Wherever you’re staying in Turkey, you’ll find that one of the best beaches is at Olü Deniz. Its sandbar of sparkling gold has created a magical lagoon, ringed by gently shelving beaches. There are lots of watersports on offer here too, as well as paragliding from the pine-clad Babadag Mountains. Patara (where St Nicholas (aka Santa Claus) was born in the 4th century AD) is also a beautiful beach, as it has a magnificent 18 kms (12 miles) of golden sand.
Over the centuries, an astonishing natural phenomenon created a massive creamy white formation of limestone cliff, stalactites and spectacular terraced pools, the products of deposits from the gushing hot springs. The formation was descriptively called Pamukkale, or Cotton Castle, is around 290km from Dalaman but it’s well worth the journey. Today this unique, historic site and its terraces, magnificent Roman theatre, hot springs and ancient stones remain. Plus, you can still bathe at Hierapolis and imagine the ancient Greeks and Romans doing so many centuries ago...an experience not to be missed!
Marmaris, in the far west, is one of the biggest and most beloved of all Turkey’s resorts. It has some excellent resort hotels, good beaches and it’s great if you want to chill, shop or party. Dalyan is a delicious backwater, built on a river between the sea and the Lake Köycegiz. If you’re heading here, be sure to stop at the riverfront Turkish restaurants with views across the reed beds to the elaborately carved 4th century BC Lycian rock tombs.