The Dalaman region (original name Ahhiyava) is in the Mugla Province along the coast of south-west Turkey. This is known as the Turquoise Coast and its beauty rivals that of the Caribbean. Besides lying on the gorgeous beaches, a typical day might include visiting Bodrum Castle, the Amphitheatre at Xanthos and Lycian tombs and then going to see the loggerhead turtles in Daylan.
As Dalaman is the entry point for the Turquoise Coast resorts, there are a lot of Dalaman hotels to choose from. The hotels range from huge, sprawling complexes to small family-run pension-style premises. Many of the hotels are very big and have a huge range of facilities, such as restaurants, bars, kids clubs, water parks and entertainment. These tend to be all-inclusive by nature and smaller hotels tend to be offered on a bed-and-breakfast and half-board basis. There are many self-catering accommodation options, although eating out and golf is not as cheap as would be if staying in the resorts. Individual travellers, families and tour groups are embraced by the friendly Turkish hospitality, whichever type of accommodation they choose.
If you prefer hotels in Dalaman near the beach, then look just south along the coast or journey to Patara Beach and Olu Deniz. For water-sports and yachting enthusiasts, try Fethiye for accommodation. If you're interested in a safari, horseback riding, paragliding and white-water rafting, then a hotel near Marmaris or Daylan is a good option.
Other hotels and resorts in the area are located in Calis Beach (south west from Dalaman), Atakoy (north west near Mugla), Turunc (a resort town south of Maramis), Icmeler (just north of Turunc), Gocek (east of Dalaman), Hisaronu (south west of Marmaris) and Oakan and Ovacik (south east of Fethiye). They offer a range of accommodation that can suit your needs and still give easy access to the tourist attractions.
If you're fond of big brands, you won't have to look far with companies such as Hilton, Iberotel and Four Seasons all offering accommodation here.
The Turquoise Coast is an ancient land full of history and culture. The mountainous backdrop provides the perfect setting for an array of leisure activities and adventurous pursuits with the lovely wafting smell of orange groves as the background note.
You can explore the Blue Lagoon from a para-glider at Olu Deniz or lie on the warming sands at Patara Beach as the sound of the waves envelops you. There are also partially submerged Roman ruins at Patara Beach, so you will be surrounded by ancient history. Browse the markets at Kas, or try water sports and yachting at Fethiye. For family-friendly beaches and lazy beach days, Ataturk Park is the place to be.
Many people visit the Lycian tombs in Dalyan and Myra and go to see the underwater treasures in the museum at Bodrum Castle. The amphitheatre at Xanthos should also not be missed. There is a spectacular canyon, Saklikent Gorge, which is 12 miles long and a beautiful sight to see. Your trip will not be complete without trekking along the Kapda Peninsula to the ancient ruins at Lydia, Lissia and Kyra.
You could take a boat trip to Rhodes for an overnight stay or drive to Ephesus to see the Artemis Temple and whilst there travel to Selluk to see the Library of Celsius. Exploring the Roman town of Caumus, Pammukale thermal springs and some Turkish baths are also other ways to spend a day out. Why not also visit the Besparrnak Mountains to see the nature reserve or drive along the coast to see the Sunken City at Kekova?
Many people take a white-water rafting trip down the Dalaman River, a river boat cruise on the Dalyan River or go scuba diving to view amphora and other pottery. Other options include horse riding and rock climbing in Gokova. Another popular outing is to trek along the Lycian Way, where you will see the breathtaking coastline between Fethiye and Antalya.
You can view the eternal flame of Olympos and trek along the many paths and trails that radiate from Dalaman. Take a trip to Riza Cavus to experience thermal baths and mud masks, or spend time with the loggerhead turtles on Iztuzu Beach. You will find countless ancient ruins in this area.
If you eat at your hotel or resort, you will generally find standard English fare. If you want to try a variety of Ottoman and traditional Turkish foods such as meze, Dalaman is the place to go. As fish, vegetables and lamb are abundant in this region, you will find many of the dishes consist of these ingredients. Turkish coffee and teas will make a delightful finish with a serving of baklava.
Dalaman and Marmaris are full of music and laughter after dark and there are many clubs and bars. Further afield, Turkbuku, north of Bodrum, is becoming increasingly popular with celebrities, so is worth a visit if you enjoy celebrity spotting.
There are many markets and shops where you can haggle for carpets, evil-eye amulets, items of jewellery and leather goods. Marmaris bazaars and shops are definitely worth visiting, or try Koycegiz for its Monday market day and Dalyan's large Sunday market.
The temperatures in the summer can vary between 20-40C, with the cooler weather along the coast, so this period is better suited to water-related activities. The winter months are generally between 10-15C, so can be better for outdoor pursuits.
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Top five attractions
The stunning Blue Lagoon at Olu Deniz is a must-see for visitors to Dalaman. Relax by its turquoise waters, bob along in a pedalo or just soak up the sun in this picturesque spot.
The Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology
Located in ancient Bodrum Castle, this fascinating museum showcases items that were found when ancient mariners met their fate and were shipwrecked on Anatolian shores.
The Lycian Way
Taking a trek on part of the Lycian Way is a perfect opportunity to see the breath-taking scenery and sights that this area has to offer. However, at more than 300 miles long you may opt not to do it all!
Take a day trip to Pamukkale or 'Cotton Castle' and relax in the natural hot springs, believed by some to have healing properties.
A day out in Fethiye offers something for all the family. Sporty types can enjoy the many watersports on offer, while those looking for a relaxing day out can enjoy a stroll at the harbour. A bustling market held every Tuesday is great for those looking to bag a bargain.
Kas Lycian Festival; June: This cultural dance festival is a great event for tourists to get a taste of traditional life.
Olu Deniz Air Games, October: Olu Deniz is a paraglider's paradise and the area is hugely popular for the sport. The air games will showcase daring acrobatics - not recommended for the faint hearted!
Dalaman Car Hire