Dalaman is so well situated that it makes it possible to easily access all of the holiday paradises that surround it. With the marina that is expected to open this year, Dalaman has increased its pulling power.
There is only one answer to the question “Which is the most convenient place to fly to?” if you are planning to visit one of the wonderful holiday resorts of Dalyan or Göcek, Sarıgerme or Akyaka, Marmaris or Köyceğiz, and that is: Dalaman, Muğla.
Dalaman Airport, which has been in operation for civil aviation since 1981, ensures that visitors from Turkey and abroad have easy access to the dozens of towns of the area, each of which is a tourist paradise. From spring onwards tens of thousands of flyers land first in Dalaman before setting off from this pretty town en route to the place where they will spend the “holiday of their dreams”.
But now Dalaman is preparing to earn a name for itself other than just that of a distribution center. A new marina with a capacity for 750 yachts is being built just a few kilometers from Dalaman Airport. As soon as the marina, which is being built by the Doğuş D-Marin Group, opens, Dalaman will attract a large proportion of the boat traffic of the eastern Mediterranean, one of the busiest regions in the world in terms of sea tourism. This town with a population of 35,000 will therefore become a much busier and livelier place, particularly during the spring-summer season.
Dalaman and its surrounding region are already an important tourist destination. Passengers alighting from the plane at Dalaman Airport find themselves in a real holiday environment the minute they step through the ‘Arrivals’ gate. To fulfil their holiday dreams all they need to do is travel 23 kilometers east (25 minutes by car), or 28 kilometers north-west (35 minutes by car). Göcek to the east and Dalyan to the north-west await these travelling souls.
Göcek: A Landscape of Blue and Green
It has been a long time since the pretty town of Göcek near Fethiye became, with the striking changes it underwent, the favored tourist paradise for Western sea lovers and yachters. Full of beautiful coves and islands, some of which have no buildings other than private properties, the Gulf of Göcek gets under the skin of first-time visitors, ensuring that they will return.
Göcek, a town that was once home to little more than a municipal tea garden, a few B&Bs and a few corner shops, now has a developed tourism infrastructure with six marinas, many hotels (including one with five-stars), boutique hotels and B&Bs, restaurants famous for their seafood dishes and meze, and shops and supermarkets that sell anything you can think of. Visited by passengers on the private boats that fill the marinas or by sea and nature lovers on tour boats offering an unforgettable day, the Gulf of Göcek, is completely breath-taking.
Of course, a one-day boat trip is not enough to see all of the beauties of the coastline. In a one-day trip you can visit only a few of the bays and islands, of which there are many: bays such as Bingüş, Osmanağa, Günlük, Küçük Karanlık (Kargılık), Boynuz Bükü, Kile Bükü, Taşyaka (Bedri Rahmi Bay), Aşılak, Hurma, Sarsala, Küçük Sarsala, Kapı, Hamam, Yavansu and islands such as Yassıca, Göcek, Zeytinli, Tersane and Domuz. Once you have embraced the crystal waters of every bay and island you visit, leaving will not be so easy. Let’s take the Bay of Taşyaka, known by locals as ‘Bedri Rahmi Bay’, as an example… The hypnotic simplicity of the image of an eye painted on a rock by the famous artist Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu, the sound of the freshwater spring owing not far away, the shade of the trees that offer coolness even in the height of summer and the grass upon which you can stretch out will have make such a strong impact that you will never want to leave. When you have this same feeling at every bay you enter, at every island you visit, at every spot you set anchor, you will most certainly want to extend the length of your holiday.
- Migration from Europe: In recent years Dalaman has seen an increasing number of foreigners move to the area, particularly from Germany.
Dalyan: Three For One – Nature/History/ Flavor
If you head north-west from Dalaman you will reach Dalyan, another paradise that offers a blend of nature, history and delicious food. One of the treasures that Dalyan generously shares with us is Iztuzu Beach which every year welcomes –at specific times and in limited numbers– thousands of visiting researchers, scientists and nature lovers. This beach, which cannot be accessed by road, can be reached by boats that leave from the center of Dalyan, passing through the labyrinthine reed beds along the coastline.
At the end of this maritime journey you come to the 5.5-kilometre Iztuzu Beach, stretching out like a jetty between the fresh water and sea water and hidden from view as though to protect its incredible habitat and of course the famous ‘caretta caretta’ loggerhead sea turtles that lay their eggs there. The sea that stretches out from Iztuzu, Turkey’s second longest beach, after Karasu in Samandağ, is in constant movement, with waves that seem to want to draw your attention to a beauty in which you will lose yourself. With dips in the sea whenever you choose, long walks, naps underneath a parasol and the welcoming Mediterranean spirit that you encounter everywhere you look, here you have the chance to cleanse your body and your mind.
During your trip you will see the rock tombs in Kaunos, part of the heritage of the Lycian Civilization, which will leave you filled with awe and admiration. Also known as the ‘Kings’ Tombs’, these monumental tombs that were carved with great craftsmanship into the rock face date back more than 3 thousand years. As you look from the boat, going up to those rocks may seem like a crazy idea but think again; after climbing for one kilometer, the view that greets you is so beautiful that you will forget how tired you are. The blue of the sea, the green of the lake, the boats pushing through the reeds, the ancient ruins and of course the fisheries…
The ancient town of Kaunos also offers a real historical feast. The remains of the three kilometers of walls that were built to protect the town, the stoa, agora, fountain, public bath, amphitheatre and temple increase the admiration you will feel for the civilization and human genius that created the ancient port city of Kaunos.
Let us share with you another secret of Dalyan and the surrounding area so that you can fully understand its outstanding beauty and variety. From the village of Gökbel, head not towards Iztuzu Beach but towards the hills and you will reach the 600-metre peak known as ‘Radar’. Climbing to the very summit is forbidden but you can be sure that the view you see from the rocks just below will fill you with incredible emotions. The beautiful turquoise waters decorated with white foam, the swaying sailboats on the line where the horizon blends with the sky, Delik Island, Gökgöl, Ekincik Bay, Sulungur Lake, and the breeze that blows away the heat of the summer!
- D-Resort Göcek: Previously Swissôtel, and now ‘D-Resort Göcek’, this hotel has recently renovated all of its equipment and rooms. It is the most luxurious accommodation option in Göcek.
- A&B Home Hotel: Göcek’s first boutique hotel continues to provide service of the same high quality since its very first day. The garden and small swimming pool are extremely pleasant and relaxing.
Food & Beverage
- Can Restaurant: The most famous restaurant of this pretty town offers real Mediterranean cuisine… It also has an amazing view over the Bay of Göcek and each of the meze dishes, made from Aegean plants and seafood dishes, is more delicious than the next. The chefs and waiters are, like the restaurant owners, locals of Göcek.
- West Cafe & Bistro: A stylish and high quality restaurant… Just like all of the restaurants along the seafront, West Café & Bistro has a view of yacht sails and the Bay of Göcek. The food is so good that you could simply pick anything from the menu with your eyes closed.