A quirky port city and major tourist resort located in the middle of Turkey’s Turquoise Coastline. Marmaris is one of the best loved holiday destinations on the Mediterranean coastline, and for good reason. The charming town is perhaps best known for it’s pulsing nightlife, quaint holiday villas and apartments, but the region around Marmaris is also home to some incredible beaches, isolated coves and ancient ruins, all squeezed in between rolling pine tree coated hills and majestic mountains. Also with a Dalaman to Marmaris transfer, the international airport is less than an hour away, another reason this particular town is a favorite among holiday makers.
The first thing you should do when you arrive in Marmaris is take a walk along the promenade to the Old Town centre. Sandwiched between the hilltop castle and the bay, with the cruise ship harbour on one side and the yacht harbour on the other. This area is made up a narrow cobbled stone streets which wind their way up the hill. There are plenty of nooks and crannies to explore and shady spots to sit during the hot summer months. Strolling through the old town you can find an array of small souvenir shops and boutique stores, as well of plenty of cosy cafes with outdoor seating and hookah (water pipe). During the day the old town serves as a pleasant meeting point, where tourists and locals alike can enjoy a glass of black tea and people watch. While in the evening the twisting streets begin to fill up for sunset and party goers make their way to the bars and clubs.
Marmaris Castle & Museum
The Marmaris Castle sits above the Old Town, with fantastic views over the bay of Marmaris. The castle dates back to 1044 BC and in 1522, under the reign of Suleyman, it was where 2,000 troops gathered before making an attack on the Greek Island of Rhodes. Inside the castle you can find a small museum with ancient artifacts taken from archaeological sites in the region, tombstones, oil lamps and old coins now decorate the castle’s stone interior.
Marmaris Grand Bazzar
Adjacent to the Old Town is the town’s vibrant bazaar, Carsi Market. Mostly covered, so it’s pleasant to visit even in the height of summer. Here you can find anything from handmade carpets to mosaic lanterns, onyx vases, leather wear, jewellery, food and drinks. Be prepared to haggle for the best price. You can also sample some traditional Turkish sweets from one of the extensive glass displays. Here you can find countless flavours of Turkish Delights, from Kiwi to Cacao with everything in between plus other tasty Turkish tidbits.
Where the Mediterranean meets the Aegean, Icmeler is just 8 km from the centre of Marmaris, this small beach resort is nestled between lush pine slopes, backed by the Taurus Mountains and opens onto a crystal clear bay. The nightlife is vibrant is this little piece of paradise, while the surrounding forest has earned a Blue Flag eco-award. Olives and honey are the communities main produce but the Sigla/Gunnuk tree also grows here, the best and rarest oxygen producing plant in the world’s, keeping the air in Icmeler clean and fresh. Aside from chilling on the sandy beach and enjoying the breathtaking natural scenery, you can also take advantage of the extreme water and land sports that Icmeler has to offer. Hop on an inflatable banana boat and race across the bay, or test your skills on a pair water skis. If you prefer to stay dry then grab a quad bike or join a safari tour and do some offroading.
One of the best things to do when from Marmaris is hop on a boat and explore the surrounding sea. This region is famously known as the Turquoise coast due to the gorgeous hue of the crystal clear sea waters. The rocky coastline is home to some stunning coves, secluded beaches and more than a few cliffside caves which are well worth discovering. While a variety of day cruises leave from Marmaris, the most famous way to see this particular patch of coast line is with a multi day Blue Cruise in a traditional wooden Gulet Boat. Sail west towards Bodrum and Greece, or cruise for four or eight days eastwards to the quaint port town of Fethiye, where you can visit the beautiful Blue Lagoon, the Ghost Town of Kayakoy and paraglide from the majestic Baba Mountain. For more information about the Blue Cruise you can visit the Alaturka Turkey website
Dalyan Delta & Turtle Beach
Where the Turquoise sea meets a labyrinth of reed lined canals and isolated lakes, the Dalyan Delta lies 80 km southeast of Marmaris. Small river boats journey through these emerald green canals. The river and surrounding land are both rich with wildlife. Daily tour boats travel through the delta, under the impressive cliffside tombs and ancient city of Kaunos, to Iztuzu. Also known as Turtle Beach, this wide sandy spit is a known turtle nesting area and from May through to October their nests are marked off and protected. The beach is still open for swimming and sunbathing, with shallow salt waters on one side and a freshwater lake on the other, you can enjoy the tranquility of this unique isolated spot. After lunch in one of Dalyans traditional sea food restaurants – Blue Crab is a specialty that should not be missed – you can again cruise on the river to Dalyan’s other top attraction, the Sultaniye Spa. Cleopatra herself allegedly bathed here, this mineral rich mud bath and thermal spring are said to make you look 10 years younger. Whether this is truth or myth is still up for debate but a trip to Dalyan, searching for turtles and posing for some muddy photos, certainly makes a fun day trip from Marmaris.