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Exploring the Dalaman region

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So, you saw a cheap flight to Dalaman Airport in Turkey, and you thought ‘what the hell!’

Well done you! You’re about to experience your first taste of Turkey and you’ve chosen one of the best airports to fly into – centrally placed to truly explore the Dalaman region of southern Turkey.

Dalaman itself, the actual town, isn’t really going to set your heart on fire, however as a base it takes some beating.

Dalaman is pretty much all about the airport and tourists don’t tend to stay in the town itself. The short drive from the airport to the town centre will take you to the otogar, or bus station, where you can easily head out and about to the various towns and resorts around his popular part of the country. There is accommodation in Dalaman itself, with a top-class hotel calling it home – the Hilton Dalaman Golf Resort and Spa. If you can get a cheap deal to stay there, you’ll be laughing.

So, you have a week to explore, let’s look at what you can get up to.

Day one.

So you’ve arrived, and you’ll probably be a little tired and travel hungover. The best way to get around this is to head into town for a wander and to get your bearings. Despite the fact that Dalaman itself isn’t going to win any prizes for entertainment, you will find a real Turkish way of life about the place, and it’s also a good chance to get some bus timetables for your travels throughout the week. Once you’ve opened your eyes enough to feel alive again, perhaps head to an hotel spat for a relaxing Turkish bath and massage. This is the best way to get your skin summer sun ready, and I guarantee that once you’ve experienced a true Turkish hamam, your tan will be the best you’ve ever had.

Day two.

You can either rent a car if you’re brave enough to drive in Turkey, or jump on a bus, but Sarigerme is your destination. This is where you’ll find a beautiful, picturesque beach, which is totally devoid of overcrowding. Because most tourists tend to head to one of the major beach resorts, you’ll find this area quite upmarket and quiet. The town itself is quaint and very Turkish, so enjoy the sun and Turkish hospitality.

Day three.

It’s time to get out and explore. We mentioned briefly earlier that Dalaman is mainly known for the airport, serving several of the major tourist resorts of Southern Turkey, so your holiday to this part of the country is going to be mainly about gallivanting. Today’s destination is Dalyan. Now, one of the most famous attractions in Dalyan is the mud baths, famed for their youthful properties. An hour or so wallowing in mud, before washing it off and soaking in a sulphur pool is not only great for the skin, but also a great laugh, with a perfect photo opportunity. You can also take a boat tour down the Dalyan River, past the King’s Tomb, Lycian rock carvings, before a few hours at Turtle Beach.

Day four.

More adventure awaits. The Havas bus will take you to tourism-central, otherwise known as loud and brash Marmaris. It’s worthwhile booking a cheap hotel for an overnight stay here, because there is a lot to see, with neighbouring Icmeler worthwhile spending a few hours exploring. You can have a true night out in Marmaris, with authentic entertainment or just the chance to seriously let your hair down.

Day five.

On the way back from Marmaris after your overnight stay, why not recharge the batteries and get the bus to quieter Fethiye or Hisaronu. These two resorts are still touristy, but much quieter than your destination for the previous day, and have many charming attractions in their own right. The beaches here are also much better than those in Marmaris, so recuperate for a few hours and top up your tan.

Day six.

This is where hiring a car will be a good idea, because Gokova is the perfect opportunity to visit a Turkish village. Between Marmaris and Dalaman, Gokova is used to tourists dropping in, but do remember to be culturally aware here, and be respectful of people going about their daily business. You will get a true taste of Turkish life here, with a truly peaceful atmosphere.

Day seven.

You’ve covered a lot of ground in the last week, so it’s time to relax and enjoy your last day. The shops in Dalaman itself are small, but you will find a few souvenirs to take home. Haggle, haggle, haggle is the way forward.

Your week in Turkey is over, and I guarantee you’ll have only whet your appetite for more of this bright and vibrant country.

photo credit: crocieristi creative commons

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