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A Guide To Marmaris, Turkey
Summer is upon us once more, and you might be starting to think about where you can travel to over the coming months. Pandemic-allowing, Turkey looks set to be a popular spot; with so many beautiful resorts to choose from, it’s not hard to see why.
One of those resorts is Marmaris.
Located on what is known as the Turquoise Coast, Marmaris is lapped by the beautiful blue waters of the Aegean. There is a lot to see and do around this part of the country, although when the heat is on (and trust me, it’s hot during the summer), you’ll probably want to chill out around the pool or lay on the beach!
That’s perfectly fine, but it’s well worth knowing the best things to do in Marmaris, as well as fantastic places to visit in Marmaris, so you can genuinely say that you’ve seen the best of this beautiful part of the country.
Marmaris and Icmeler run into one another and are less than 10 minutes apart. For that reason, Icmeler is often called Marmaris because it’s much smaller. However, it’s worth pointing out that they are two different resorts if we are being technical! During your stay, zig-zag between the two because Icmeler is so beautiful and worth more than one visit.
When To Go To Marmaris Turkey
Okay, first things first. Let’s address the weather because depending upon when you’re visiting, this can severely affect your ability to get out and do a lot!
It is possible to visit Marmaris anytime, but most hotels, bars, and restaurants are closed during winter (between November and early April). However, things start to open up in early April, and you’ll find that the town becomes progressively busier from there. From June to September, Marmaris and neighboring Icmeler are very busy indeed.
During summer’s peak, temperatures are not unusual for temperatures to hit 40 degrees. Evenings can also be sweltering, so you need air conditioning – a fan just won’t cut it!
If you want to head out and explore, and you’re not a fan of lying on a beach much of the time, then you will probably be better off visiting in May or June and September to October. During those months, temperatures are still hot but a little more bearable!
Things To Do In Marmaris, Turkey
Here is a list of what to do in Marmaris that we suggest;
Marmaris Long Beach
Firstly, you can lay on the beach as much as you want and it’s a very long beach, literally known as Long Beach, so you’ll have plenty of space! Hotels, bars, and restaurants line the beachfront, and as long as you buy a drink or something to eat, you can have a free sun-lounger and umbrella all day long.
There is a free part of the beach further up towards the town center, although there are no umbrellas or sun-loungers, and it’s more of a throw-your-towel-down kind of deal! As far as the best beaches in Marmaris go, this one is a strong contender.
If you love an Insta-worthy snap, be sure to head to Marmaris Castle and check out the fantastic views over the mountains, all the way over to Icmeler, and beyond. There is also a museum that explains the history of Marmaris and shows you a few of the artifacts found on site.
The castle is very well preserved and sits above Bar Street in Marmaris Old Town, making it one of the best Marmaris day trips away from the beach.
The good news is that it’s very cheap to get inside, at less than 10 lire per person – a bargain!
Marmaris beach is excellent, but personally, I think Icmeler Beach is much prettier. It’s undeniably wider and sandier too. If you’re visiting with children, Icmeler beach is a better spot because there’s no main road behind it and there is more space to run.
The dolmus bus will get you to Icmeler from Marmaris in around 20 minutes, one of the easiest Marmaris excursions from the town center. It takes that long because it constantly stops along the road to pick people up and drop them off! It’s cheap, at around 5 lira per person, and runs every 10 minutes in both directions. You can also get a taxi, which will cost you anywhere between 30 to 50 lira, depending on where you’re getting the cab.
Both Icmeler and Marmaris beaches have watersports to enjoy, such as parasailing, banana boats, flying fish, and jet skis.
Located on the Marmaris beachfront, you’ll find the fun-filled Atlantis Waterpark. This is a great day out for all the family and is full of slides, rides, splashing, and general fun. There is a restaurant on-site and plenty of room for sunbathing.
Alternatively, head to Aqua Dream Waterpark, which is located halfway up the mountain overlooking Marmaris. This has more slides and is a little quieter than Atlantis. The views are also pretty special!
If you love shopping and enjoy bargains, head to the bazaar in the center of Marmaris. It’s one of the most popular tourist activities to do in Marmaris.
You will need to haggle, and you can expect to be encouraged to go into every single shop in this closed bazaar. However, it’s a great break from the sun, and you’ll also get some great bargains to take home with you.
Marmaris National Park
For those who like to be more active, grab your comfortable shoes and head to Marmaris National Park. This shady walking trail takes you up the hills and through the trees, with stunning views to boot. It’s worth mentioning that there are no toilets and nowhere to get a drink, so make sure you’ve been before you go and take some water with you!
There is also a lookout point where you can see right over Marmaris – make sure your camera is charged for that one, as it’s pretty special. If you enjoy the natural scenery and outdoor activities, visiting Marmaris National Park is one of the top things to do in Marmaris.
The Old Town is located below the castle and on one side of Bar Street. The quaint, cobbled, and winding lanes are full of brightly colored flowers, small boutique stores, and coffee shops and tea houses. However, as you head to one side, you’ll find the aforementioned Bar Street, which may be quiet in the daytime but certainly isn’t at night – this is where Marmaris’ nightclubs are located.
