Things to Do in Marmaris: A Guide to the Jewel of the Turkish Riviera
Welcome to Marmaris, a gem nestled on the Turkish Riviera. This city, with its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty, is a paradise for travelers.
From the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean to the bustling streets of the Old Town, there’s no shortage of things to do in Marmaris.
Marmaris is a city that has been shaped by the ebb and flow of history. Once a sleepy fishing village, it has transformed into a bustling tourist hotspot.
Located in the southwest of Turkey, it’s home to approximately 30,000 people, although this number swells during the tourist season.
Top Attractions in Marmaris
Sedir Island (Cleopatra Island)
First on our list of top things to do in Marmaris is a visit to the enchanting Sedir Island, also known as Cleopatra Island.
Legend has it that the island’s unique sand was brought from Egypt by Mark Antony as a gift for Cleopatra.
The island is not just about the sand, though. It’s also home to ancient ruins that tell tales of the city’s past.
Marmaris Castle and Archaeology Museum
One of the most iconic landmarks in Marmaris is the Marmaris Castle.
This historical monument, perched on a small peninsula between the main beach and marina, is a testament to the city’s rich past.
The origins of the castle date back to the 16th century, although the town itself was fortified as far back as 3000 BCE.
The castle we see today was reworked by none other than Suleiman the Magnificent (1494-1566) during his campaign against Rhodes.
This grand structure, however, did not escape the ravages of time and war. It suffered significant damage from French warships during the First World War.
Thankfully, a ten-year restoration project in the 1980s breathed new life into the castle, preserving it for future generations.
But the Marmaris Castle is not just an architectural marvel. It’s also home to an exceptional archaeology museum, a treasure trove of artifacts unearthed from archaeological digs in the Marmaris and Muğla areas.
As you wander through the museum, you’ll come across a wide array of items, including pottery, glassware, architectural fragments, coins, and amphorae.
These artifacts span several historical periods, including the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine eras, providing a fascinating glimpse into the region’s past.
In addition to its archaeological exhibits, the museum also features an ethnographic section. Here, you can learn about the local crafts and ways of life during the Ottoman era.
From traditional clothing and household items to artisanal crafts, this section offers a unique insight into the cultural heritage of Marmaris.
Visiting the Marmaris Castle and Archaeology Museum is like stepping back in time. It’s a journey through the city’s history, from its earliest days to the Ottoman era.
Whether you’re a history buff or just a curious traveler, this is one attraction you won’t want to miss when you’re in Marmaris.
While Marmaris is known for its beautiful beaches, there’s one that stands out from the rest: İçmeler Plajı.
Just a 15-minute journey around the Bay of Marmaris, nestled amidst pine-cloaked hills, lies this stunning beach that pictures simply can’t do justice.
İçmeler Plajı is a slightly smaller resort compared to Marmaris, but what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in charm. The beach is tucked into a cove, providing a sense of seclusion and tranquility.
It stretches for a fabulous 500 meters, offering plenty of space to lay out your towel and soak up the sun.
One of the unique features of İçmeler Plajı is Keçi Island, which lies just a little way offshore.
This island acts as a buffer for the sea, creating calm, pool-like waters that are perfect for swimming. The water is crystal clear, making it a safe and enjoyable place for children to frolic and play.
İçmeler Plajı is a perennial Blue Flag beach, a prestigious award given to beaches that meet high standards of cleanliness, safety, and environmental management. The beach is well-maintained, with excellent facilities for visitors to enjoy.
The sand at İçmeler Plajı is mostly soft and a light shade of brown, perfect for building sandcastles or simply digging your toes in.
Whether you’re looking to relax and sunbathe, take a refreshing dip in the sea, or enjoy a picnic with your loved ones, İçmeler Plajı is the perfect destination.
So, if you’re willing to travel that extra mile from Marmaris, İçmeler Plajı awaits.
It’s a beach lover’s paradise, offering a perfect blend of natural beauty, tranquility, and top-notch facilities. Don’t miss the chance to experience this stunning beach during your visit to Marmaris.
Marmaris National Park
If you’re seeking a respite from the hustle and bustle of Marmaris, look no further than the Marmaris National Park.
This expansive protected area, covering almost 30,000 hectares, surrounds Marmaris on land and includes the islands in the bay.
It’s a sanctuary of tranquility and natural beauty, offering a stark contrast to the lively resort town.
The landscape of Marmaris National Park is a stunning tapestry of tall, rocky hills blanketed by a lush canopy of pine, sweet gum, and eucalyptus trees.
