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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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Once a quiet, mountainside village, Hisarönü, Turkey, bears all the hallmarks of a laid-back holiday haven. However, looks can be deceptive. While the destination has retained much of its old-school Turkish charm, it’s a buzzing holiday destination with plenty of things to see and do. Not to mention a stellar nightlife, making Hisarönü an ideal choice for couples, families, or groups of friends.
Suppose you want to dive head-first into the local culture on your Hisarönü holiday. In that case, Fethiye’s Old Town is buzzing with shops, cafés, and street markets. It’s a perfect choice for a day or afternoon of adventure away from Hisarönü. For lazy days back in your village destination, potter around plenty of shops and sleepy bars, sipping traditional Turkish tea to fuel your experience.
Things to do
If you fancy swimming in clear, blue waters then be sure to pay a visit to the famous Blue Lagoon, which has its own sheltered beach and offers excellent conditions for scuba-divers. Swim or dive in the crystal-clear waters and enjoy a cooling break from the warm Turkish sun.
For those who like the water, but would rather not be under it, nearby Dalyan River is unmissable. It’s a perfect spot to enjoy some kayaking or rafting. To enjoy the river’s charm in a more relaxing way, book a leisurely boat trip, an ideal opportunity to see the local landscape.
Suppose you want your holidays to Hisarönü to involve lazing around on the beach. In that case, you’ll find plenty of soft, sandy shores to choose from. Ölüdeniz and the famous Blue Lagoon beach are just a short water-taxi ride away. Both sunny spots offer ideal sunbathing conditions and glistening, warm waters for swimming or splashing.
The Blue Lagoon in Ölüdenizis only a short distance from Hisarönü and is a perfect spot for a relaxing day spent topping up your tan. The wide, powdery beach surrounding the Blue Lagoon is a perfectly picturesque spot for relaxing or playing with the kids. A lush green landscape surrounds the lagoon and beach, just one more beautiful reason to visit. You’ll be able to chill out on a sunbed or shade beneath a parasol, grabbing drinks and snacks from nearby bars throughout the day. If you’re feeling energetic, you could go parasailing and see the beautiful landscape from a birds-eye-view.
Fun for everyone
The boats in Hisarönü do more than fish and taxi visitors around. Why not book a boat cruise? A perfect day out that the whole family can enjoy. Glide along the Aegean Coast and enjoy unparalleled views of the natural landscape as you go. The Turkish coast is shadowed by forested mountains, making every moment of a boat cruise more than picture-worthy.
If you prefer getting around on your own two feet, there are many opportunities to explore around Hisarönü. The Babadag mountain foothills offer a challenging day’s hike, with some of Turkey’s best scenery acting as the reward for your efforts. If you’re looking for a memorable adventure on your Hisarönü holiday, this is the way to go.
Maybe a full day of hiking sounds like a little too much work. In that case, Hisarönü offers plenty of cafés and bars where you can enjoy a leisurely drink and watch the world go by. Settle in and soak up the local atmosphere, fuelling with snacks and traditional tea throughout the day. Once the sun’s slipped over the horizon, the resort erupts into a riot of music, dancing, and good times as nightlife takes over. There is truly something for everyone in this beautiful Turkish destination.
Looking for momentoes to remember your holiday? There are plenty of opportunities for some retail therapy in and around Hisarönü. The Monday market is a great place to put your haggling skills to the test, and there are plenty of treasures available to buy. Or, take a drive into nearby Fethiye for lots more shopping as well as restaurants, bars, and a beautiful marina. Fethiye also boasts a captivating Old Town, a perfect place to spend an afternoon exploring. Pick up some fresh Turkish delight for the ride back to Hisarönü for a satisfying way to end your adventure.
Hisarönü may be small, but its nightlife rivals some of Turkey’s larger towns, with plenty of bars and clubs catering to the tourist crowd. Most in the village stay open and busy until the early hours, so there will be no need to go home if you’re still having fun!
Follow the sound of music and excitement to the main harbour, where you’ll find lots of bars and restaurants kicking off the evening in style. Many Hisarönü bars boast live music from around dinnertime, so you can enjoy a meal or some delicious drinks with a vibrant soundtrack adding to the atmosphere. For something even more exciting, look out for pool and karaoke bars dotted around Hisarönü.
Hisarönü’s clubs start to open their doors as the night draws on, attracting night owls from all around. DJs and dancefloors are easy to come by in this unassuming Turkish village, with various clubs offering music to suit all tastes and moods. Try Bar Rumba for classic nightclub vibes and themed events throughout the week, or Tango Fun Club for DJs and cheap drinks all night long.
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