A large and lively resort town, Marmaris is surrounded by blue seas and pine tree-carpeted mountains. Walk around the modern marina, explore the charming Old Town’s Ottoman castle and try watersports on the lengthy beach, which extends along the town’s edge.
Learn about the region’s history. Though Marmaris now makes most of its money from tourism, it wasn’t always that way. Long before people began to travel the world for fun, this port town served as a center for trade because of its strategic position between the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. By the mid 15th century, the town and surrounding region had come under control of the Ottoman Empire.
Delve into the past of Marmaris by strolling along the steep streets of Old Town, where traditional centuries-old buildings contrast with the more modern development around the port. Dominating Old Town is the imposing Marmaris Castle, built by Süleyman the Magnificent in 1522. Amble around the castle’s walls and explore the small museum inside, which contains historic artifacts and archaeological finds. Also of note is the town’s Grand Bazaar, where sellers offer clothing, rugs, souvenirs and jewelry. Haggling is expected.
For a break from sightseeing, don a swimsuit and head for Marmaris Urban Beach. Get here early to find a good spot and enjoy a swim in the clean, clear waters. Adjacent to Maramis Urban Beach is Marmaris Long Beach, which runs for about 6 miles (10 kilometers) and is backed by a pedestrianized café and bar-lined promenade. Venture farther south to IcmelerBeach to try parasailing and other watersports.
For Turkish-style relaxation, opt for a session in a traditional hammam, or Turkish bath. Among the oldest in town are the 16th-century Suleymaniye Hamam. These baths accept couples and families only.
Marmaris is located on Turkey’s so-called “Turquoise Coast” in the southwestern part of the country, near Greece’s Dodecanese Islands. To get here, fly to Marmaris’ Dalaman Airport. Travel to Rhodes by boat in less than 1 hour.