This verdant setting is home to a diverse array of wildlife. Wild boar and wild goats are common sights, while the elusive Eurasian lynx has also been spotted within the park.
Birdwatchers will be thrilled to know that a variety of kestrels, falcons, eagles, and hawks have made this park their territory.
But the Marmaris National Park is not just about its natural beauty. It’s also a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. The park’s varied terrain is a magnet for walkers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders.
The trails wind through the park, offering sensational panoramas of the surrounding landscape. Whether you’re an experienced adventurer or a casual explorer, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in the great outdoors.
For those with a car, a trip to Turunç is highly recommended. Located down the west side of the bay, this area is near the site of the ancient city of Amos.
Here, you can explore the ruins of a temple, theater, and sculptural plinths, all set against a stunning coastal backdrop. In conclusion, Marmaris National Park is more than just a natural escape.
It’s a place where you can connect with nature, embark on thrilling adventures, and delve into the region’s rich history.
So, when you need a break from the lively atmosphere of Marmaris, head to the national park for a different kind of adventure.
Marmaris Harbour is a testament to the city’s status as a modern, upscale resort.
Yet, it’s the harbour’s stunning backdrop of the castle and the hills of the Marmaris National Park that truly sets it apart.
It’s a place where luxury meets natural beauty, creating a unique and captivating atmosphere.
The harbour is a hive of activity, with quays and jetties lined with a forest of masts.
As you stroll along the paved walkways, you’ll be treated to views of impressive superyachts and the rugged topography of the bay. It’s a sight that’s sure to leave you in awe.
But the Marmaris Harbour is not just about the boats and the views. It’s also a hub of entertainment and dining.
The main quay is home to a variety of cafes, boutiques, and restaurants, offering everything from local Turkish cuisine to international dishes.
This line of establishments continues along the west bank of the river and onto the bustling Bar Street, which we’ll explore later.
The harbour also serves as a gateway to the sea. From here, you can embark on boat tours of Marmaris Bay, offering a different perspective of the city and its surroundings.
For a more adventurous outing, consider a voyage to the Dalyan River Delta. These trips provide an opportunity to explore the region’s natural beauty and wildlife.
In conclusion, Marmaris Harbour is more than just a marina. It’s a place where you can soak up the atmosphere, indulge in delicious food, shop for unique items, and embark on sea adventures.
Whether you’re a boat enthusiast, a foodie, or an adventurer, you’ll find something to love about Marmaris Harbour.
Turunç Plajı: A Secluded Paradise
Just half an hour south of Marmaris resort by road, you’ll find the charming village of Turunç.
Nestled in a bowl of rocky hills blanketed with forest, this village faces east on the Bay of Marmaris, offering stunning views of the sunrise. But the real gem of Turunç is its beach, Turunç Plajı.
Tucked away in a cove, Turunç Plajı is a haven of tranquility. The water here is a darker shade of aquamarine, offering a striking contrast to the typical turquoise waters of the Mediterranean.
Thanks to its location in the cove, the water is incredibly calm, making it an ideal spot for swimming and relaxing.
Turunç Plajı is a Blue Flag beach, a testament to its cleanliness and excellent facilities.
The beach itself is a blend of coarse sand and pebbles, and it’s lined with sun loungers and parasols.
Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun or simply enjoy the peaceful atmosphere, this beach is the perfect place to spend a blissful afternoon.
Adding to the charm of Turunç Plajı is a small promenade that fringes the cove.
Here, you can take a leisurely stroll, enjoy the views, and if you’re an early riser, watch the sun come up over the bay. It’s a sight that’s sure to take your breath away.
In conclusion, Turunç Plajı is a slice of paradise that’s worth the short journey from Marmaris.
With its beautiful beach, calm waters, and stunning views, it’s a place that offers a different kind of beach experience.
So, if you’re looking for a tranquil escape from the bustling resort town, make sure to add Turunç Plajı to your itinerary.
Dancing Fountain: A Spectacular Nighttime Attraction
In the heart of Marmaris lies Youth Square, a symbol of the city’s rapid regeneration.
This plaza, which replaced a run-down 20th-century building, is now a vibrant hub of activity.
The centerpiece of Youth Square is the Dancing Fountain, a captivating attraction that draws crowds every night.
The Dancing Fountain is located at the lower end of Ulusal Egemenlik Cd. It features two basins and is designed in a circular shape, making it a striking sight during the day.
But it’s when the sun goes down that the fountain truly comes to life.
At 21:00 and 22:00 in the high season, the Dancing Fountain puts on a spectacular light and music show.
