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Marmaris is a town in Turkey, along the Mediterranean coast in the province of Muğla. It has around 28,000 inhabitants, however the population can be up to 250,000 during the height of the tourist season.

The uninterrupted development reaches south to İçmeler across the bay from Marmaris. Turunç is another resort area further south, although separated from the conglomeration around Marmaris by a fair amount of distance and pine-covered mountains.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

You can get flights to Dalaman, the nearest regional airport, which is 100 km away from Marmaris. Coach transfers are 1½ hours. The airport is served by many operators such as thomsonfly, flythomascook, EasyJet and Turkish airline OnurAir.

Transfers are easily arranged on-line and there are frequent bus connections which correspond to the arrival of domestic flights provided by Havas. Havas bus transfer times are detailed outside the airport terminal building.

By boat[edit]

There are ferries from Rhodes operated by Feribot Lines and Yeşil Marmaris Lines. Catamaran ride takes 1 hr and costs €40 (Feb 2019), however, it's not available on a daily basis, especially during winter.

Get around[edit]

Cheapest way of getting around is using the dolmus minibuses. These are 11-seaters which travel the main road in Marmaris and Icmeler, the neighbouring resort. The fee is ~€0.65 (Aug 2019, less by paying Pay pass) anywhere in Marmaris and ~€0.50 (Aug 2019) between Icmeler and Marmaris. Marmaris dolmuşes have a green band across them and orange for Icmeler. Other dolmuş services serve Armutalan which is a suburb of Marmaris. The Armutalan dolmuş has a blue band across them.

You can pick them up from the side of the road by hailing for them and they will stop wherever you want on the route.

Other buses are frequently available and compete with dolmus services. They are slightly cheaper and are council owned buses which are similar in concept but slightly larger than dolmus minibuses.

Taxis are also available on the meter or arranging prices up front but are very expensive (prices are negotiable).

See[edit]

Marmaris Castle

There's plenty to do in Marmaris. Busy beaches, lots of bars and restaurants, plenty of shopping with fabulous bargains if you don't mind wearing fake designer labels. Marmaris has a busy nightlife with a street devoted to dance music and all the high tech clubbing scene. Bar Street is opposite the busy bazaar and will satisfy the most discerning clubbers with its huge outdoor dance venues and all of the latest tunes.

Marmaris has lots for families too. Great inexpensive boat excursions can take you out round the bay and to neighbouring towns like Icmeler and Turunc with all inclusive food and drinks all day for as little as 25 TL. Marmaris also has two water parks and local travel agents offer a range of trips to Dalyan, Fethiye, Pamukkale, Ephesus and other popular locations in Western Turkey. Another worthwhile trip is to Mugla, the regional capital which can be reached by frequent bus service from Marmaris Bus station (Otogar) for 12 TL. Journey time over the mountains is about 1 hour and is well worth the effort as Mugla is a real Western Turkish town not affected greatly by tourism.

The town of Marmaris is not just for the package holiday visitor as a trip to the harbour area will confirm. There you can see ocean going yachts costing $10 million and rub shoulders with those who can blow $1000 on a pair of sunglasses in the exclusive upmarket designer harbour shopping area.

Marmaris is a resort that caters for British holidaymakers, and for Russian and other Eastern European visitors.

Do[edit]

Sundecks in Marmaris

You can have a daily cruise taking you around the turquoise coves, mountainous shoreline, ruins of ancient cities, and a cave (the only entrance of which is from the sea) surrounding Marmaris with a stop at the beach of leafy Cennet Adası ("Paradise Island"—actually a peninsula named Yıldız, however it does not have a connecting road to the rest of the mainland), which encloses the Bay of Marmaris. Just take one of yachts (which have a capacity of 20 people) which can be found all along the waterfront of city centre, you can easily recognize them by their boards and touts—who will try to convince you to take their tour, but basically all tours are the same. A tour doing the Bay in an anti-clockwise fashion (i.e. Turunç first, Paradise Island last) may be worthwhile to look for, as most tours ply around the Bay in clockwise direction, and thus you don't have to be with hundreds of others who took other boats all the time. Book or buy a seat at least one day beforehand. This type of cruise is good value but even better when offered with all-inclusive local drinks which can be expensive once on board a boat!

Many of the local tour companies offer trips such as:

Jeep Safari - drive around mountains surrounding Marmaris and visit villages, waterfalls and picturesque beaches. A tour around the Peninsula of Bozburun to south of Marmaris usually combines a visit to the Kızkumu sandbar, see below, the "nearby" section for more information.

