Ghost towns, mudbaths and festivals: experiences to savour in and around Dalaman

Posted on July 1, 2015 by Guest Writer
Yatchts in the Gulf of Fethiye

Dalaman is a city that may not be familiar to most, especially next to the larger resorts that are so popular in Turkey, but if you like to explore and discover a city’s charms for yourself, Dalaman may be the perfect choice. As well as the beautiful beaches, water sports and boat trips, there are deserted towns, vibrant festivals and natural mud baths to discover. Here are some of the experiences to explore in and around the city, on your package holiday to Dalaman.

Muddy Hands

Mud baths

It’s not every day you have the opportunity to soak in a hot, natural mud bath under the Turkish sun, so take the chance to head to the mud baths of Dalyan. A major tourist attraction, the sulphur rich waters are said to heal a number of ills from arthritis to rheumatism, and offer anti-ageing skincare.

After soaking in the mud, slip on your flip flops and take a quick shower ready for a dip in the waters of the thermal hot springs. Again, the waters are rich with sulphur, as well as chloride, sodium and bromide, all said to work healing magic. Slipping into the waters you’ll immediately be struck by the natural warmth; it’s usually at around 30 degrees, but can reach temperatures up to 39 degrees.

Don’t forget to catch the attention of the resident photographer to capture the fun in all its muddy glory.

Belly Dancers

Kas Lycian Festival

Taking part in a local festival is doubly special, as the experience is not always on offer and is sure to be different every year. Annually, at the end of June, Dalaman celebrates for three days with the annual Kas Lycian Festival. One of the biggest and most colourful festivals of Dalaman, the party atmosphere is fuelled by local food and drink, whilst spectators enjoy the many activities.

Dance troupes, photography shows, sculpture and pantomimes are all on offer, as well as classical and popular music concerts plus film presentations. During this vibrant festival, visitors and locals alike join in with the dancing whilst enjoying the distinctive flair of the event. Starting at lunchtime and continuing until the early hours of the morning, you decide when the party ends.

Interior of Panaghia Pyrgiotissa Church, Kayakoy, Turkey


The most unusual museum you may ever visit is waiting at Kayakoy in the form of a well-preserved ghost town.

The village dates back to ancient Greek times, but the current buildings were constructed in the 18th century, with around 500 houses and 20 churches in various states of ruin. In 1900, the town had a population of approximately 2,000, but it is now entirely deserted and under the protection of the Turkish government as a museum.

The chance to walk around this Greek-style ghost town, where people once worked, lived and socialised, is a unique experience that is sure to be unforgettable. In 2014 the Turkish government announced plans to develop part of the village, so don’t wait to visit this mysterious site.

Person Climbing Sand Dunes at Patara Beach, Turkey

Patara Beach

This nine-miles-long beach is perfect for those who want to know what it would be like to visit a desert island. The long stretch of white, pristine sand and warm, turquoise waters are part of an archaeological area and are virtually deserted. Visitors pay a small fee to enter the beach and enjoy its charms.

For the explorers among you, walk up and into the sand dunes to discover remains of Roman temples and columns standing strong where once homes and public buildings stood, giving you a chance to stroll back in time.

The Blue Lagoon, seen from the Lycian Way, Turkey


The Lycian Way is 311 miles long and offers breathtaking views of some of the unspoilt areas of the region. For those who are more active, and like to see a little more of their destination, there is no better way than on foot. The highest point of the path is at 1,811 metres and passes ancient ruins, national parks and rivers. Explore the trail around you, or seek out a particular section of interest to discover. Listed by the Sunday Times as one of the world’s top ten walks, the Lycian Way will not disappoint.

There are many other sites to explore that display Dalaman’s ancient history, plus a variety of activities on offer that take advantage of the clear waters and diverse wildlife. If you are a traveler who likes to visit the unexpected and explore the unfamiliar, a holiday to Dalaman may be the perfect choice for you.