Street markets, a busy bazaar and a lively waterfront harbour are just part of the charm of this popular unspoilt resort. Beyond the bay with its islands and coves, rock tombs dating back to the fourth century BC, as well as a spectacular amphitheatre, attract the curious.
The country’s Turquoise Coast is now easier to reach with the new Dalaman Airport. A holiday along this stretch of the Mediterranean offers every conceivable waterborne distraction. You can charter a yacht, parasail into the skies, wallow in a mud bath or cling on to a white-water raft. You might spot sea turtles nesting on the beach, peer at sunken cities through the bottom of a boat, hear your voice echo around an ancient Hellenistic amphitheatre or inside a Lycian rock tomb. There are popular resorts like Oludeniz or Marmaris where you’ll divide your time between club land and the beach, or quieter backwaters where yachtsmen and fishermen exchange friendly waves as they drift past pine-clad slopes and deep blue bays.
Stepped, narrow streets wind down to the waterfront around Kalkan, shaded by Ottoman balconies hewn from solid timber. Hidden amidst this whitewashed maze, shutters open to reveal speciality shops while stairways lead up to a profusion of rooftop restaurants.
One of Turkey’s larger resorts, beaches around this popular yachting centre offer all the water sports you could want – from sunset cruises to banana boat rides. Haggle in the Carsi flea market, bop on Bar Street, or choose from hundreds of cosmopolitan menus.
Billed as one of Turkey’s finest beaches, the view at Olu Deniz is dominated by the crescent blue bay, and the verdant slopes of Babadag Mountain, launch pad for paragliders floating down to the water’s edge. Nightlife is quieter than Fethiye’s, while walkers will love the trails that lead into the hills and a ghostly Greek village abandoned for nearly 100 years.