By Shereen Shabnam
Some time ago I ventured to Dalaman, situated on the southwestern coast of Turkey, in the Mugla Province with fellow motoring enthusiasts. We were test driving one of the latest Volvo SUV’s and set off from the airport taking in the picturesque sights of beautiful Turkey.
Highlight of my trip was stopping for brunch at Yuvarlakcay. Yuvarlakcay is beautiful river located in the Topgozu Canyon between the provinces of Koycegiz and Ortaca and feeds off the snow waters of the mountain range. It was one of the most amazing dining experiences I have had anywhere in the world. The meal was served to the sound of birds singing and the gentle sound of the river flowing as we sat on majlis style tables afterwards, relaxing with steaming cups of Turkish coffee.
Soon after, I drove to the Golden Key Bördübet, a quaint hotel that was full of surprises after we entered the simple and understated gates. After check in, it was time to relax and enjoy the great weather, amazing beach and unique beauty and peace of the location.
Taking a boat to visit a nearby island for an evening drink and relaxing on the beach was memorable. Golden Key Bordubet sits where the creek meets the sea, snuggled amidst lush trees, with its own private island. It has meticulously designed buildings and superb guest experiences to ensure that the wondrous nature around is respected and preserved.
The next day we drove to beautiful natural reserve sites in the south coast of Turkey. The area represented a hidden gem in Turkey with the beautiful bay and the unique species of animals and trees.
We stopped for lunch at Akyaka. This unspoilt village with a beautiful setting is one of the most luxurious retreats and destinations in the coastal province. As a coastal township with its own municipality in the Ula district of Muğla Province in southwestern Turkey, the town is a rising center for international tourism.
After a few more hours of driving along coasts, coffee break was at Sakar Hill as it is a tradition to have Turkish coffee after meals. Sakar Hill, a historic location prominent during the Ottoman Empire reign in the 1520s, was used by the army led by Kanuni Sultan Suleyman on their route to their Rhodes conquest.
From cabarets and mud spas to eerie ghost towns, there’s something to delight everyone taking a holiday in Turkey’s Dalaman district. My suggestion is to float in the clear waters of the Blue Lagoon, which reminded me of Fiji.
The Blue Lagoon at Ölüdeniz is among the most photographed places on the Turkish coast, close to forested hills and an idyllic place to take a dip in calm, crystal-clear waters.
You can also explore the ghost town of Kayaköy, a town abandoned since the 1920s or go for lunch after yachting at Göcek, the sailing capital of the Dalaman region where the quayside is lined with smart international and traditional restaurants.
Sarigerme where the Aegean Sea meets the Mediterranean, is great for watersports with waves that appeal to windsurfers, kite-boarders and dinghy sailors. I preferred the mud spa experience at Sultaniye, a spa resort that has been attracting visitors since Roman times.
If you can time it right, I recommend going to Fethiye’s Tuesday market with stalls selling everything from fresh fruit and exotic spices to textiles, jewellery and more. Next stop was Marmaris, a place I loved so much, I have been there twice and the vibe is just incredible, especially with different types of music.
Turkey is indeed a diverse country with stunning beaches, great food, spectacular scenery, ancient history and nightlife to suit all tastes and Dalaman region is as enchanting as the popular destinations like Istanbul and Bodrum. Dalaman is easy to get to with Turkish Airlines from GCC countries, with a stopover in Istanbul.
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