A 20-minute drive over the mountains from Dalaman Airport, Göcek is perfect for visitors who want to sample the grandeur of the Turquoise Coast but have little time to spare. This tranquil resort town offers gorgeous vistas of sea and mountains, easy access to the water, plus upmarket places to eat, sleep, and shop. Having avoided the excesses of package tourism and overdevelopment, it is focused on a pleasant, carless waterfront. Three marinas and an annual regatta make this a major center for Turkey’s yachting world, and weekends see it awash with Istanbul sosyete (essentially the rich, frequently spoiled, and occasionally glamorous children of the upper classes). From Göcek, an hour’s drive reaches the natural beauties of Dalyan, the sights around Fethiye/Ölüdeniz, or great Lycian sites like Tlos and Xanthos. There is only one private beach in Göcek itself, so hop on one of the several wooden tour boats that head out each morning to explore elsewhere. The best swimming and snorkeling are around the beaches or in the coves of the Twelve Islands, strung out like a necklace across the mouth of the bay.


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