The Pearl of Turkey – Marmaris

Marmaris: a picturesque resort at the gulf of two seas – see and stay forever

Would you like to be in a picturesque place, surrounded by green hills and a bay on the border of two seas? Then welcome to Marmaris, a town with European comfort and the atmosphere of a “rough” resort. It is also called the “Turkish Ibiza” because after twelve active life moves to the local nightclubs, discos and bars. To find out how to get to this amazing place, when it is best to do it and what places to visit, read on.

Getting to know the resort

Marmaris is a port resort town on the southwestern coast of Turkey. It is nestled in a closed bay of the Mediterranean Sea, surrounded by green mountains. An island at the entrance to the bay does not allow storm waves to reach the shore, so the sea in the bay is calm and warm.


From the history of the city

The foundation of the city goes back to the XI century B.C. when it was called Physkos and belonged to the Carians. A little later the area was occupied by the Persians, then the Romans and Byzantines. In our era, the city had already come under the rule of the Ottoman Turks and became part of the Ottoman Empire. Ruling then Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent ordered the construction of a fort and renamed the place Marmaris, which in translation from the ancient Greek means “shining”.

However, there is another legend among the local population about the origin of the name of the city. It says that the name “Marmaris” came from the expression “marmary as”, which means “to hang the builder”. It is believed that this is what the sultan said when he saw the fort erected. He ordered a new fort to be built. The structure was indeed rebuilt over the ruins when the city was destroyed by an earthquake in the 20th century.

The title of the resort, this picturesque place has acquired at the end of the last century. Then the French tourists from the nearby island of Rhodes noticed the beautiful nature and suitable climate of the small fishing village. Soon the first hotel appeared in Marmaris, and it began to be visited by tourists from different countries. Today it is a favorite destination for many European tourists. Some after visiting the city, choose it for permanent residence.

Where is Marmaris

Marmaris is the administrative center of Mugla, a province of Turkey. The town is located on the shore of the bay with access to the bay. The border between the Aegean and Mediterranean Sea runs between Marmaris and Dalaman, which is why the resort has access to two seas. It is divided into regions: the central Merkez and surrounding Armutalan, Siteler, Kemeralti and others. Unofficially, its area is considered a small neighboring town Icmeler.

Marmaris on a map

How to get to the city

The best way to reach Marmaris from another country is by plane. The airport at Dalaman is about 95 km from the city, and a shuttle bus or cab takes you to the city. The trip takes 2 hours. The parking lot is right at the exit of the airport. A bus ticket will cost from $5. A cab ride will cost $50. If you take hitchhikers, you can save money by splitting the cost for all.

airport parking lot

Dalaman International Airport

Marmaris has good transport connections with other cities in the country. There are affordable flights to the city from Istanbul (ticket price $30 or 120 liras), Antalya or Alanya ($13 or 50 liras), Ankara ($30 – 120 liras), Izmir ($10 or 40 liras). Payment is made directly to the driver in Turkish liras (TRY), but sometimes he can also accept currency if the tourist could not exchange dollars or euros.

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bus station

Marmaris Otogar Bus Station

The bus station of the resort is on the outskirts. From there you can travel to any part of the city by cab or local transport. Read more about it below. There is also the possibility of crossing by sea. Water transport runs to Marmaris from Icmeler, Dalyan and Datca.

Marmaris in Turkey is not equipped with rail connections, so there is no way to get to the city by train.

The climate in the resort: when to visit the city

Marmaris has a typical Mediterranean climate with hot long summers and mild winters.

July and August are the hottest months of the year. Then the temperature reaches above 30 degrees, sometimes it rises to +40 degrees and above.

Most tourists visit the city during the period from June 15 to August 15. However, warm enough weather provides an opportunity to rest in Marmaris in May, from the second half to the middle of October. Despite the fact that the summer is sweltering heat, the water temperature reaches 25 degrees. In the fall it rises to 27 degrees.

Marmaris in summer

Since the end of August in the city comes a velvet period, which lasts until late October. At this time the city has a wonderful atmosphere, when it is not as hot as in summer, but still warm enough. At this time of rest will be the most comfortable. But take into account the fact that from October – November at the resort begins the rainy season. This can prevent you from spending your vacation as you would like to.


Marmaris in winter.

Winter at the resort comes late – after December 15. The thermometer readings at this time rarely rise above 10 degrees, so tourism at the resort subsides. Early spring is also not the best time to relax. Although in March and April the air is already quite warm, but the water is cold and not suitable for swimming. Vacation in Marmaris in early spring is suitable for those who do not need a beach holiday.


Beaches of Marmaris

Marmaris waterfront is considered the longest in Turkey. Its length reaches 4 kilometers. But the coastline is not wide and beaches are located very close to each other.