The water dances in sync with the music, while the lights add a magical touch to the performance. It’s a sight that’s sure to mesmerize both children and adults.
Adding to the charm of the Dancing Fountain is the clock tower on the north side of the square.
The fountain, with its vibrant lights and dancing water, looks especially beautiful against the backdrop of the clock tower. It’s a sight that’s sure to make for some stunning photos.
In conclusion, the Dancing Fountain is a must-see attraction when you’re in Marmaris.
Whether you’re a fan of music and lights or simply looking for a fun way to spend the evening, make sure to stop by Youth Square and experience the magic of the Dancing Fountain.
Incekum Plajı: A Hidden Gem on the Marmaris Peninsula
The Marmaris Peninsula is known for its indented coastline, home to numerous secluded beaches waiting to be discovered.
One such gem is Incekum Plajı, located on the north side of the peninsula, opposite Sedir Island.
Incekum Plajı is a sublime cove, lapped by clear, shallow turquoise waters. The beach is covered in fine sand, interspersed with large rocks that add a unique touch to the landscape.
Pine trees line the back of the beach, providing extra shade for bathers and adding to the natural beauty of the area.
The beach offers stunning views of the Gulf of Gokova, with Sedir Island and Muğla’s coastal mountains forming a dramatic backdrop.
Whether you’re sunbathing on the sand or swimming in the clear waters, you’ll be treated to these breathtaking views.
Incekum Plajı is attached to a restaurant, offering visitors the convenience of food and drinks right on the beach.
There’s a small fee to enter the beach, but the pristine sand, clear waters, and stunning views make it well worth the price.
One unique feature of Incekum Plajı is that road traffic is prohibited. Instead, visitors park their cars a couple of kilometers along the coast and take a brief tractor ride to the beach.
This not only adds to the beach’s secluded feel but also makes for a fun and unique experience.
In conclusion, Incekum Plajı is a hidden gem that’s worth exploring on your trip to the Marmaris Peninsula.
With its beautiful sand, clear waters, and stunning views, it’s the perfect place to relax and soak up the sun.
Marmaris Bar Street: The Heartbeat of Nightlife
When the sun sets in Marmaris, the city’s nightlife comes alive, and there’s no better place to experience it than Bar Street.
Located just one street in from the waterfront next to the marina, Bar Street is the epicenter of Marmaris’ vibrant nightlife scene.
As the name suggests, Bar Street is packed with bars and clubs, each offering a unique atmosphere and catering to a diverse crowd.
The street is particularly popular with people in their late-teens and twenties, but it welcomes anyone looking to have a good time.
During the high season, Bar Street is bustling with activity. The party starts to heat up around 23:00 and continues until the break of dawn.
With music filling the air and people dancing the night away, it’s a place where you can truly let loose and enjoy the night.
Among the many venues on Bar Street, a few stand out. Greenhouse Dance Club, Backstreet Disco, Crazy Daisy Bar & Nightclub, Club Areena, and Rock Bar are all worth a visit. Each offers a unique vibe and music, catering to a variety of tastes.
Whether you’re into EDM, rock, pop, Turkish pop, reggae, or live music, you’ll find a place that suits your preferences.
What’s more, some venues on Bar Street cater to specific nationalities.
Whether you’re Turkish, Ukrainian, British, or from anywhere else in the world, you’ll find a place where you feel right at home.
In conclusion, Bar Street is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the vibrant nightlife of Marmaris.
With its diverse range of bars and clubs, it’s a place where you can dance the night away, meet new people, and create unforgettable memories.
Grand Bazaar: A Shopping Extravaganza in Marmaris
When visiting a Turkish resort, a trip to the local bazaar is a must, and Marmaris is no exception.
The Grand Bazaar in Marmaris is a shopping experience like no other. It’s grown into a massive market, sprawling across a series of interconnected alleys under a vaulted roof.
Here, eager traders man a myriad of shops, ready to show you their wares.
The Grand Bazaar is a treasure trove of goods. You’ll find everything from traditional rugs and colorful pottery to intricate lamps and soft pashminas.
For the foodies, there’s Turkish delight, tea, and coffee sets. And if you’re looking for a bargain, the bazaar is also home to a whole world of imitation goods.
But shopping at the Grand Bazaar is not just about browsing and buying. It’s also about haggling.
Bargaining is a common practice here, and if you’re patient and persistent, you can get a discount of up to half of the quoted price. It’s a fun and exciting way to shop, adding a unique touch to your shopping experience.
While the traders can be a bit pushy, remember that it’s all part of the experience.
