Dalaman is at the same time a district in the province of Mugla, in the south-west of Turkey, and a small town with a population of 20 thousand people, located a few kilometers from the Mediterranean coast. It is primarily known for its international airport, which serves as the gateway to Turkey for foreign guests. Usually tourists come here, choosing Marmaris, Fethiye, Koychegiz, Oludeniz, Hisaronya and Dalyan as their vacation spot.
But the popularity of Dalaman as a seaside resort (or rather its picturesque “appendage” Sarigerme) is growing every year. Tourists are attracted by the magnificent landscapes of the city, nestled among low hills covered with a thick green hat, and a clear azure sea. Dalaman itself is located on a fertile coastal plain, so citrus fruits are grown in abundance here. And here it is always very sunny.
The choice of accommodation in Dalaman is small, the best hotels are located on the coast. With five-star comfort, you can get here for 440-1600 TRY per day. More affordable options are on the second and third coastlines. These are cozy three-star hotels offering clean, modern rooms, friendly service and a modest breakfast, often included in the price. Per night will ask from 155 TRY. For about the same money, you can check into the most famous hotel in Dalaman: SPA & Thermal Hotel Thermemaris, whose pride is the hot springs.
There are no hostels and guesthouses in the city. A night in the most inexpensive hotels located at the maximum distance from the coast will cost 130 TRY.
The area attracts travelers precisely because of its impeccable beaches. The town was built at the junction of the Aegean and Mediterranean seas, which connect at the mouth of the Dalaman River. The coast abounds in secluded small bays with white sand, clear blue water, untouched flora and fauna. Many wild beaches can only be reached by water. Among the public and equipped, the most popular are Sarsala and Iztuzu.
Sarsala is a rocky beach with stunning views of the coast. There is an equipped sitting area: renting an umbrella and deck chair is inexpensive, from 4 TRY per hour. The beach was chosen by yachtsmen: there are many natural bays nearby, not accessible from the mainland. For their inspection, you can rent a ship (on your own or through the hotel administrator). Also on the beach is one of the best restaurants in Dalaman with a menu of fresh seafood.
One of the highlights of Sarsala is the ruins of a Byzantine temple, in the shade of which you can hide from the midday heat.
Iztuzu is not even a beach, but a 5-kilometer sand spit extending deep into the sea. The entrance to the water is comfortable and smooth – a great place to relax with young children. The territory is clean and well-groomed, there is everything necessary for relaxation. Sun lounger fees start at 4 TRY per hour.
The main attraction of Iztuzu – loggerhead turtles (large-headed turtles). Their species is listed in the Red Book, and here they come to give posterity. Thanks to them, the beach got its name: Iztuzu means “turtle”.
Rafting and diving in Dalaman
Rafting on the Dalaman River is a popular activity among active tourists. You can go on a water adventure throughout the season – from May to November. There are two routes – each with a length of 12 km and with different levels of difficulty. The first is designed for beginners, but the second has a difficulty level of R3, tourists without experience will not be allowed to rafting. Preliminary briefing is carried out, the necessary equipment is issued, including rescue equipment.
For those who want to enjoy river views, but are not willing to take risks, there are safe boat and boat rides. The program begins in a river valley and passes through iconic places: for example, travelers are offered to look at the Lycian tombs. The end of the route on Turtle Beach, where time is given for complete relaxation.
Another option for outdoor activities is diving. The most interesting diving sites are located near Iztuzu: clear water, unexplored depths and a variety of marine fauna please even experienced divers. Beginners are immersed, accompanied by instructors.
What to bring
Shopping in Dalaman is not developed, but there are many shops selling a standard set of Turkish souvenirs. Choosing really high-quality products is not easy. It is worth paying attention to products made of semiprecious onyx stone. Costume jewelry, figurines, caskets are cut out of it – they look elegant, cost little, there will be no problems with crossing the border.
Local textiles deserved positive feedback: shawls, stoles and outerwear made from natural cotton and silk. When buying, look at the quality of the line: if it is even and durable – in the hands of a really high-quality thing.
Oriental sweets and spices, as well as Turkish olive oil, are popular. It is not only eaten, but also added to natural cosmetics: for example, handmade soap. This is an interesting souvenir that will long remind you of a Mediterranean vacation.