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Sitting on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast is Dalyan, a small fishing town famous for its relaxed, traditional charm and unique historical sites. It’s surrounded by unspoilt greenery and inspiring scenery, cut gently in two by a wandering river. Whether you’re visiting with friends or family, holidays to Dalyan are perfect if you like your downtime to be low-key, laid back, and leisurely.
If you simply can’t have a holiday without a beach, then don’t worry! There are some beautiful sandy spots a short drive from central Dalyan, so you won’t need to compromise on your holiday.
Join the locals and jump into a water-taxi, which will take you on a laid-back cruise to the mouth of the estuary. The entire stretch is protected, partly due to the nesting loggerhead turtles that have made their home on Iztuzu Beach. However, there’s much more to this part of Turkey than meets the eye. It also houses some of the region’s treasures including the 9th-century remains of Caunus.
Things to do
Dalyan is an atmospheric and romantic destination with a rich history to discover. Take a river trip to see the vast, Roman theatre or the King’s Tombs of Kaunos. If natural attractions are more your thing, hop on a water taxi to Iztuzu Beach and watch endangered loggerhead sea turtles scraping their way along the sands. Once the sun’s slipped over the horizon, try some tasty mezes in a Turkish restaurant then pick a riverside bar for a glass of raki overlooking the water.
Mineral-rich mudbaths are one of the most popular attractions in Dalyan. Visitors are invited to take a dip in the muddy waters, covering from head to toe in the rejuvenating natural substance. The mud’s power is thought to reduce wrinkles and beautify the skin. To clean off, take a dip in the 40-degree sulfur pool and rinse away to reveal your newly refreshed skin.
Every Saturday, a market takes over the main streets. Have fun haggling with the local sellers for a fair price. The market stocks everything from locally grown fruits and vegetables to handmade clothing, so you’re sure to return home with a treasure in-hand. After a long morning shopping, stop off for some lunch and enjoy some traditional Turkish snacks while watching boats sail down the glistening river.
As the river curves and winds around tiny islands, it cuts beautiful bays into the land. So expect to find beautiful beaches in remote areas, some of which you might get to yourself!
Travel by boat along the water to find Iztuzu Beach, nicknamed Turtle Beach, for a long stretch of soft sand in a unique setting. The picturesque beach is a protected loggerhead turtle nesting reserve, which means it opens and closes at certain times. By day, you can relax here in the sun or shade beneath a fragrant pine backdrop. The calm, shallow waters are ideal for a dip or swim, so you can enjoy a perfect, peaceful beach day on your Dalyan holiday.
It’s almost impossible to visit Dalyan without running into a loggerhead turtle or two. Whether you meet one of the giants swimming in the sea or simply spot statues and images of turtles around the town, locals hold these impressive creatures in high regard.
Loggerhead sea turtles are endangered, but the protected areas around Dalyan mean things are looking up for the species. New laws and modifications to boats in Dalyan help keep the turtles safe too, so you don’t need to worry that you’re contributing to the problem when you visit.
History and culture
The once-working fishing town still has the harbour at its heart. A big part of Dalyan’s historical culture stems from the river, which flows through its thick natural surroundings. There are many things to discover nestled in the riverbank’s rich greenery, including the Caunos Tombs of the Kings on the western shore. Dalyan’s most admired feature, these ancient Lycian Tombs are carved into the rocky cliffside, an impressive sight to behold from a river cruise.
Kaunos is another must-see if you’re a history enthusiast visiting Dalyan. The ancient city ruins are just a short distance from central Dalyan, a place of mystery with many unanswered questions still surrounding it.
Food and drink
The small town of Dalyan offers lots of new dishes for foodie travellers to sample. And there are many restaurants and cafés scattered around serving up local specialities and some international favourites.
Whether you stick to the waterfront and enjoy casual eateries with beautiful views or wander deeper into Dalyan to find something unique, there’s something for everyone here. The town has a surprising number of restaurants for its size, so fussy eaters never need to worry about finding something tasty.
If you want to sample some of the best food in Dalyan, you can find plenty of locals’ favourite spots in the town centre. Turkish traditions mean meals often start with bread before moving onto cold starters, casseroles, kebabs, or grilled meat with rice, potatoes, and salad.
The nightlife in Dalyan is quite relaxed, although some of the bars stay open until the early hours, so you won’t be stuck for choice if you want to hit the down. Sofra Bar is a travellers’ favourite for karaoke and cocktails, a perfect place to drink and sing long into the night. Efe Cafe Bar boasts a large outside terrace and reasonably priced drinks, ideal for fun with friends or family.
