The high life or the good life: how do you feel about where you live?

Rural to urban migration is a common phenomenon with which we are all familiar.

3 yıl önce 1.2B
The high life or the good life: how do you feel about where you live?

Rural to urban migration is a common phenomenon with which we are all familiar. Frustrated with country life and looking for new opportunities, the aspirational young and professional classes flock to a teeming metropolis for a ‘better life’.

A new wave of migration is also happening in Turkey. Couples and families who bought properties in what were once sleepy fishing villages have found in the last decade that the mournful sound of gulls calling over rolling waves has been replaced by more urban sounds… like traffic.

Many people bought properties on beautiful parts of the Aegean coast when the towns were small, not much more than sleepy fishing villages but now these once laid back haunts are busy bustling towns and numbers increase during the summer season to the point where, in the case of Bodrum, Johan Meyen, who once lived there worried about cycling on the busy roads.

House prices in central Bodrum have increased by 400% in 12 years and although still one of the most popular parts of the country, with its high life and sophisticated culture, this is no longer the quiet town that many moved to looking for the ‘real Turkey.’ As a result many are now looking to move to more rural undeveloped areas.  

Once a Gumbet resident, Peter Fearnley says: “We only rented in Bodrum and when we started looking to buy the prices were way too high for us. So we decided to look at Dalyan instead.”

“There are still quiet parts of Muğla”, says Dalyan estate agent Fazile Zahir, “and people from busier parts of the Aegean and Mediterranean coast, and even İstanbul looking to move to our peaceful riverside town. They started in tourist areas as a ‘toe in the water’ to see what it was like to living abroad. But now they are looking to find somewhere more rural, perhaps a little off the beaten track, where there is more space and property prices are lower too.”

Johan Meyen and his wife Ann, a Belgian couple living on a complex in Bodrum since 2006, are looking to sell their duplex, despite its sea view; ‘Dalyan is cheaper for buying a villa or a house and you get much more land.’


Organised town planning is important for the authorities in Dalyan, according to Fazile. She says: “Dalyan has very strict building regulations, only 15% building permission is given and a max build height of two storeys - the local council aims to keep the small market town feel that everyone loves. Our countryside green belt areas are preserved and public areas are well planted and cared for.  We have seen how small towns everywhere, not just in Turkey, can be over developed and spoilt and are fighting very hard to keep our Dalyan´s charm, character and leisurely pace of life well and truly intact!


While Bodrum bungalow with private pool is likely to cost £450,000 – a Dalyan villa with pool, 4 bedrooms, mountain views and less than 500m from the center of town could cost as little as £150,000.”


Some have managed the happy medium, enjoying the high life and the good life. Simon and Karen Clark have a duplex in Bodrum and a private detached villa in Dalyan: “We have been in Bodrum around 14 years and don't see ourselves ever living full time anywhere else….Bodrum is cosmopolitan, upmarket and vibrant. Bodrum is cafe society, nightclubs, shopping centres. It is busy, stylish and chic. But there are times, especially at the height of the summer, when we want a bit of a break, a trip to the country,” says Simon; “… Our retreat in Dalyan is equally prized and every bit as special. Dalyan has space to breathe, room to move. The pace of the river resonates, we adjust, we relax and step off the gas. Dalyan is open, fresh, understated. It is a place to recharge where your worries slip away. I tend not to wear a watch in Dalyan, I don't feel I need to.”


Local Dalyan resident, Anouk Yalılı says: “I moved to Dalyan from a city and I think that to live permanently in a town isn’t healthy, or good for the soul. Country things are now at the centre of my life – the cycles through the orchards, passing cows, chickens and local dogs on the road and I know all of my neighbours and their families. If I miss the city and the shops, I catch the bus to somewhere like Bodrum for a few days, shop till I drop and party like it’s 1999 (thanks Prince!). It’s fun to see how the rich and famous live with their million pound yachts but ultimately it is the wild country places that I love.”


So if you find yourself yearning for the quiet life, think of coming to live in Dalyan, with its waterways and forests, mountains and beaches that will send power through your limbs and invigorate you, body and soul.


Try the ‘good life’ in Dalyan - have a holiday in beautiful Dalyan and compare property prices with a reputable local agent such as King Emlak.


More Dalyan info:

Long term rentals and holidays -

For advice on buying property –

About the local area -







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