Whether on holiday or in a new home, nothing is more exciting for me than exploring a new area. In this case, I’m exploring the most beautiful beaches in Dalaman.
Before I even set foot on Turkish soil, I have already done my homework: Get information about the region where I will spend the next few years, look at what culinary treats are offered (very important ;)), and because I live on the Aegean coast, find out where the most beautiful beaches can be found in Dalaman. Creating a complete list is impossible as nature seems to have been endlessly creative. Here I write out for you which spots of earth and water you shouldn’t miss when visiting the TUI BLUE Sarigerme Park. These are my most beautiful beaches of Turkey:
1. Sarigerme Beach
A wide, fine-grained sandy beach, with a turquoise blue and shallow sea that remains calm until midday with small waves in the afternoon. The water is colder than the neighbouring beaches because the Dalaman River flows into the sea here. Some say Sarigerme is the most beautiful beach in Turkey and I can’t just confirm that.
Don’t miss the short boat trip to Baba Island: here you can see the ruins of the ancient city of Pisilis, feed the rabbit inhabitants of the small island (henceforth called Rabbit Island), and admire the magnificent view of the Dalaman Bay.
Sarigerme is an ideal destination for water sports enthusiasts, divers, and romantic walks at sunset.
Loving couples dreaming of a beach wedding can make their wishes come true here and experience a fairytale wedding on the beach. I know because I got married here on the beach myself. One thing is clear – Sarigerme will remain in my heart and yours forever.
Sarsala Bay is one of Dalaman’s best kept secrets. The name actually comes from India. Sarsala is the name of a village in northwestern India. How this name made its way to Turkey is unknown.
Sarsala is located near the airport of Dalaman. The journey by car leads through a spectacular landscape: small villages with pomegranate trees on the roadside, mountains, lakes, a small river delta, and pine forests spread out before the eyes. The beach is mostly visited by locals – I always say: swim and eat wherever the locals go. The water is crystal clear and calm, so it is ideal for beach babes and swimmers. From time to time, a large turtle comes to the surface, looks interested in the hustle and bustle ashore and dives back into its underwater world. I had two or three such encounters, and each time I felt privileged that the turtles welcomed me to their home.
If possible, you should visit the beach during the week or off-peak season because it’s quieter. On weekends, Sarsala is a popular haven for the Turks. Once there, you can understand why. I could spend the whole day here, watching the sea and the islands in the distance, admiring the small, chic boats, reading a book, sleeping, and swimming.
Sarsala is also accessible by bicycle, but the approximately 51-kilometre-long route is only suitable for professionals. At TUI BLUE Sarigerme Park, we offer our athletic guests a weekly mountain bike tour to Sarsala.
Aşı can be found in close proximity to TUI BLUE Sarigerme Park. Although the easiest way to reach the beach is by boat, the way to the Aşı Bay through the neighbouring mountain is a great hiking and mountain bike path for those who want to explore the area. Aşı Bay unfolds before visitors’ eyes as a hidden, turquoise-coloured spot nestled between the mountains – a beautiful place for romantics. What some find to be a disadvantage, I have always considered a great advantage: there is no network connection throughout the bay. A good opportunity to spend time with yourself, with nature, and with fellow travellers.
Istuzu Beach is a well-known place in Turkey due to the connection with Dalyan, Kaunos, and the famous caretta caretta turtles. It is located in a nature reserve, on a peninsula, which is partly washed by the sea and partly by the swampy delta of the Dalyan estuary. In ancient times, the inhabitants used the Istuzu beach as a port, which was an important customs office and commercial hub. A 25-kilometre-long road leads from Dalyan to Istuzu Beach, and in spring and summer the path is a true blaze of colour thanks to the many flowering elder trees that adorn the path. The 6-kilometre-long beach is considered one of the most beautiful unspoilt beaches in the world. The sand is very soft and fine and the beach slopes shallowly into the water, making it suitable for the whole family. Another special feature: You can swim here in the sweet river water, as well as in the salty sea water, as the beach is – as already mentioned – at a river mouth. You can also visit the famous turtle hospital here and learn more about the loggerhead turtle that lays its eggs on the beach. If you would like to know more about the turtle hospital, read the article by my colleague Miri.
My tip: Visit the Istuzu beach in spring or autumn. In the summer you should visit in the early morning and evening hours.
Ölüdeniz is probably one of the most photographed beaches in Turkey, surrounded by pine forests and mountain landscapes. The Blue Lagoon or literally translated, the Dead Sea (ölü = dead, deniz = sea) – because the water is extremely salty – is picturesquely beautiful and has been under protection since 1988. One thing I can tell you: the sea is certainly not dead, but populated with loggerhead turtles and other undersea creatures. On my last visit, I collided with a big octopus while swimming. I still don’t know which of the two of us was more terrified. I mostly visit Ölüdeniz outside of the high season, because I want to have my peace and I find the lagoon most beautiful without so many visitors. I always choose the undeveloped beach areas that are accessible to visitors for a small fee. Here I can internalise the different colours of the sea, which sparkle from turquoise to aquamarine blue and turn into dark blues and greens, and keep them in my mental treasure chest full of beach memories.
For those who have more time, there is much more to discover in the area: a walk through the famous town of Ölüdeniz, a boat trip to the Valley of the Butterflies, and a visit to the Greek ghost town of Kayakoy – a valuable architectural complex that is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage and Peace Village. Not to be missed is a dinner at the fish market in the harbour town of Fetiye. For adventurers Ölüdeniz offers a very special experience: paragliding from Mount Babadağ to the beach. Paragliding is one of the most popular activities on Ölüdeniz beach, alongside swimming and snorkelling.
Dream beaches are everywhere along the Aegean coast. This is where green and blue meet and I will certainly never see enough of this natural spectacle.