The central public beach of Marmaris Beach is not in great demand among locals and tourists alike. It is centrally located, equipped with changing rooms, showers and free toilets, but has some drawbacks. Its shore is not equipped with sun loungers, and the entrance to the water is not very comfortable and stony.

central beach

The main beach of Marmaris

More popular are the beaches of the area Siteler. They are filled with sunbeds, have access to wi-fi. The entrance to the sea is smooth, comfortable, without stones. The beaches are mostly a combination of sand and gravel. You can admire the different hues of the sea: from gray-blue to turquoise and aquamarine.

Beaches of Siteler

Those who want to see more exotic and picturesque sea beauty, visit the beaches of neighboring towns. They can be reached from the local bus station. For example, the beach of neighboring Icmeler – Nirvana Beach. It is loved by everyone for the amazing bright greenish-blue color of the water, but its entrance to the sea is stony. So be careful, especially if you go there with children. Visiting the beach is free, but the sun loungers are given for use only to visitors of the beach cafe.

Beach Nirvana Beach in Ichmelere

No less beautiful beaches are located in Datca. The first of them is an amazing blue lagoon with an extraordinary color of water. It is perfect for lovers of diving. Showers on the beach are paid, sun loungers are for bar-goers. Another lagoon is on the right side of the peninsula near the abandoned hotel and amphitheater. This place will charm you with its clear emerald water. Entrance to this beach is absolutely free. But be prepared for the fact that you will have to get to Datca by bus for more than an hour. The distance from Marmaris to this town is about 70 km.

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Lagoon in Datca

Attractions: things to see in the city

The main attraction of the city is the fortress, which was built during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. Now it works as a museum and is regularly visited by tourists. Admission is paid and is 5 Turkish Liras.

The Old Fortress of Marmaris

All guests of the resort are advised to visit the old town with narrow cozy streets, surrounded by white old houses. This is the most colorful place of Marmaris.

The Streets of the Old Town

Nearby is the Caravanserai, also built by the sultan in the 16th century. It served as a shelter for travelers, and now there is a developed souvenir trade, as well as cafes.


More modern attractions are located in the central square of Marmaris. This is a new place of the city, built in 2012. A clock tower has been erected on the square, and there is a large fountain next to it. At nine o’clock in the evening here you can watch a performance with dancing fountains.

Near the fountain is a very beautiful archaeological park. The rocks there are fully planted with ancient plants, which existed even in antiquity.

Also Marmaris surprises with many sculptures placed throughout the city.

Octopus Monument


From Marmaris, there are excursion tours to the next famous places. Thus, you can visit the island of Sedir, known as Cleopatra’s Island, with snow-white sands, brought especially for her from Africa. The approximate cost of the tour is about 25 dollars.

Beach on Cleopatra Island

Interesting to visit the ancient city of Ephesus, where Ivan the Theologian wrote the Gospel. Getting to it on your own will be difficult because of the transfers in Mugla, Aydın and Kusadasi. It is better to take a full tour.

The ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus

A three-hour drive from Marmaris is a unique geothermal spring – Pamukkale.

Pamukkale Terraces

It is worth visiting Gekova Bay in the village of Akiaka, an incredibly picturesque place with pine hills and nearby amazing Lake Keicheiz. There is a bus service from Marmaris Bus Station. The ticket costs 5 Turkish Liras.

Keiceiz lake

Marmaris offers very popular boat tours of the Aegean islands. The tour can be booked directly at the pier or in places with tour signs. The price of a day trip ranges from $25 to $35.

Entertainment and activities

If you want a more active entertainment in Marmaris, you can visit the water park. It will be interesting for both children and adults. The AquaDream water park is the most popular. It is very large and is equipped with a variety of slides, sun loungers, bars and cafes. Foam and dance parties are often held on the grounds. The price of a visit to the water park is about $25 for the whole day. Food or drinks can be purchased on site. There is a free shuttle to and from the water park from the hotel.

AquaDream Waterpark

Extremes Marmaris will please the entertainment that takes your breath away:

  • Diving. The price of a dive with instruction and lunch is about $30.
  • Rafting on the Dalaman River. The cost from 45 to 60 dollars, depending on whether you are an amateur or an advanced rafter.
  • Safari on quad bikes. Price – about 30 dollars.

When it’s after midnight.

For lovers of nightlife after 8 p.m. it’s time to take a stroll down Bar Street. Bar street is a very popular place among tourists, especially young people, with an abundance of various bars, restaurants, clubs, and hookah houses. The street is located in the old town area just at the foot of the Suleiman the Magnificent Fortress. In reviews of Marmaris tourists are advised to visit popular clubs – Back Street Bar, Crazy Daisy, High End, Areena, Green House Bar.

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Night Marmaris

Buses at night almost do not run. Therefore, many establishments offer a free shuttle that takes you directly to the hotel.

