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 in Turkey 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.
You have a typical Mediterranean climate in Marmaris with hot dry summers. If you're going mainly for the beach, the best time is between June and September. It's going to be hot, with 12 hours of daily sunshine and temperatures around 35°C. However, Marmaris benefits from sea breezes, which help you keep cool. In April, May or October, temperatures can still 30°C, and you’ll still have water warm enough for swimming. In May you can see boats galore at the yacht show. In the second week of October, Marmaris holds an international short film festival.
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.
The beaches near Marmaris are renowned for clean sand and clear water. Apart from Marmaris town beach, Long beach and Icmeler beach, you can also visit three other nearby beaches. Turunc Blue Flag beach is in a small bay surrounded by forested hills, roughly 30 minutes’ drive west. Kumlubuk is an unspoiled beach in an area of natural beauty about 15 minutes further on. Cleopatra beach is on a small island, about 20 minutes’ drive north. The island has some Roman ruins and the sand, they say, was brought by Cleopatra from Egypt.
Marmaris is known for its nightlife, its clean sandy beaches and fabulous sea. During the summer, you can catch a ferry from Marmaris over to the Greek island of Rhodes. You'll also see a 16th-century hilltop castle that was built by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent as a base to lay siege on Rhodes and conquer the Knights Hospitaller. You can visit the castle and see the archaeological museum now inside it. If you like historic buildings, you should also visit the Hafsa Sultan Caravanserai, which is decorated with arches and now has restaurants and shops.
Marmaris holidays are good for families, with their long sandy beaches that shelve into safe waters. Your children can also enjoy water sports that include inflatable rides, and you’ll have diving, parasailing, water skiing and jet skiing. You'll find lots of other activities in Marmaris, such as go-karting, quad bikes and the Marmaris water park. Here, you'll have lots of water slides including bumper boats, a kamikaze ride and the black hole if you’re bold enough. You might also go on a boat trip, which will take you for swimming and sightseeing tours around the Marmaris beaches.
Marmaris is known for having a mixed and lively nightlife. You can go from a quiet sunset cocktail and harbour-side restaurant to party-town on Bar Street. You'll find bars and clubs there, with a variety of themed parties. If you fancy it, you can go to live music performances, laser shows or foam parties. You can also opt for famous DJs and all-night dancing, a Turkish night with belly dancing or a cabaret show. One popular option in Marmaris is to take the party boat at night, where you can drink and dance while cruising.
Traffic and parking is always a problem in Marmaris, so you should probably not hire a car. You won't really need one in the hilly lanes of the Old Town with its crumbling stone walls and whitewashed houses. Hiring a bike is a good idea for travelling the beach boardwalk. You'll have plenty of buses to neighbouring towns and sightseeing spots. The easiest way to get around is to catch the dolmus minibus, which will drop you off wherever you need to go. You can also reach many beaches by boat, which is faster and more pleasant than taking to the road.

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.
Beaches