of Dalaman Town is livelier and here you will find a few bars offering some music entertainment. Women should always be conservative with their clothes when going into a restaurant or bar.
The region has a variety of restaurants where you can find an excellent, value for money meal in wonderful ambiance and atmosphere. There is a wide range of international restaurants including Chinese, Indian and Mexican as well as the more usual fast food establishments to suit a lot of British palettes.
Marmaris has a good variety of nightlife including clubs and discos where you can party and dance the night away until the early hours, if you want.
Best Beaches in the Dalaman Region
Dalaman has some stunning, delightful beaches full of sand and warm seas of the Meditteranean. There is a charge on some of Turkey’s beaches but this helps to keep the beaches free from litter and maintain their stunning look. There are beautiful, isolated coves where you can enjoy the little fishes nibbling your toes in the clear waters. The usual water sports are available, if you want the thrill of jet skis or a ride on a banana boat then you will find it at most beaches. Just relax, enjoy reading your book and absorb the beautiful atmosphere on some of the world’s best beaches.
Dalyan Beach is a magnificent “protected” beach where you are asked to treat it with great respect. It is full of an abundance of flora and fauna and the regions Loggerhead Turtles come to lay their eggs on the sands. The water is calm and crystal clear and is ideal for families as it is very safe for children.
A popular beach with excellent white sands which shelve gently to the turquoise waters. The beach is ideal and safe for families with young children and is well sheltered as it has pine trees alongside the back of the beach area. This is also good for providing some shade from the intense heat. It is in a picturesque setting that is astounding.
Located in Marmaris, the Ichmeler beach is wonderfully sandy and the waters are calm and shallow, which shelve gently so it is ideal and safe for families with young children. Some areas are separated for water sports, so it is possible to have a swim and not worry about the activities going on around you.
Around 12 kms from Dalaman you will find the beautiful cove of Sarsala. The beach has beautiful white sands, just perfect for those sand castles and the sand shelves gently to the warm Mediterranean sea. The sea is calm and turquoise, so swimming is a pure delight or just laying to cool off is enchanting. The cove is surrounded by pine and olive groves, you will find it completely enchanting.
The cove is only accessible by boat, you can take an excursion boat that visits the cove to enjoy a fantastic day under the sunshine and surrounded by pine and olive forests. The cove is only small, but sandy and the views across the sea to the blue sky which merges as one is stunning.
Take an excursion to the island of Cleopatra. The island is a protected place and is well known for being a beautiful paradise. You will need to depart from Marmaris or Icmeler by a small fishing boat, which is laid on by locals. The journey only takes 20 minutes, and once at the island you will feel like you are in paradise. You can swim in the enchanting clear waters and the sand is very unique as it is carbon based, hence the reason for the conservation order.
Kille Cove and Boynuzbuku Cove
The coves intermingle and meet each other and are surrounded by pine forests so they are perfectly sheltered and stunning places to spend your day. The water in the coves are shallow and warm so provide a perfect and safe place for families with young children to swim and splash around. They are situated approximately 17 kms from the centre of Dalaman, and the short distance is well worth your visit.
It has a fantastic beach which stretches for miles along the neighbouring resorts where you can take a pleasant stroll and pop into one of the cafes for a midday refreshment or snack. There are some forests which back the beach area, providing shade and shelter. The Taurus Mountains can be seen providing a picture postcard view of the azure blue sea interweaving with the blue sky, and the mountains. The scenery is stunning. Loggerhead turtles frequent the beach to lay their eggs, so the beach is protected to ensure this aspect of nature continues.
The beach is situated between Dalaman and Dalyan and is a popular beach with holidaymakers as it is sandy and well organised, with lots of watersports being available. Scuba diving and snorkelling is popular from this beach. At about a 15 minute walk you can find the town centre where there are lots of hotels, shops and restaurants.
So we would advise, for a day of relaxation and unwinding, enjoy reading your book and absorb the beautiful atmosphere on some of the world’s best beaches.
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