Holidays in

Number one for fun in the sun

Marmaris is a time-honoured holiday destination for sandy toes and ice cream, but there is more to the Mediterranean resort than meets the eye. Its beaches, harbourside restaurants and drinking palaces on Bar Street are well worth your time, but don’t overlook the charming Old Town, with its hilly lanes of whitewashed houses and crumbling stone walls climbing above the yacht-lined marina.

Cats doze in shady doorways and little restaurants serve traditional Turkish dishes. Marmaris holidays should also take in the 16th-century hilltop castle. Ottoman sultan Suleyman the Magnificent built the fort as a base for his five-month siege of the Knights Hospitaller on nearby Rhodes. Holidays to Marmaris also offer a schedule of strolling the ‘kordon’ promenade, swimming, diving and boat trips, perhaps in a traditional wooden ‘gulet’. Marmaris is a deservedly popular resort, with the odd corner to escape the crowds and to glimpse authentic Turkish life.

Your Marmaris questions, answered

International dishes from pizza to steak are plentiful, but try the local seafood and Turkish dishes such as kebabs, ‘kofte’ meatballs and the stringy Turkish ice cream, ‘dondurma’.

Icmeler and Turunc are southwest of town – in summer, water shuttles run to both – and Gunlucek is in a forest park to the southeast. Minibuses serve them all.

Bar Street is an actual street, 39 Sokak, one block from the waterfront. Lined with open-fronted bars, it’s good fun and a big part of the Marmaris experience.

Best things to do in Marmaris

Visit Datca and Bozburun

Stretching southwest of Marmaris, these peninsulas mark the meeting of the Mediterranean and Aegean. Catch a minibus or rev a scooter for lunch in the quaint village of Selimiye.

Take a trip to Rhodes

In summer, catamarans depart every morning on the one-hour journey to Rhodes, returning late afternoon. Local agencies sell affordable same-day returns to the Greek island.

Tour Marmaris Castle

Wander the ramparts like Admiral Nelson, who docked here in 1798 before the Battle of the Nile. There are great views and a museum with local archaeological exhibits.