They’re passionate about their goods and eager to make a sale. So, take your time, explore the various shops, and don’t be afraid to haggle.
Marmaris Atlantis Waterpark: A Splash of Fun for the Whole Family
If you’re holidaying with children and teenagers in Marmaris, a visit to the Atlantis Waterpark is a must.
Located near the south end of the main beach, this waterpark is a hub of fun and excitement for visitors of all ages.
Despite being in the middle of the resort where space is at a premium, Atlantis Waterpark boasts an impressive array of attractions.
It features eight slides, each varying in speed and length, offering thrilling rides for both adrenaline junkies and those looking for a more leisurely experience.
In addition to the slides, the waterpark also has a wave pool. Here, you can lie back in an inflatable ring and let the waves carry you. It’s a relaxing and enjoyable experience that’s sure to be a hit with visitors of all ages.
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For the little ones, Atlantis Waterpark has a dedicated kids’ pool.
This area is equipped with its own play equipment and fountains, providing a safe and fun environment for children to play and cool off.
But the fun at Atlantis Waterpark doesn’t stop at the water attractions.
The park also features soft play areas and a mini-golf course, offering more ways to have fun and stay entertained.
And when it’s time to take a break, you can grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants or relax at the bars.
The waterpark also has plenty of sun loungers under parasols and awnings, providing ample space to relax and soak up the sun.
In conclusion, Marmaris Atlantis Waterpark is a fantastic destination for a fun-filled day out with the family.
With its range of water attractions, play areas, and dining options, it offers something for everyone. So, if you’re in Marmaris, make sure to add Atlantis Waterpark to your itinerary.
Admire Turgut Waterfall: A Hidden Treasure in Marmaris
Tucked away in the little town of Turgut is a hidden gem that’s worth exploring.
At first glance, Turgut may not seem like much of a draw, but venture a little further, and you’ll discover a treasure that’s too beautiful to be real – the Turgut Waterfall.
To reach the waterfall, you’ll need to embark on a short hike through a verdant valley.
As you make your way through the lush greenery, you’ll be treated to the sounds of nature and the fresh, crisp air. It’s a peaceful and enjoyable journey that sets the stage for the stunning sight that awaits.
Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by the sparkling Turgut Waterfall. The water cascades down into an equally stunning pool, creating a picturesque scene that’s straight out of a fairy tale.
The waterfall’s beauty is amplified by the surrounding greenery, making it a truly captivating sight.
But admiring the waterfall is not the only activity here. You can also reward yourself with a brisk, refreshing swim in the pool.
The cool, clear water is a welcome respite after the hike, and swimming under the waterfall is an experience like no other.
Local Cuisine in Marmaris: A Taste of Authenticity and Innovation
When it comes to local cuisine in Marmaris, two establishments stand out for their commitment to natural, authentic, and innovative Turkish food: Sünger Kafe and Ekin Cafe.
Located in the historic streets of Marmaris Castle, Sünger Kafe has been welcoming local and foreign guests since 2017.
The café prides itself on its use of natural products, with a vision to create food that has the touch of a mother’s hand. This means no additives, preservatives, or sweeteners are used in any of their products.
Sünger Kafe started its journey with jams, using fruits grown in their own fields.
From apricots, pumpkins, figs, strawberries, cherries, to citrus fruits, they have a wide variety of jams.
Not limiting themselves to fruit jams, they also ventured into making jams from vegetables and nuts, including avocado, capers, tomatoes, eggplant, sage, lemon, thyme, linden, carrots, walnuts, and dates.
But Sünger Kafe is not just about jams. They also produce a range of pickles, including carrots, tomatoes, avocados, okra, eggplants, cucumbers, peppers, cauliflower, and more.
They also offer Marmaris’ famous winter dish, Tarkhana, in flour and lactose-free gluten-free versions.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Sünger Kafe created Pine Cone Syrup and Olive Leaf Vinegar to boost immunity.
They also introduced a range of natural snacks, including dried fruit chips, granola, quinoa chips, chocolate chips, and ginger cookies. To keep you warm in the winter months, they offer Winter Tea, good for your throat.
Sünger Kafe is located at Tepe, 30. Sk No:3, 48700 Marmaris.
While not much detail is provided about Ekin Cafe, it’s another local spot to explore when you’re in Marmaris. Located at Tepe, Ulusal Egemenlik Cd. No:5, 48700 Marmaris/Muğla, it’s a place to discover more of the local cuisine.
In conclusion, Marmaris offers a rich and diverse culinary scene. Whether you’re a foodie looking to explore local flavors or a health-conscious traveler seeking natural and wholesome food, Marmaris has something to satisfy your palate.
