Aerial view of the Dalaman coastline and Olundeniz beach


Things to do in Dalaman


Welcome to the vast coastline of delightful Dalaman! Dotted in bustling resorts, gorgeous beaches, magnificent mountains and surrounded by the warm waters of the Mediterranean. Stare in disbelief at the startling blue sea and explore the historic sites scattered throughout the mountainous countryside. Whether you enjoy active days spent hiking in the wild, or spectacular bays to catch those rays, there’s just so many things to do in Dalaman.

Relax on the River

Boat trip on the Dalyan River with rock tombs of the Kings of Kaunos in the background

Dalyan – a laid-back little resort – sits on the banks of the serene Dalyan River, where the mouth of the delta hits the sea. A breathtakingly beautiful area jam-packed with natural gems and lush countryside. Take a boat trip from Dalyan harbour to the sandy beaches of Iztuzu where loggerhead turtles lay their eggs. If you’re lucky you might even spot an adorable hatchling heading for its very first swim!

After you’ve finished cooing over the little guys, follow the river away from the waves of the Aegean Sea and head for the mud baths on the banks. Cake and bake in the sizzling sun and clean off in glorious 40°C hot pools. Full of nutrients and minerals, it’s claimed the combination of the elements make for beautiful, silky-smooth skin. Whether or not you believe the hype – there’s no denying that this is fun for the entire family. (It’s not every day you get to cake yourselves in mud!) A magnet for the rich and famous, even Cleopatra herself is rumoured to have visited. The things we do for beauty!

Next up are the bewitching rock tombs carved into the cliff face next to the river. The final resting place of the Kings of Kaunos, the sheer intricacy and gravity defying work that went into these temples is just mind-boggling! Time stands still as the boat voyages alongside – so make sure you have your camera at the ready and grab a piece of history to take home with you!

Walk this Way

Hiker enjoying coastal views from Lycian Way

Walk the Lycian Way and take in some of the best coastal sights at your own pace. A whopping 500km make up the mapped out marvel that runs from Fethiye to Antalya. You might want to leave the whole thing for experienced hikers, but you’d be missing a trick if you didn’t explore at least some of it. There are countless highlights as you weave around the nooks and bends! From rocky coastlines, deserted beaches and pine forests to mountain peaks and ancient ruins.  What better excuse to stop and catch your breath than to gaze over the wonders of Ölüdeniz Beach or the beautiful Butterfly Valley? Back-to-nature at its best, there’s no better way to take in the spectacular scenery. (Psst! The easier part of the trail begins at Fethiye. Why not start there and see how far you get? Some of the most beautiful sites are nearer here too. Convenient, huh?)

Out-of-this-world Ölüdeniz

Panoramic view of Oludeniz Beach sand bar and turquoise lagoon

Feel the sand between your toes at one of the most iconic lagoons in the world! Fringed by golden sloping sand that’s perfect for small children and young families to take a dip – you can lie back and relax on these serene shores. Separated from the main beach by a sand bar, the varying shades of turquoise and azure waters are impossible to resist. And why would you? Crystal clear and calm, make a splash and savour this Southern coast gem. The perfect place to while away the day, sunbathe on the soft sand and watch the beautiful yachts in the distance. If you have your camera to hand, don’t forget to grab some snaps – this is a place you’ll never want to forget!

Make a Splash

Angel fish and marine life under water in Kas

Framed by mountains and a dramatic rocky coastline, Kas has the answers to all your watersporting needs! Its clear blue waters play host to every imaginable escapade – from tranquil boat tours to daredevil jet-skiing and everything in-between. Try your hand at diving (or snorkelling if you don’t fancy strapping on the tanks) and explore life under the sea. Sunken ships and caves are home to an abundance of marine life from rays to barracudas. Above the waves the best way to get around is sea kayaking – go the distance and explore hidden coves and gorgeous gorges away from the crowds.

Eat like the Locals

Traditional Turkish sweet pastries

Dalaman is well catered for, from international cuisine and family favourites to delicious Turkish delights, you’ll be able to find something for even the fussiest of eaters! Traditional dishes include stews and casseroles, as well as the familiar kebab. Curb the carbs and opt for a skewer instead of a pitta (or indulge yourself – because calories don’t count on holiday, right?) Mezzes are great for the indecisive menu crawlers, tuck into everything and sample a selection of tantalising treats! And don’t forget to satisfy your sweet tooth with a Turkish pastry or two.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our villas in Dalaman and find the perfect setting for your Turkish holiday.

Emma Mackey

Emma Mackey is a Content Executive at James Villa Holidays.

To say I have an obsession with travel would be an understatement. Adventuring with my...

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