Guide to the Dalaman area of Turkey
Sitting in the Mediterranean, the Dalaman area of Turkey is growing in popularity, as increasingly more holidaymakers and foreign house buyers flock here. Millions of people pass through, thanks to its state-of-the-art airport, and a rustic and quaint charm reflects its agricultural history. Yet in recent years, real estate and tourism investment introduced a modern touch, bringing in nationalities from further afield.
First human settlement in Dalaman dates to the 7th century, and for many decades, the Lycians and Carians existed side by side until the Persian empire arrived. As with many other places in Turkey, Alexander the Great, the Byzantine and lastly Ottoman empires were also to rule over the area. These days, scenic landscapes suit people who want to explore and enjoy nature while staying away from Turkey’s mainstream holiday markets.
Guide to the Dalaman area of Turkey
Where is Dalaman in Turkey?
Dalaman sits slightly inland off Turkey’s southwest coast. This stretch of coastline nicknamed the turquoise coast because of stunning blue waters and dramatic green-backed mountains is a popular sailing spot and belongs to the Turkish riviera. Dalaman also sits within the Mugla province, one of 81 official recognised areas in Turkey, and Mugla has the edge thanks to booming tourism and foreign house sales.
How to Get There?
As mentioned before, Dalaman is most famous for its airport hosting international and domestic flights. These mainly operate during summer, and the flight schedule scales down during winter, in which case, most people turn to Antalya airport for international flights. If coming in by sea, the nearest marina is Gocek, but to enter via an official port of entry, use Fethiye Ege marina. For those who are driving, get onto the D400 highway running from the east to west of Turkey, while Dalaman main otogar (bus station) receives scheduled coaches from all over the country.
Weather and Climate
Due to Turkey’s vast size, several weather climates are happening at any one time, but the good news is that Dalaman is excellent for hot summers and al fresco dining. Temperatures average around 40 degrees between July to September, and this is the best time for a beach holiday. To explore, choose April to June and October or November, when lower temperatures provide ideal walking conditions. Weather can be wet during January and February.
Guide to Main Landmarks in Dalaman
Dalaman Train Station: In 1905, the governor Mehmet Ali Pasha, an enthusiastic hunter and lover of the great outdoors arrived from Egypt. He fell in love with the area’s scenic landscapes and ordered the construction of a hunting lodge. However, local council websites say, in a seemingly unnoticeable trail of events, the blueprint architecture and building materials for a train station arrived instead. Nobody noticed until many years later, and they removed the ticket rails and box office. From 1930 to 1958, it was a Jandarma station, and then Turkey’s agricultural department took over. This could quite possibly be the world’s only train station without railway tracks.
Dalaman Airport: Sitting 6 kilometres from the town centre, Dalaman airport opened for domestic travel in 1976, and then international in 1981. Every hour, up to 24 aeroplanes can land and take off. With a combined yearly capacity for 8 million passengers a year, it is one of Turkey’s top touristic hubs serving the town of Dalaman as well as surrounding coastal resorts like Gocek, Marmaris, and Fethiye.
Akkaya Valley: For scenic landscapes and admiring Mother Nature, get yourself to Akkaya Valley, and jump onboard an Indus riverboat cruise. On both riverbanks, flora and fauna thrive, but the valley’s calming atmosphere easily entices you to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. Depending on the tour operator you go with, there might be a chance to fish, and swim after your riverside lunch. Also head for the Akkaya garden restaurant, to see beautiful exotic gardens. (More about Akkaya Valley.)
Sarigerme: Sitting in nearby Ortaca district, Sarigerme is a true beachy destination. Rent a sunbed, and umbrella and then lie back and enjoy the sun, sea, and sand. Anyone seeking a thrilling chase can opt for any water sports available including jet skis, windsurfing, and water skiing. Alternatively, time your visit for a Friday or Wednesday and indulge in a little retail therapy when the local markets open.
Sarsala Koyu: On the foreign tourism market, Sarsalya is unheard of, yet Turks call it a well-kept secret. With the backdrop scenery of green hills, yachts and small boats often dock into the bay to experience calm and tranquillity that Sarsala boasts of. After relaxing on the beach, the quaint traditional village is a delight to explore.
Places to Visit or Stay Further Afield
Fethiye Region: As mentioned before, many people pass through Dalaman to stay or visit other areas. Some people also stay there but hire a car or join excursions to visit places and tourist attractions within a short drive. One is the Fethiye region, which breaks down into the city centre, Calis Beach, Hisaronu, Ovacik and the famous Oludeniz and Blue Lagoon. (Read Fethiye area guide and information.)
Yachting Gocek: Beautiful Gocek, sitting 30 minutes’ drive away maintains an upmarket feel and lures in yachts sailing the Turkish Riviera, through her state-of-the-art marinas. The town, backed by the Taurus mountain range has a low population, but the social scene, mainly during summer revolves around upmarket dining and if you have the cash it is a great place to hang out.
Rustic Dalyan: Most people know of Dalyan because all surrounding holiday resorts sell day time excursions to see the mud baths, sail the Dalyan delta, admire Lycian rock tombs and spend time on Iztuzu beach. However, if you have time, we recommend booking into a boutique hotel to enjoy Dalyan’s riverside ambience at night.
Bustling Marmaris: 90 minutes’ drive away, Marmaris is a popular holiday resort attracting many nationalities. The main town landmark, the old and majestic castle, sits near the old bazaar, but the resort earns worldwide fame for bar street and the lively nightlife scene with bars and pubs staying open until the early hours.
Ortaca: Sitting 15 minutes from Dalaman town, many people catch the bus to Ortaca for a wide range of shops, banks, and supermarkets. The name translates into middle town, an apt reflection of its location and agriculture importance for the surrounding communities. Such is its strategic location, many buses pass through the local bus station on their way to other destinations.
Koycegiz Lake and Sultaniye Springs: Just 1-hour drive away, is one of Mugla’s most scenic and tranquil places. Koycegiz lake is a great weekend getaway for locals as they sit lakeside and enjoy protected flora and fauna that thrive in the area. At the lake tip, Sultaniye mud baths are popular with tourists after they have taken a lake boat trip. (Related reading – Things to do in the Mugla area.)
Buying Property and Living in Dalaman
In recent years, increasingly more foreign house buyers and Turks have invested in real estate. Some purchase for a summer holiday home—others for investment. The most surprising aspect is that in the town centre, prices per square metre are incredibly affordable, especially when compared with the coastal resorts. Some people want a more secluded location, in which case they buy large villas in Akkaya valley and buy a car to get around for shopping and daily chores.
To invest in property in or around the Dalaman area, see our property listings via the link below.
Each one includes everything to know, including price, location, photos, home features and how to find out more via email or to arrange a viewing. Alternatively, see our guide to expat living if you want to move to the area, or call us today to chat with an agent.
*Dalaman Train Station Image: Credit TIGEM