Dalaman holidays

Experience Dalaman

Experience [destination]

Best Places to Visit

Dalaman holidays are a great option for all-inclusive package breaks in Turkey, with a number of local beaches that are used not only by tourists, but also by locals. As the beaches are private, there may be a small entry fee to pay in order to get on to them, so look out for whether or not you can get an all-inclusive break that covers this cost too. If not, remember to pack some food and drinks from your hotel, and you can escape paying for snacks from the beach cafes themselves.

If you're looking for a beach, Sarigerme Beach is well worth the short journey, and can be found about 12km to the south of the city. It's pretty and pristine and, often, you'll find the modest entry fee to get on to the beach is enough to prevent it from getting overcrowded. Once you are on the beach, there are beverages—including soft drinks, tea and beer—available from a cafeteria, which also serves ice creams.

About the same distance out is another beach, Sarsala Koyu. The beach itself is popular among local residents, but is by no means exclusive, so you should feel welcome while you are there. Again, there are beverages and snacks available nearby, so you don't need to take those with you unless you want to save a bit of spending money.

Day tours are an excellent way to see some of the local landscape if you don't want to drive yourself, and these are available not only in Dalaman, but also in neighbouring towns and villages such as Sarigerme. Routes may include the coast for a water-themed tour, inland to enjoy the countryside, and in some cases even focus on taking you to the nearby shops for some retail therapy. The markets at Marmaris and Fethiye are among the latter type of excursion. This can help you to kill two birds with one stone as you get a change of scenery for your day's sightseeing, as well as an ideal opportunity to pick up some souvenirs.

Top Landmarks

If you want something to do that won't add to your all-inclusive budget, get out into Dalaman and see if you can find the railway station. It's easier said than done, because there's no railway. There is a station though - originally meant to be built in Alexandria in Egypt. The building materials were delivered to Dalaman by mistake, and the rest is history. Rather than pay the cost of redirecting them, the station was just built where the materials were instead, with a short section of track that has never been used.

Head out of Dalaman to nearby Marmaris and there are several landmarks worth taking a look at. One of the best is Marmaris Kalesi, which dates from the 1500s in its current form. Prior to that time, an equivalent structure has stood on the same site for millennia, and the architectural inspiration for the present-day castle came from a similar construction on Rhodes. Some parts are open to the public, while ongoing restoration work is ensuring the remainder of the castle survives for future generations. There's a cafe on the site, as well as an Archaeology Museum, giving you the chance to view local finds and learn more about the history of Marmaris.

Entertainment

Visit Dalaman in May to join in the celebrations of the Dalaman Culture Tourism and Sigla Festival, which lasts several days each year. This is a party time for local residents and visitors alike, and an ever-increasing number of tourists plan their trips to coincide with the schedule of the event. If you prefer to see Dalaman in its natural state, without so many crowds, steer clear of this event or visit during the winter months when the weather is still good, but the city and its surroundings are not so busy.

In general, Dalaman is a little quieter than some destinations, and much of the year-round entertainment consists of the usual options of live music, bars and good food. Its popularity as a tourist destination is steadily growing, however, meaning more events are likely to be added to the itinerary during the peak summer months. With sunshine around 320 days a year, its weather is on a par with the Costa del Sol, making for a peaceful and idyllic period of rest and relaxation, and a chance to recharge your batteries while you top up your tan. Alternatively, the winter months combine bright sunshine with slightly cooler temperatures, providing a good balance for a winter sun getaway.

Dining Out

Dining out in Dalaman can turn into a whole evening in its own right, and it may be some time before you even reach the main course, as many Turkish meals begin with a series of lighter snacks. Don't just dismiss these in the same way you might choose not to have a starter in a UK restaurant; sample just one or two each day. By the end of your stay you will have tasted a wide array of different Turkish flavours and cooking methods, even if you do not take the gamble of ordering a main dish without first knowing what it is and how it is prepared.

Many mains are prepared to similar principles as the kebabs you might have eaten for lunch, with full-flavoured steaks, chops and other meats serving as the centrepiece for a satisfying meal. Again though, you might want to save some space for dessert, as Turkey has a full range of delicacies here too. Perhaps the most famous of these internationally is Baklava, a layered, moist filo pastry, enriched with honey or syrup to hold the delicate layers in place, and filled with chopped nuts. The name is believed by some to come from the Old Turkish simply meaning 'piled up'.

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Need to know

Need to know [destination]

Language

Dalaman is one of the more popular package holiday destinations in Turkey, so although the only official language is Turkish, there's a very good chance that locals will speak good English. Written materials for the tourist trade tend to be in English, too, so you can eat out with no trouble.