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Experience a fascinating mix of ancient tradition, rich culture, and modern influences with your holidays to Fethiye. Located along Turkey’s exquisite Turquoise Coast, it’s littered with remains from the region’s Lycian past, with historical attractions such as the majestic Tomb of Amyntas, and Kayaköy ghost village.
For fans of the great outdoors, the rolling scenery provides plenty of adventure opportunities. You can watch professional paragliders catching some thermals on the mountain ridges and rocky outcrops, while the miles of unspoilt countryside attract horse-riders of all abilities. For beach-lovers, the resort is a short distance from one of the most famous beaches in Turkey, the dazzling Blue Lagoon.
Things to do
You won’t be stuck for things to do in Fethiye. Visit the Old Town, and any bargain-hunters in your party can get their haggling heads on! The twisting backstreets are lined with shops and stalls, selling everything from traditional Turkish rugs, to crafts and jewellery.
The markets are a bustle of trade and commerce, selling various goods, from handcrafted items to fruit and veg, so you’re sure to leave with something special in-hand. You’ll also find many quirky cafés and tavernas selling strong coffee and authentic Turkish meals, ideal for foodies wanting a real taste of Fethiye.
If you want to dive into the rich history of your destination, pay a visit to the towering Tomb of Amyntas, carved out of a cliff-face. Don’t forget your camera! The local scenery is picture-perfect, while some of the best attractions around are only a boat ride away. Don’t forget to visit the Blue Lagoon, considered the country’s most beautiful beach with warm, azure waters and spotless, silver sand.
As part of the Turquoise Coast, Fethiye has some of the best weather anywhere in Europe, perfect for spending long days lounging around on the beach. The turquoise waters and powdery white sand resemble the beaches you might see in your dreams. The coast is almost impossible to avoid here, making this destination ideal for a beach-centric holiday at any time of year.
Head down to Calis Beach where you’ll discover a peaceful atmosphere and a pleasingly slow pace of life. Soak up some sunshine here and enjoy endless dips in the cooling water.
If you just can’t sit still, don’t worry! There are various water sports to enjoy along Calis Beach, so adventurers can get an adrenaline kick while the others relax. Whatever way you want to enjoy the Turquoise Coast, you’re sure to arrive home feeling rested and refreshed.
When it’s time to go sightseeing, there are many fascinating destinations close to Fethiye. If you love your history and mythology, don’t miss the Tomb of Amyntas. This Ancient Greek monument is carved straight into the cliffside, an impressive, towering example of Lycian architecture.
Similarly, the ancient ruins of Tlos are a fascinating ruin that you can reach in just 40 minutes from Fethiye. Letoon is another unique historic sanctuary, and an important spot to visit if you’re interested in architecture and archaeology. Explore these critical Lycian sites and discover the rich heritage of your holiday destination.
If you like to be active on your holidays, visit the impressive Saklikent Gorge, also known as the Hidden City. The gorge is the second biggest in Europe and one of the deepest of its kind in the world! Walk across the sturdy platform while white-water rapids rush below. Adrenaline-seekers can even enjoy river rafting with an experienced guide, a perfect way to see more of the natural landscape.
Kabak Koyu nature park is another must-visit if you want nature and adventure. Discover many hiking trails through the fragrant pine tree valley, winding down to the pristine beach below. Reward your efforts with a dip in the gemstone-blue waters, before reclining on powdery sand to soak up some rays.
Lovely old town
Back in town, wander through the cobbled streets of Fethiye’s old quarter, Paspatur. You’ll notice the traditional Turkish feel as you shop for souvenirs and stop at a local café for a drink or bite to eat. The Paspatur is a lovely place to spend an evening out, whether you’re looking to find local specialities to eat or welcoming bars to enjoy a night out.
Paspatur Market is an excellent place to visit if you’re searching for unique souvenirs, including fresh Turkish delight and deliciously sweet local honey.
Modern meets traditional
In 1957, Fethiye fell victim to a devastating earthquake, which dramatically changed the local landscape. Around 90% of public buildings were damaged or destroyed, which means the Fethiye you visit today has been almost entirely rebuilt over recent decades. The result is a clean, attractive destination with lots of streamlined architecture and hints of the city’s ancient past, which can still be spotted around the old town and beyond.
Food & drink
Fethiye is practically packed with great places to eat and drink, with something to satisfy every taste and appetite among the pretty streets. Head up the coast road, Karagözler, for a choice of eateries with picture-perfect harbour views. Paspatur, Fethiye’s old town, is also home to lots of traditional food spots for a bite on-the-go or something more substantial. Pull up a chair on a restaurant terrace, sit back, and watch the world go by. Or grab a Turkish kebab to snack on while you wander around Fethiye for an authentic and delicious experience.
