Travel Eye: Turkish Delight By the Aegean Sea
The turquoise sea glistens under the afternoon sun as I stand knee-deep taking in my surroundings. A shoal of Blennioidei shoot past my feet, before a flash to my right indicates a lone flying member of the group has glided out of the water and is now diving back in. Behind me, my friend Jo is immersed in her novel, stretched out across the golden powdery sand. Its a sizzling 28 degrees here and she's swapped the shelter of a beach umbrella for the protection of impressive metre-long palm leaves. I'm lapping up every ray while I can..
We're in Turkey, visiting the famous Mugla Province - an area situated in the far south west of the country and home to an incredible 680 miles of pristine coastline, which includes the country's much-loved Datca Peninsula and tourist hub of Marmaris. Our research tells us exploring this area is going to be quite an adventure. I had visions of wandering through port towns, jumping on and off fishing boats and climbing through ancient ruins whilst listening to stories from long ago. But now that I'm here, I realise it's not going to be as simple as strolling along the sand, flip flops in hand. In fact, walking looks like a complete no-go thanks to the huge dusty red mountains and steep cliff faces around us..
Local maps tell us there are a few secret paths down to the silky blue waters, but finding them won't be easy and getting back up would be near impossible. In fact, the secluded beach we're on required a rather splendid wooden cable car ride from our hotel, which now towers above us on top of a volcanic hill. However having talked to the friendly staff here, we have found the answer to our adventure. We're going to do our exploring by sea.
Just 90 minutes away from Dalaman International Airport, the D-Hotel Maris resort proudly sits high on a rock, overlooking the beautifully calm Aegean Sea. The nearest town is 35kms away, meaning the sound of gentle waves is all you can hear for miles - and there's not a McDonalds in sight. But should you wish for some Mugla charm, it's just a half hour trip to the nearest town.
The D-Hotel matches its environment well and exudes a peaceful ambience through its cool decor; colour-schemes are gentle pastel shades, there's marble flooring, the walls are dark-wood in colour, two deep blue indoor pools await you in the ESPA Spa and the grounds are vast and grand. You'll find a gym with incredible views over the blue, three restaurants serving everything from Ottoman and Asian-fusion cuisine to seafood splendour. There's even a cinema packed with comfy sofas, should you fancy a late night film. Down at the coastline sit four protected beaches - one for every kind of visitor. The list includes the Café Del Mar-loving, bar-friendly one and the silent 'no kids allowed' one (both require the house speed boat to get to).
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