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What to see in Dalaman?

I was quite surprised when Ryan Air announced the new route from Bratislava to Dalaman in Turkey this year. Not because there wasn't much to see in the area, but the city is not... a typical-holiday-resort-type-of-destination.
However, I recently returned from there, so these are my travel advices. What is to see in Dalaman area?

Beaches
The Dalaman airport is situated on the beach, but that's all. There is no comfort of accommodations, bars or similar conveniences nearby. Because of this, if you're on to relax, you should probably head to another beaches in the area, read further in the article.
Iztuzu beach
The city
This city is neither renowned for its architecture nor significant sights. The major part of city's business belongs to spacious lime plantations. Distance from the nearest beach is around 9 km. However, city mosques with beautiful interior paintings and traditional Thursday market are worth visit.

Boat rides
The most interesting option for spending free time in the area are boat rides. The most popular are 1. Sarsala Koyu with former Kleopatra's sightseeings and turquoise water or the river ride from 2. Dalyan to the popular Iztuzu beach through Kaunos King's combs engraved in the stone with beautiful views and mud spa,  which is very popular during summertime.


Lakes
There are several lakes in the area - Sülüngür Gölü near the already mentioned Iztuzu beach, and another, Köyceğiz Gölü. You will certainly not miss amazing Kocagöl on the way to Sarsala Koyu
Another alternatives are thermal lakes or simple basins of warm water. They're warm even in winter (we were there in November). During cold days, you will probably spot steaming river in the area. The basin we visited (I only marked it on the map, because it has no name) had such  clear water, that we were able to watch our legs underneath even though it was really dark outside. Because of the lack of lights, you'll have a chance to observe starry sky while floating in calm water.   

Nearest surroundings
There are bus connections available with nearest popular destinations FethiyeGöcek or Marmaris. I've also travelled to Bodrum (approx. 3 hours), which is farther-out.

Several tips (and things that surprised me in Dalaman)

1. If you're heading to the city center, be prepared for dogs' presence everywhere. And no, not only those little, "cute" ones, but  some big dogs (I do not recommend making picnic in a park at all). Locals, however, do not feel the same way - they even let them enter the mayor's office building too (among other places).
2. If you don't hire a car, ask about about bus transfer options in your accommodation. We were also guided by locals, otherwise we wouldn't know where to go, when to pay... Locals board anywhere and I wouldn't be surprised to meet a dog traveling too 😃
3. Last tip - try turkish massage. It's not a classic massage, but it's still very pleasant.  

© I.V.

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