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Top 10 Things to do in Dalaman


Our Top Ten things to do in Dalaman - Don't leave until you've experienced the best Dalaman has to offer

Dalaman isn’t everybody’s idea of a stopping off place and most people venture through it to reach the holiday resorts north of the city around Marmaris or to the south around Olu Deniz. Still it’s worth basing yourself there if you have transport that will enable you to see the best that the region has to offer. Within a few hours drive you’ll find all of the following attractions that make this area, known as the Lycian Coast, a pleasure to visit.
1 Trekking
We don’t recommend you try all of it for 311 miles of walking would test the very best of us but walking part of the Lycian Way is a great way to see the unspoilt aspects of the region. The scenery between Fethiye and Antalya is breathtaking and for much of the stretch, the only humans you are likely to see will be the friendly farmers who tend their fields or the goat herdsmen as they walk their tinkling charges to the pastures each day.

2 Mud Baths
 Mud Baths
The mud baths of Dalyan are an internationally renowned tourist attraction. Holidaymakers come from Marmaris and Fethiye and sometimes further afield to indulge in the sulphur-rich baths. The waters are said to give relief from many rheumatic and skin conditions. Some have said that a mud bath in Dalyan has even left them looking younger but for the greater part, most people that indulge themselves do it for the fun of looking like a statue and for the weird sensation as the rather smelly mud dries and cracks off your body.

3 Paragliding
I’d always wanted to have a go at paragliding and on a trip from Dalaman to Kalkan we passed the cliffs above Olu Deniz and there they were, like birds of prey, gliding effortlessly in the warm air. So if the idea of jumping from a cliff with another person holding onto you also sounds appealing then Dalaman is the place for you. Paragliding in Dalaman and Fethiye has become very popular and Olu Deniz is now the host for the International Air Games held each October.

4 Festivals
For three days at the end of June, Kas is home to the annual Kas Lycian Festival. International and local folk-dancing troupes visit the area to perform in one of  Dalaman's largest and most colourful festivals. The festivities are accompanied by street food and drink and a party atmosphere that gets going around lunchtime, finishing in the early hours of the morning when too much dancing and Raki have taken their toll!

5 Hydrofoil to Rhodes
 Hydrofoil to Rhodes
Some of our recommendations have involved leaving the country you’re staying in. Here we do the same again as we recommend you to take a hydrofoil trip from Marmaris to Rhodes for the day. It’s quick and cheap and enables you to see another country again on your holiday. Further down the coast you can do the same with a trip to Kos. You won’t need visas or any other form of documentation and makes an interesting change, especially when you consider the historical attractions of Rhodes.

6 Kalkan
Kalkan is a beautiful, well-preserved old fishing village south of Fethiye with some stunning accommodation and wonderful restaurants. Built rising up the hills that line the harbour, the hotels and shops of the daytime turn to rooftop restaurants at night where you can look down on diners in the restaurants below you and out to sea to watch the moon sweep across the islands in the bay. Magical!

7 Saklikent Gorge
 Saklikent Gorge
An adventure par-excellence. Saklikent Gorge is 17 miles long and at many times of the year isn’t for the faint hearted. In the summer, parts of it are flooded neck deep in ice cold milky water and the scrambling and climbing needed to traverse the lower reaches soon sorts the sheep from the goats. Further on up the gorge you come to a feature called the shower cubicle where you stand in a metre of water in a curved cutting in the rock whilst water tumbles down on top of you. To progress further from here you need to be handy with a rope and don’t mind climbing up a waterfall. It’s an amazing experience.

8 Patara Beach
Patara Beach
Patara Beach is nine miles long and almost completely deserted apart from in the places where it has access to roads. You need to pay a small fee to go onto the beach as it is in an archaeological area. If you get bored of the golden sands and warm shallow water head up into the dunes where you’ll find unexcavated Roman ruins including temples, the columns of houses and public buildings with sand blowing over them and Marram grass growing in the crevices. You begin to marvel at how it can stay untouched and unspoilt for so long but the signs are that it will.

9 Taxi to the Mountains
Taxi to the Mountains
Friends recommended that we rent a taxi for the day and ask to be shown some of the traditional way of life in the hinterland behind the resort. We climbed thousands of feet along miles of roads to countryside that is completely cut off in winter by snow. Here, we visited a family and watched them make and store flatbread, making cheese and growing apples to sell at the local market. We ate fish caught fresh from the stream and then went higher still to paddle in an icy cold lake coloured a vivid green from the copper in the water.

10 Myra and Kekova
Myra and Kekova
Normally you’d think of going to Lapland or the North Pole to meet Father Christmas but his true home is in Myra. St Nicholas was the bishop of Myra and gave gifts which he dropped down the chimney of poor people’s homes to enable their daughters to provide a dowry upon marriage. He wore a red costume and a red hat and has been celebrated as the St Nicholas of the Christmas story ever since.  Kekova nearby has a fascinating underwater town, an ancient Lycian one that sank beneath the waves after an earthquake. Hire canoes and glide over rooftops and market squares looking down on a beautiful city that was home to hundreds of people. 

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