Marmara Ereğlisi (say mar-mah-rah eh-reh-lee-see) is on the Marmara coast in Eastern Thrace, the European part of Turkey. It's the first town west on the coastal highway after you leave the Istanbul metropolis, so it's a weekend resort for the city. This coast has been heavily developed, especially with the BOTAŞ gas terminal 5 km east, where LNG is pumped ashore from tankers and stored then put into the pipeline. In 2019 the Marmara Ereğlisi district had a population of 26,007.
Marmara Ereğlisi is the historic nucleus of what is nowadays a busy resort and industrial strip. Its peninsula forms a hook that shelters a bay, so it was a good harbour along this exposed coast. It became colonised by Greeks from Samos, who called it Perinthos, and in 340 BC it was strong enough to repulse an attack by Philip II of Macedon. Like the other Hellenistic colonies it became part of the Roman empire, and a regional capital at a time when Byzantium (the future Constantinople then Istanbul) was just a minor fishing village. Coins were minted here - they're a big component of the ancient town's heritage, as the old buildings have suffered centuries of earthquakes. Around 300 AD it was renamed Herakleia, for Hercules, hence Ereğli, but that was a popular name. So this one is specifically the Marmara Ereğlisi, to distinguish it from the one near Konya and the other on the Black Sea coast.
Metro Turizm buses run from Istabul Bayrampaşa via Silivri, taking 60-90 min to Marmara Ereğlisi, for a fare (as of Sept 2021) of 65 TL. They're at least hourly daytime and every couple of hours overnight. They continue west to Tekirdağ, another 30 min, and some go on to Keşan, the Gallipoli peninsula and Çanakkale. These inter-city buses don't come downtown, but pick up and drop off on the main highway D110 north side of town. It's a one km walk but there are taxis and dolmuses if you're laden. A new bus station is under construction next to D110 but there's no word on when it might open.
Minibuses run frequently to Marmara Ereğlisi from Tekirdağ, Çorlu, and Silivri at the west edge of Istanbul. These do run to 1 town centre - it's not a bus station, just a general scrummage of vehicles beneath the impatient hooves of Atatürk's statue.
By road follow D110/E84. The town is 90 km west of Istanbul and 40 km east of Tekirdağ.
There are no ferries to town. For the Marmara Islands travel via Istanbul.
Walk in the town, everything's within 1 km. The beach resorts are strung out along the highway but have a good dolmuş service.
- 1 Open air museum (açık hava müzesi) is the fancy name for a little park scattered with marble columns and sarcophagi from ancient Perinthos. No labelling or explanations, as they naturally assume you've done your homework by reading this page.
- Perinthos occupied the peninsula to the south and the waterfront area of the present town, and was enclosed by city walls. You'll spot remnants of the walls and their towers, but the difficulty is to distinguish them from other dilapidated bits of masonry. The old structures were pulverised by multiple earthquakes and have been cleared away from the peninsula, but stroll out for the view back to town.
- 2 Roman breakwater: the harbour is sheltered from every wind except northeast. This ancient breakwater, now only visible as a line of rocks, extends from the tip of the peninsula.
- 3 Amphitheatre is on the south coast below the lighthouse. It's overgrown but atmospheric, especially at sundown, so that would have been the obvious time to stage performances.
- Tumuli are small man-made conical hills or mounds that cover burial chambers, typically from 6000 to 4000 BC. They're dotted around Thrace, especially in the countryside 5 km north of Marmara Ereğlisi, though they're steadily succumbing to agriculture and development. Look out for them across the fields and if they're not fenced off you may be able to approach. A few have been excavated: their finds have gone to museums in Istanbul and elsewhere, with the best studied being Naip tumulus the other side of Tekirdağ.
- Swimming is okay off town beach, the water isn't polluted. Other sandy beaches line the coast.
- 1 Trend Aqua Park, Vatan Cd, Yeniçiftlik. Pool with flumes and so on. Adult 80 TL, child 50 TL.
- Banks: there are three banks with ATMs around the downtown minibus stop, with more north along the street.
- Supermarket: Carrefour is on Enis Sülün Cd by the waterfront, open daily 08:00-22:00.
- The main strip is along the east waterfront, with Şirin Köfte, Bade Bistro, Kapalı Kadınlar Plajı, Yengen Yeri, Mavi Boncuk and Asil Kartal.
- By the jetty are Ada Balik, Tekin & Esra Balik, Ayazma, Yelken Balık and Reisbey Balık.
- Fıstık Gibi 1a by the jetty and Beci Sür Mısır along the waterfront are open 24 hours.
- Rakı was traditionally made in Tekirdağ. That distillery has moved to Manisa near Izmir but there's still plenty around - Şerefe!
- Chateau Nuzun is a vineyard in Çeşmeli Köyü to the west.
- As you enter town, you’ll see lots of signs for hotels (otel) and guesthouses (pansiyon). Those on the east seafront are more likely to be open out-of-season. Campsites are some distance out, though along the main highway and dolmus route. It may be possible to wild camp on the south peninsula towards the amphitheatre.
- 1 Hotel Nevizade, Enis Sülün Cd 39, ☏ . Simple clean place on east waterfront. B&B double 250 TL.
- Sülün Butik Otel is mid-town next to Nevizade.
- 2 Poyraz Hotel, Yeni Camii Karsisi, Sahil, ☏ . Friendly hotel on beachfront west edge of town. B&B double 600 TL.
- Istanbul Yildiz Hotel is a budget hotel next to Poyraz.
- 3 Saklı koy camping, Dereağzı mah, ☏ . This is the closest site to town - several km out but on the main highway.
- Yeniçiftlik is the next town west along the coast. Lots of accommodation here, and campsites though these weren't open in 2021.
Marmara Ereğlisi has 4G from all Turkish carriers, which extends along the coastal and main inland highways. As of Sept 2021, 5G has not rolled out in Turkey.
- West is Tekirdağ, a large grubby city but with a beach resort strip. Buses for the Gallipoli peninsula stop here.
- Inland is Çorlu, industrial and with few attractions. Come this way for buses to Istanbul airport, Edirne and the Bulgarian border.
- Istanbul is the frenetic fascinating city an hour to the east.
|Routes through Marmara Ereğlisi|
|Keşan ← Tekirdağ ←||W E||→ Merges with (W / E)|
|Saray ← Çerkezköy ← Junction (W / E) ←||N S||→ Ends at|