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Dalaman: gateway to adventure | The Independent

Dalaman: gateway to adventure | The Independent

1. Tandem Paragliding

The summit of Babadag, the mountain above Olu Deniz, is an ideal location for doing something completely against human instinct: stepping off a mountain and into the unknown.

The location is 1,200 metres above sea level. An expert pilot helps strap you into a chair, and then straps in behind you. To get airborne you simply run towards the edge of the mountain – where wind, sun and gravity combine to allow you to float serenely down to a patch of lawn beside the Mediterranean.

The first principle of paragliding is to attach yourself to the atmosphere with sufficient fabric to counteract most of the gravitational force that would normally drag you down to earth.

The pilot’s art is to harness to maximum effect the complex air currents that swirl between the mountains and the sea, while simultaneously instilling confidence in the passenger. They may add extra thrills such as tight spiral turns producing g-forces with out-of-this world sensations before you touch down as a gentle full stop to your aerobatic adventure – with the memory seared in.

2. Butterfly Valley

From the harbour at Fethiye, you can take an early morning boat along the shore to a hidden cove that gives access to some superb hiking.

The entrance to Butterfly Valley is marked by a huddle of places to eat and drink by the shore – and an ancient path that snakes through shady woodland and between the hills, offering some challenging and rewarding hiking.

As the trail steepens, the walls of the valley narrow into a gorge – with tenacious trees clinging to the almost sheer rock faces above you.

Take plenty of water. Allow time to rest and appreciate the sheer scale and beauty of the planet.

Heading back to the beach is even more rewarding – it’s downhill and the view opens up before you to impressive effect.

You could carry on into the hills and follow the Lycian Way. This long-distance footpath, conceived by British expatriate Kate Clow, continues for hundreds of kilometres almost to the city of Antalya. Or you can return to the beach and flop into a hammock while waiting for your ship to come in.

3. Dalyan Rock Tombs

The Dalyan river winds from the mountains down to the sea. On the way to a marshy delta, it passes the town that shares its name. Dalyan is a favourite hideaway for connoisseurs of good living, with a relaxed ambience and sense of being close to nature. But just across the Dalyan river is an extraordinary piece of history: rock tombs that were created…

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