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If you’re looking for peace, quiet, and a warm slice of Turkish hospitality, book your holidays to Ovacik this year. There are plenty of resorts in the area, such as Hisarönü, renowned for their noisy nightlife. Ovacik offers downtime that’s much more laid-back and relaxed, making it an ideal choice for families or couples looking to unwind.
You’ll find some of the best beaches on the Turquoise Coast along this stretch of shore; get ready for sun-bleached sands and warm waters, the perfect conditions for couples and families to enjoy some quiet time together. Enjoy long days dozing in the sun, with plenty of dips in the glistening sea to cool down throughout the day.
Want a dip into the region’s rich past? You’ll find ancient Lycian ruins along the coastline, which is also dotted with charming and characterful towns such as Fethiye. There are plenty of places to explore if you can tear yourself away from the beach, making Ovacik holidays exciting from start to finish.
Things to do
If you want to get some sunbathing under your belt, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches. Head straight to Ölüdeniz beach to relax on a horseshoe-shaped sandy shoreline, or venture a little inland to experience the tropical beauty of the Blue Lagoon.
Fitness fans and those with a thirst for the great outdoors can walk a variety of hiking trails, taking you through the foothills of the Babadag Mountain and its pine forests. The Babadag Mountain also serves as the launch-pad for the Ölüdeniz International Air Games, which are well worth attending if you can time your holiday right. Alternatively, take a trip to Fethiye and explore its buzzing Old Quarter.
Make the most of your escape in the great outdoors; you’ll find plenty of stunning scenery along the various hiking trails in the area. If you’re holidaying with the family, you’ll find plenty of exciting activities for kids in and near Ovacik, including a fantastic waterpark that’s sure to set them smiling.
If you feel like exploring the local area, head out on foot to see some of the beautiful natural landscape. Ovacik is mostly flat, which means many places enjoy leisurely walks among the beautiful rural setting. Head back into the village afterwards for a traditional Turkish lunch or a drink to refresh and relax. Nature-lovers will enjoy walking around Butterfly Valley, often considered one of the most beautiful attractions in all of Turkey!
Ovacik boasts stunning views from its hillside valley location, but its setting means the resort doesn’t have a beach of its own. Still, it’s surrounded by some of Turkey’s most famous stretches of shoreline, so you won’t need to travel far for a dip in the turquoise waters.
Why not visit Ölüdeniz’s famous Blue Lagoon, which just a ten-minute bus ride from Ovacik? Don’t forget your camera! The towering mountains that sit along the coast provide shelter for the calm, clear waters below. The Blue Lagoon is an ideal spot to enjoy swimming and watersports. If that doesn’t sound like fun, the pebbly shore is the perfect relaxation spot for sunny afternoons looking over the sparkling waters.
History and culture
Ovacik is a quiet Turkish village in the Fethiye district. It sits on a small plateau near the bottom of Mount Babadağ, which is highly popular among paragliders. The resort has only recently seen development to keep up with tourism growth, so you can find plenty of untouched areas if you want to discover history and culture.
Today, Ovacik is a popular destination thanks to its traditional charm and beautiful landscape. The village lies in a beautiful valley at the Babadag mountain base, surrounded by protected national forest. Although it’s shadowed by a mountain, Ovacik itself is relatively flat, making it ideal for leisurely walks, immersing yourself in the local culture. Wildlife is a big part of the community here, and it’s common to see goats and chickens roaming freely around the streets.
Food & drink
Despite its modern influence, Ovacik is an excellent destination to discover traditional Turkish cuisine, with many small restaurants and vendors serving up tasty bites every day. Dine at Turkish-owned restaurants or shop in the local market to sample some of the most authentic Turkish food around. Whatever way you want to spend your holiday, the traditional charm of Ovacik is sure to win you over.
The modest nightlife in Ovacik is ideal if you’re after a romantic meal or relaxing with a few cocktails under the stars. There are a handful of bars that play music and stay open until the early hours, so dancing the night away is also encouraged, should you wish to.
If you prefer a night in, the luxurious hotels dotted around Ovacik provide nightly entertainment that’s perfect for families and couples, and guests staying elsewhere are welcome to enjoy the facilities.
Looking for something a little more upbeat? Take the ten-minute bus ride or hop in a taxi to Ölüdeniz, a bustling resort village on the coast. The resort is popular with tourists, so you can expect lots of bustling bars and restaurants that stay open late.
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