Dalaman is a medium sized town located in the province of Muğla, on the beautiful south western coast of Turkey. It lies on a plain, surrounded by mountains and sea and has a population of around 28,000 inhabitants.
Ex Pats Settle in Dalaman
The first ex-pats settled in Dalaman around 10 years ago when you could count their number on the fingers of one hand. Since then the population has grown steadily and there are now a few hundred foreign property owners around the town. Not all of them live here full time, however the number of permanent ex-pat residents is fairly stable.
Summer Versus Winter
Unlike the tourists resorts in the area, which virtually close down in the winter period, Dalaman remains a bustling town all the year and this is one of the major reasons for the original growth of the ex-pat population.
Dalaman International Airport
The airport is located approximately 6 kms from the town centre on the coast. The present terminal building and runway was completed in 2005 and has a capacity for ten million passengers per year to accommodate the growing number of tourists who flock to the region.
Dalaman is still very much a working town which has done little to accommodate tourists, but don’t let this put you off! If you are looking for the real Turkey – this is it. Enjoy it and if you feel the need for a McDonalds just take a trip to one of the tourist resorts for the day. Its long main street (Atatürk Caddesi) has recently been modernised and now boasts a shopping mall at one end, which also accommodates the local council offices. There is a post office (PPT) too, located on one of the side streets about half way down the main street.
Every Thursday, there is a traditional open market (Pazar) behind the new shopping mall, where you can buy fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, household goods and clothes.
The Dalaman sports centre is located on the main airport road a little way out of the town centre. The local football team, Dalaman Belediye Spor, have their pitch behind the sports centre, surrounded by a running track.
No trip to Turkey is complete without a trip to a proper Turkish bath house. The one in Dalaman is a little further up the road from the Sports Centre. You will see the sign near the ‘Istikbal’ furniture shop. There is another one on the left of the main D400 road, just before the turn off for Ortaca.
Dalaman Hastanesi, the new state hospital, is a little way out of the centre of town on Fabrikalar Caddesi, Gazibulvarı. It is well signposted from both the airport road and the town centre and has a 24 hour accident and emergency (Acil) service.
Tel: 0252 692 5026 or 0252 692 1855 or 0252 692 6061
In nearby Ortaca, on the main D400 highway, there is the Yücelen private hospital which is popular with both ex-pats and locals and a good choice if you already have health insurance.
Tel: 0252 282 5252
Banks in Dalaman
Ziraat Bankasi: 0252 692 2704
Türkiye Is Bankasi: 0252 692 5057
Garanti Bankasi: 0252 692 1800
Akbank: 0252 692 5983
Yapi Kredi Bankasi: 0252 692 1041
Halk Bankasi: 0252 692 5249
Bus travel in Turkey is efficient, to say the least. You can get from anywhere to anywhere with ease, whether by local Dolmuş to the surrounding towns, of further afield on the regular coach services.
Dalaman's main bus station is now located on the main D400 road at the top end of the airport road. There are ticket kiosks in the centre of town, by the taxi rank, and mini buses ferry passengers from here to the bus station.
Pamukkale Bus Company: 0252 692 39 39
Kamil Koç: 0252 692 28 20
Apart from farming, the local economy relies on paper production at the large, privatised, factory called MOPAK, located by the main airport road, 5kms from the town centre. It currently produces in excess of 100,000 tonne of paper and board per year.
Interestingly there is an open prison here too. It is also located on the airport road about 3kms from the centre, where you will find a chicken restaurant (Piliç Restaurant) run by the prison services. You can buy freshly barbequed chicken to take away, or enjoy a lunch of half a chicken with salad and rice in the pleasant clean café.
As mentioned, farming plays a very important part in the life of the area. The soil is rich in nutrients and fruits, such as lemons, oranges, mandarins, pomegranates, melons, watermelons, sweet corn and cotton are grown here. Much of the Dalaman plain is owned by the state owned farm TIGEM, the entrance to which is located on the main roundabout by the town centre.
Alexandria train station in Dalaman
In 1906, the Alexandria train station was built by mistake in Dalaman. This building still exists and serves today as the headquarters of TIGEM. The year before the construction (1905), Abbas Hilmi Pasha (then Khedive of Egypt) had acquired a large part of the fertile plain and had decided to set up a plantation in the region.
He had ordered the plans and the material for his projected residence here to his architects in France, at the same as the plans and the material for a train station for Alexandria in Egypt. Unfortunately, the two simultaneous shipments were misdirected, the materials for his residence heading towards Egypt, and the Alexandria train station ending up in Dalaman. Since it was going to be too costly to re-ship everything to the right destination, the station was built in Dalaman anyway, with even a few miles of purposeless railway track.
Mosque in the centre of town