Explore Mugla Province: Top Attractions & Muğla Travel Guide

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Post author Enes

Written by our local expert Enes

Originally from North Macedonia, Enes is a well-traveled enthusiast residing in Türkiye. He combines his extensive knowledge and avid wanderlust to bring you insightful narratives of his Turkish adventures.

Discover the ultimate Muğla travel guide, your essential companion for exploring the Aegean coast’s hidden gem. Famous for its natural beauty, Muğla is a treasure trove of turquoise waters and many ancient sites waiting to be explored.

We’ve curated a comprehensive list of things to do in Muğla, Turkiye, showcasing top attractions and activities. Our guide also offers practical tips for your visit, including the best spots to experience Muğla’s enchanting vistas and recommendations on where to stay to fully embrace the tranquility of this Aegean paradise.

Turkey Travel Blog_Mugla Turkiye - A Paradise In The Mediterranean

A paradise in the Mediterranean, Muğla is one of Turkiye’s most popular holiday destinations. The city is famous for its many historical landmarks, pristine coves, sunny summers, and natural monuments.

If you’re planning a trip to Turkiye this summer, you should definitely add Muğla to your itinerary. And for people who don’t know what to do or where to go in Muğla, we put up the perfect guide. Keep reading to learn more about Muğla and what to do there.

A Brief History Of Muğla, Turkiye

Muğla is a city located in the southwestern part of Turkiye. The region has been home to human civilizations for millennia, known to date back to ancient times with settlements from the Neolithic period.

The region was known as Caria by the ancient settlers, predominantly of Indo-European origin. Caria was a part of the Persian Empire during most of classical antiquity. 

Under Persian rule, the area became home to one of the most iconic monuments of the ancient world. In 353, when the Satrap -a title given to Persian rulers- of Caria, Mausolus died, his wife and sister, Artemisia, commissioned a tomb for her late husband. The tomb, later known as the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, inspired many future royal tombs. 

In the Hellenistic period, the city-state Knidos ruled the area. When the Romans conquered Anatolia -or Asia Minor-, Caria became a part of the province of Asia first, and then Lycia-Pamphylia. During Roman rule, the area kept thriving as a center of trade and crafts. The significance of the region continued during Byzantine rule.

In the 13th century, Caria fell to the Seljuk Turks and later the Ottomans, under whose rule the region became a province in its own right.

The province of Muğla has a rich cultural heritage, with many historical sites and monuments, including the ancient city of Knidos, the Bodrum Castle, and the ancient settlement of Stratonikeia.

How To Get To Muğla Turkiye

If you want to get to Muğla in the Aegean Region, you have many different options. Here are some of them:

By Air

Dalaman Airport is the nearest airport to Muğla. It is located about 50 km from the city of Muğla and has regular flights from major cities in Turkiye and countries in Europe and the Middle East. You can take a bus, taxi, or rental car to arrive in Muğla.

By Bus

If you’re already in Turkiye or the Balkans, there are regular bus services to Muğla. If you’re coming from the Balkans, you might need to go to Istanbul first and then take a bus. You can take a bus from all major cities in Turkiye to Muğla. The bus journey can take several hours, depending on your starting location.

By Car

You can get to Muğla by your own vehicle or a rental. You can take the D400 highway, which connects the city to other major cities in Turkiye, to arrive in Muğla.

Don’t forget to check the availability of transportation options in advance and plan accordingly, as well as to check for any updates regarding travel restrictions or regulations.

What To Do In Muğla – Attractions In Mugla

Visit The Ancient City Of Knidos

Amphitheater of ancient greek city knidos in Datca, Turkey
Amphitheater of Ancient Greek city Knidos in Datca, Turkey

If you’re a history enthusiast who likes to discover ancient cities and settlements, the ancient city of Knidos is a great destination you can add to your itinerary. The ancient city was once a significant center of trade and culture. Visitors can explore the city’s ruins, including the theatre, agora, and the Temple of Aphrodite. Knidos is on the Datça Peninsula and easy to access with many public transportation options.

Explore The Bodrum Castle

Built by the Knights of St. John in the 15th century, the castle offers a glimpse into the region’s history and culture. Its impressive architecture and rich history make the stronghold one of the most significant historical landmarks in Muğla. The structure has a spectacular Aegean sea view and offers the unique experience of watching Bodrum and the Mediterranean from a high vantage point. Visitors can also see the castle’s museum, which has a collection of artifacts from the ancient city of Halicarnassus.

Relax On The Beach

Beaches in Fethiye - People at the Calis beach near center of Fethiye city in Mugla
Calis Beach, Fethiye

If you want to visit Muğla, we recommend you do so in Summer. The city has many beautiful beaches, such as Gümbet, Turgutreis, and Bodrum. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. The region is also home to many pristine beaches you can only access by sea. There are many day trips to nearby islands where you can find these untouched islands and enjoy some privacy in the middle of the Mediterranean dream.

