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The opening days of the summer season signal an annual pilgrimage for thousands of holidaymakers to the Turkish resort of Marmaris. While it was once a sleepy fishing village, it has been transformed into a bustling tourist destination where the party atmosphere goes on long into the evening.
Set amongst Turkey’s glorious Turquoise Coast it boasts a quaint marina and is overlooked by the historic castle. It has a seafront lined with cafes, restaurants and bars perfect for relaxing during the day and partying by night. The infamous Bar Street is where you’ll find all the bars and clubs that will still be lively even into the early hours of the morning. Feel refreshed in the Turkish bath of Suleymaniye Hamami, visit the famous Grand Bazaar and even hop across the Aegean Sea to explore the Greek island of Rhodes. Maramris provides sun, sea, sand and partying. What more could you want?
Mud baths and endless nights
Marmaris holidays are famed for their boisterous nightlife. The appropriately named Bar Street is lined with clubs and bars catering to the masses of holidaymakers that populate the resort over the summer. The wealth of hotels and apartments mean that the livelier areas are just a short walk away.
However, Marmaris is not all about clubbing as the area boasts some interesting sights. High above the town is Marmaris Castle, one of the few castles in Turkey which has a museum open to visit. According to the historian Herodotus, the castle dates back to 3,000 BC but this has been disputed. It has been a registered as a protected building and is now a popular tourist attraction.
Shoppers will enjoy the Grand Bazaar, a treasure trove of stores selling locally produced clothes, souvenirs and food – this is prime bargaining country so be prepared to haggle for a good deal. Another favourite among holidaymakers in Marmaris is taking a boat trip to other nearby islands. Regular trips head to the likes of Dalyan, Ephesus, Fethiye and Pamukkale across Western Turkey while you can also explore the beauty of the Greek island of Rhodes.
Before the sun sets, you need to enjoy the unique experience of the Dalyan Mud Baths. Don’t let the smell fool you, being immersed in mud is meant to be really good for the skin so soak it up on a slightly odd excursion.
Why go to Marmaris?
Whether you are looking for all inclusive holidays to Marmaris or a self-catered retreat, there couldn’t be a better time to visit this part of the world. Being outside of the Euro currency, Marmaris holidays represent excellent value for money.
Loved by groups looking for a few days unwinding in Marmaris’ famous nightlife, couples wanting a relaxing retreat and by families after a classic beach break – the town caters to all tastes. Blessed with warm weather throughout the year, it is great place to top up the tan and embrace that holiday feeling.
Spend the days by the marina watching the million-pound yachts float into shore while as the sun goes down you can sample that famous Marmaris nightlife. A unique experience for a charming destination.
Attractions in Marmaris
Far from just being a beach resort, Marmaris has a number of famous sights across the town that are just waiting to be explored. The main tourist attraction is the castle. Historians can trace the origins of the structure back to 3,000 BC but it is believed to have been first built by the Ioanians in 1044 BC. It was repaired during the reign of Alexander the Great and remains the focal point of the town.
Remodelled and modernised by Suleyman the Magnificent in 1522 it was used as military base surviving until World War I when it was hit by French cannon fire. It has been a home for locals before being converted into a museum during the 1990s. It remains one of the few castles in Turkey to house a museum and is well worth a visit when in Marmaris. If nothing else, it provides an incredible panoramic view of the Old Town and the marina below.
Another of Turkey’s unique sights is just a short drive away from Marmaris. The Travertine of Pamukkale has to be seen to be believed. At first look, you could be forgiven for thinking you’ve been transported to the Arctic as these pure white calcium lagoons look uncannily like frozen lakes. However, the “cascades” are actually chunks of calcium known as travertines. Luckily, it isn’t as cold as the frozen Arctic and visitors are free to have a little splash in this rather unusual tourist attraction.
Excursions are all the rage in Marmaris with the resort well situated for a trip to a different part of Turkey. Book yourself on one of the many boats leaving the town and explore the likes of Dalyan, Ephesus, Pamukkale and a whole host of other interesting destinations.
One of the most popular trips from the Turkish seaside town is to the Greek island of Rhodes. Only an hour away by catamaran, you can spend the whole day touring the historic island. Wander through the cobbled streets of the Old Town learning about the history and mythology that surrounds the largest of the Dodecanese Islands.
There are plenty of sights to tick off on your visit including the Greek acropolis, the Roman amphitheatre and the Crusader Castle. Many operators run their own excursion to Rhodes so you won’t be stuck for choice – just remember to bring your passport as you’ll be crossing over into another country.
The picturesque village of Selimiye is another must-visit place on your Marmaris break. Take a cruise and discover the ancient city of Hydas and various remnants of the Hellenistic era. If a history tour is not your thing then relax on the beautiful stretch of beaches or simply watch the world go by in one in the seaside restaurants and bars.