Turkish baths - a traditional Turkish bath (Hamam) with sauna, body peel, foam massage and oil massage.

Turkish night - entertainment night with traditional Turkish food, dancing and entertainment including belly dancers. Many hotels do their own Turkish nights with buffet and entertainment.

Also, trips to further afield such as Dalyan turtle beach and mud baths, Pamukkale, Lycia etc.

Buy[edit]

There's a 1 bazaar near the marina where you'll be able to find almost anything.

Lots of shops selling usual tourist fodder and local specialities such as Turkish Delight, carpets etc. Most of the branded clothing on offer is fake and is very cheap but the quality can be surprisingly good (Check sizes before committing to buy, especially when buying in markets). Beware of pirate DVDs and games as many will not work despite assurances from vendors.

Real leather can be bought for a good price if you're prepared to haggle. Starting prices are normally at least 2-3 times the final price!

Hairdressing and beauty treatments are good value but beware of tattoo hygiene issues if you decide to be inked permanently.

For food, there is a large supermarket at the end of the main road before the harbour and marina called Tansas which stocks virtually everything including international brands. Tansas has a sister company called Migros which has several stores in Marmaris, one at the harbour and another larger store on the main road close to the Marmaris Court building. Another hypermarket is situated on the main road beyond the suburb of Armutalan, Kipa is the Turkish division of Tesco and offers a huge range of international and own brand products at competitive prices.

Most tourists enjoy visiting markets in Marmaris (Armutalan) and Icmeler. The markets sell most of the same things the local shops stock but one can haggle a bit more. Beware of pickpockets in these places. The market in the Armutalan area of Marmaris is on a Thursday and the Icmeler market is every Wednesday.

Beware some unscrupulous Turks try to sell baby tortoises to tourists and encourage them to smuggle them back home in luggage as pets. They will die, of course, in aircraft holds and can be picked up by airport x-ray machines in hand baggage. It is an offence to attempt to import a tortoise into most EU states as they are an endangered species.

Eat[edit]

Many places on the beachfront main road and just off it serving Turkish, English, Dutch and other nationality food. Tends to be cheaper away from the harbour and marina.

Nice restaurants are located on the beachfront promenade.

Proprietors will stand outside establishments and harass you into looking at their menu. Don't be too intimidated and a polite No thank you or Later will put them at bay. Marmaris and Armutalan councils have no tolerance for hassle and have special local police (Zabita) who videotape and close establishments who harass tourists. Most local establishments no longer hassle passing tourists.

Money saving tips: Many places will accept international currencies, such as euros and British pounds. These curriences can gain you heavily discounted prices in certain restaurants such as a three-course meal for £5 (Scottish notes not usually accepted).

If self catering visit the many supermarkets located in Marmaris the larger are Tansas, Migros and Tesco Kipa. Many of these supermarkets have in store bakeries which produce lovely fresh bread.

Budget[edit]

  • 1 Tatlıses Çiğ Köfte, Tepe, 49. Sk..
  • 2 Tasarkasi Kofte Salonu, Tepe, Kubilay Alpugan Sk. No:14.
  • 3 Anadolu yemek evi şube 2, Tepe, Eski Datça Yolu No:17.
  • 4 Sarah Restoran Fun&Pub, Armutalan.
  • 5 Sweet Corner Restaurant, Siteler.

Mid-range[edit]

  • 6 Mama Restaurant, Tepe, Barbaros Cd. No:83.
  • 7 Deniz Halil's Place Cafe Restoran, Tepe, Barbaros Cd. No:99.
  • 8 O`yes restaurant, Tepe, Yat Limanı, Barbaros Cd. No.9.
  • 9 Jan De Wit Restaurant, Tepe, Barbaros Cd. No:123.
  • 10 Purple Rain Restoran Bar, Tepe, 35. Sk. No:14.

Splurge[edit]

Drink[edit]

Local beer is served everywhere and is very good, called Efes. Another drink worth trying is Ayran which is a yogurt based drink. Very cooling and good for you.

Also, some establishments stock imported beers such as Becks, Budweiser or Fosters but tend to be more expensive. Wine is very expensive and seems to be all local. Good and common winery is Villa Doluca.

One of the local drinks provided by hotels as an alternative to fruit juice is called 'Tang'. It is manufactured by Kraft and is available in sachets which mixed with water make 1 litre of fruit drink. When various flavours are mixed make a very inexpensive and refreshing fruit drink.

