Friday, July 9, 2010

Destination of the Week...

If canyoning, paragliding, rafting, viewing one of the world’s seven wonders, scuba diving, shopping, soaking in mud baths, snorkeling in caves, or exploring ancient ruins sounds like fun to you, then head to Dalyan, Turkey, where you can find all of these things, and more on a cheap budget. Dalyan offers a resort-like atmosphere at a fraction of the price of comparable European destinations, and still has plenty of local charm and culture. You can find an inexpensive tour operator, private guide, or just go it alone, which is probably your best bet, but no matter how you find your way around, there are plenty of sights to keep you busy between your sunbathing sessions on the lovely, soft beaches. Efes may be a major tourist attraction for cruise ships, but for good reason; it is one of the official “Seven Wonders of the Ancient World”. If you enjoy historic sights, also check out the spectacular Kaunos Tombs, carved into the cliffs overlooking Dalyan. Adventure junkies should head to Ölüdeniz and go paragliding over the beautiful beaches, or, just 45 minutes outside Dalyan is Akköprü, where you can cool down with some awesome white water rafting. If you’re a nature lover, make your way to the world famous Turtle Beach and watch endangered Loggerhead Turtles nesting in the sand, as they have done for generations, or find your favorite type of scenery and throw on your trekking boots. Almost anyone enjoys the most famous attraction in Dalyan: The Mud Baths and thermal springs. Best reached by boat, the Dalyan Mud Baths will leave anyone’s skin looking younger and feeling soft as a baby’s bottom. After basking in the sun with your full-body mud mask, take a dip in the thermal baths, which are said to have healing properties for both the inside and outside of your body. In fact, the waters at the Sultaniye Spring have the second highest mineral content in the world. Dalyan has all the spoils any budget traveler is looking for, and then some, and it can all be found at affordable prices. Though Dalyan is beautiful year round, it is without a doubt a summer destination, and getting there is easy. Drive, take a bus, or fly from almost anywhere, via connecting flights from Istanbul.

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