A spectacular backdrop of pine-clad mountains creep up behind the seaside resort of Marmaris, on the south-western coast of Turkey. Marmaris is one of Turkey's most sublime holiday resorts and its breathtaking location has been a popular harbour and marina for both sailing yachts and cruise ships for years on end. Our Marmaris travel guide will bring you one step closer to your dream sailing holiday in Turkey.
Marmaris is a town with winding and twisting streets and alleys, traditional Turkish houses, vast bazaars for shopping and a buzzing nightlife. Marmaris will wine and dine you, quench your thirst for the coastal life and tempt you with the dream of the sailing lifestyle. The locals here are a charming and friendly bunch, well known for their entertainment, hospitality and their mouth-watering local cuisine, which lures in boatloads of visitors from all over the Mediterranean Sea.
With its elegant harbour surrounded by a mountainous bay, Marmaris is a great place to drop anchor in during your next sailing holiday. The surrounding areas are spectacular and exploring them is a must while you’re here. The rugged and relatively untouched peninsulas of Bozburun and Datca have some of the most beautiful coves and bays of the entire Turkish coastline.
Marmaris beach is popular, and the view is fabulous, but the stretch of sand is fairly small and often overcrowded. For a more peaceful and beautiful alternative, head to Icmeler beach, only 6km away. Ocean activities are popular in Marmaris, where visitors often sail to outlying islands to snorkel, dive and sunbathe on deserted beaches, visit the phosphorus caves and cruise through secluded coves under the moonlight. On shore, there are excellent walks up through the heavily forested mountains and a huge range of sports and activities, including horse riding, mountain and quad biking, jeep safaris and village tours and even water parks for the family.
Marmaris was traditionally one of the quieter Turkish seaside towns, but today it is one of the most cosmopolitan seaside resorts along this stretch of the turquoise coast. Glistening boats now crowd its modern full-service marina and hustle for space along the waterfront promenades. Marmaris creates a non-stop nightlife atmosphere for its summer tourists, yet it maintains its image as a place that takes its visitors back in time to when Turkish life was much more simple.
Marmaris also possesses some interesting historic sights. Ancient sites like the Marmaris Castle and Museum, which sit on the hills behind the marina, and the distinctive cobblestoned streets in the old quarter of the city also make Marmaris one of the many Turkish towns worth your while. It is believed that Marmaris Castle was first built by the Ionians in 1044 BC, but it was later rebuilt and widened by Suleyman the Magnificent in the 1500s, who used the castle as a military base for his troops. Marmaris Castle has seven indoor areas; two of them organized as an archaeology lounge, one of them an ethnography lounge and the Marmaris Museum is located in the centre. There is also a mosque and an 8-room caravanserai from the Ottoman Period, which is covered with beautiful arches and lies on the narrow street that leads to the castle. Another popular historic sight is the ancient ruins that lie on Asar Hill, a small hill located on the northern side of the city.
With its breathtaking location, stunning beaches and bustling town centre, stopping in Marmaris on your sailing holiday around the Turkish coast is a must.