Nightlife[edit]

Marmaris is famous for its fantastic nightlife.

For pre-partying drinks, many small bars along the beachfront offer the perfect place to watch the warm sun set.

There are a selection of good clubs along the beachfront which play a variety of music and cater to different tastes. Turtle Bar is by far one of the best bars there, bar outside with nightclub inside, without the incredulous prices of Bar street.

For hardcore partiers Bar street is where the party's at. Located in the old town this street has over 100 bars and clubs ranging from rock bars to Club arena, a huge outdoor nightclub with foam parties. All are open to at least 04:00.

Beware when drinking in Bar Street as prices are much higher than those along the beach front although entry to most clubs is free and there are periods when there are special offers available.

Doruk Bar [dead link] is a family-run pub located in the bars street offering live music and local beers.

Sleep[edit]

Lively hotels can be found generally in Marmaris City Centre

More laid-back hotels can be found in the Armutalan area at the back of Marmaris where the local council has banned the playing of music after midnight. Armutalan council has also banned live entertainment from bars, limiting it to hotels.

There are exceptions however so make sure you choose a hotel that suits you.

As with any trip it is advisable to check websites such as trip advisor, for info on your hotel before you book as there can be great differences. All inclusive deals are good value but beware of bed and breakfast and half board as hotels may restrict you bringing food or drinks into their premises making you dependent on their offerings which will be much more expensive than buying from a supermarket. In a very hot climate like Turkey a few drinks each day can add a lot to a holiday cost. In self-catering properties beware of damage charges. Soiled towels and bedding can be expensive to replace and damage to curtains and furnishings can be very costly. Note any damage however small on arrival and report it!

Cope[edit]

There is 1 a cluster of pharmacies on Ulusal Egemenlik Cd, across the street from the park.

Nearby[edit]

Sedir Island[edit]

Towards the Cleopatra Beach, Sedir Island

1 Sedir Island Sedir Island on Wikipedia, in the Gulf of Gökova, is also known as Cleopatra Island. It features the ruins of Kedrai, including an amphiteatre, overgrown by wild olives. However, the highlight is the Cleopatra Beach, a strand of gleaming golden sands virtually non-existent anywhere else in the Eastern Mediterranean, accompanied by the milky turquoise waters of the cove. The legend has it that Marcus Antonius had this sand brought in from Egypt on the request of his lover, Cleopatra of Egypt. However scientists boringly conclude that this unique sodium bicarbonate-containing sand has actually formed of dissolved seashells. The sands are under heavy protection and removing any quantity of sand from the beach is forbidden, so no towels or shoes are allowed and anyone who set foot on the beach must have a shower before getting out. Sometimes even the bags are searched on the way out. Frequent boats to the island depart from a harbour near the highway, about 10 km north of Marmaris (watch out for the signpost). Boats cost 10 TL pp return, and admission to the island is a further 10 TL pp. There is a small kiosk on the island with fairly priced drinks. It doesn't sell any alcohol but it's allowed to bring in from the mainland with you (and any other snacks and drinks). The beach closes at 19:00 and it's best to visit the island in the morning, as early as possible, because the beach gets overcrowded especially after 13:00 during the high season.

Bozburun Peninsula[edit]

Bozburun is the mountainous peninsula jutting out southwest from Marmaris. Its very convoluted coastline means that the relative direction of the sea changes ever so often as you progress; the deep blue meets up in the least expected locations and provides an unbelievably charming scenery.

The main road of the peninsula (48-53), all the way down to Serçe Limanı, is surfaced, if seriously winding all throughout and narrow in parts. Local minibuses depart from Marmaris, and there is at least once daily service across the peninsula to Taşlıca, the southernmost village; further from there, you are on your own. The Carian Trail is a 150-km long, waymarked and signposted hiking trail traversing the peninsula from one end to the other.

Most seaside locations offer accommodation, often in the form of family-run guesthouses.

  • 2 Hisarönü is where you turn off from the D-400 Marmaris-Datça road into the peninsula.
  • 3 Orhaniye is the site of Kızkumu ('Maiden's Sand'), a 1-km long, purple red sandbar an ankle deep below the water surface, almost completely closing a cove. The local folklore tells of a young woman, who in an attempt to meet her lover on the opposite shore, began building it by dirt she collected in her skirt, but failing her objective that was so close to be achieved, drowned.
  • 4 Turgut is famous for its waterfalls, but you don't go there for a meager amount of water dropping from an unimpressive height, but for the lush setting.
  • 5 Bayır is an inland village, and attracts off-roading enthusiasts.
Selimiye
  • 6 Selimiye Selimiye, Marmaris on Wikipedia is at the head of an enchanting bay, spread into numerous lovely coves. As if that weren't pretty enough, an islet in the bay is topped by the picturesque ruins of a castle to boot. The town is laid-back and is said to resemble Marmaris before the tourism boom changed its face forever.

