Vibrant holiday memories are one of the things that keep us going throughout the rest of the year. As well as choosing a destination with plenty of sunshine, opting for a location full of colour will provide the perfect backdrop. When it comes to dazzling shades, it doesn’t get much better than Dalaman in Turkey. This glistening resort is home to a whole kaleidoscope of colours just waiting to be discovered and here are just a few of them.
Is there a more beautiful colour in the world than turquoise? It’s named after the semi-precious stone that is native to Turkey and has lent its name to the Riviera where Dalaman is located. Of course, it’s the sea that is this specific shade of blue and when contrasted with the perfect white of the sand, it’s evocative of paradise. Make the most of the surroundings by spending time on one of the many beaches along the coastline. Patara stretches for nine miles and is perfect for family swimming, as it remains shallow until a long way out. Alternatively, relax on the shore with a drink the same colour as the sea and wander along the beach collecting shells.
Holidaymakers aren’t the only species to enjoy the Turquoise Coast, with loggerhead turtles also choosing this section of the Mediterranean to nest. The females return to locations, such as Iztuzu Beach, between May and August in order to lay their eggs. Then, a few months later, from June to September, the hatchlings arrive and these tiny creatures make the long journey down to the sea. Loggerhead turtles are an endangered species and the undeveloped Turquoise Coast is an important breeding ground for them.
White knuckle rides at the area’s water parks
If seeing your knuckles turn white is your main aim on a holiday in Dalaman, then there is more than enough choice when it comes to thrill-seeking. You could go paragliding from a height of 6,500ft off Baba Mountain in Oludeniz or you could head to one of the many water parks in the area. The largest is Atlantis, which is located right on the beach in Marmaris and has no fewer than nine slides to choose from, as well as various other attractions and activities to keep you and the rest of the family entertained. The Kamikaze, Free Fall, Black Hole and Space Bowl slides will get the adrenaline pumping.
Blue Lagoon in Oludeniz
At the western end of Oludeniz Beach is the unique natural attraction of the Blue Lagoon. This picture-perfect setting with the Mediterranean to one side and mountains to the other certainly should not be missed during your trip. Being partly cut off from the Mediterranean provides an inland beach and makes the water particularly blue. You can swim and snorkel in the crystal-clear waters of the lagoon and explore the surrounding national park on foot. Combined with a visit to the beach, it’s the recipe for a perfect day.
Grey mud baths in Dalyan
Covering yourself in thick gloopy mud may seem like a strange way to spend an afternoon of your holiday, but the mud at Dalyan is said to have medicinal benefits. Even if you’re not hoping to ease the symptoms of eczema or arthritis, splashing around in the mud and lying out in the sun to allow it to dry is a strangely relaxing experience. Think of it as a natural spa experience and then take advantage of one of the nearby swimming spots to get yourself clean again. You may well notice your skin feeling just a little bit softer.
Rainbow bazaar in Marmaris
Anyone who has seen pictures of a Turkish bazaar will know that it is an invasion of the senses and the Grand Bazaar in Marmaris or Carsi Market, as it is also known, is no exception. Whether you visit just to take pictures; practice your bargaining skills and get some souvenirs to take home; or simply to soak up the vibe, you’ll be welcomed with a whole rainbow of colours. Traditional Turkish lamps decorated in fragments of glass shine out from the stalls, while belly dancing costumes shimmer on their racks. Even the towering stacks of Turkish delight come in a variety of hues from green to orange to pink.
Now that you’ve been inspired to book a holiday in Dalaman, here is the lowdown on what you need to know. After arriving at Dalaman Airport, there are several resorts to choose from. Staying in Oludeniz or Marmaris will put you within easy reach of many of the attractions you may wish to visit. Opting for somewhere quieter, like the village of Calis or Ovacik, will suit some people better and if that sounds like you, it could be worth hiring a car to get around. Alternatively, use the local bus services and organised excursions to discover all the colours of the area.
Turkish food may in many instances be rustic, but what it lacks in pretension it makes up for in flavour. It’s worth ordering meze, which will come as a series of individual dishes, to try lots of different things and see what you like. Among the options are likely to be salads featuring aubergine; yoghurt sauces; stuffed vine leaves; variations of beans; cheeses; and breads. When shared amongst a group of you, it works out at pretty good value and three dishes per head is a good ratio.
Generally, Turkey is significantly cheaper than the UK and it is possible to enjoy a meal for two at a mid-range restaurant for £15. If there’s one place you should dine during your Dalaman holiday, it is La Vie in Dalyan, as it occupies an enviable spot on the river, with views across to the intricately-carved Lycian tombs. The setting on the outside decking is wonderfully romantic and it represents the perfect opportunity to sample authentic Turkish food.