There are places that are beautiful. And there are places that enchant and remain forever in the heart, like the region of Dalaman.
A trip to the green and relatively undeveloped region of Dalaman on the Lycian Coast is incredibly varied. The region around Dalaman International Airport is characterized by historical sights and stunning, diverse landscapes – from mountains to seascapes to coastal paradise. In addition, Dalaman, as usual in the whole Turkey, has another decisive advantage: you can eat good and healthy everywhere.
This destination offers the ideal conditions for an eventful vacation: local culture, well-being, active hiking trips, turquoise beaches, Mediterranean climate, adventures with adrenaline kick and delicious dishes.
Come along on the journey through this very special corner of the world with my 10 highlights for your Dalaman vacation:
1. Dalaman: The bathing paradise on the Lycian coast
Turquoise blue sea shimmers in the bays of Dalaman and lagoon-like backdrops stretch out in contrast to the forested peaks of the Taurus Mountains. Behind every corner hides breathtaking nature, the most beautiful beaches and places that you must visit.
Romantics, sun worshippers and beach addicts will find unique landscapes that invite them to dream, swim and snorkel. For water sports lovers, the area is ideal for windsurfing, kitesurfing and sailing, as the wind always has new adventures to offer.
I know that a list of top beaches could be extended to infinity, but nevertheless I have selected five beaches for you that will make your wanderlust grow and your patience until your next vacation in the Dalaman region grow short: The 5 most beautiful beaches of the Dalaman region.
The best hotels in Sarigerme
- 7 nights
- All Inclusive
- Incl. Flight
- 2 adults
- 7 nights
- All Inclusive
- Including. Flight
- 2 adults
- 7 nights
- All Inclusive
- Incl. Flight
- 2 adults
2. Gocek – small but nice
The chic Gocek bay with fancy yachts
Gocek, a small gem near the popular tourist destination of Fethiye, can be reached by car in about half an hour from Sarigerme. The idyllic village – the Saint Tropez of Turkey, as it is also called – is primarily a place for yachts and boat owners. The stone-paved colorful streets and the many souvenir stores offer numerous shopping opportunities. The large villas along the canals reminiscent of Venice, each with its own boat in front of the door, invite to dreaming.
On the wide promenade you can stroll past boats from all over the Mediterranean and then drink a cocktail or a strawberry lemonade in one of the chic cafes or restaurants, and eat fresh seafood or, depending on your preference, a kebab or a kavurma. Learn more about the 10 best dishes of Turkish cuisine.
For a visit to Gocek you should plan a day, because the historical coast in the Dalaman region can be experienced best during a boat trip. Like little jewels 12 picturesque islands surround Gocek. Deep blue to turquoise sea, gorgeous bays and beaches delight the senses. The boat tour starts early in the morning. So there’s plenty of time to explore the city on your own in the late afternoon.
3. The fish market in Fethiye
Fethiye has much more to offer than the fish market!
Fischers Fritz fishes fresh fish. Fresh fish fishes Fischers Fritz.
If you like fresh fish, Fethiye is the place to be and after a sumptuous meal at the fish market you will be able to pronounce this tongue twister perfectly. In a large neighborhood in Old Town, with loud bars all around, there are vendor booths in the middle for freshly caught fish. You choose a fish you would like to eat and then carry it to the restaurant, where it is prepared deliciously and according to your wishes.
The table is quickly covered with all kinds of delicious appetizers (mezeler) and you spend the next few hours in a culinary sensory frenzy. In the hustle and bustle of the market and the restaurants attached to it, there is a jolly atmosphere, as this place is mostly visited by locals. This is pure Turkey! From Dalaman to Fethiye it is approx. 45 minutes by car.
4. Dalyan, the delta of the ancient royal tombs
Impressive royal tombs of Kaunos
A day in beautiful Dalyan can be arranged in many ways. A Turkish village breakfast in one of the picturesque restaurants along the Dalyan Delta followed by a boat trip in the early morning hours is the perfect plan for a delightful start to the day. With a little luck you can spot one of the wild Caretta-Caretta turtles, some of which are over one meter long, at the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea.