As you approach its southwestern tip, the peninsula becomes wilder: the human population gets sparser, the roads go narrower, the boulders grow bigger, and the dense pine forests of the northern half of the peninsula are replaced by Mediterranean scrub.

  • 7 Bozburun Bozburun on Wikipedia is mainly a yachting harbour and offers associated repair and maintenance services.
  • 8 Kızılyer is the coastal part of Söğüt, accessed by turning off before arriving at the village centre. It offers a range of restaurants and accommodation options, although expect many of them closed in the low season. Uçan Pansiyon (on the approach to the coast, +90 534 658 81 68, 200 TL) is a family-run guesthouse open year round, but don't expect much other than a clean room, a TV with Turkish channels, and an air-con that is unable to raise the room temperature to comfortable levels.
During the low season, you may rent a fishing boat to tour around the bay from Kızılyer. For a 2-hour voyage expect to pay around 500 TL.
  • 9 Söğüt is a single-street village on the hills. It has an ATM, a post office, an eatery (Söğüt Balıkçılık-Dursun Alan, meatballs and tasty fish sandwiches of locally-caught leerfish, akya, noon-midnight, 25-30 TL), and a bakery (homemade sweets, 08:00-19:00, 15-20 TL).
Idling away off Saranda
  • 10 Saranda, officially Cumhuriyet, is the other seaside quarter of Söğüt, accessed from the turn-off at the village centre. It has a lot of businesses, and a very scenic, albeit pebble, beach opening out to the bay panorama.
  • 11 Palamut, across the valley from Söğüt, is a few buildings strung along the road. It has a restaurant with a view over the valley, serving alcohol, a barbershop, and a very old plane tree.
  • 12 Taşlıca is a nondescript, scruffy village surrounded by huge boulders as its name may suggest (Turkish for "stony").
  • 13 Sindili Phoenix (Caria) on Wikipedia was the location of the village of Fenaket (which should be a corrupted form of medieval Greek Phoinikoúdi, which itself should have derived from Phoenix, an ancient Carian city nearby), abandoned in the 1960s due to its unfavourable, remote location, with some of its inhabitants relocating to Söğüt, but mostly to then-newly founded Taşlıca. Its discernible ruins dot a hillside. Semi-wild flocks of livestock freely roam the area; the widespread terraces, now untamed and reclaimed by scrub, and windmill ruins indicate a much stronger agricultural activity in the past.
  • 14 Serçe Limanı ("sparrow's harbour") is basically a fishermen's port in a fjord-like inlet deeply indenting into the land, and is the end of the line as far as anything on wheels is concerned.

The further sites are accessible only by boat or hiking trails.

  • 15 Bozukkale Loryma on Wikipedia was the fortress of the Carian city of Loryma. It marks one of the southernmost capes of the peninsula.
  • 16 Karamaka was an Ottoman Greek village before its inhabitants had to relocate just across to Symi during the Turkish-Greek population exchange of the 1920s. Its evocative ruins, including that of a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary, lie at the western end of the peninsula.

Go next[edit]

  • Datça is near the end of a long peninsula stretching west, and provides a relaxed alternative to Marmaris.
  • Akyaka about 30 min of drive north has a pebble yet beautiful beach, with pine woods growing right from the coastline, and buildings that maintain a lovely local architecture.
  • Dalyan is also a popular seaside town close to Marmaris.
  • Ferries and high-speed hydrofoils depart several times a day to Rhodes, Greece, but port charges are expensive. Still a good day out and a chance to visit another country and sample its culture whilst close by.
  • Flights to international destinations available from Dalaman airport. Turkish Airlines has a store in downtown Marmaris where flights can be booked. OnurAir also fly to several Turkish destinations from Dalaman. Beware: Prices at Dalaman Airport are expensive. A Coke costs 7 TL, large local draft beer 15 TL and a McDonald's/KFC meal 25 TL. Avoid the expense by taking food/snacks with you from the resort before flying from Dalaman.
Routes through Marmaris
ENDDatça  W D400-TR.svg E  AkyakaAntalya



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