Local Transport

Public transport in Marmaris is represented by shuttle buses, which are called dolmushi. These are small buses with colored stripes on the sides:

The fare in the city is 2.5 liras or $0.6; toward Icmeler it is 3.5 liras or $1.

The fare is paid at the entrance to the driver. To ask for a stop, you must say the name of your, or a nearby hotel in English.


Cab cars are yellow with a black bead. They are quite capacious and equipped with luggage racks. The fare is paid by time – 7 minutes – $7 or 25 liras. You can take a cab either at the parking lot or by catching it on the road. A guide to travel is also the name of the hotel in English.

Rent a car

Rent a car in Marmaris is not difficult. You can do it in any salon, providing a passport and a driver’s license. The average rental price is $60, but you can find one cheaper – from $40. The rental also includes insurance.

Where to stay in Marmaris

The best region for a tourist vacation is Siteler. It stretches along the waterfront to the center. The area has many different hotels with beaches, stores, bars and restaurants. In a cheap hotel room will cost from $ 30 per night. At a mid-range hotel you can get a room for $ 60 a night. In a good expensive hotel room rates from 100 dollars a night. In the city center, many inexpensive hotels 2 – 3 stars with the above prices. Outside the city you can find all-inclusive hotels.

The best hotels in Marmaris are among the five-star hotels:

  • Green Nature Resort & Spa;
  • Elegance.
  • Marti La Perla;
  • Flamingo;
  • Munamar.

But they are located outside the city.

5* Green Nature Resort & Spa

Shopping in Marmaris

The resort has many stores, malls, markets. The city combines authentic souvenir shops with modern boutiques. If you want to buy handmade products: carpets, jewelry, leather and suede products (which are particularly appreciated here), it is best to visit the bazaars of Armutalan and Icmeler. In addition, the market is a place where you can and should bargain, so there is an opportunity to lower the price of the desired product.

One of the local markets Grand Bazaar

If you are a keen shopper and boutique shoppers, then you should visit the big shopping malls, which are also plentiful in Marmaris. There is a Migros Hypermarket and a slightly smaller Blue Port Shopping Mall in the district of Siteler. Here you will find not only boutiques with clothes of different brands, but also cafes, restaurants and even a cinema.

Migros Hypermarket

In Armutalan you can shop at the Kipa open-air shopping center. There you can buy Bernardo’s famous beautiful tableware and also relax in a cafe or restaurant. 38th Street is a place of boutiques, clothing stores, jewelry, souvenirs and other trinkets.

We advise you to stock up on small bills before you go to the market. Local vendors often say that they do not have change, so tourists leave a large amount. Also remember that the market in Marmaris moves from district to district: on Thursdays in the center, on Tuesdays in Siteler. And, of course, it is impossible to return from Turkey without the famous oriental sweets – rahat-lukum, dried fruits, jams, almonds with honey and figs and other delicacies. You can buy a box of Lukum at the market for 2 dollars.

Evening Marmaris

To summarize, Mramaris is a very beautiful, colorful and developed city. It is safe for tourists, and provides a lot of interesting places for recreation. Choosing this resort for a vacation, you will return home with lots of pleasant memories, a tanned body and suitcases of various purchases. Have a nice and warm day in Marmaris!

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The Pearl of the Two Seas:

If the all-inclusive tourists go to Antalya, and Bodrum prefers a wealthy crowd, then Marmaris beckons those who like a rough nightlife. This city is called the biggest dance floor of Turkey. However, not be bored and fans of archaeological monuments and fans of yachts, and cinephiles: it was here filmed the popular series “The Magnificent Century” and “Korolyok – a singing bird. Here you can find out where to walk, dance, swim, and taste the traditional breakfasts in the RIA Novosti article.

“Marmaris is sometimes compared to party Ibiza. The city is ideal for young people and those who do not sit still,” says Diana Ferdman, head of travel agency Belmare.


The center of Marmaris looks like a typical European city: cobblestone streets, snow-white houses, cozy stores and sparkling showcases of boutiques. “It feels like you’re not in Turkey,” says Diana. Not surprisingly, the Greek island of Rhodes is less than 30 kilometers in a straight line.

Marmaris Residential Areas

The epicenter of entertainment in Marmaris is the half-kilometer-long Bar Street, which starts from the pier. In the evening the street is flooded with neon lights of advertising signs, the music sounds everywhere, the bartenders cleverly make cocktails and crowds of tourists wander from one club to another.

There are about 80 entertainment venues – not just discotheques, but also restaurants, hookah houses, colorful cafes, and eateries. They all try to attract visitors with fire and laser shows, water and foam parties, and sets of popular DJs. The experienced party-goers are in favor of Club Areena and Backstreet Club.


Because apartments and houses here were once bought by the British, the resort is considered English. “Many restaurants and sports bars, in addition to traditional Turkish dishes, offer fish-and-chips and many kinds of beer,” Intourist explains.

