The unspoiled paradise of Dalyan on the southwest coast of Turkey is the destination of 2018 for so many reasons! Read on to find out why it’s got us seduced…
Firstly, is its prime location – Dalyan lies where the Turquoise Coast meets the Mediterranean Sea and is super-accessible with a range of airlines (including easyJet, Jet2, Thomas Cook, Tui, and Turkish Airlines) flying direct from most UK airports to Dalaman Airport. Dalyan is then a scenic half-hour drive from the airport.
We do love the intrigue of knowing our holiday destination has been chosen to feature in a movie! Even better it’s when it’s a classic of course. The popular 1951 film The African Queen starring Humphry Bogart and Katherine Hepburn featured the stunning Dalyan Delta, now a protected National Conservation area.
The magnificent natural beauty of this region is undisputed. A haven of peace and tranquillity with golden beaches, the meandering river, joining lakes, and pine-clad mountains. Nominated for the prestigious Sunday Times Best European Open Space award, it was also declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. The famous golden Iztuzu beach has been voted the number one beach in Turkey on Trip Adviser and offers visitors miles of glorious empty sands and calm shallow waters. It’s also home to the giant Carretta Carretta loggerhead turtle who return each year to lay their eggs. It’s a nature lover’s paradise here – the entire Delta is home to over 100 species of bird and 3 species of turtle including the loggerhead, you can often spot the kingfishers and sea eagles. A trip to Dalyan isn’t complete without gazing at the ancient Lycian Tombs of Dalyan. They are simply staggering; the tombs are literally carved into the rock face, take a boat trip to get the best view. A few km west of Dalyan you’ll find the Ancient City of Caunos (Kaunos), totally epic for would-be archaeologists and even if you’re not, the views and scenery here are spectacular.
To put it bluntly, it is just so cheap! Even the best restaurants, hotels, and villas, not to mention activities, are typically a third of the price of the Cote D’Azur. We found average prices for a 5-star hotel in the Cote D’Azur to be £170 GBP per night whereas in Dalyan you were looking at more like £105 – £110 GBP. This is perfect for us luxury travelers as you can afford to stay at the very best places and dine at the finest restaurants. It really is one of the best value destinations for 2018.
Where to Stay
We recommend the beautiful villa Dalyandream; an ultra-modern 5-bedroom villa with a private pool and bar. The 5 bedrooms are all beautiful and each offers something a little unique; be that an ensuite wet room, a vast private wrap-around terrace, a walk-in dressing room or a huge balcony with a view – your only problem will be choosing which you fancy! The solid wood fully fitted kitchen is exceptionally well kitted out and with a kitchen this good you might even be tempted to cook, but if not, there are plenty of delightful riverside restaurants serving local organic food in the local area. The open plan living room is fitted with the latest tech (Wi-Fi, large flat-screen TV, iPod docking station, CD Player) and there’s a large dining area that opens out on to the terrace. Outside is where the real action is and is undoubtedly where you’ll want to spend most of your time. The stunning outdoor pool is surrounded by comfortable sun loungers and private gardens, there’s a large heated Jacuzzi and a covered seating area so you can dine al fresco or just enjoy a drink or two and watch the sunset; bliss.
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