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Dalaman is often overshadowed by its larger, better-known counterparts of Istanbul and Ankara, but there really is no need for it to be. Surrounded by mountain and sea, home to several archaeologically and historically important areas, and the site of much economic development, this is a city that can definitely hold its own. While the city itself has many attractions, the surrounding area is also well worth exploring. The roads in the areas have undergone some major upgrades, making day-tripping around the coastline a breeze.
Who to Book With
The usual well-known car rental companies, including Hertz, Avis, Budget and Sixt, have a presence in the city. The offices of most of the agencies can be found at the Dalaman Airport and at the central railway station. Car rental in Dalaman is quite popular, so advanced online booking is advised to avoid disappointment.
Best time to go
The climate in Dalaman can best be described as Mediterranean, boasting long, hot summers and short, moderately cool winders. Peak season comes during the summer months, when the city sees growing numbers of tourists. Prices also tend to increase quite sharply, so booking ahead during this time is recommended.
Need to Know Essentials
Drivers need to bring the following documents along when collecting their vehicle:
- An International Driving Permit or a local driving licence
- The credit card used to secure the online booking
- Another form of photographic identification, like a valid passport
- Proof of booking
Renting a car in Dalaman is a good idea, even though the city itself is quite small and can largely be navigated on foot. A vehicle is necessary for travellers intending on exploring the nearby resorts and beach areas, but as the public transport system in the city is not altogether reliable, it’s best to be prepared rather than stranded, even if staying in town. The roads in the city are of a good standard and are easily navigated, especially when armed with a reliable map. Dalaman is, however, notoriously short on parking spaces, so drivers may have to park their vehicles outside of the CBD and find their way back in with a shuttle or the local bus.
Much of Dalaman city centre and the beach areas can easily be covered on foot. There are, however, local bus services for travellers wanting to get to locations farther afield. There are no local train lines, but visitors can use the many taxi services available in the city. Hiring a car is still a good idea, however, as the buses can often be quite confusing and generally run on limited timetables, especially on weekends, and taxis are expensive.
There is a reasonable network of municipal buses in the city, running to most areas in Dalaman. Route maps are available at the major bus station, but it may take some time to figure the system out. Destinations are plastered to the windshield of the buses, albeit often only in Turkish. Tickets can be bought from the bus station but can also be purchased on the vehicle. Drivers very rarely have change, however, so have the right amount handy if possible.
There are plenty of taxis in the city, but they are very expensive. The tariff has been universally set but it is still quite high. That said, travellers with larger budgets will find that taxis are a comfortable way of getting around and, when going to the airport at least, the only way. Most can be flagged down from the side of the road, but some can also be pre-booked. The Dalaman Airport and Bus Service is known for being reliable.
Dalaman is surrounded by sites and activities for every inclination. Whether you are interested in excursions of an historical nature or simply want to appreciate the natural beauty in which the city is bathed, there is something for everyone close by.
Kalkan - There are many great towns surrounding Dalaman, one of which is the lovely Kalkan. Located a few hours from the city on the southwest coast, Kalkan is home to some stellar beaches and a few historical sites of its own. The road between the two areas is well maintained, making a daytrip a real possibility.
Xanthos, Myra and Kaunos Tombs - If Dalaman is known for one thing, it is its amazing archaeological finds. Here, visitors can see the coffins of these ancient figure heads. This is a great excursion for history buffs and ancient mythology enthusiasts.
Dalyan mudbaths - Travellers with little ones simply cannot miss out on a trip to the Dalyan mudbaths. These baths, filled with natural mineral-rich mud, are not only fun to play around in but is also provide an inexpensive spa treatment. The baths can easily be reached from Dalaman by road.