Even more, why Dalaman, and not Antalya or Marmaris?
The Dalaman area just looked lovely and sweet. And it was. We hanged around Fethiye, which turned out a great place to visit for some history (with its famous Lycian Way), food and diving sites, which was actually one of the main reasons we decided to go there. And, most importantly, Fethiye managed to preserve the authenticity of a quiet Turkish town, as being an old place that remembers Greek times it escaped the über common trend of turning something beautiful into an ugly concrete tourist village. Whoever was responsible for the town’s spacial planning made a wise decision to accommodate devotees of package holidays in Çaliş Beach, 6 miles away from Fethiye, thus leaving the town fairly unspoilt. If you end up in Çaliş Beach, you will save money on accommodation, as you can find mega cheap hotels there, but you won’t experience much of Turkish authenticity – on the contrary, you’ll be mislead into thinking you’re on English Riviera, with the omnipresent smell of fish and chips, and English breakfast served in every restaurant. Luckily, you can catch quick and frequent minibuses and a water taxi to Fethiye, and stay away from cheap and plastic atmosphere Çaliş Beach has on offer.
The areas west of Antalya also seemed genuine with some good Greek and Roman sites (e.g. Side looked especially charming) but a bit limited when it comes to diving sites. And Marmaris? Well, Marmaris is an artificially created tourist town and you’re likely to enjoy it if all you want from holidays is a beach and a beer and foam party; Marmaris has nothing to do with Turkishness, seemed loud and nasty, and so we stayed away from it.