Currency

The local currency in Dalaman is Turkish lira, in circulation in denominations ranging from 10 kuru to 1 TL coins, and notes from 5 TL to 100 TL. There are plenty of ATMs with good support for major credit and debit cards - tell your bank before you leave the UK if this would be considered 'unusual' activity on your account, or use a prepaid travel currency card to avoid any problems. Sterling can be exchanged, but Scottish banknotes will not be accepted, so avoid taking them with you and politely ask for your change in English currency at the airport when departing the UK, if necessary.

Visas

Entry into Turkey requires a visa, but it's easy to get hold of one, as you just queue for them on arrival before going through passport control. It's a charge of around £10, and remains valid for holidays to Dalaman of anywhere up to three months, which should be more than enough for most (if not all) package holidays. You'll need a valid passport too, which should not expire during your trip, as this may cause problems on departure.

Climate

Dalaman has an extremely pleasant climate - warm in the summer and relatively clear in the winter months. Its average sunshine per year rivals that of the Costa del Sol, and although the peak season for tourism is in the usual summer months of July and August, a trip at any time of year should provide the chance to enjoy warm and bright conditions. As always, check what local amenities operate outside of the peak season, as you are likely to find some closed during the winter, but of course the picturesque local landscape, countryside and coastline should be accessible at any time.

Main Airports

Direct international flights to Dalaman are scheduled several times each week, although it is always sensible to check their frequency, especially out of the peak seasons for international visitors. Dalaman Airport itself is located much closer to the city, at only about 6km outside, meaning transfer times should be relatively short.

Flight Options

On arrival into Dalaman Airport, you should find yourself in the more modern of two terminals - this is used exclusively for international travellers, whereas the older and smaller neighbouring terminal is now used for domestic flights. The two are linked by walkways around 200m in length, so be aware of which building you need to be in if you are transferring to a different location within Turkey, or for your return trip to the UK. This dual role as a domestic and international transport hub means Dalaman Airport is very busy. It is used by around 2.5 million travellers each year across both terminals, making it one of the busiest in Turkey's Western Mediterranean region.

Travel Advice

Try to resist buying food and drink in the terminal itself, as you will pay a substantial premium for even a light snack or just a drink, making it a better idea to wait until you arrive into the city to get something more substantial.

Other Transport Options

As with many destinations, there is always the option to avoid the plane and turn your holiday to Dalaman into an adventure. Driving is possible, with water crossings made by boats and ferries. You could even hop on a train to Istanbul, before then making your way to Dalaman.

Getting Around

The close proximity of Dalaman Airport to the city means some people opt to walk between the two, taking around an hour. Walking is also a good way to see the local sights at your own pace. However, there are plenty of Other Transport Options available to tourists on a package holiday.

Bus

Dalaman is served by a central bus station, so check the local route map to see where you can get to and how long it will take.It’s a great option if you’re booking a cheap package holiday and want to keep spending costs down.

Train

One mode of transport you will not be able to use is train, as Dalaman does not have a connection to Turkey's rail network. It does, however, have its own railway station, built in error using materials intended to be delivered to Alexandria in Egypt. This is a landmark worth looking out for, but we mention it again here as a red flag - if you hear people talking about Dalaman Railway Station, this is what they will be referring to, and it absolutely does not mean that you will be able to step out of your accommodation and board a train to other towns and cities in Turkey.

MAP

DALAMAN`S WEATHER TODAY

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FACTS

  1. Dalaman offers the unusual attraction of 'thermal tourism' - Incebel and Kapikargin have warming sulphurous waters often associated with health benefits and general rejuvenating effects in those who bathe in them.
  2. While Dalaman itself is quite quiet and best suited for relaxation and soaking up the sun, there are plenty of surrounding towns and villages that can be reached on a day trip or in a hire car.
  3. These add to the options during a stay in the area, with shopping, popular beaches and architectural landmarks all within easy reach if you want to explore beyond Dalaman's city limits.

FACTS

  1. Dalaman offers the unusual attraction of 'thermal tourism' - Incebel and Kapikargin have warming sulphurous waters often associated with health benefits and general rejuvenating effects in those who bathe in them.
  2. While Dalaman itself is quite quiet and best suited for relaxation and soaking up the sun, there are plenty of surrounding towns and villages that can be reached on a day trip or in a hire car.
  3. These add to the options during a stay in the area, with shopping, popular beaches and architectural landmarks all within easy reach if you want to explore beyond Dalaman's city limits.

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