Just across the river you can see from afar the Lycian royal tombs in their full glory. This spot of cultural history in the Dalaman region always arouses curiosity. For those who want to immerse themselves in the ancient world for a few hours, a visit to the Carian ruined city of Kaunos is worthwhile and certainly a highlight of your Turkey trip.
5. Yuvarlakcay, a magical place in the Taurus Mountains
Dangling his feet in the water while eating – chilling
Magical, because you can spend a perfect afternoon surrounded by fabulous nature.
Those who make it up to the upper end of the valley are rewarded with tranquility, unspoiled natural landscapes and spectacular rock faces. In the lower area there are various eateries that have their seats above the water and also offer bathing spots in the mountain stream. This is a favorite retreat of the locals during the summer when it is too hot. Yuvarlakcay is the ideal place in the Dalaman region to be refreshed by the cool breeze of the river while having a small meal. You can also cool off directly in the river or jump into the cold water from one of the swings – fun for young and old alike. You can reach Yuvarlakcay by car or public bus from the center in Dalyan.
6. Akyaka or the Turkish Dolce Vita
Breakfast with a view in Akyaka
Akyaka is an idyllic little town in the Turkish province of Mugla right next to the Dalaman region, characterized by Ottoman architecture with typical wooden elements and visited mainly by Turkish vacationers. Here you can enjoy romantic hours for two or time out with the family, only ca. 45 minutes from Sarigerme.
A late afternoon stroll through the small flower-lined streets is an opportunity to discover Turkey outside the traditional mass tourism for foreigners. Small boats chug through the maze of waterways across the little river Kadin Azmak that runs through Akyaka. Its crystal-clear waters grant visibility down to the bottom, where huge schools of fish cavort. Accordingly, the place is also known for its fish restaurants.
My tip: treat yourself to this voyage of discovery and end the evening with a sumptuous meal that will surely remain in your thoughts for a long time.
7. Kayakoy: the town that tells of the past
Morbid charm of the past – Lost place Kayakoy
The Greek ghost town that stretches along a gently sloping hillside is a valuable architectural complex. It is a listed monument and has been recognized by UNESCO as a "World Friendship and Peace Village". Until 1923, Kamilassos, now Kayakoy, was inhabited by Greeks. With the Greek-Turkish population exchange following the Lausanne Peace Treaty, which declared Asia Minor completely Turkish national territory, the inhabitants left this settlement. The houses became ruins and eventually a lost place. Kayakoy is located a good hour’s drive from Dalaman.
Kayakoy has a special attraction. Take the time to breathe in the history of the place through the abandoned old alleys and look at old times through the eyes of the present day.
Kayakoy is also famous for its lamb specialties. Learn more in this video.
8. The Taurus Mountains, Turkey’s magnificent emerald necklace
Rises up to the sea – the Taurus Mountains
The 1500-kilometer-long Taurus mountain range begins in historic Lycia, then arcs along the Turkish Riviera, then follows the Mediterranean Sea again to northern Syria, and ends at Turkey’s eastern border.
In the Dalaman region, you can experience the splendor of the Taurus Mountains in a variety of ways: Hiking trails, mountain bike tours, adventurous off-road safaris and white water rafting reveal spectacular views, blue bays at every turn and endless green forests.
9. Marmaris, the Carian port city
Marmaris is a picturesque coastal town in the southwest of the Turkish Aegean Sea. The approximately 90 km long way from Sarigerme or Dalaman to Marmaris leads through a picturesque hilly and mountainous landscape and small towns, which make the journey itself an experience. If you arrive by car and follow the road through the pine forests, stop for a short rest when you see the first Marmaris sign. You will see the city in all its splendor from above.
The lively and vibrant atmosphere of the city will please you very much. The eleven-kilometer-long beach promenade alone with its numerous stores, bars and restaurants invites you to take an extensive stroll. Take 1 to 2 hours to walk around the narrow streets of the old town and feel the unique pulse of Turkish life. A day in Marmaris will feel like a week’s vacation.