Guide to Marmaris, Fethiye, Dalaman and Turkey’s Mediterranean Coast –

Fly to Dalaman Airport to enjoy the beaches, sun and relax on Turkey’s turquoise coast

One airport = one destination, right? Wrong! Dalaman, in southern Turkey, is both a destination and a gateway to other amazing places. It’s right on the beautiful turquoise coast, which means pretty towns, beautiful beaches, interesting history, delicious food and friendly people, all ready to welcome you. Let’s explore this fascinating region together…

Dalaman, where it all begins…

Dalaman is where you will fly, and the airport is six kilometers from the city. Gateway to the Turquoise Coast, it has some great resort hotels on nearby Sarıgerme Beach. A remote location with a wonderful Mediterranean climate means you’re pretty much guaranteed good weather, even in its short, cool winters.

However, we have to cast our net a little wider to see what you are. really looking for. Whatever type of trip you’re looking for – bars and nightlife, relaxing on the beach, exploring the wild countryside or something a little unexpected – we’ve got it.

Marmaris, with everything you could expect from a resort…

Direction first of all the region of Marmaris, about 90 km by road from Dalaman, and wow: it is breathtaking. The region’s relative inaccessibility means that it has generally managed to keep the overdevelopment that affects other parts of the region at bay.

The area offers a gentle mix of pine-clad mountains, deep blue seas, islands and islets seemingly untouched for centuries, and ancient reminders of empires that have come and gone. Marmaris town itself, however, is a bustling place, so as a base to explore it is ideal.

Through narrow streets to lively parties

Marmaris Port — DLM Airport

The town itself is a disorderly collection of buildings built around a bay, bordered by a popular shingle beach and a long, wide seafront promenade. Fishing boats floating in the harbor were dwarfed by the pleasure boats as tourism has overtaken more traditional lifestyles, but old world charm is never far away.

At the foot of the Ottoman-era castle, the old town winds its streets through a maze of ancient whitewashed houses, tiny cafes, beautiful flowers in planters and a strange cat stretching lazily in the sun . Some sources say there has been a castle here since 3000 BC, but what we do know is that Suleiman the Magnificent ordered Marmaris Castle to be rebuilt, and it is now a museum.

Enjoy the crystal clear waters of Turunc Bay in Marmaris Enjoy the crystal clear waters of Turunc Bay in Marmaris — iStock

After the lazy days comes the nightlife, and Marmaris has you covered. Indeed, in any city with a street called, simply, Bar Street, you know what you are going to get. Bars, restaurants and clubs, both indoors and outdoors, dominate this part of town, wedged into the streets between the bazaar, the marina and a green-sided canal.

To see a little more, both on land and on water, embark on one of the many coastal cruises that take you from island to cove, along the rugged coastline and through caves accessible only by sea. Alternatively, try a jeep or quad safari through the mountains to the rivers, waterfalls and sleepy villages that dot the hills. Get off the beaten path and discover Greek and Roman ruins that remained virtually untouched for centuries, before rejoining modern city life.

Fethiye, for active people and outdoor enthusiasts…

cliff in the mountain looking at the butterfly beach from the top of the ocean in Fethiye TurkeyEnjoy the view of Butterfly Beach from the top of Fethiye — Shutterstock

Fethiye is a bustling port town set in a beautiful natural harbour. Green hills surround the city in a wide arc, yachts float gently on the clear blue sea as tourists and locals stroll happily along the waterfront. Indeed, apart from modern boats, the beautiful surroundings and buzz of life have been the same for millennia.

It was the site of the ancient city of Telmessos, and you can step back in time to the mighty Tomb of Amyntas, built around 350 BC, or visit the Fethiye Museum to learn more about the history of the region. One thing that has remained over the years is Fethiye Market, an intoxicating mix of sights, sounds, scents and vendors selling spices, fruits, vegetables, cheeses, yoghurts, dates and more ; textiles, bags, scarves, the list goes on.

A beach adventure

You can go paragliding over the lagoon in ÖlüdenizYou can go paragliding over the lagoon in Ölüdeniz — DLM Airport

After the hustle and bustle of the market, you will need to relax, so head to the Blue Lagoon in Ölüdeniz. Its calm waters are perfect for lovers of sailing, swimming or snorkeling, and if even that seems like too much work, you can spend your time lying on the sand or eating delicious barbecue dishes in one of the bars. of beach.

For an amazing alternative view of the lagoon (and not for the faint-hearted!), you can take the winding roads of one of the surrounding mountains and go tandem paragliding. After racing towards the edge of the mountain, you’ll take off and meander through the sky above the beaches and lagoon, before drifting in lazy arcs and ending one of the region’s most unforgettable experiences.

Local history and nature

Panoramic view of Oludeniz beach and blue lagoon, Oludeniz beach is the best beach in Turkey - Fethiye, TurkeyPanoramic views and nature are what awaits you in Fethiye — Shutterstock

Another option could be visiting the 12 islands of the Gulf of Fethiye. The 12 islands that make up the archipelago each have their own charms, from historic ruins to mud spas, and each offers more than just plenty of swimming or sunbathing opportunities. There are companies that organize excursions, of course, but if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can also hire a boat yourself and cruise the warm waters at your own pace.

Finally, for the walkers among you, Fethiye is the start (or end) of the Lycian Way, a 500km hiking route that winds along the Turquoise Coast, past Roman and Byzantine ruins to Antalya. . Of course, don’t feel like you have to do it all, but for a day or two it’s a great change of pace and makes you feel like you’ve earned all that relaxation!

Guide to Marmaris, Fethiye, Dalaman and Turkey's Mediterranean Coast

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Sharon P. Juarez