Hotels and Accommodation in Marmaris
When it comes to accommodation in Marmaris, there are several options that offer comfort, convenience, and a taste of the local culture.
Here are three hotels that stand out for their amenities, location, and guest reviews.
Erdenhan Apartments is an aparthotel that offers a blend of home comfort and hotel luxury.
Each apartment features free WiFi, a balcony, and a kitchenette with a stovetop, allowing guests to prepare their own meals if they wish.
Additional amenities include a minibar, room service, and an electric kettle.
The aparthotel also boasts an outdoor pool, a restaurant, a bar/lounge, a poolside bar, a snack bar/deli, and a coffee shop/café.
Free WiFi in public areas and free self-parking are also provided. The staff at Erdenhan Apartments are fluent in English and Turkish, ensuring smooth communication with guests.
City Hotel Marmaris
Located in Marmaris City Center, City Hotel Marmaris is a 3-star hotel that offers a range of amenities. Guests can enjoy a free full breakfast, a poolside bar, and a terrace.
The hotel is located close to Dancing Fountains and Marmaris Grand Bazaar, making it a convenient base for exploring the city.
All 24 rooms at City Hotel Marmaris offer comforts such as 24-hour room service, furnished balconies, free WiFi, and air conditioning.
Guest reviews speak highly of the spacious rooms and the helpful staff at the property.
Also located in Marmaris City Center, Marsyas Hotel is close to Marmaris Bar Street and Marmaris Castle.
The hotel provides a free breakfast buffet, a poolside bar, and a terrace. Guests can also enjoy meals at the onsite international cuisine restaurant.
All 53 rooms at Marsyas Hotel boast comforts such as air conditioning and free WiFi. Shared bathrooms with showers and hair dryers, balconies, daily housekeeping, and desks are also included in the rooms.
In conclusion, whether you’re looking for an apartment-style accommodation, a city center hotel, or a place close to the local attractions, Marmaris has a range of options to suit your needs. Enjoy your stay in this vibrant city!
Best Time to Visit Marmaris
The best time to visit Marmaris is during the spring and fall, when the weather is mild and the city is less crowded.
However, if you’re a fan of the summer heat, you might enjoy the bustling atmosphere of the city during the peak tourist season.
How To Get To Marmaris from Fethiye: Your Travel Guide
Traveling from Fethiye to Marmaris is a relatively straightforward journey, with several options available depending on your budget, time constraints, and preferences.
The most affordable way to travel from Fethiye to Marmaris is by bus. The journey costs between 150 ₺ – 210 ₺ and takes approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes.
There are direct bus services that depart from Fethiye bus station and arrive at Marmaris bus station.
These services, operated by Kamil Koc, depart twice daily and operate every day. This makes the bus a convenient and cost-effective option for those traveling without a car.
If you’re looking for the fastest way to get from Fethiye to Marmaris, taking a taxi is your best bet.
The taxi ride costs between 750 ₺ – 950 ₺ and takes approximately 1 hour and 44 minutes. This is a great option if you’re traveling in a group, have a lot of luggage, or simply prefer a more comfortable and direct mode of transport.
For those who prefer to drive, the distance between Fethiye and Marmaris is 127 km.
The drive takes approximately 1 hour and 44 minutes, making it a quick and convenient option if you have access to a car.
Driving also gives you the freedom to stop along the way and explore the beautiful Turkish countryside.
In conclusion, whether you choose to travel by bus, taxi, or car, getting from Fethiye to Marmaris is a relatively quick and easy journey. Just choose the option that best suits your needs and enjoy the ride!
Marmaris is a city that has something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or a beach bum, you’re sure to find something to love about this city.
So why wait? Start planning your trip to Marmaris today! For more information about Marmaris and other destinations in Turkey, check out Fethiye Now.
The ideal time to visit Marmaris is during spring and fall due to mild weather and fewer crowds. Those who enjoy summer heat may prefer the peak tourist season.
Marmaris offers a variety of attractions including Sedir Island (Cleopatra Island), Marmaris Castle and Archaeology Museum, İçmeler Plajı beach, Marmaris National Park, and Marmaris Harbour.
Marmaris National Park is perfect for wildlife spotting, walking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Visitors can also explore ancient ruins near the Turunç area of the park.
Travel options from Fethiye to Marmaris include bus, taxi, or car. The choice depends on your budget, time, and comfort preferences.
A taxi ride from Fethiye to Marmaris takes approximately 1 hour and 44 minutes and costs between 750 ₺ - 950 ₺.