Choose a Marmaris holiday in 2017 for a magical retreat in the Turkish Riviera. Marmaris is a large, picturesque resort on the pristine turquoise coast of southwest Turkey. It benefits from warm Mediterranean weather and a prime location between two intersecting sets of mountains by the sea. It boasts its own marina, a quaint old town with a historic castle, and a wealth of contemporary establishments from restaurants to bars and clubs. Not to mention a spectacular beach that stretches the entire length of the resort.
As a Turkish resort, Marmaris is full of opportunities to relax in a traditional Turkish bath, or hammam, and the Greek island of Rhodes is less than an hour’s boat ride away. Other excursions from the resort include trips to Dalyan Caunos, with its ancient tombs, mud baths and sea turtles, and the waterfalls and terraced basins of Pamukkale.
Top attractions on a Marmaris holiday include everything from cultural heritage to contemporary activities. Spend the day on the beach and marvel at the breathtaking turquoise waters of the Mediterranean, or pay a visit to one of two water parks in the resort for water slides, bumper boats and the kamikaze ride. The resort is also home to some of the liveliest clubs and nightlife venues, as well as restaurants serving a range of Mediterranean, Turkish and international cuisines. There are heaps of water sports opportunities, as well as cycling trails, boat trips and jeep safaris.
There are also regular excursions outside of Marmaris to nearby villages including Bayir village with its ancient mosque and local honey, Turgut village situated amid a canyon with a 300 year old watermill and spectacular waterfall, and Orhaniye village with the popular Kizkumu beach.
Wine and Dine
The options for eating out on a Marmaris holiday are almost endless. From traditional Turkish and British eateries to international establishments serving Indian, Chinese, Dutch, Italian and French dishes, Marmaris caters to all tastes - and the intense competition in the area means that it is possible to eat out on a budget.
The Bazaar Area encloses a range of traditional Turkish establishments and cosy lokantas (tradesman’s restaurants, where you can find freshly made food made quickly on the premises) serving fresh kofte and lahmacun in a traditional Turkish atmosphere. For flavoursome seafood, the restaurants by the harbour serve only the freshest - all with fabulous views of the marina.
More an upmarket dining experience, Netsel Marina offers elegance and style with fabulous views of luxury yachts and live music. Pineapple Restaurant at the marina serves freshly-caught local seafood with a range of local wines. Alternatively, for some home-style classic British food, the area of Siteler has a lot to offer. Try Faros Beach Pub for some tasty British grub, alongside the option for a game of pool.
A family holiday to Marmaris is an excellent opportunity to pack in a load of fun-filled activities. The beaches are all family-friendly and a range of water sports are available at various points along the coast. Away from the beach, there are two big waterparks to choose from - Aqua Dream Water Park and Atlantis Water Park. Aqua Dream Water Park offers a host of rides from kamikaze slides, gang slides, pirate ship attractions, raft slides, and wave pools, as well as places to eat and drink. Atlantis Water Park is home to a range of water rides, as well as mini golf and bowling.
Marmaris also has its own open-water dolphinarium, popular with kids and adults of all ages. For some land-based action, hire out a quad buggy and follow the safari trail through the outstanding natural riverbeds and forests of the region, or head out to the go-karting circuit for some light family competition.
Action and Adventure
A holiday to Marmaris is packed with opportunities to get out and about. Stick close to the resort with water sports including jet-skiing, banana boats and bungee jumping, or embark on one of the many safaris on offer. Hire a mountain bike and pedal the streets or head into the more rugged landscape to see the lush green landscapes of the national park on horseback.
The two main waterparks of the resort are packed full of thrilling rides and slides. For the real thrill-seekers, take to the rapids of Dalaman River with a white-water rafting experience. There are also plenty of opportunities to get out on a boat trip around the coast or to a neighbouring island.
Life's a Beach
Expect to find over 9km of dazzling beach on a holiday to Marmaris. Marmaris Urban Beach is a stretch of organised beach close to Marmaris town centre. It’s the liveliest and most popular in the area, dotted with sun loungers and umbrellas and a variety of heart-pumping water sports. Aquatic activities on offer include pedaloes, banana boats, jet-ski hire and bungee jumps into the sea. For a more relaxed approach, there are boat and yacht cruises that also stop at other beaches along the coast.
Marmaris Urban Beach gives way to Uzunyali Beach, otherwise known as Long Beach, which stretches for 10km along the whole Marmari coast to Icmeler. Unbroken stretches of soft golden sand are backed by a pedestrian promenade lined with cafés, restaurants, bars and shops selling sunglasses and souvenirs. If you walk along the beach to Icmeler, take some time to admire the golden sandy beach there. Hire out a small fishing boat, parasail or take advantage of the crystal-clear waters with some scuba diving.
Marmaris is a real party town when the sun sets, offering everything from dance parties and laser shows to foam parties and fancy dress. The liveliest nightlife area is Marmaris Bar Street by the marina, with a variety of clubs, discos and bars playing a mix of pop, rock, reggae, Turkish and techno music. The Backstreet Club is the largest open-air club in the resort with an incredible energy on the dancefloor and a cocktail menu up at the terrace bar for onlookers. On Bar Street, the fun continues until the small hours with many places open until 5am.
For a slightly more laid-back nightlife, the Uzuinyali Beach area has lots to offer, as well as being right by the beach. The area has plenty of pubs, karaoke and dance bars, as well as opportunities for a late night cocktail on the beach. Turtle Bar has a great dance club atmosphere, and Captain’s Bar is a top spot for some karaoke.
With over 10km of stunning soft beaches and the clearest turquoise waters, Marmaris is perfect for a couples’ beach holiday. Find a secluded stretch along Long Beach, or bond over a cocktail or two in one of the many seafront bars. Take a boat trip to Cleopatra Island where, according to legend, Antonius and Cleopatra would swim together. Or visit some of the historical sites and museums of the area. There are plenty of shopping opportunities, with a range of traditional Turkish items on offer if you’re prepared to haggle at one of the street markets.
For a really special experience, book a private tour on a luxury yacht or gulet, a Turkish wooden yacht, and sail around the coast exploring the romance of the region with its secret coves and bays.
With a long history dating back to 3,400 BC, Marmaris is a location with a rich and vibrant culture just waiting to be discovered. Marmaris Castle is believed to have been built around 1044 BC, and has since been rebuilt and renovated at various points in history. High in the hills behind the town, the castle also boasts panoramic views. Pay a visit to the Ottoman structure of Hafsa Sultan Caravanserai, or have a look at the Tomb of Sariana, built as a tribute to her prophecies during the Ottoman campaign for Rhodes.
There are two museums in the town. One is located on the site of Marmaris Castle, and is home to artefacts belonging to the Helenistic, Roman and Byzantium era. Additionally, the Marmaris Halici Ahmet Urkay Museum, dedicated to archaeology and ethnology, is open 7 days a week and is free to visit.