Visit The Ancient City Of Stratonikeia

Stratonikeia Ancient City in Eskihisar, Mugla, Turkey.
Stratonikeia Ancient City in Eskihisar, Mugla, Turkey.

Another significant ancient city in the area is Stratonikeie. The settlement was once an important center of worship and culture. The city’s ruins include a theatre, agora, the Temple of Apollo, and many houses and columns. The area is a perfect selection for having a glimpse into the rich history of Muğla and life in antiquity.

Take A Boat Tour

Sailing Turkish Coast - Gumbet, Bodrum, Turkey

Muğla is close to many nearby islands, which you can access by a short boat tour from the city. Visitors can also take a boat tour around the Bodrum Peninsula to see the beautiful coastline and the nearby bays.

Visit The Akyaka Village

Akyaka is among the must-sees in Muğla; it’s a charming village near the city. Visitors can explore the village’s traditional houses and streets while enjoying the beautiful natural surroundings. You can also immerse in the local Turkish culture in this lovely hamlet.

Try The Local Cuisine

Bulgarian Desserts - Baklava

Muğla is known for its delicious seafood, traditional Turkish dishes, and sweet treats; visitors can try meze platters with the Turkish alcoholic beverage raki, grilled fish, and meat. If you are a dessert lover, you can try the famous baklava.

Go Shopping

Turkish souvenirs - Handmade ceramic meze platter set
My Turkish meze plates I purchases at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

There’s no point in discovering all the beauties of Muğla if you’re not going to share it with your loved ones. Then you’re lucky because Muğla has always been an important commercial center for the Mediterranean. Although it might not have its old significance, you can still find many shops, markets, and malls in Muğla where you can buy traditional handicrafts, jewelry, and souvenirs. The most famous shopping places are Bodrum Bazaar and the weekly farmer’s market in Muğla.

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Day Trips From Muğla Turkiye

Ancient City of Ephesus, Izmir, Turkey
Ancient City of Ephesus, Turkey

Muğla is located in southwestern Turkiye and is close to many significant attractions. Here are some of the places you can visit on a day trip from Muğla:


Marble reliefs in Ephesus historical ancient city, in Selcuk,Izmir,

This ancient city is located about 200km from Muğla and is one of the best-preserved ancient cities in the world. The ruins of Ephesus include the Temple of Artemis and the Celsus Library.

Find a guide to Ephesus here ↳  


Cotton Castle Pamukkale magic
Pamukkale, Turkey

When you’re already in Pamukkale, you can take your time to explore the ancient city of Hierapolis. This natural wonder is about 230km from Muğla. It features terraces of hot springs and mineral pools.

Find a guide to Pamukkale here ↳  


Beaches in Fethiye - Belcekiz Beach, Ölüdeniz

This coastal town is located about 150km from Muğla and is known for its beautiful beaches, the ancient city of Telmessos, and the ghost town of Kayakoy.

Find a guide to Fethiye here ↳  


Things to do in Marmaris Turkey

Another coastal town known for its beautiful beaches, marina, and castle, Marmaris is about 150km from Muğla.

Find a guide to Marmaris here ↳  


This charming town is located on the Datça Peninsula, about 100km from Muğla, and is known for its beautiful beaches and traditional villages


Things to do in Bodrum, Turkey - Camel Beach in Bitez, Bodrum, Turkey
Camel Beach in Bitez

Located about 20km from Muğla, Bodrum is a lively coastal town known for its nightlife, beaches, and the ancient city of Halicarnassus.

Find a guide to Bodrum here ↳  

Where To Stay In Mugla Province

If you don’t know where to stay in Muğla, you need not worry! We know all the great hotels in Muğla and have a few suggestions for you.

  • Mivara Luxury Bodrum: Mivara Luxury Bodrum is a waterfront resort that provides a magnificent and relaxing getaway. This hotel, located just 11 kilometers from the iconic Bodrum Windmills and 17 kilometers from the Phalarope Aqualand water park, is ideal for people who want to explore the area while enjoying the comforts of a high-end resort
  • METT Hotel & Beach Resort Bodrum: This luxury hotel is in Bodrum, one of the most spectacular towns in Muğla. Located just 1 km from Bardakçı Cove and 3 km from the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, METT Hotel & Beach Resort is the perfect location for those who want to explore the area while also enjoying the comfort of a high-end resort
  • Eldehan Hotel: Located on a section of the D525 road, Eldehan Hotel is a modest hotel surrounded by supermarkets, car showrooms, and casual eateries. The hotel is just a 12-minute walk from the Milas Museum and the Ulu Cami mosque, making it the perfect location for those who want to explore the area while enjoying the comfort of a budget-friendly hotel
  • Club Marmara Hotel: Club Marmara Hotel is a seasonal hotel situated on Karaincir Public Beach and is perfect for anyone looking for a relaxed beach vacation. The hotel is 21km from the Castle of Bodrum, an underwater archaeological exhibit, and 7km from the D330 road

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