Mudanya is a port in the Southern Marmara Region of Turkey. It's on the Marmara coast 12 km north of Bursa, with ferries from Istanbul, and most visitors are just passing through. The town sprawls along the coast for several km and includes the secondary port of Güzelyalı. In 2020 the population was 102,523.
Mudanya of old was the Hellenistic town of Apamea Myrlea, one of many small ports along the Marmara and Aegean coasts. It remained small as its harbour lacks shelter, and its hinterland is rugged hills good for olive growing and goat herding and not much else. However it does have a short sea crossing from Istanbul and a valley leading inland to the city of Bursa, first bastion of the Ottoman dynasty and centre for silk manufacture. So Mudanya has always been a trading and ferry port, and also has a small fishing fleet.
The First World War in the east Mediterranean was ended by the 1918 Armistice of Mudros and 1920 Treaty of Sèvres. The defeated Ottomans had to cede not only their sprawling Empire, but large tracts of mainland Turkey and its islands, and submit to foreign governance. The Greeks saw a chance for even greater territorial gain, landed in strength at several points including Mudanya, and marched on Istanbul and Ankara. The other Allies joined in and faced a disorganised demoralised force, until Turkish army officers rallied around Mustafa Kemal, and the fightback escalated into the Turkish War of Independence. This was ended in Oct 1922 by the Armistice of Mudanya then the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923. Turkey still lost its empire but recovered its mainland, its independence as a secular modern republic, and its pride.
The price of this was population exchanges. The many Greeks in the area were deported to settle in "New Moudania" on the Halkidiki peninsula, while ethnic Turks from Crete were re-settled in Mudanya.
BUDO ferries sail five times a day from Istanbul Eminonu and take just under two hours to Mudanya. A single fare in 2022 is 40-55 TL.
1 Mudanya ferry pier is east side of town centre. From Bursa, take the Bursaray metro to its north terminus at Emek (allow 30 min), then the frequent 1/M bus to the square next to the ferry pier (another 25 min).
İDO ferries sail five times a day from Istanbul: they start from Kabataş and pick up from Kadıköy then Yenikapı - this is just south of Sultanahmet and likely to be the most convenient for international travellers. They take just under two hours to Güzelyalı, usually non-stop but occasionally calling at Armutlu, for similar fares to BUDO.
2 Güzelyalı ferry pier has buses to Bursa main bus station.
By road from Istanbul it's quickest to stay on O-5 to Bursa then turn north on D575, but you could turn off at Gemlik to tootle along the coast road.
Buses from Bursa ply the coast road between Güzelyalı, Mudanya and Tirilye. You'll need your own vehicle to get further afield.
- 1 Armistice House (Mütareke Evi), 12 Eylül Cd 8, ☏ . Tu-Su Apr-Oct 09:00-17:00, Nov-Mar 10:00-16:00. The Ottoman-era wooden mansion where the Mudanya Armistice was signed. It's now a museum, closed for some years but re-opened in 2014. Other traditional Ottoman houses are dotted about the nearby streets but are succumbing to the tide of concrete.
- 2 Tahir Pasha Mansion, Köşk Sk 7A, ☏ . Tu-Su 09:00-17:00. 18-room mansion built in 1724, and converted to a museum in 2012. Tahir was a late 19th century governor, with his finger in every pie.
- Apamea Myrlea (Απάμεια Μύρλεια) was the ancient port and city, centred one km southwest of present-day Mudanya. There's been some excavation, and plans to restore the site as a museum, but nothing to see meanwhile - not least because the looters have been busy.
- 3 Kumyaka is a very small port 8 km west of Mudanya. It has a Byzantine basilica built in 780 AD, which is derelict but under restoration.
- 4 Tirilye is a small port 12 km west of Mudanya, which was predominantly Greek until the 1923 population exchange. It has many old buildings, notably the 8th century Church of St Stefanos, now the Fatih Mosque.
- Other old churches are sorry ruins, for example inland at Aydınpınar and Dereköy, and at Yalıçiftlik on the coast west of Tirilye. They're not worth a special trip.
- A coastal road leads westwards from Tirilye, past 5 Karacabey Floodplain Forest to the village of 6 Kurşunlu (not to be confused with Kurşunlu near Gemlik to the east). From there on, the road becomes a narrow dirt track only fit for mountain biking or offroad driving (and not even that if a recent avalanche swept away parts of it, as was the case in 2021) across pretty lush mountains — as wild and isolated as it gets anywhere on the Marmara coastline — for about 20 km until the village of 7 Sahil Yenice, where it upgrades to surfaced again and continues through Dutliman to Bandırma.
- Beaches are small and scrappy. The best are 20 km west, along the broad sandy bay from Eşkel Plajı.
There's a rash of small stores along the main highway. The biggest is Migros, on Zeytinlik Sk 200 m west of the Armistice House, open daily 09:00-22:00.
- In Mudanya, half a dozen places are just west of the ferry pier. There's another cluster west around the marina, more expensive but not always better.
- In Güzelyalı, places are a block back from the seafront on Atatürk Cd.
- Bars in Mudanya are grouped near the Armistice House. In Güzelyalı KÜBA is by the ferry pier.
- Yusta Winery is in Yörükali village, 4 km south of Güzelyalı.
- 1 Blue Mudanya, Manolya Sk, ☏ . This resort and spa hotel at the west edge of town gets great reviews for comfort, service and cleanliness. B&B double 900 TL.
- 2 Lafontaine Butik Otel, Fevzi Paşa Cd 36, ☏ . Reliable mid-town choice. B&B double 500 TL.
- 3 Hotel Montania, İstasyon Cd, ☏ . Hotel in the neo-classical former railway station, showing its age and overpriced for what you get. B&B double 1000 TL.
- In Güzelyalı Yali Bahce Butik Otel and Yalı Bahçe Otel are two basic places on the seafront just west of the pier.
Mudanya has 4G from all Turkish carriers, which extends along the coast to Güzelyalı and inland to Bursa. As of Feb 2022, 5G has not rolled out in Turkey.
- Bursa is the big city 20 km inland, full of early Ottoman history. Uludağ is the mountain resort behind it.
- Travel via Çanakkale for ancient Troy, the Gallipoli battlefield memorials, and the islands of Bozcaada and Gökçeada.
- Istanbul is just two hours away on the ferry.