Dalaman is a fantastic destination for anyone who is new to Turkey. While the town benefits from excellent facilities and a wide range of activities thanks to its proximity to main tourist resorts, Dalaman itself remains fairly quiet and the coastline is just begging to be explored, allowing more adventurous travellers like myself to get away from the tourist crush.
Situated just ten minutes from the airport, Dalaman is set in lush pine forests. For most of the year the weather is hot and sunny, although off-peak is relatively comfortable for British travellers. I chose to go last autumn which was absolutely ideal in terms of climate.
Upon arrival, I spent a few days just chilling out on the stunning blue flag beaches at Dalaman and Sarigerme. These two resorts are split by the Dalaman River, which offered some high-octane white water rafting – not something for the faint of heart!
Once I’d settled in and started to get to know the place, I was ready to explore further. The stretch of coastline, also known as the Turquoise Coast, is famous for its serene, clear, azure waters—hence the nickname. What better way to explore the spectacular coastline and its views then to embark on the 500 kilometre Lycian Way trek, named for the ancient kingdom of Lycia which once covered this area. As an avid walker, I had always heard how immensely rewarding this particular hike was and I was eager to get started.
In the first stage of this beautiful journey, I stopped in the small town of Fethiye, one of Dalaman’s neighbouring resorts, which stands on the ancient city of Telmessos, where I spent the afternoon exploring the historic ruins. The cliff side tombs and the medieval Knights Castle were arguably the highlights of the entire trip.
Tired out from my wall, I spent the night in Fethiye before travelling on to Kayakoy, a spectacular, atmospheric ghost town with sea views which will completely blow you away. I then braved the mountain path to the lagoon of Oludeniz, but chose to get the bus on to Ovacik, the official start of the Lycian Way.
From there, I climbed the steep slopes of the Baba Dag mountain range and was rewarded with indescribably beautiful coastal views. By this time, my stomach was starting to rumble, so I made my way to a small village called Faralya where I had lunch overlooking the beach. Sadly, this was the last stop on my tour and I had to leave the rest of the trek for another trip.
From Faralya I returned to Dalaman, where a final day on the beach refreshed my aching legs and allowed for plenty of time to plan the next visit. Next time, I’m determined to complete the Lycian Way and revisit this spectacular coastline, the blissful beaches and the friendly villages with delicious Mediterranean cuisine.
This article was written by Monarch Airlines, who provide regular flights to Dalaman from a range of UK airports.