As you walk through Bar Street and out the other side, you’ll reach the marina, an excellent place for a walk and a coffee stop. Check out the huge yachts moored up.
The small bays around Marmaris are worth a visit, and the best way to see them is via a boat trip. There are several options here – if you want to go for a day with the kids, then check out the pirate boat, a ship with huge sails, and all kinds of entertainment.
If that’s not your deal, many lazy day wooden boat trips serve drinks and lunch throughout the day and take you all around the bays with several swim stops. Most trips also stop for an hour in Turunc, a small town just beyond Icmeler, along the coast.
A relatively recent addition is the glass-bottomed boat trip. This very modern and large boat has a huge glass walkthrough tunnel underneath. There are several stops along the way, including a shipwreck.
One thing that many people are surprised at when they visit Turkey is just how green it is, even during the hottest months of the summer. The mountains and villages around Marmaris are so beautiful, and the best way to visit them while having some fun along the way is to book a jeep safari trip.
There is usually a fleet of jeeps that head out every single day during the peak months, and with around eight people in each, you bump along dirt tracks and regular roads, checking out the fantastic scenery and stopping at places of note along the way. Jesus Beach is a popular spot; a large sandbank leads out into the sea, allowing you to almost walk on water – hence the name!
You’ll also stop for lunch in a traditional village while heading back. One point to remember – there is often a water fight between the jeeps at some point during the day, so if you’re asked if you want to rent a Super-soaker, say ‘yes’ and defend yourself! So, this is a fantastic option if you’re looking for excursions in Turkey from Marmaris.
Trip To Rhodes
You don’t have to stay in Marmaris for your entire trip, and if you want to get out and explore, why not explore another country too? Yes, you can head to Rhodes for the day via boat. The boat takes around 1.5 hours, and you have the whole day to explore Rhodes Town before venturing back around 4 pm. It’s a long day, and sometimes the sea can be a little choppy, but it’s a fun day out.
Excursion desks around Marmaris sell the trip, but you can also head to the port office on the marina and book your tickets directly.
This trip is a great way to confuse your friends and family when you tag yourself on Facebook or Instagram – “but I thought you’d gone to Turkey?”
Coastal Walk Between Marmaris & Icmeler
If you want to do something a little active but don’t want to venture too far, why not wear comfortable shoes and head off on a shady walk? There is a direct path along the coast between Marmaris and Icmeler, and it’s super-scenic.
Some seriously posh hotels along this route, but their beaches and restaurants are reserved for guests only. For that reason, be sure to take some water with you, as it does take around an hour to complete the walk. Remember your camera!
How To Get To Marmaris, Turkey
The easiest way to reach Marmaris is to fly directly to Dalaman Airport and transfer from there. Dalaman is open for direct flights during the entire summer season and connects to most European cities. Outside, you’ll need to fly to Istanbul and then take a domestic flight to Dalaman, which takes about 1 hour.
The transfer from the airport to Marmaris varies depending on your chosen method. If you hire a car, you’ll get there between 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes. If you opt for a private transfer, i.e., only you in you’ll, you’ll get there in 1 hour 30 minutes. If you choose a shuttle, you’re looking at anything between 2-3 hours. The reason is that the shuttle must wait for several passengers before it can leave, which can often take a while with luggage and people deciding to check out duty-Free. In addition, the shuttle stops at a service station along the way for around 15 minutes. The shuttle is cheaper, but it’s certainly the long way!
The other alternative is to take the Havas bus, which costs around 20 lira and leaves the airport according to the domestic flight schedule. The bus takes 1 hour 30 minutes and will drop you at Marmaris Otogar (bus station). From there you can jump in a taxi to your hotel.
Where To Stay in Marmaris
There are countless hotels, ranging from apartments to upmarket 5-star options with spas. However, the more important thing to think about is the whereabouts in Marmaris you choose to stay. Marmaris has a few neighborhoods; you need to know where you will be from, the beach, and the nightlife.
Siteler is the neighborhood closest to the mountain road out to Icmeler; you’ll find some large, all-inclusive hotels, shops, and many restaurants. It is an hour’s walk from Siteler down to the Old Town, but you can get the dolmus bus which runs every few minutes there and back. The beach runs the entire length of the beach; you’re not far from the beach by choosing to stay in Siteler.
Armutalan sits behind the main beach center, and you will need to walk to the beach every day. Some hotels are further away that are not walkable during the summer. However, Armutalan has some fantastic restaurants and nightlife, so you might not need to venture too far during the evening.
The other prominent hotel spot is the mountain road between Icmeler and Marmaris. If you choose to stay here, you won’t be able to walk anywhere, and you will need to get a bus or taxi. However, the hotels are designed to have everything you need. That is why they are 5-star impressive. The hotels also sit directly between the two resorts, so you get the best of both worlds.
Marmaris is a fantastic spot for a summer break – make sure it’s on your visit list!Share