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Guide to Marmaris

Aerial view of Marmaris at sunset, Turkey. View of the fortress and ships

Marmaris, with everything you could want from a resort…
Firstly, let’s head to the region of Marmaris, around 90 km by road from Dalaman, and wow: it’s a stunner. The relative inaccessibility of the region has meant it’s generally managed to keep the overdevelopment that’s affected other places in the region at arm’s length.

The region offers a gentle mix of pine-covered mountains, deep blue seas, islands and islets seemingly untouched for centuries, and ancient reminders of empires that have come and gone. Marmaris town itself, however, is a lively place, so as a base to explore, it’s ideal.

The town itself is a higgledy-piggledy collection of buildings built around a sweep of bay, fronted by a popular pebble beach and a long, wide seafront promenade. The fishing boats that bob in the harbor have been outshone by pleasure craft as tourism has overtaken more traditional ways of life, but old-world charm is never far away.

At the foot of the Ottoman-era castle, the Old Town squiggles its streets into a labyrinth of ancient, whitewashed houses, tiny cafes, beautiful flowers in window boxes, and the odd cat having a lazy stretch in the sunshine. Some sources say there’s been a castle here since 3,000 BC, but what we do know is that Süleyman the Magnificent ordered the rebuilding of Marmaris Castle, and it’s now a museum.

After lazy days comes the nightlife, and Marmaris has you covered. Indeed, in any town with a street called, simply, Bar Street, you know what you’re going to get. Bars, restaurants and clubs, both indoor and outdoor, dominate this part of town, squeezed into the streets between the bazaar, the marina and a green-flanked canal.

To see a bit more, on both land and water, jump aboard one of the many coastal cruises that take you from island to inlet, along the craggy shoreline and through caves only accessible by sea. Otherwise try a jeep or quad-bike safari up into the mountains to the rivers, waterfalls and sleepy villages that dot the hillsides. Get off the beaten track and discover Greek and Roman ruins that have lain basically untouched for centuries, before rejoining modern life again back in town.


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