Located on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, Marmaris may lack in sights but is still a very popular family and youth resort.
Once a small fishing village, it started encountering mass tourism during the 80s, when it became popular with British and North European visitors, who flocked the town to enjoy the sun and the beach.
Today Russians are a respective share of incoming tourists and Marmaris has transformed into a loud lively small town with notorious nightlife.
Young Europeans come here to drink and dance until dawn, but Marmaris is also popular with families, who take advantage of the all-inclusive resort deals.
Walking is an easy choice for most places in Marmaris, since distances are relatively short. However, “dolmus” services cover most of the town’s points of interest; these local shared taxis have pre-set routes and feature different colours according to their destination. Privet taxis are also available throughout the town.
Things to see and do in Marmaris
One day would be more than enough to cover all of the city’s sights. Begin with Marmaris Castle, which was built by Suleyman the Magnificent in 1522 in order to assist its troops invade nearby Rhodes Island. Overlooking Marmaris’ marina, the castle now houses Marmaris Museum. The museum’s collections feature treasures and artefacts from Knidos and Hisaronu, including ceramics and glassware, as well as a display of ancient coins. The residential area around the castle hides some excellent examples of local architecture.
Continue with a visit to the town’s Bazaar. Lacking in local spirit, the bazaar mostly focuses on tourists. However, it is still worth a stroll around the colourful passageways to see how an oriental bazaar used to be. With a bit less than 1,000 shops, this market offers all kinds of Turkish souvenirs, from local sweets to carpets and from hookahs to spices. Dozens of clothing and footwear shops are available as well, but beware of fakes.
Vogue Jewellery Centre is located on Dacta Road and offers a vast variety of golden and silver jewellery, as well as wrist watches. Serviced by complementary shuttle-buses, this huge store is an interesting choice for window shopping, even if you don’t plan on making any purchase.
Once you are done with the sight-seeing, it is time to meet with the town’s key feature: entertainment! At night Bar Street is the place to be if you count yourself as a party animal. Centre of Marmaris’ dazzling nightlife, Bar Street is a no-restriction site, so don’t be surprised to see drunken youth losing clothes or acing crazy right in the middle of the street. If you don’t appreciate this kind of entertainment, take a seaside walk along the charming harbour, where privet yachts come to bind and elegant restaurants are set by the waterfront.
During the day, lie under sun at one of the town’s beaches. Although the beaches within walking distance from the centre are quite decent, those in search for better waters can hop on a dolmus, or water taxi, and visit nearby Icmaler and Turunc. Most beaches offer a wide variety of water sports for lifting up your adrenaline levels. Marmaris also features two water parks with water-slides and other aqua activities.
Marmaris can be used as a base for fascinating excursions around the wider area of Mugla. Dozens of local travel agencies organise day trips to popular destinations, such as Pamukkale natural site, Knidos archaeological site and popular Hisaronu Village. A bit longer sits the site of ancient Ephesus. Ferry trips to the Greek island of Rhodes are also available.