Whether you’re a history buff or not you must pay a visit to Ephesus. Regarded as one of the best ancient city sites in the Eastern Mediterranean it has been a delight of archaeologists for decades. It has been named as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and includes monuments such as the Hadrian Temple, the Library of Celsus and the huge amphitheatre. Historians can trace Ephesus back to 245 BC and is believed to have been founded by female warriors known as Amazons.
It has been occupied by the Lydian, the Persians and the Romans and was a common visiting site for Christian disciples spreading the word of God. It is a bit of a drive so it is best experienced on an organised tour.
Activities in Marmaris
Marmaris is much more than just a clubber’s paradise that its reputation suggests. It has a wealth of activities appealing to every type of holidaymaker. With guaranteed sunshine all year round, it is the ideal environment to maybe to try something completely different.
What better place to start than the beach? Marmaris boasts six miles of pristine shoreline split into two different beaches. Urban Beach is the closest to the centre looking out onto the marina, this lively, happening spot which is complimented by a row of beachfront bars and restaurants.
Next to Urban Beach is Uzunyali Beach, also known as Long Beach, another favourite among holidaymakers with plenty of sun loungers available and a pleasant promenade to stroll along. If you’re looking for something a little different then take the short trip along the coast to either Icemler or Turunc beaches – both of these beautiful coves are within easy reach of Marmaris by road.
An absolute must when it comes to staying in Marmaris is taking a dip in the famous Dalyan Mud Baths. A short boat ride from the town is the island of Dalyan, a picturesque setting on the banks of the Mediterranean, is home to the baths that will make you feel ten years younger. The mud has a huge amount of nutrients and minerals which is fantastic for the skin and will leave you feeling totally rejuvenated.
Speaking of feeling rejuvenated, how about experiencing an authentic Turkish bath? The Suleymaniye Hamami is the place to feel totally relaxed and enjoy an iconic Turkish pastime. Like the mud bath you will leave feeling like a completely different person – an absolute must for when visiting this part of the world.
On the edge of the town you’ll find two exciting water parks – Aquadream and Atlantis. A great day out for the whole family with dedicated kids slides and others that the grown-ups won’t be able to resist trying out. Dare you ride the Kamikaze, or step into the unknown of the Black Hole or maybe race each other on the Rainbow? It can provide a fun day out no matter who you’re holidaying with and is an ideal way to cool off in the Turkish sun.
Beaches in Marmaris
Marmaris Bay: Marmaris's main beach is a long yet narrow strip of sand. It's best to get there early in the summer holiday months because it's incredibly popular with sunbathers and families wanting to enjoy the warm, crystal clear sea. With all the water sports available across this sunny stretch of the Mediterranean, it's a favourite place for thrill seekers too.
Icmeler: We'd also recommend you take a trip to Icmeler too. Only a short hop away from Marmaris, it's an incredibly beautiful bit of coastline. The stunning scenery spans for miles around you, with dramatic pine-covered mountains and seas awash with azure and turquoise. It's also slightly quieter than Marmaris beach, with a larger expanse of golden velvety sand.
Restaurants in Marmaris
Thanks to the influx of tourists every summer, Marmaris has a huge amount of options when it comes to dining. There are a number of British-style restaurants providing those home comforts that many people enjoy when holidaying. However, it would be a crime to come to Turkey and not sample some authentic Turkish cuisine.
Try classic dishes like köfte and meze from establishments like Sardunya Restaurant and Hanedan or sink your teeth into freshly caught fish from Balikci. Of course, you simply have to try a proper Turkish doner kebab when holidaying in the region. Available from takeaways across the town, trust us, they will be some of the very best you will ever taste.
Nightlife in MarmarisMarmaris is famed for its nightlife with the aptly-named Bar Street being at the heart of this. The summer months are filled with holidaymakers looking for a good time. It can get pretty lively on Bar Street with DJs and live shows entertaining the masses long into the evening. There is a bar to suit every mood like Oscar Kaktus Bar where you enjoy a relaxed vibe with cocktail or two, watch live sport and grab a bite to eat.
Shopping in Marmaris
Locals and tourists simply love shopping in Marmaris. It has remained one of the most popular shopping destinations in the whole of Turkey where the biggest brands in the country are on offer. Like with many things in the town there are plenty of options when it comes to a spot of retail therapy. The first port of call has to be the grand bazaar which is a maze of stores selling everything from jewellery, designer goods and pottery.
It you’re going to take home a souvenir then either a Turkish carpet or handmade jewellery is a must. Both have been crafted in their own special way. Turkish people have been weaving carpets for generations with each design completely unique made at village homes or in special workshops. You will not find something more authentically Turkish than a carpet...or perhaps jewellery.
Like with carpets, Turkish craftsmen take immense pride in creating tailored jewellery. These handmade pieces are usually created in workshops, like carpets, and are of immense quality. These are an ideal present for you or a loved one and a great memento of your trip.
Aside from the grand bazaar there is the Carsi Market outside Marmaris Castle selling a whole range of souvenirs and various stalls where you can grab a bite to eat.
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