Dalaman is Turkey's most visited holiday region. Home to the major resort towns of Fethiye, Dalyan, Mamaris and Oludinez, there is plenty to see and do during a trip to this region. Characterised by clean turquoise waters lapping onto white sandy bays and beaches, the region is a well-equipped tourist area with everything visitors need as well as plenty of natural undeveloped sites. The region is also home to sites of historic significance such as the Lycian Caves and buzzing resorts filled with bars, clubs and restaurants. There are plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures such as scuba diving, snorkelling and sailing. Summers in the region are very hot, making the best time to visit the shoulder seasons of March to May and September to November. Events in the region are varied and include sporting and cultural festivities and the unique Sarıgerme Kite Festival.
Things to Do
Dalaman is teeming with things to do, from natural wonders to sites of historical wonder and enough beach and water activities to keep the family happy for weeks.
Beachlife and watersports
Beaches are the biggest draw of Dalaman and they are unrivalled with anywhere in Turkey. Top beaches are found all along the Lycian Coast, notably the one at Oludinez, which was voted one of the best beaches in the world. Scuba diving is enjoyed in the areas of Oludinez, with its underground caves, and Marmaris, where crystal-clear waters attract both seasoned and beginner divers. Other visitors enjoy snorkelling, whilst boating enthusiasts should head to the harbour town of Fethiye for a yacht cruise.
The area is full of historical sites. Fethiye, once an ancient port town called Telmessos, boasts a 2,200-year-old Roman Ampitheatre which once seated 6,000 people and the Tomb of Amyntas, which is built into a mountainside and well worth the walk up a hill to reach it. More Lycian tombs can be found in the town of Dalyan, part of the remains of an ancient town called Kaunos. Those staying in Marmaris on the other hand should visit the historic Grand Bazaar, Marmaris Castle and the Park of Archaeology.
Top sites for those who like to get back to nature include Butterfly Valley, a protected area home to 115 butterfly species that can only be accessed by boat, in its enclosed lagoon-like bay. Alternatively, head to İztuzu Beach in Dalyan to see the famous nesting place of the loggerhead turtles.
Calendar of Events
Turkish people love to celebrate life and this happiness can be experienced at one of the many events in Dalaman and the region.
- Sarıgerme Kite Festival. This handmade kite flying competition on the beach at Sarigerme in April is hugely unique and exciting to watch.
- International Lycian/Kaş Culture and Arts Festıval. Happening in mid-June, this three-day festival is one of the biggest arts festivals in the region. Performances are varied and include symphony orchestras and folk dances, and the event also includes a swimming race to a Greek island.
- Marmaris International Race Week. This end-of-season yacht racing event in October/November is as popular with tourists as it is with locals.