Boats and sailboats sway by the pier. Marmaris, located at the junction of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, is considered the center of yacht tourism. The bay is closed by islands, so the sea is calm and waves are rare here. Yacht festivals and competitions are held in the town every year. Up to 650 ships can be accommodated in the resort’s marina at a time. So parties on deck are a popular form of entertainment.

At the port of Marmaris

A busy nightlife is not the only difference between Marmaris and other resorts in the country. The summer heat is milder here than in Antalya, because the humidity is lower, says the Tez Tour press service.

However the Aegean tourist season is not as long as on the Antalya coast: only till the end of October.

The Cat on the Street of Marmaris

Another important difference between the Aegean Sea resorts and the Mediterranean is the nature. “In Marmaris there are pine forests, mountains and lush vegetation,” notes the press service of Intourist.

The cost of living here is higher than, for example, in Kemer, but lower than in Bodrum. In early September a week tour for two in Marmaris with placement in a four-star hotel costs from 1730 euros. By comparison similar in Kemer – from 1490 euros, Pac Group explained. However, this year, most hotels are already sold out before the end of the season, clarifies the representative of the tour operator.


Not all hotels in Marmaris offer recreation on “all inclusive”. Many hotels offer breakfasts and focus on the European tastes, the spokesman of Intourist said.

Most hotels have only three or four stars and are not geared up for family vacations. There’s no animation everywhere and tourists usually look for entertainment outside the hotel. And the hotel with a separate children’s table or a mini-club is not easy to find.

A street in Marmaris

The coastline in Marmaris is narrow, sandy and pebbly, the entrance to the sea is gentle. “The sand is brought to the municipal beaches before every season,” says Suleiman Mirza, head of the Radugatour tour desk.

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The beach in Marmaris

The best place for swimming and sunbathing is in the neighboring and calmer village of Icmeler, adds Diana Ferdman. You can get there by the promenade. It stretches for 12 kilometers and runs through the whole of Marmaris. Tourists usually rent bikes and ride along the promenade, says Marina Makarkova, head of public relations of Coral Travel.

Walking eco-trails and mountain trails around the resort is one of the traditional activities in Marmaris. “There is an amazing pine aroma here all year round,” notes Suleiman Mirza.

Lycian path


Paragliders on Mount Babadag

The main attraction of Marmaris is the fortress built in 1522, which is now a historical museum. It contains household items such as furniture, pottery, carpets, clothes, jewelry.

It is believed that in this citadel lived Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, when he went to conquer Rhodes. The legend has it that he renamed Fiskos, the name of the town since the 11th century B.C., into Marmaris, which translates from Ancient Greek as “shining”.

The Fortress of Marmaris

It is also worth ascending to the fortress-museum in order to take pictures of the surroundings. From the top there is a panoramic view of the city and the bay. This is the best viewing platform of the resort.

The first episodes of the famous series “The Magnificent Century” unfolded within the walls of the citadel. Another movie masterpiece, “Korolek, the Singing Bird”, was also filmed in Marmaris, in the eucalyptus alley outside the city, specifies Suleyman Mirza.

View of Marmaris from the Marmara-Kalesi Fortress

If you come to Marmaris, the guide strongly recommends visiting Lycian tombs in Dalyan. They were carved in the rocks. It was thought that the higher the grave, the faster the soul gets to heaven.

Lycian tombs

You can see the tombstones from Iztuzu Beach, also called Turtle Beach. For a reason: these animals swim there to lay their eggs. An added bonus is bathing in the thermal springs and mud baths of Sultanie health complex, located near Dalyan.

Sun loungers on the famous Iztuzu beach in Turkey

The Aegean coast is famous for its delicious breakfasts – serpme kahvalti, says Suleiman Mirza. The hosts serve many small plates – with honey, jam, cheeses, eggs, vegetables, fruit, cuts of meat, pastries. They are accompanied by tea, coffee, and cream. Each guest pours himself a little bit of everything. There are establishments in the city that specialize only in breakfast, the guide explains.

Turkish breakfast

For example, there’s a café on Eucalyptus Alley that makes excellent pide, or delicious open tortillas filled with minced meat and vegetables. “Local celebrities sometimes come here especially for them,” says Suleiman.


The seafood in Marmaris is also delicious, as is the levrek (Turkish sea bass) and cupra (dorado). You can also try the Kezlöme flatbread with cheese or herbs.

Sea bass and dorado for sale

For good coffee and sweets, Souleymane recommends Fredonia Coffee and Roberts Coffee. Dede, Deniz Kapisi and Gusta Bar & Grill offer great lunch.


The most delicious edible treat you can get from Marmaris is pine honey, which you usually take as a present to your friends. Look for it in souvenir stores.

View of Bodrum, Turkey - RIA Novosti, 1920, 09.08.2022

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